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Black Pacu (Colossoma macropomum) are not actually a piranha, though they are very closely related and are often mistaken for piranha, especially within the pet trade. In fact these fish are pretty peaceful and prefer eating fruit! Of course we still wouldn’t recommend putting your fingers close to them, they are very inquisitive and may mistake it for something tasty. And with their strong jaws this would not end well!

Black pacu and red pacu are very similar, but there are some ways to tell them apart. Black pacu tend to be bigger with a longer body shape when compared to the red pacu. Their faces are also show some differences in the position of their eyes compared to their mouths.

These pacu are fruit eaters, and are often seen watching monkeys in overhead trees to collect any dropped fruit and seeds. They will also opportunistically eat other food including insects and small fish. These fish have very strong jaws and are even able to crack nuts, including Brazil nuts. This makes the pacu one of only a few fish that have strong enough jaws to do this.

Pacus do not make good pets. Juvenile pacus are small and easy to keep, which leads them to be sold often in the pet trade. The problem is these fish grow very big and will quickly outgrow even the bigger home tanks.



What do they eat?

Plant matters, insects, fruit, nuts, worms and zooplankton



Water Type

Tropical and temperate fresh

Where are we?

South America

Think before you buy an animal…

Forever Homes

It’s always best to research a species before purchasing them for your home aquaria – many aquariums are unable to re-home Black Pacu due to their size and regularity of donation.

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