Characins > Quick Stats
Varies between Carnivore and Herbivore. Pacus are vegetation, Piranha eat meat, preferably live fish. Check specific species.
All are egg-layers with little of no brood care. Very specific to water conditions. Research individual.
Most are tropical with a few preferring cooler water.
Characins make up the family Characidae in the order Ostariophysi. Characins are found in Central America, South America and Africa. They are considered by some to be the most ancient fishes in the order of Cypriniformes.
Characin, is a common name for any member of a family of freshwater fishes that are prevalent in South America but also common in Mexico, Central America, and Africa. More than 1400 species are known. Characins can be recognized by the presence of a short, stublike adipose fin located between the tail and the dorsal fin. Many species are small and brilliantly colored, such as the neon tetras popular among aquarists. The largest characin is the African tigerfish, which reaches a length of about 1.4 m (about 4.5 ft), while the smallest is the Bolivian pygmy blue characin, which has a length of about 1.5 cm (about 0.6 in).
One feature, which is common to all species, is the presence of teeth, and Iím sure you are aware of that fact where the piranhas are concerned; indeed, in some species of Piranha these are so large that the fish has difficulty in closing its mouth. Many Characins are favorite aquarium fishes because of their bright colours and small size, and are peaceful in the community aquarium.
Characins are basically shoaling fishes; an ideal situation would be to have a shoal of a single species in an aquarium, planted at the back and sides, with plenty of free swimming space in the middle.
In nature the majority of Characins are carnivorous, fortunately, in the aquarium, they are not so demanding and will take almost anything that is offered, although you should try to provide a proportion of live food for them to thrive.
Tetras are probably the most popular of all tropical freshwater aquarium fishes. They are mostly all peaceful, and come in various sizes and colors. They are great for the community tank, or a tank dedicated to all one kind of tetra. I love the look of several dozen neons schooling together.
They consist of: the Alestiidae (African Tetra), the Characidae (Characins), the Citharinidae, the Ctenoluciidae (Pike-Characins), the Curimatidae, the Gasteropelecidae (Freshwater Hatchetfishes), and the Lebiasinidae families.
The Temperament of these fish vary widely between Carnivore and Herbivore.
1: any freshwater fish of the family Characinidae
2: tropical freshwater fishes of Africa and South America and Central America