Piranha Cost

A lot of us have seen and heard about how wild piranhas are. They have a scary reputation because of their appearance, sharp teeth, and angry faces. Piranhas feed on prey in a bloody feeding frenzy.

They are known for their schooling behavior, wherein they can defend themselves against their predators. However, piranhas are omnivorous, and they are kept as pets at home. 

Many fish owners and aquarists still want to add piranha to their fish tanks or aquariums, even if expensive.

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Average Cost Of Piranha

The rate and cost of piranha depend on their sizes, size, and age. The average price of a 2-2.5″ piranhas are around $30. According to experts, this is the piranha’s ideal size when you introduce it in an aquarium.

A typical Red-Bellied Piranha costs $5-$20, and if you purchase for a small school with up to 10 fishes, it costs $80-$100. If you plan to own a piranha, you might be shelling much money because it requires a lot of equipment to be used.

Things To Know Before Buying Piranha

There are things that you need to consider before buying a piranha to add in your home aquariums:

  1. Piranha fishes are not like the regular fishes that you keep in a home aquarium. Piranhas are naturally wild and aggressive.
  2. They only eat meat, which also causes serious attacks on other fishes and even humans.
  3. In some places, buying and selling piranhas are prohibited and legally banned, especially in the following states: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia or Washington.
  4. Before you buy a piranha as your pet, you must ensure that you can provide their needs and their required diet.
  5. It requires bigger tanks because they grow rapidly in just a few months.
  6. Besides bigger tanks, piranhas should only be kept in a single tank or aquarium without any other fishes.
  7. Your fish tanks or aquariums must be 60 gallons for juvenile piranhas.
  8. Piranhas can only survive in warmer climate conditions.
  9. Meanwhile, some need to have legal papers and permits to own a piranha in their home aquariums.
  10. Piranhas are known to get a bite to a stray finger in their aquarium or even nearby fishes.
  11. Owning a piranha is not an easy task; it lives for 5-15 years, requiring more proper maintenance and proper care.
  12. Make sure you buy only healthy piranha. If piranha looks sluggish and has bite marks, this could signify that the piranha is not healthy or could be a disease sign.

Factors Affecting Piranha’s Cost

When buying a piranha, it is vital to know the factors why it costs expensively. Piranhas differ in sizes, species, and age. And it differs in amount. Here are the common factors that affect the cost of piranhas.

  1. Size – If you purchase a juvenile piranha, it cost cheaper. The larger the piranha is, the more it will cost expensively. Piranhas grow rapidly during the first months of their lives. Once they reached  7 inches, their growth slows down.

  2. Species – The most common piranha is the Red-Bellied Piranha. It is the cheapest among the varieties of piranhas. But some of the rare species of piranhas can cost up to $200. Like the San Francisco Piranha, it costs up to $1500 for the larger ones.

  3. Pet Shop – The cost of piranha also depends on the store where you buy. Legitimate breeders are likely to have more expensive piranhas compared to common and general stores.

Equipment And Necessities Needed

Maintaining a good environment for piranhas at home is very expensive. Having the right and proper equipment will keep your piranhas healthy and in good condition. Here are some necessities needed:

  1. Aquarium/fish tanks – If you have juvenile piranhas, you need to have a 60-gallon tank before piranhas grow bigger. A good setup of a fish tank or aquarium costs up to $700.

  2. Decorations/plan ornaments – You need to have places where they can hide from light exposures and escape aggression. Their tank environment must look similar to their natural habitat, and you may use synthetic or live plants for decorations. These ornaments can cost you around $15-$50.

  3. Lights – Piranhas do not want to live in brightly lit tanks because it is not where they are used to in their natural habitat. You might use lights that can be adjusted. Some aquarium lights cost $50.

  4. Pumps and filters – If you own a 60-gallon tank, buy a better filter and pump to stimulate slow-moving water. It costs $50 and up.

  5. Heater – Piranha prefers to live in warmer conditions.  Piranha needs a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit to adjust when transferred in an aquarium easily.

  6. Food – Piranha eats dried meat pellets, frozen meats, flakes, worms, insects, crab meat, and potatoes. You should provide the piranhas good foods to balance their diets and prevent them from eating other fishes.

  7. License – Some states do not allow the buying and selling of piranha. Other states and countries even ban it. However, there are some places where you can have a permit or license when owning a piranha. You may contact some of the local representatives in your place and inquire about it.

  8. Veterinary care – When you own a piranha, it is necessary to bring it to veterinarians who can check if they have diseases and maintain them in good condition. Each visit to a veterinary clinic ranges from $30-$80.


Owning a Piranha is a responsibility. It is expensive to buy and to keep compared to other regular aquarium fishes. Since piranha grows rapidly, they need to have a bigger tank, unlike the typical aquariums.

Filtration in tanks or aquariums must have high qualities to a better environment because piranhas are messy eaters. With the list of equipment and necessities mentioned above, it might cost you $100-$150 every month.