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[Done] Serrasalmus Rhombeus
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elTwitcho
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Joined: 15 Feb 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.08(Fri)19:03    Post subject: [Done] Serrasalmus Rhombeus Reply with quote



Common Name: Black Piranha
Size: Upwards of 18 inches
Temp: 76-82 fahrenheit
pH range: 6.0 - 7.0

Probably the most common piranha from the serrasalmus group, the rhombeus is one of the more fierce looking varieties available. With powerful jaws and lightning quick movements, this piranha can cause serious injury and often death in all tankmates and should always be kept solitary. Even tankmates of the same species will not work and this piranha has in fact only been bred in captivity twice, both times the fish sustained heavy losses to cannibalism.

Being that breeding in captivity is all but impossible, all specimens seen for sale have been imported from the wild. These fish generally grow at a rate of less than one inch per year, and rarely exceed 12 inches if grown in captivity. Specimens of 14 inches or more are usually caught this way as few captive rhoms will reach such sizes.

Various geographical variants of rhombeus do exist, with slightly different shape, coloration or amount of reflective scales making up the major differences between the types commonly offered. An important point of note is that most pet stores label all their serrasalmus species as black piranha when in fact they may be other species such as S. Sanchezi, S. Compressus or even S. Spilopluera or S. Brandtii. Since all of these fish should be kept solitary, and they have similar dietary requirements, most hobbyists never know the difference.

Though the common misconception is that piranhas need to be fed live food, they are much healthier on a diet of more nutritious foods, such as frozen smelt, catfish, white fish fillet or uncooked shrimp. Some rhombeus refuse to eat anything but live food at first but it is important to remember that this fish will not starve itself to death if frozen food is available. They can go over 3 months without eating and will not starve to death, so the important thing in weening them off feeders is to have patience and keep offering prepared food every few days until it does eventually accept it. Mine took three weeks of not eating before he would finally accept shrimp, today I have no problems getting him to eat.

As with all piranhas, the rhombeus can be a nervous and skittish fish at times, or it may be an outgoing active pet. They generally take a long time to feel comfortable in new surroundings and around people, and it may take as long as a few months before your fish starts showing it's true personality. It is not uncommon for them to refuse food during the acclimation process to a new tank, and a good practice is to leave some food in the tank with the lights off and remove the uneaten food in the morning or after an hour or so.

Tank sizes will vary depending on the size of the fish. For life, they will need to be housed in a 120 gallon or greater when they reach maximum size, however because of their slow growth rate they can live for many years in a 40 gallon breeder or 55 gallon tank. Common sense should tell you when you need to upgrade to a larger tank, however a good guideline is that when they get to 9 inches you should start looking for a bigger tank for them.

The one rhom that I keep was bought at about 6 inches and he's uncharacteristically friendly and outgoing... if you could call biting at me through the glass being "friendly" that is. He takes an interest in everything and everyone outside of the tank, and usually comes up to the front to get a closer look at anyone passing by or even looking into his tank. I'm keeping him in a 40 gallon breeder which I've heavily planted and I've noticed a definite prefference for the open areas of the tank over those with obstructions like plants or driftwood. Accordingly the tank has been decorated to give him lots of swimming space keeping things like driftwood and tall plants along the glass walls and keeping anything in the center of the tank no taller than 3 inches. Most of the day he spends casually swimming in the current from my powerhead and while he definately doesn't use more than a third of the tank very often, the occasions that he does dart to the other end of the tank make me glad he does have the room if he needs it. I'll probably get him a nice 120 gallon in a few years which seems like a lot for a single fish, but he's grown on me a lot in the time I've had him. Some people would argue a 12 inch fish is fine in a 75 gallon, but the speed with which they swim wouldn't have me feeling comfortable putting him in anything else.


Last edited by elTwitcho on 2005.04.13(Wed)21:59; edited 3 times in total
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elTwitcho
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Joined: 15 Feb 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.13(Wed)17:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering it's not an entirely common fish (though I would argue the second most common piranha) I don't think there's going to be any additional input forthcoming. Hence, [READY]
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Marcos Avila
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2005.04.13(Wed)19:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good. There's a question that I'm sorry but I have to ask: you ARE Richard Smith and that is YOUR photo, right? Wink

Apart from the generic profile of the species, can you add some comments about your personal experience with the species? How many do you have? How old and what size are they? What size/type of setup do they live in? Companions? Any interesting behavioral detail about your particular specimens?

One of the goals of the interactive gallery is to imprint on visitors the concept that each specimen, not just each species, has its own personality and particular behavior dependent on the environment in which it lives.
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elTwitcho
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Joined: 15 Feb 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.13(Wed)21:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm flattered that you think the photo is worth stealing, and yes I am the only Richard Smith. Not that I think you doubt me but I have a habit of overstating things so the image address also contains my screen name in it, so no worries that someone is gonna track you down for copyright infringement Wink

http://www.pbase.com/eltwitcho/image/41807495

Updating the profile with my personal experiences as soon as I finish writing this post.

EDIT: Oh and I've sometimes had issues with my pictures when resizing that cause them to look pixelated for whatever reason. If you need a different resolution let me know and I can provide a version resized from the original rather than having to use a resized version of one that was already resized (if that makes sense).
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Marcos Avila
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: 2005.04.22(Fri)7:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done...thanks! Your comment is impecable...it's hard to imagine what else someone really needs to know about this species Wink

I understood what you meant about resizing. I did it myself to 500x333 and it looks good enough. But if you feel really strong about it and would prefer to send me a 500x333 resize from the original go ahead...
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