How Much Does a Piranha Cost?

Written by: Staff

Known for its extremely sharp teeth and appetite for meat, these fish are very dangerous, especially if there are other fish in your tank.  Piranhas can often be found in any South American river., and today, there are more than 30 species on record.

Piranha by Jim, the Photographer, on Flickr
Piranha” (CC BY 2.0) by  Jim, the Photographer

How much does a piranha cost?

On average, a piranha can cost anywhere from $4 to as much as $200+.  The costs, according to our research, will greatly depend on the variety, the breeder and how many you purchase at once.  The most common variety, the red belly piranha, can cost about $5 to $10 or about 10 for $100.   Refer to our table below to see what the popular varieties will cost., an online retailer, has a wide variety of piranhas for sale.  Here, for example, a one-inch red belly species retails for 12 for $50.

VarietyCost (each)
Altuvei$175 to $225
Blue Diamond$150 to $250 (less than 4 inches)
Caribe$150 to $250
Denticulatus$70 to $100
Eigenmanni$30 to $50
Elongatus$110 to $150
Elongatus$80 to $150
Gibbus$150 to $225
Gold$300 to $500
Gold Diamond$25 to $35
Hollandi$20 to $40
Humeralis$200 to $300
Irritans$250 to $325
Manuelli$225 to $250
Medinai$225 to $300
Muda$50 to $75
Peru Black$175 to $250
Piraya- $200 to $300 (4 to 6 inches)
- $1,500+ for piranha larger than 13 inches.
Purple Spilo$65 to $95
Red Belly$10 to $20
Red Diamond/Red Throat$40 to $50
Scapularis$50 to $75
Ternetzi$50 to $75
Violet Line$175 to $250
Violet Lined Geryl$450 to $550
Wimple$30 to $50

Piranha overview

Depending on the type of piranha, most can often grow as large as 18 inches; however, the average size is around five to seven inches.  The lifespan, as long as healthy, can live up to seven years.

You can usually find a piranha for sale, if it’s legal in your area, either at a local aquarium/fish store, online via specialized breeders or even on eBay.  If it’s illegal, most reputable aquariums won’t ship it to your state.

What are the extra costs?

An aquarium will be required in order to properly store your fish.  An aquarium can widely vary depending upon what kind and size you need.  The average tank can start at $500 to as much as $5,000 for a customized tank.   Plan on budgeting at least $500 to $2,000 for the tank.  An aquarium for piranhas, at a minimum, should be at least four to five feet wide and two feet deep. recommends an exterior power filter with a bio wheel and a one-fourth inch of gravel on the surface.  The water temperature should be 75 to 80 degrees.

A piranha’s diet will vary depending on what you are going to feed one.  The average diet can include meats such as shrimp, bloodworms, or even dried meat pellets.  As they grow older, they will eat on chunks of beef and/or fish.  It is best to budget $25 to $75 per fish, per month.

Purchasing a fish online can often lead to higher shipping costs.  If you are going to purchase a fish online, the shipping fees can start at $5 and go up from there.

Since these fish tend to do better in schools, it’s recommended you purchase three to five at a time.

Tips to know:

While these fish have a reputation of being bloodthirsty, they are often shy when placed in a tank.  The only time you will more than likely see action is when they are placed in groups and are feeding.  Ask yourself why you want to purchase one?  Remember that if you’re looking for some great action, you’re probably looking in the wrong place.

Some states regulate and even prohibit owning this type of fish.  Be sure to check your local laws before considering a purchase.  For example, they can’t be bred, sold or distributed in California.

Piranhas will do better in water with a lower pH than the average aquarium.

How can I save money?

Since piranhas often do better in groups, it is best to purchase more than one.  Most pet stores will often sell them in groups that range anywhere from five to as much as ten at a time.  The more you purchase at once, the more you should be able to save.

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Average Reported Cost: $700

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. ricky (cleveland,  Ohio) paid $700 and said:

    about 50 dollars for the fish and 650 for tank. i pay about 60 monthly for 2 fish.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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