What should you feed your pet piranhas?
To some that might seem obvious, feed them anything right? Not quite. Just like humans, you have to make sure that your piranhas eat a balanced diet to make sure they stay healthy. Feeding them table scrapes (which happens often) is not recommended.
Piranha feeding is not extremely complicated. The red belly piranha for example is a meat eater, so meat-like products should be a huge part of their diet. But, you can’t just feed them meat all the time. It’s important to switch with other types of food. Here is a list of piranha foods that have worked for me in the past and other popular suggestions that I found on different forums:
* Frozen fish/seafood like cod, salmon, tuna, catfish, shrimps, krill, mussels and squid. You can buy these in pre-made cubes that you keep in your freezer, or make your own.
* Pellet food such as Hikari Gold or Hikari Cichlid Bio Gold.
* Small pieces of vegetable like celery, cucumbers and peas (some prefer the shell off, others on) can be a good addition to their diet.
* Pinkie mice.
* Live feeders.
Important – Please keep in mind that there is a lot of debate around the last one. Many people believe that it is OK to feed live fish (minnows, tetras, etc.) to piranhas, while others believe that you should never do it. The main reason is that live feeders are prone to disease which can then be transferred to your piranhas. One way to help with this issue is to quarantine the live feeders in a separate aquarium for a few weeks before introducing them to your piranhas. This will not completely eliminate the risk of diseases, however it will help.
How often do I feed them?
This is a very good question. The general rule of thumb is that juvenile piranhas should be fed 2-3 times per day, while adult piranhas should be fed once every other day. It is highly recommended that you clean up the leftovers 4-5 hours after you are done eating. If you don’t, the food will rot and pollute the water, making your job at maintaining the aquarium that much harder. Doing this will make sure you aren’t constantly doing water changes.
One more thing to keep in mind is that when you first get your piranhas, they may refuse to eat. This is common. Sometimes they just need a few days, even a week or so, to adjust to their new environment. The same goes when introducing new food.