pike piranha

The Pike Piranha (aka Serrasalmus elongates)

The Pike Piranha is one of the most aggressive and predatory of all species of piranha. Like other types of piranhas, it has fearsome teeth with a silvery body. What separates it from other piranhas is the elongated shape of the body. This physical shape makes it unique from other species that have a classic look. The Pike Piranha is highly motivated and active; hence putting it into an aquarium will provide a perfect view to the public. However, they should be kept in their own fish tank because they are not friendly to other fishes.


Although the scientific name is Serrasalmus elongates, the Pike Piranha has a number of awesome nicknames that can confuse you if you are trying to look up information on this bad boy. If you come across any of these names, then you are on the right track:

  • The Slender Piranha
  • Elongated Piranha
  • Pingke Piranha
  • Caribe Pinche
  • Serrasalmus
  • Pinke


How can an Elongated or Slender Piranha be the same as the Pike Piranha? The answer to the question lies on the shape of the fish. Due to its slender and long shape, some people refer to it as Elongated or Slender Piranha. Pingke and Caribe are slang names given to the fish by the actual communities where it can be found. Serrasalmus Pinke is not a proper scientific name for the fish, but still, some scientists use it.


They are mostly found in the Rio Orinoco and the Amazon River basins. They can also reside in permanent lakes and seasonally flooded waters. The adult Pike Piranha can be found in the deeper parts of the white flowing water of major rivers. It is easy to find them along floating aquatic plants because they use the cover to ambush their prey. Sneaky little devils aren’t they!

Defining Characteristics

A young Pike Piranha are silvery-green in color, and do not have spots on their body. However, it is easy to identify them when they are adults. An adult Pike Piranha is bright silvery in color with a posterior and a dorsal lateral body. Their distinct feature is an orange to fiery red pectoral fins. They have a dark dorsal head. Pike Piranhas tend to have red eyes. Their caudal and adipose fins are dark. They have an average length of 10 inches, with the maximum being 12 inches.

Are They Aquarium Worthy?

The Pike Piranha is highly aggressive and predatory, so it is recommended to keep it alone in the fish tank. A Pike Piranha can grow to a maximum of 12 inches; therefore, it needs a tank with a length of 48x18x18”. This is a sizable tank that will allow the fish to move around comfortably. To keep a juvenile Pike Piranha, the fish tank should contain plenty of shaded area.
The tank should have tangles of roots and branches, with species of water plants that float on the surface. An aquarium that contains an adult Pike Piranha should be well oxygenated, and sandy. There must be a decent flow of water, because they are happy in moving water. The temperature of the water should be 24 to 28 degree Celsius, with a PH balance of 4.5 to 7.


The Pike Piranha feeds on live foods. Their preferences are scales and fins of other fishes. They also feed on prawns, bloodworm, squids, earthworms and cockles.
Until next time!

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