Animal Stories - Black Pacu

Animal-World Information about: Black Pacu

The Black Pacu may be a member of the Characin family, but it's nothing like the average Tetra!
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natural tastes - 2014-10-30
I am looking for black pacu. Please contact me if you have any available.

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  • Dietrich Snufer - 2016-06-09
    Hello. My name is Dietrich and I have had a Black Pacu for almost 5 years now. We have recently had our first child and would like to find a new home for this magnificent creature. Please contact me via email or phone (540-520-2643). I am happy to send pictures, as I have also been in contact with the Baltimore Aquarium. Thanks.
Raleigh - 2014-04-11
I have a pacu fish but it won't eat. Can someone tell me why not?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2014-04-12
    How long as that been going on? Is it showing any other symptoms of illness? I would keep an eye on it. In the meantime, check all the water parameters (water quality and temperature) and make sure they are appropriate. Also do a partial water change if it has been a while since the last one.
Terrie - 2015-12-19
I bought 2 baby black Pacus at a Walmart in Az. in 2005. I had them in a 75 gal bow front aquarium. In 2 months, they tripled in size but one was much larger, and it ate the other one. In a year, the fish grew to about 9' and it was thick. It grew teeth that stuck out of its mouth. It destroyed everything in the tank, like air hoses, live plants, and when I put my hands in tank to clean it, it would bite me....HARD! I was terrified of him. He just swam back and forth, looking out the front of tank. He never stopped. I felt he was miserable and I found a guy in Phoenix who had a 500 gal tank and he came and got him. The man told me that the aggression the fish had was normal and they are carnivorous and must eat meat. I was so happy to get rid of him. I can't believe Walmart sold them. I was told the Black Pacu is a very distant relative of the Pirahna (sp?) But I think they are closely related. I still have 3 scars on my arm where he bit chunks of skin off my arm. I heard a lot of people bought them, and when they got huge and aggressive, people dumped them in Lake Powell.

J Bartnick - 2014-12-06
I found your article on Black Pacu's very interesting though I disagree with many of your requirement for keeping Pacu's. I have had my two Black Pacu's for 21 years in a 170 aquarium. I do water changes (1/3) about every 3 to 4 months. Temperature in winter time is between 60 & 70 degrees. They are fed once a week (every Monday) using Koi pellets. If the water is not changed for 5 or 6 months the Pacu's will develop a white film over the eyes, etc. A quick water change resolves the problem. They have quit growing - size of aquarium? Probably. They swim mostly along the bottom of the tank which is covered with 1/2 inch of gravel. Joy to watch. Healthy to boot. Hope they do not live longer that 25 years. That is a lot of tank cleanings !!!!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-12-08
    I love Pacu's and it sounds like you have some cool fish. The information provided on this page is to provided optimal care for these hardy fish. That in turn gives them the best chance to not only thrive, but to reach their full potential, up to 42 inches in length. Obviously with a fish this big, the 700 - 1000 gallons that is suggested is definitely needed. It sounds like your fish could be stunted due to the size of the tank, cold water winter temperatures, and the limited feedings. Such reduced feeding does help keep the bioload down though, and then the more frequent water changes aren't needed... but yeah, you will have a lot of water changes even with 170 gallons!
Anonymous - 2012-01-25
Hi, my science teacher is giving me her red bellie pacu and I plan on keeping it in a 150 gallon tank with 3 senegal bichirs, 4 fire mouth cichlids, some kind of darter, some mosquito fish, and 4 feeder fish. I will introduce the fish thruogh out the period of 1-3 months. the pacu is presently 8-10 inches and blind in it's left eye. My teacher feeds it flakes and live fish from time to time. Are there any fish I could also put in the tank to keep the pacu away from the other fish and can I change its diet to mostly veggies and some meat, no live fish included. P.S., can you keep a pacu with piranhas?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-25
    It's great your science teacher is giving you a Pacu but is he giving you a tank to go with him?> A Pacu when an adult is going to go about 3/12 feet and weigh about 60 pounds. You need a thousand gallon tank. If it will fit in his mouth, he will eat it. Pacu with Piranhas - I guess it is whoever gets bigger first. Piranhas will eat anything. Did your science teacher ever read up on what he was doing?
  • Anonymous - 2012-01-26
    The store person said it wouldn't get bigger than its tank, the store person lied.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-27
    I don't know whether he store person 'lied' or just mis informed. Fish not out growing their tank is a myth - an old wives tale used to sell more fish. In any case he is not a good or reliable informtion source.
  • kye turnbull - 2013-05-13
    a fish will grow slower in a small tank but will still get big
  • Lola - 2014-01-11
    Hello...I have a black pacu and a red bellied pacu in a 150 gal. tank and they have busted the top canopy! You MUST have a very large tank for these fish. I am currently trying to relocate mine....really put thought into this before getting them. However they are wonderful pets...I hand feed and pet mine everyday, but I just can't house them anymore. I have had them 2 years and have went from about 3 inches and a few oz. up to 20 inches from nose to fin tip and 11 inches from belly to back and around 10 or 12 pounds.
  • Jim Sadler - 2014-02-05
    The Pacu can no longer be considered a safe fish. In New Guinea they have killed native people as well as threatening to exterminate the crocodile population. The black Pacu is doing well in South Florida fresh water canals and can be quite a shock when they strike a bait as they are strong. A 53 lb. black Pacu died when a cold spell hit and it got into the salt water rivers here. They are good news for fishermen and apparently reproducing well.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-06
    Fortunately, Pacu's kept in a very large aquarium are probably not going to be attacking anyone.
Anonymous - 2012-02-03
Hi, the 150 gallon is still on hold for me and now I only have 2 darters left no feeders and 4 mosquito fish. I bought a TRUE freshwater snowflake moray eel, which explains where the fish went, and I was wondering if it could go in the same tank as the pacu. Also, I have dicided not to include the smaller fish and I have 2 bluegill to take there place, can I do this without too many problems?P.S., yes it is a TRUE freshwater moray eel.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2012-02-16
    The eel and the Pacu should get along nicely, especially in 150 gallon tank.
  • Mark - 2013-06-07
    The only freshwater morray needs brackish when older.
bassam ronz - 2013-05-17
Can i keep them with oscar fish or they will be eaten?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-05-17
    Depending on size of tank it is normally fine.  Oscars have odd personalities, so really depends on the individual fish.
kye turnbull - 2013-05-12
wish i could keep these fish its illegal in australia

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-05-12
    THey are incredible fish!  More personality then most fish.
  • kye turnbull - 2013-05-12
    ohh boy do i wish
james - 2011-02-04
In Geogetown Guyana, South America. There are lots of fresh water pond raised fishes by local fish Growers. Tilapia both Red and Grey are very common. Also Pacu fish. Lots of people in Guyana and other caribbean countries, also in most part in South America, China other Asian Countries do not treat Pacu fish as pets but rather briol & baked it as meals. These Pacu is more Red in color rather black.

Jamie in california - 2010-06-15
I was lied to by a pet shop employee that the fish I was buying was as big as it was ever going to get. Two years later I now have only one fish left in my tank and he's the size of half my 55 gal tank. After doing lots of research I found my fish(black pacu)was going to get much bigger. I knew I needed another tank but was confused as to size 200-500 gal? What to feed? So I went to a Man that has owned the longest living captive pacu named buttkiss who is 42 years old and has lived in a 75 gal tank.
He said a 120 gal is big enough for one pacu. So a thank you to Steve Grubel the owner of buttkiss for taking the time to give me the info. I was about to give up on my beloved only fish. Now I'm off to buy my fish(now named buttkiss2) a new tank and I still be able to house my self and butkiss2. Thanks again steve but I'll probably be calling you again to ask how do I get him out of the 55 gal to put him 120 gal? haha

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  • joe - 2011-03-22
    A 120 gal is not nearly big enough for a pacu. The fish "butkiss" has been in a tiny tank for way too long. I honestly don't know how that fish is still alive. I'm not one of those crazy fish people that think fish are anything but pets or dinner, but you need to know when it gets cruel..... a black pacu needs a massive tank or pond. Don't be fooled.
  • Clint - 2012-02-05
    I totally agree it is cruel to keep a fish that size is a 120 or smaller. I know this for a fact, I have a 2ft long black pacu that I raised from a baby. Its been 10yrs now and he is my Monster and he is a smart one too but I do feel so sorry for him being is a small 120G and I wish so much to find him a New home like a zoo or someone whom has a 1000gallons or more. Problem for me is How do you remove a fish that Big? He is a Foot High, 2ft long a Very Strong. He is eats everything since he grew up with oscars.. He loves talapia and smelt and anything that looks like berries. He love to be hand fed too. Oh and note to anyone wanting one when they get really big like mine they also get really big teeth which love to nawh and rip anything hanging into the water. Ive also gone though alot of heaters too. Good luck
  • Collecting Clownfish - 2012-02-07
    To MOVE your fish, remembering the weight issue, get two strong outside garbage bags... double bag it, submerge it into the tank, scoot your Pacu into the bag with enough water to cover him up and LUG that sucker out! lol. You can empty him into a holding tank, while he waits for you to fill his new home, or if you are putting him directly in, remember you still need to float the bag to make the temperature the same, unless your thermometer is showing the new tank maybe the same temp or a few degrees higher. Get some help and make sure you have twisted and knotted that bag shut so WHEN he thrashes, you have a good grip on that knot! Getting some help may be the thing to do!
  • Anonymous - 2012-02-13
    Give the guy to the national zoo amazonia exibit. They have a school of like 12 pacu with some cichlids and an aropima in a like 8000 gallon tank. I think he would like living there. That goes for buttkiss to.
  • Alex Burleson - 2012-02-13
    It is wonderful to hear, that you as a fish owner have educated yourself in the requirements that the fish needs! Many aquartists, do not take the steps to do so. To remove him from the aquarium, you will need to have the 120 gallon properly set up, and then you will actually have to use a fishing net to remove him from the aquarium. Best of luck!
  • clint - 2012-10-13
    Hey all, Update.. Well it 2012 and I still have My Black Pacu Monster and I still have him in a 120gal. He grew a little longer but actually he got fat and still eating smelt. I wish there was a way to put pics on here so I could show you how Huge he is.. I've had him for over 10yrs and I'm still looking for a home for him.