New Species at Colchester Zoo!

We are excited to announce that we have recently welcomed a new species to Colchester Zoo, the red piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri).

On 7th March 2024, we welcomed the arrival of 22 red piranhas. The shoal is made up of juvenile fish, aged around 3 months old. Since their arrival, they have been in quarantine which gave the Animal Care Team the opportunity to closely monitor their behaviour and general health. During this quarantine period, they were given prophylactic treatments to ensure that they were free of potential diseases prior to being transferred into the main exhibit aquarium.

The aquarium they are now in, was thoroughly cleaned and refurbished to suit their requirements. Filtration systems were checked and adjusted to suit, and the water chemistry was tested in order to provide optimum conditions.

After transferring from our off-show quarantine facility to their new on-show aquarium, the Animal Care team carefully acclimatised the fish to their new environment by slowly mixing water to their transport containers, ensuring all of the old and new water parameters matched as closely as possible for a smooth transition, including oxygen levels and temperature.

Their colouration of red bellies, spotted sides and striped tails, has started to show and they are currently eating bloodworm and lance fish, which the Animal Care Team will increase in size, as these piranha grow rapidly.

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