Red Belly Pacu Fish

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The Red Belly Pacu fish looks very similar and is sometimes sold to customers as the Red Belly Piranha. However, Red Belly Pacu only look like piranha as juveniles. The red belly pacu will grow rather quickly and may reach 12 - 24 inches (30 - 61 cm) if properly taken care of. Given their potential adult size you will need an enormous tank to keep one at home, at least 250 gallons (940 liters). You will also need an extremely efficient aquarium filter to filter the tank water.

The Red Belly Pacu will accept flake foods in the home aquarium but will need to be given pellets as they grow in size. It's probably best to keep them in tanks without live plants because they may eat your live plants.
Use caution when selecting tank mates for this fish. Even though they are herbivores, they may go after smaller fish in their tank. They can potentially be kept with arowanas and plecos.

The Red Bellied Pacu one of those fish that is best left to the advanced freshwater aquarist with a very large tank.

Red Belly Pacu Fish Profile Facts and Care Information

Scientific Name : Piaractus brachypomum

Common Names : Red Pacu

Red Pacu Care Level : Moderate - Difficult (because of adult size) and they need an excellent aquarium filter.

Size : 12 - 24 inches (30 - 61 cm)

pH : 6.5 - 7.5

Temperature : 75°F - 80°F (24°C - 27°C)

Red Belly Pacu Lifespan : 5 - 15 years or longer.

Origin / Habitat : South America, Amazon River

Red Belly Pacu Temperament / Behavior : Generally peaceful and will take care of themselves against more aggressive tank mates. They may also eat smaller fish species if kept in the same tank.

Red Belly Pacu Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : Egglayer, not common in home aquariums.

Tank Size : 250 gallon (946 liters) minimum but preferrably much larger tanks and ponds. This fish is best left in the wild or in public aquarium displays.

Red Belly Pacu Compatible Tank Mates : Because of their huge adult size there are very few common aquarium species recommended. You would need to keep them with large fish making the aquarium size requirements difficult to attain in the home. One that may potentially be kept with them is the Common Pleco but you would need at minimum a 350 gallon tank to provide both of them with adequate water volume as adults. Arowanas are sometimes kept in the same tank as well (must be a huge tank). Sometimes sold mistakenly as the Red Belly Piranha.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease

Diet / Fish Food : An herbivore - provide a varied diet with pellet food and frozen food.

Tank Region : Mostly middle

Gender : Difficult to determine. May only be possible to determine gender differences in mature adult Red Belly Pacu. Males may have more red on the belly.

Similar Species : Characins

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