Fish Profiles Green Tiger Piranha Serrasalmus Manueli

The fish, green tiger piranha, is a member of the Characide, or Characin family, and more specifically to a sub – family called the Serrasalmidae (Serra means ‘saw’, while salmus means ‘salmon’). Their biological name Serrasalmidae is based on the fact that all members of this family have a sharp, serrated keel that runs over their belly, giving them a streamlined feature suitable for faster swimming. Other known members of the sub-family serrasalmidae include Pygocentrus, Pygopristis, Serrasalmus, Metynnis, Colossoma, Pristobrycon, and Catoprion. The green tiger piranha is distinguished by its overall greenish sheen on its body, while other members of this family have a more prominent humeral spot and red markings on their operculum and lower jaw.

Green tiger piranha is a suitable aquarium fish, and is considered to be a delicate species in need of good water quality and oxygenation. Due to its delicate nature, green piranha is not a suitable species for beginners. They have a high mortality if one gets a little sluggish in their care. Its suitable aquarium size is 100 gallon minimum, and there is no limit to the maximum size; the larger the aquarium size, the better for its survival. The frequency of water changes should be approximately three times per week, and at least 15 percent of the whole aquarium water. Water acidity is preferred for its survival, with a recommended pH of 6.0, and a maximum hardness of 100, with a temperature of 820F maximum.  With these suitable conditions maintained, the green tiger piranha is known to thrive and may live up to ten years.

The diet of the green tiger piranha is mostly smaller fish. They are known to attack their prey by actively chasing or ambush in shoals. Besides fish, they also eat any fleshy animal that has fallen in water, either due to illness, or simply dead. These include insects, birds, reptiles and other amphibians.

When it comes to their reproduction, it is not easy to differentiate between male and female on a normal day. However, during their mating season, a male can be determined by its territorial and aggressive behaviors. It is worth noting that reproduction is mostly dependent on the suitability of their environment. Like any other species, the dominant male controls the mating process, by chasing away all other male fish, preparing a nest, in which it lures the female to for mating. Once successful, the eggs are laid and the male assumes the responsibility of guarding the nest, at times chasing away the female. The orange-colored, fertilized eggs hatch in 2-3 days, and a few days later, they start swimming independently.


Piranhas in the Aquarium by Wolfgang Schulte – Oct 1988

The Guide to Owning Piranhas by Manolito Pinkguni – Aug 1996