Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

Red Belly Pacu – Piaractus Brachypomum


Common name: Red Belly Pacu, Red Bellied Pacu

Scientific name: Piaractus Brachypomum

Average Adult Fish Size:  24 inches  /  60 cm

Place of Origin: South America. Rio Orinoco and Amazon basins in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.

Typical Tank setup: Plenty of open swimming space, clearly due to the size this is more suited to a tropical pond but will certainly benefit from hiding places so overhanging plants and vegetation is essential, especially for juvenile fish. Slow moving waters are preferred so avoid strong currents if you can.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 750 gallon / 3000 litre – tropical pond is a must for this tank buster.

Compatibility: Smaller fish will not last too long with the Red Belly Pacu as they will become lunch so larger, peaceful fish such as the Silver Arowana would make good tank mates.

Temperature: 73 – 82 Deg F / 23 – 28 Deg C

Water chemistry: pH 4.8 – 7.5

Feeding: The Red Bellied Pacu will benefit in the aquarium from dried pellets and a varied diet to also include fruit and vegetables plus lettuce leaves, spinach and peas. Plenty of other fruits can be fed such as apple, grapes, peach and banana too.

Sexing:  The female Red Belly Pacu tend to have rounder bellies than the males when adult size.

Breeding: No recorded cases of breeding in the home aquarium.

Additional Information: Being one of the largest species of scaled fish found in the Amazon basin it goes without saying that this fish should not be limited to your average or even large home aquarium and suitable tropical pond should be where it spends the majority of it’s life when in captivity.