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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Tetras > Black-finned Pacu
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the

South America


Colossoma macropomum

Colossoma macropomum



Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Brittany
I purchased 1 Paccar about 8 months ago from Walmart just thinking he was a cute smiling LITTLE fish I got him and he was less than 1/2 an inch long they told me he'd be fine in the 75 gallon tank I had at home and now he is 8 almost 9 inches and I feel bad that I don't have a bigger tank for him I plan on upgrading to a 300 gallon tank with my next few pay checks because I love him he has got to be the smartest of all my fish and has the most personality out of them too I wish pesters and Walmarts would tell you how big these fish really do get I think its sad and cruel to the fish for them to tell people he shouldn't get more than 10 or 11 inches I've not had mine a year and he's almost that big his name is Sammy and he loves fresh peas and carrots he also gets squash every once in a while as a treat he has a few friends 3 rather large tiger barbs Sue Stan and Earl 1 huge red tin foil barb Stewart a blood parrot with 1 eye Mable and Jack dempsey named Rainbow
From: Matthew Archer
I have had 2 pacuís for a little over a year they were an inch and a half when I first got them. I was aware that they would be very large. They have had a few roommates from time to time I had them in a 60 gallon with an Oscar and a convicts when they got too big I bought them the 240 gallon I have now I only kept them and 1 green plecostomus and 1 chocolate albino plecostomus I cannot believe the amount of personality that these fish possess I am a very happy owner and plan to have them well over a decade. I hate the fact that Wal-Mart says they grow to 10" they should put in fine print ( within first 6 months ) I know that Petsmart use to have them labeled at 22" and now at 24" my smallest one is 24" my larger 28" it is amazing how there shape changes after they get that long they start growing taller as well I have found a picture of one that was caught in South America that was 5 foot long 3 foot tall and 9 inches wide they are huge and supposedly good eating ( stay away from mine please ) it is too bad that there is little documented info about them I am earning my MASTERS Degree in Ichthyology and Conservation Biology studying many fresh water fish (mainly largemouth bass) and I wish there were more publications on this wonderful fish. Oh ya my pacuís are named Gumby and Pokey
From: Greg Hall
I have four Pacus that I bought about 3 years ago. They are very hearty, and now occupy a 150 gal. aquarium. They are actually too large, but I have no choice for more room for them. They eat canned vegetables, which are easily obtained, and healthy. Their favorites also include nuts of just about ant kind, but they tend to foul the water tremendously. Since Pacus have little or no teeth, small pieces of the nuts break off when they eat them, and remain in the tank or get trapped in most store- available filters. I have built a 32 qt. charcoal and bio-filter, coupled with a 20 qt. fiber filter , just to accommodate the fish and their food/waste issues. It cycles the tank about twice an hour. They are interesting but a challenge. If you want to give your Pacus a treat, substitute one of their regular meals with red, sliced beets. They are inexpensive, and you can open a can, drain and rinse all of the red juice, and drop the slices in for them. They can bite the soft beets, and leave little or no pieces to be cleaned up. My Pacus love them.
From: Al
I feed my pacus a different type of food each day twice a day to keep them healthy normally I will feed them chicken beefheart peas koi food large cichlid sticks and shrimp pellets the only problem when feeding them that much is you need a good bio system to keep your ammonia at zero I keep my 22in 15in 13in pacu in a 125 gallon moving to a 355 next week they need it.
From: Paigey
I received an 8-inch Red-Bellied Pacu that was fed feeder-fish it's whole life from a good friend who happened to be Asian (you don't say NO to a gift---nomatter what it is). They were obviously unaware of the size and food requirements of this wonderful beauty! After hours of research, I've moved "Matthew" (12 inches when I got him) from a 29 g to a 125 g with his tankmate, (a 6 inch Pleco), as well as a new baby Pacu tankmate (I purchased after reading that they were a schooling fish; he'd come from a tank full of fish!) and they seem extremely happy in the larger tank! Matthew was very tense and would "freak out" a lot in the 30 g, but when I moved him and Liesl (his wifey!) and Delmar (the Pleco) into the 125 g, Matthew---especially, was totally mellow and LOVES his new home. I would NEVER recommend this fish for someone who didn't have the money or tank space (esp. the WEIGHT!)---Do NOT buy a Pacu. Wal-Mart should NOT sell them--and I told them why! We will be building in the next year and will be building a 750 g into one of our walls in our new home for our Pacus. We are die-hard animal lovers as we also have 2 Pit Bulls, 1 cat, 1 Cockatoo, and 2 other tanks...Oh, and did I mention 2 kids as well? Yeah. Please, 99% of people should NOT buy the Pacu. They are sweet, but WAY too large and totally fast-growing for the average (and seasoned!!!) aquarium hobbyist. These fish need to be a VITAL part of your life....PERIOD.
From: David T.
I have two pacus in a 75 gallon fish tank. These two pacus are about 6 inches. I have had them for about a month and a half now and when I got the from the store they were less than an inch. The store said they would grow about a foot and at the rate mine are growing that's hard to believe. My pacus will eat anything. They love algae wafers and Wardley- Shrimp pellets. They are peaceful but will nip and wont be pushed around. DO NOT buy this fish unless you are going to move up to a very very big tank.
From: Mike E
Just wanted to let readers know how big Pacu's will get. At my LFS, there is a 1500 gallon cylindrical tank. (Like you'd see at Marine Land :P) Anyway, they have a pacu there that is believe to be over 10 years old and ways 55 lbs. This fish is HUGE! I don't know why they even sell these fish. Anyway, good luck to anyone planning on buying one!

From: Angie
I have 3 red pacus. I bought them when they were only 2 inches. Within 8 months, they are now about 13 inches. This fish gets awful big. Fishstores should not sell these fish to people without informing the buyer on this fish. Petco tags say that this fish grows to only 8 - 10 inches, but according to many websites and my fish, it doesn't. This fish is rather enjoyable to watch when it is smaller, but once it gets too big, they are hard to keep in tanks. They jolt in sudden movements and are strong enough to knock down heavy rocks and wood (they killed 1 of my 13 inch Plecos that way). They also eat ANYTHING. They eat my oscar food, they eat the algae wafers for my plecos, and most of the other fish don't get anything to eat because they eat it all. If I"threaten" not to feed them, they chew up the thermometers, the filter parts, plastic plants, and all other decorations. If you're willing to supply these fish with all you've got (300+ gallon tank, lots of food, heavy decorations, etc.), you are welcome to watch them grow into 3 feet and 75 pound monsters.





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