Tim's Tropical Fish






Black Piranha

Piranha Galleries

Black Piranha, Serrasalmus rhombeus

The Black Piranha originates from the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in South America. It is also known as the Redeye Piranha, the White Piranha and the Spotted Piranha. The scientific name is serrasalmus rhombeus, but it is also referred to by the scientific name serrasalmus niger. The young are light colored with dark spots, which gives rise to the name White Piranha. As they mature, the dark spots disappear, the background color turns black and the eyes turn red. The anal fin has a red coloring and the edges of this fin are very dark when young. The young are more slender, while adults have the typical piranha shape. Black Piranha grow very slowly at 1 2 inches per year.

The Black Piranha does not swarm in large schools like the Red Bellied Piranha does. It can be rather timid, but its bite is still very dangerous. The tank should be about 100 gallons with bogwood and dim lighting. Soft, acidic water preferred. The Black Piranha is strictly a meat eater and should be kept alone. Care should be taken to ensure feeder fish are free of disease.

Black Piranha, Serrasalmus rhombeus

Males are more golden, with red in the belly, while females are more yellow. This species can be bred in captivity. They are known to have survived in the wild in Hawaii and Florida. Eggs are laid in plants in pits in the substrate. The male guards the eggs, which hatch in 2 3 days. Fry must be separated and fed live foods.

The piranha is banned in more than 20 US states, due to concerns over the possibility that they will survive in the wild and threaten other living populations, including humans.  For more information, visit The Law and Piranhas by Frank Magallanes

Scientific Name: Serrasalmus rhombeus
Family: Characin
Temperature: 23 - 27 C; 73 - 81 F
pH: 5.8 - 7.0
Size: 40 cm; 16 inches
Life Span: 4 years
Breeding: Difficult, Egglayer