Serrasalmus geryi – Geryi Piranha

Serrasalmus geryi is not often kept in the aquarium. This species is about 25 to 30 centimeters long and can be recognized by the dark purple stripe.


Serrasalmus geryi – Geryi Piranha

Serrasalmus geryi was first described in 1988 by Jégu and Dos Santos. They are also called Geryi Piranha or Violet Line Piranha.


Serrasalmus geryi can reach a total length of over 30 centimeters. In an home aquarium they seldom grow to be over 25 centimeters.

Geryi’s Piranha has a brightly shining silver coloured body. The coloration turns darker towards the upper body. The most striking feature of this very pretty species is the violet to purple line running from the base of the dorsal fin to the tip of the upper jaw. This line is not visible when viewed from the side. The pectoral and ventral fins are colourless. All other fins are light grey, and the anal fin has a dark base. The tail fin is dark, with a white vertical band in the middle. The eyes are reddish.

Distinctive/unique features:
• Purple/black stripe running from nose to base of the tail fin.
• Laterally compressed body.
• Humeral spot.
• Orange to red eyes.


Serrasalmus geryi accepts most food items other piranha’s eat, like fish (fillets, frozen fish and live feeders *), shrimp, prawns, mussel, squid and other sea fruits, earth worms, meal worms and other insects, flakes, pellets, granules. Sometimes this fish will refuse to eat non-living food items.

* Live fish need to be quarantained first, so they are safe to feed (containing no disases or parasites). Goldfish, minnows and other members of the Cyprinid family (Carp-like fish) should be avoided, as these fish contain growth-inhibiting hormones (Thiaminase/Vitamine B1 inhibitors) that could negatively affect the fish’s health and development.

It may take a while for the fish to accept prepared food: if this is the case, make sure that the fish is well fed with live food, then insert a fasting period of one week to 12 days. Provide the desired prepared food during this period while the lighting is dimmed or switched off. If it does not work for the first time, feed them some live food and try again. Piranhas can go without food for a couple of weeks without any problems, so the fish is not in danger during this period (except for specimens smaller than 8 cm!)

The Aquarium

Juveniles and sub-adults can be kept in a tank measuring 80 x 35 centimeters (32×14″). When they reach a size of 10-15 centimeters (4-6″), a 100 centimeters (40″) long and 45 centimeter (18″) deep tank is more suitable to provide enough space to move and turn freely. Adult fish need a tank of at least 120 x 45 centimeters (48x18x18″).

When kept in a group, the tank should be at least 50 centimeters (20″) deep and 150 centimeters (60″) long (for 3-4 specimen: an additional 20 centimeters (8″) of length is advised for each extra fish).

Compatible Species

Geryi’s Piranha is one of the few Serrasalmus-species that has been successfully kept in a group, despite the fact that is is not very tolerant towards tank mates, and in particular its own kind. However, due to it’s parasitic lifestyle (scale-eater, fin-nipper) and aggressive character, these are rare occurrences, and attempts are usually short-lived. All in all, it is best to keep this species as a solitary fish: attempting to shoal this species is only recommended to very experienced piranha keepers!


Due to its very limited natural range this species is only sporadically exported, and therefore a rare sight in the home aquarium. Because of this, Geryi’s Piranha usually fetches very high prices.


Serrasalmus geryi - Geryi Piranha 1

Serrasalmus geryi - Geryi Piranha 2


Jonas Hansel –

Copyright images – AquariumGlaser on Facebook

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