Acquired: Fish / pet store
Posted Oct 14, 2014
We acquired our piranha, because my father had a deep fascination with anything exotic, different, and especially deadly. We had "Jaws" for little over a year. He was kept in a medium-large sized tank and was fed cheap, live, pet-store goldfish.
There's not much to say about having a fish for a pet in general. They show no interest in you and interact with you only when they think they're going to be fed. They're certainly not a substitute for a dog or cat. The piranha is a bigger conversation piece then a goldfish, per se, but I don't know they're worth the upkeep.
If you're in the market for a fish as a pet, I would be more inclined to get a small tank and try to mix and match fish for a more attractive and serene display. Having a piranha just meant I had a piranha and nothing else. It was a sad and disappointing fish tank. So, if you wish to own fish, you'll have to decide whether or not you are going for something beautiful (like a tankful of fish) or unique (not many people have a piranha, admittedly). The Red-bellied piranha was fairly attractive, but nothing as beautiful as the wide variety of salt water fish that are available. Our piranha was also expensive.
If I had to decide, and I was limited to only owning ONE fish, I would stick with the Betta, merely because they are inexpensive, brilliantly colored and so incredibly easy to maintain. The piranha was costly, relatively drab in appearance, and a little more challenging to clean. Food costs must also have to be considered, because when you own a piranha you need to feed it LIVE fish and we had to maintain a small tank of feeder fish just to have a supply of food for him. Again, the Betta just takes a few pieces of food from a can every 1-2 days. It's a no-brainer which fish is the easiest. Get a piranha if you need a conversation piece and don't mind the extra trips to the store to get food all the time. Honestly, they don't have any other redeeming qualities other than the fact that they are unusual and potentially harmful (which makes their allure much higher for many).