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Pygocentrus piraya

New Fish Tank Tips: Don’t follow the 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water rule. A better guide would probably be 1 inch of fish per 2 or 3 gallons of water. Use the future adult size of your fish when computing how many fish you can keep. Resist the temptation to overcrowd your tank. The more tropical fish you have the more often you will have to perform fish tank maintenance.
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The fish Pygocentrus piraya often called the Piraya Piranha or San Francisco Piranha, is a large, aggressive piranha from the São Francisco River basin in Brazil. It is one of the largest piranhas, reaching a maximum length of 50 cm in the wild, and is sometimes considered the most beautiful, with its orange to yellow belly coloration, silver eyes, and rayed fibrous adipose fin. Like most other piranhas, P. piraya is laterally compressed and roughly circular in profile, and bears a mouthful of very sharp teeth. The lower jaw is thick, strong, and protruding.

This fish is an omnivore, but when hungry, stressed, or seeking live food it is very aggressive. This characteristic combined with its large size make it a danger to humans. Piranha attacks on humans are anecdotal for the most part. The piraya prefers to eat small fish and insects, along with seeds and aquatic plant material.

The piraya is sometimes available as an aquarium fish. It is not generally bred in captivity, so aquarium pirayas are usually imported from South America and can be expensive. Any other fish sharing a tank with a piraya should be of the same or a similar piranha species. Other types of fish will be attacked and eaten.

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