red bellied piranha side on

Can Piranhas Eat Pellets

Piranhas in the wild come across many types of food, both animal and vegetable. Being omnivores, they will eat anything from fruits to worms. But pellets are a man made invention.

So, can Piranhas eat pellets? In short, yes Piranhas can eat pellets, but they should be part of a varied diet. Frozen white fish, fruits, vegetables and pellets form a diet that keeps your Piranha healthy. Juvenile Piranha are normally more adept at taking pellets, and adults unaccustomed to them might require a bit of coaxing. Uneaten pellets should be removed from the tank.

What Are Pellets?

When wondering what foods a Piranha will, undoubtedly a new owner will start to ask if the rather unnatural pellets will be taken by Piranhas as a food source. 

While you should undoubtedly be feeding them fruits, vegetables and frozen white fish, many people ask about other foods they can feed their fish. It is a difficult question, as in the wild they come across such a wide variety of food.

A Piranha swimming in an Amazon floodplain, will come across fruits, plant matter, insects, worms, crustaceans, fish and smaller mammals. Many of these types of food stuffs can be replicated for those with Piranha in an aquarium.

Piranha can be made to eat many things, especially if they are slightly starved. The dry season in the Amazon basin prompts spells without any food, so they will eat most things. If your Piranha don’t seem to take to pellets, a day or so without any food might prompt them to take them.

Essentially pellets or granules, are nutritional and vitamin supplements in a concentrated form. They enable a fish to feed extremely efficiently, and hopefully grow to their full potential without many different styles of food. They often contain vegetable proteins and cereal grains.

So Piranha may take pellets, but the best feed for Piranhas is a varied diet, not just pellets. Fruits, potatoes, zucchini and frozen white fish baits form a very varied diet for them. Pellets are a nice addition in case any supplements are missing.

juvenile piranha side on

Does It Make A Difference – Young Or Adult?

Although there are no guarantees, it seems that juvenile or fry Piranha will devour anything and everything as they grow. This includes pellets, so juvenile Piranha introduced to pellets are likely to develop into adults that will feed on those same pellets.

Adult Piranha, with those that have never seen pellets before can sometimes not seem to recognise the pellets as a food source. You could try different types of pellets to see what they take, general pellets, or maybe try shrimp based pellets.

There seems to be no hard and fast rules, just see whether your Piranha will take them. If you want to wean them onto pellets for some reason, then try giving them a day without food.

For best results, always try and vary your Piranhas diet. Feed them only what they will consume in 2 or 3 minutes, and following feeding remove all unconsumed food. Uneaten pellets in a tank will soon turn rank.

black piranha in an aquarium


So, yes you can feed your Piranhas pellets, and it is much easier to do so when they a re juveniles, who are more likely to consume them.

Adults may take them, but if they are not used to doing so, they may require a little coaxing, either by changing the pellet to something more appetizing or a day or so without food to make them more curious.

Pellets should be used as part of a balanced diet and not as a substitute for other food sources. Frozen white fish, vegetables, and fruits give the Piranha a varied diet along with worms and pellets. A lot of the cheaper pellets are low in protein, and mainly fillers and vitamins.

Good quality pellets, like massavore, Bio-Gold or Hikari occasionally will help keep your Piranha healthy.


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