Earlier this year, Aquarist Brad Thompson made a unique discovery. While checking the Red Piranha pop-up tank in the Aquarium’s Ranger Rick gallery, he noticed some tiny, wiggly specks gathered around the water’s surface.
Baby Piranhas at around two days old
“It was very surprising to find baby piranhas in the tank,” Thompson said. “But I was able to quickly gather them up and place them in a separate tank behind the scenes to keep them safe. This is the first time we have raised piranhas at the Aquarium.” A special nursery for the babies was set up within a smaller container, called a pal pen. This tank floated inside a larger system which provided the babies with clean water.
Baby piranhas at a few days old inside a special behind-the-scenes container
At their tiniest stage, the baby Piranhas began a diet of Mysid Shrimp and were later introduced to bloodworms and shrimp as they grew.
They developed quickly and soon took on more of a recognizable piranha-like shape.
Later came the coloring similar to the adults.
In May, the young piranhas were sent to Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield, MO. We are happy to share our success with other institutions.