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Characins / Serrasalminae / Black-finned Pacu

Black-finned Pacu
Colossoma macropomum

Synonyms: Colossoma nigripinnis, C. oculus, Myletes nigripinnis, M. oculus, Piaractus nigripinnis
Physical description: A tall, laterally compressed fish. It has large eyes and a slightly arched back. The base body color is dark gray to black with spots and marks in its midsection. The pectoral fins are small and black like the rest of the fins.
Size/Length: Exceeds 28" (71 cm)
Similar species: Silver-scaled Piranha ( Serrasalmus gibbus), Black-tailed Piranha ( S. striolatus )
S: bottom, middle
Habitat: South America; throughout the Amazon River Basin, in rivers with heavy vegetation.
Aquarium: 48" (122 cm) or 55-plus gallons (170+ l) is adequate for young fish, up to 6" (15 cm) in length.  Fish exceeding 12" (30 cm) require a tank measuring at least 72" (183 cm) or exceeding 135  gallons (512 L).  Fish larger than 20" (51 cm) are best kept in a   96" (244 cm) tank which has a volume exceeding 200 gallons (756 L).  This fish requires a tank set-up much like that recommended for P. brachypomus.
Water chemistry: pH 5-7.8 (6.8), 6-20 dH (10), 73-82°F (23-28°C)
Social behavior: As for P. brachypomus.
Suggested companions: See P. brachypomus.
FOOD: An herbivore-plants; vegetables; lettuce, peas, spinach; fruits; oatmeal; pellets; chopped meat; live; fish, worms, crustaceans, aquatic insects.  
SEX: Dorsal fin has sharper extension in male.
Breeding techniques: Not feasible in aquaria.
Breeding potential: 10.  Breeding has not been accomplished, most likely because of this fish's size.
Remarks:  Can be caught using citrus fruit as bait.
Difficulty of care: 6.  This hardy fish is difficult to care for because of the enormous size that it can reach.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com