Experience of a Pacu Owner

Introduction to Our Pacu Fish

Throughout college we developed an appreciation and a fascination with many of nature's beauties. In a science class we studied different types of wild life. We grew intrigued with fish and water creatures. We gained a strong desire to have a tank to watch and observe the peaceful grace of a motion-filled panorama. Well, when we got married and finished school all in the same summer we decided it was time to begin our hobby. We met a lady who had a 10 gallon tank to give away. We set up the tank and went off to the pet shop to find the perfect fish. We didn't realize what we were getting into and we killed all but our frog and snail. So, we learned that keeping fish was no easy task. We read up and figured out what we needed to do. WeI went to the store again in search of my perfect school. Among the fish we selected, we choose a quarter-sized one that looked like a piranha. We asked the lady about the fish and she said, "Oh, they're great pets." Naively we took two home. Within six months we had to buy a 55 gallon tank and move the Pacu into it. They outgrew the other tank incredibly fast. Currently, our Pacu are 10 months old and 10 and 11 inches long. They are accompanied by two small Oscars. We will be looking for a larger tank here very shortly.

As long as there is room in the tank the two couples are very entertaining and serene. We love to come home after a hard days work and lay on the couch and get lost in the small school. We feed them twice a day. They eat as much as we will feed them. We get nervous of overfeeding and harming them. They eat flakes, siclid sticks, lettuce and other greens, and occasionally a feeder fish for the Oscars will pass by and the Pacu will snatch it. They get very playful after they have eaten. The two Pacu will commonly play a game of chase. They will run each other in a circle around a large rock in the tank. They look as though they want to bite the other but never cause harm. They seem to require touch and some kind of schooling activity. They are big enough that they know they are boss when it comes to territory in the tank. The Oscars will back down readily to avoid confrontation. 

Pacu are Great Conversation Pieces

It is not uncommon at all to have the fish (our large Pacu especially) be the center of attention for any gathering at our home. Parents, friends, renters, random guests, and little kids will spend tons of time watching and talking about the fish. They love to see the Oscars feed. They love to watch the Pacu play and the snail mosey along. Our 10 inch Mr. Plecostomus also gathers a crowd when he is stuck to the side. We really enjoy the attention they get.

Taking Care of Our Pacu Fish

Our tank requires one cleaning per week to maintain living conditions. We tend to feed the pacu less siclid sticks because the sticks dirty up the water. We change one third of the tank water and replace the old water with tap water that has been treated with Start Right. We add a tablespoon of salt per five gallons. Sometimes we add less salt to compensate for evaporation. With every change of water we use our vacuum and clean out the substrate (gravel). The tank seems very well-kept and the fish seem healthy.

Plans for Our Pacu Fish

Soon, we will need larger living quarters for our pacu and oscars. Because of the sizes of some of the fish (particularly of the pacu) , we may have to look to give them up. We will be building a second home soon and we may include in the plans an area for the recommended 250 gallon tank to keep our pets.



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