Swimming Region(s): Middle
Pacu General description
Pacus are a large family of freshwater fish related to the piranha. While some species of pacu do look like piranhas, they are herbivores and an extremely peaceful species of fish. One of the primary differences between piranha and pacu is that while the piranha’s teeth are triangular and razor sharp, the pacu’s teeth are more square shaped and human-like.
Pacu originate from the rivers of South America.
Pacus generally come in shades of silver, red, brown, green and black.
Maintenance and care
The most important thing that you need to know before deciding to raise pacu is that they are an extremely large species of fish. And contrary to popular belief, some species can reach over three feet in length no matter how confined their aquariums are. It is not uncommon for inexperienced aquarists to purchase and raise younger specimens only to realize that they cannot keep up with their great size and extremely demanding aquarium requirements over time. Pacus should ideally be kept in extremely large aquariums of 150 gallons or more or large outdoor ponds. Care should be taken when decorating and maintaining your aquarium because they are known to use their powerful teeth to sometimes crush aquarium heaters and accessories. Pacu are extremely powerful and can sometimes knock glass lids off aquariums when excited.
Young pacus can be fed on a diet of most flake based foods. But as they grow older they will need to be fed on larger pellet based based foods. Large pacu also have fairly demanding nutritional requirements and their diets need to be supplemented with various fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts.