Serrasalmus compressus (Compressus piranha)

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Serrasalmus compressus - The Compressus Piranha

Serrasalmus compressus goes by several common names including the compressus piranha, black nicaragua piranha, and white piranha. As these names suggest, this aggressive fish has a mainly blackish-gray coloration with white ventral areas.

Native to the Amazon and Orinoco River basins of South America, Serrasalmus compressus inhabits turbid, slow-moving rivers and flooded forests. An opportunistic predator, they feed on fish, crustaceans and insects. Sharp triangular teeth and powerful jaws make short work of prey.

In the home aquarium, provide S. compressus with very dim lighting and plenty of dense cover. Tankmates should be avoided due to their highly aggressive nature. Feed live, meaty foods to bring out natural hunting behaviors.

Though small, maxing out around 8-9 inches in length, Serrasalmus compressus requires an aquarium of 50 gallons or more and expert care. Their skittishness, reclusive nature, and potential to be nippy makes them best suited to dedicated piranha enthusiasts. Provide robust filtration and frequent water changes.

With menacing dentition and bad attitude, the compressus piranha lives up to its fearsome piranha reputation. Yet for experienced aquarists, they offer a chance to safely keep one of the Amazon's most notorious predators.

Serrasalmus compressus a solitary species of piranha from Peru South America. In the hobby its quiet rare but it also misidentified especially at smaller sizes. This fish is mixed up the Black Piranha (S. rhombeus), which also comes from Peru. The snout on this species of piranha is very impressive and its no wonder they nip at the fins of other fish. Recommend keeping this species as a solitary specimen in a home aquarium.

Serrasalmus compressus Common Names:

This species is often mislabeled, and sold under the name of other piranha species: Altuvei Piranha, Black Piranha, Rhombeus Piranha.

What is the range of Serrasalmus compressus in South America?

The Compressus Piranha is considered rare both in the wild and in captivity. It is found only in the Rio Madeira and a number of its tributaries, Brazil and imported from Peru according to AquariumGlaser.

Maximum Size of Serrasalmus compressus fish:

About 20-23cm. (8-9")

Tank size for Serrasalmus compressus?

Adult fish need a tank of at least 55 gallons, while younger specimen can temporarily be kept in smaller tanks, the minimum being a tank of 36 gallons. The aquarium needs to be decorated with plants, driftwood and rocks to provide hiding places for this often somewhat shy and skittish fish (especially during the first weeks/months). But an open area to swim should also be offered. A powerhead can be used to add a little extra water currents, to mimic its natural habitat.

Compatible Species for Serrasalmus compressus potential tankmates

Not compatible with any species. Because of its fin-nipping habit and intolerance towards other conspecifics and tank mates, this species should be kept alone in a species tank. In rare situations, a Pleco, Raphael Catfish or other heavily armed catfish could be a suitable tankmate.

Silver dollars - Fast moving schooling fish that mostly inhabit the upper levels of the tank. Helps draw out compressus piranhas.

Large plecostomus - Bottom dwelling fish that help clean algae. Their armored bodies protect against piranha nips. Need plenty of cover.

Medium to large tetras - Schooling fish like congo tetras may work but need a heavily planted tank. Nipping is still a risk.

Tankmates should be considered carefully and added gradually while observing the piranhas' reaction. Have backup tanks ready to remove bullied fish. Avoid small, active, or slow moving fish that may trigger predatory instincts. Proper tank setup and breaking up territories is key to piranha success.

What is the diet for Serrasalmus compressus piranha?

Filets, frozen fish and Live feeders, krill, shrimp, mussels, insects, earthworms, bloodworms, mealworms, mosquito larvae, tubifex, flakes, pellets

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Serrasalmus compressus a very interesting piranha from Peru
Serrasalmus compressus