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Salminus brasiliensis

Dorado

Classification

Characidae

Distribution

Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina.

Habitat

Primarily a riverine species, but is also found in lakes and ponds.

Maximum Standard Length

At least 40″ (100cm), with some female specimens being reported at over 56″ (140cm).

Aquarium SizeTop ↑

A truly humongous tank (or pond) would be required by an adult specimen, as it’s an incredibly fast-swimming, active, predatory fish. Something in the region of 20′ x 4′ x 4′ should be considered a bare minimum. A tank like this would hold over 9000 litres of water!

Maintenance

Speaking hypothetically, decor would not be critical. Obviously, an enormous filtration system would be needed to cope with the massive amounts of biological waste a fish like this produces. A decent amount of flow through the tank would also be needed.

Water Conditions

Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)

pH: 6.0-7.5

Hardness: 2-15°H

Diet

Highly piscivorous in nature, juvenile captive specimens have been known to accept prawns, lancefish etc. An adult fish would need large amounts of fish such as whole trout. An expensive proposition!

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

Will not eat anything it can’t fit into its mouth, but this doesn’t leave many available species with which it could be housed in the long term. Young fish have been seen cohabiting with large tankmates such as Cichla sp., arowana and other tankbusting fish.

Sexual Dimorphism

Unknown.

Reproduction

Impossible in home aquaria. Should not even be considered an option.

NotesTop ↑

The common name of this species is derived from the Portugese dourado and refers to the beautiful golden colour of the fish. We’ve included this species on the site purely because there have been an alarming number of juvenile fish showing up in some aquatic stores and, as a result, in hobbyists tanks. This species is simply not suited to captive life in any respect. If you see one for sale, and they are undeniably an attractive fish, please don’t be tempted to buy it.

As responsible fishkeepers we should consider the long term well-being of any fish that we buy, and housing a dorado for life is beyond the reach of virtually all hobbyists. Sadly, owning this species and others like it seems to be fashionable at the moment, with some aquarists even viewing them as a status symbol. We can only hope this situation can be rectified in the future, as surely all these aquarium specimens are doomed to a premature death.

It’s a highly prized game fish in some of its native waters.

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