Serrasalmus eigenmanni

Serrasalmus eigenmanni Peru Eigenmanns Piranha is a medium sized and very colorful and interesting piranha (maximum length reported is around 20 cm). So far S. eigenmanni has been reported from Brazil, the Guyanas, Peru and Venezuela. Care consists of a temperature between 22 -25 C, the pH range is 5.0 - 6.0. Their diet relative to the aquarium is live food and frozen food. This is an aggressive fish best kept alone.

Native to turbid, slow-moving rivers, lakes, and flooded forests of the Amazon, S. eigenmanni is a ferocious predator that feeds on fish, crustaceans and insects. They possess extremely sharp teeth and strong jaw muscles. Males are larger than females.

While small, reaching lengths of 7-8 inches in the wild, Eigenmann's piranha requires an aquarium of at least 60 gallons if kept in captivity. Their aggressive nature and skittish disposition makes them unsuitable for community tanks. Provide dim lighting, dense cover, and robust filtration to mimic natural habitats.

For advanced aquarists equipped to deal with specialized feeding and care needs, Serrasalmus eigenmanni offers a chance to safely keep one of the Amazon's most notorious predators. Though not recommended for beginners, their intriguing behaviors and striking black barred pattern make Eigenmann's piranha a truly unique fish.

Like similar species of piranha, Serrasalmus eigenmanni tend to be solitary individuals. So the Red Hook piranah would not be a community fish due to its nature to feed on fish especially their fins to start. This piranha has be succesfully spawned in June of 2020 by Philipp Bayer. Please check out the video below and what this amazing footage. Note the coloration of the their breeding pattern, its appears to be mostly sliver and with black coloration on the operculum. The tank is gorgeous with freshwater plants.

Its worth noting that young or adult S. eigenmanni have an orange red spot on their operculum; howvever, based on the spawning coloration in the video below, the orange red spot becomes black! In terms of tanks space, smaller individuals can be kept in tank sizes of 80 x 35 x 40 centimeters but adult fish should be provided 120 x 50 x 50 centimeters size aquariums. Providing ample hiding places is key, so add wood, stones, slate and freshwater plants.

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Serrasalmus eigenmanni potential tankmates

Serrasalmus eigenmanni, also known as Eigenmann's piranha, can be highly aggressive and Territorial, making the selection of appropriate tankmates challenging:

Other Eigenmann's piranha - Keeping a small group of 4-6 individuals of the same species may work in a very large tank with abundant cover. Avoid overcrowding.

Large plecostomus - Armored catfish that spend time near the bottom can help clean algae. Their size protects from nipping.

Silver dollars - Fast moving schooling fish that occupy the upper levels. Can provide dither fish effect.

Large characins - Some tetras like congo tetras may work but still pose a nipping risk. Need heavily planted tank.

Tankmates should be selected very carefully and added gradually while observing the piranhas' reactions. Be prepared to remove any bullied fish. Avoid small, active, or slow species that may trigger predatory attacks. Proper tank setup to break up lines of sight is critical for success. Keeping S. eigenmanni alone or in a dedicated species tank is often recommended.


Serrasalmus eigenmanni Peru
Serrasalmus eigenmanni - US Fish and Wildlife Service
Serrasalmus eigenmanni Norman, 1929