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Came down stairs this morning to find the half eaten remains of one of my Piranha fish bobbing about in the tank. I started out many years ago with 10 in a five foot tank, I am now down to three. The main boss fish in there is probably to blame, she is around seven inches long and quite aggressive toward any of the others, she attacks the food first the others usually wait then get thier go.

I dont think the dead fish was ill more than likely pushed his luck too far.
Anyway I have got the remains out and flushed him down the bog. Things seem calm in there at the moment and I probably wont need to feed them today as they look to have all had a nibble on thier unfortunate tank mate. So the mice can breath a sigh of relief for today at least.

I always fancied Piranhas but was put off because I was told you had to be very careful with the water for them including adding peat to it. There's nothing better than predatory pets.

BTW Sorry to hear of your loss.

You can use peat as this lowers the waters ph to something similar to what the fish are used to in the Amazon it also colours the water as well, but the trouble is it continues to lower the ph. So I use peat around the plant roots in the tank and not as a medium in the external filter. this does the trick nicely and also aids the plants growth as well, and the ph remains relativly stable. If the ph drops too low the fish will get stressed leaving them open to stress related infection such as white spot.

I'm glad you've confirmed that!!

I was dreading you coming back and saying "Just use tap water, mate", My fishkeeping skills are somewhat lacking and I have the deaths of many coldwater fish on my hands, there's probably no big secret to it just my own stupidity!!! :-)

No definatly not just plain tap water, it needs to be treated first to remove the chlorine even just doing your weekly 10% water change that needs to be treated as well.

Wow a 5ft tank - I would LOVE a big tank but with fresh water fish in there.. however extremely time consuming and critical that the PH/salt levels are right - TBH not sure I'd have the commitment to test it that often!!...

I had (still have but not in use) a triple hexagon tank for small tropical fish which is pretty cool but a b*gger to clean out... my bristlenosed plecos breed for England and I had about 80 babies in their at one stage..WAY too much for the filter system I had!!

Although my flying fox was the b*ll*cks!

I was tempted to get some more Tropicals but the cleaning process put me off... would love a big oblong tank though... it was the shape of mine that mean getting a gravel cleaner in their was tricky!!

Anyways... complete rambling there... sorry to hear of the loss... was going to suggest to Yeeharr he have some piranhas in that tank but they will obv be too big for the 'tubes'.. although could use live bait! (E.g have the piranhas in one section and whichever brave soldier of the trop fish dares to swim into their section will be come lunch!!! [smilie=pdt_aliboronz_24.gif])

What a waste Gary.
See the Piranha fritters on the recipe section of OTG. It was a tailor made occasion to try it out :-)

Like with all tanks the trick is to keep them out of direct sunlight. My tank unfortunatly can only go in one part if the room due to the direction of the floorboards, If my floor was concrete I would be laughing. But because of its weight it has to sit accross the boards so the joists run into it so to speak, that is the only way I can have it, shame its in the sun for a good part of the day. I have a uv trap on the rain bar from the external pump which does keep the algae down but it still forms here and there so I have a cleaning magnet on the inside of the tank, unfortunatly this moving around does attract thier attention which normally results in the magnet being pulled off the glass and a frenzy occuring inside the tank.

The main problem with red bellies is cleaning the gravel they are not the tidiest of eaters and all sorts gets stuck in the filters and pulled down by the U/G filter system, A syphon is by far the best method but this has the same effect as the magnet. So I coax the fish into one side of the tank then slide a piece of black perspex in so trapping them then I can do what I need to, then when they have calmed down I do the same on the other side.

The main thing you need to worry about is over crowding as this will up your ammonia levels which are lethal to any fish, a good bacteria base will take care of ammonia though they will struggle if the tank is overcrowded. Aquazorb in the filter will also counter ammonia levels. Ammonia is broken down into nitrate which is also lethal and finally nitrate is broken down into the less harmfull nitrite(I think I have that round the right way) So having no ammonia in your tank is not nessrsarily a good thing as you will need to check the others as well. Though Nitrate is used by the plants. With Piranha you will have your work cut out as their personal hygeine is not that good and the nitrite levels in my tank are normally in the orange, a 10% water change every week keeps it from getting any higher.

Yes this is the problem I had with my Plecos... they over stocked themselves!!!

Water was fab and rarely had to water change TBH... would check levels each week every other week and it wasn't a problme.. however the muck that came our from under the undergravel filtration was foul and stunk the house out!! NICE!! LOL!!

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