RE: NANFA-- extreme collecting II

Crail, Todd (
Sun, 15 Dec 2002 13:41:04 -0500

I would like to see that. Scientific American had an article as well a while back describing the true natural habits of piranha. He likened them to be "cryptoparastites" in that the toothy adaptation was more designed to get quick chunks of scales, fins, etc off neighboring species and that they really don't deserve the reputation they've gotten.

I thought I would give this a shot when I had the shop. I didn't normally carry piranha as I wasn't generally pleased with the crowd they attracted, but I thought I'd try something. So I got in 5 juveniles, had them in a 30 long, fed them bloodworms and brine 3 times a day... I was able to keep tetras in with them, and while they did nip fins and scales (which I was pleased to see that this article was supporting that observation), I was able to keep the tetras healthy enough that this wasn't an issue for them even. It was pretty interesting, and actually, piranha are very gentle fish, if not complete wimps :) I think the violent aquarium deaths are because they're sooooo hungry from getting such little nutrition per volume with feeder fish that they end up going nutso on anything that moves, including each other.

I looked for the article online, it appears they don't have it online (I went thru issue by issue :) It might be worth looking for in the periodicals at the library, it was in 2000-2001. My searching did yield this tho :)

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Davis
Sent: Sun 12/15/2002 7:25 AM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- extreme collecting II

> Or the piranha feeding frenzy where the local fishermen dump their scraps?

(Years ago) Did you see the section of a Jacques Cousteau PBS documentary on
the Amazon where they dump some meat in the water? There is a guy in the
water video taping the very enthusiastic feeding binge of the piranhas! One
can see the piranhas tearing chunks from the carcass hung in the water. They
were very sloppy eaters. Among the piranhas were all sorts of smaller tetras
darting in and out picking off the scraps!. I really hoped the guy would
tilt his camera to the substrate. I'll bet there were Corys having a field
day too.

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