Shark catfish make for interesting freshwater aquarium residents. With their shark-like appearance and active behaviors, they can add excitement and energy to large home set ups. In this guide, we’ll explore the key things you need to know about selecting, caring for, and breeding these unique fish.
Introduce Shark catfish aquarium
- Origin: Indigenous to freshwater rivers and streams in Thailand, Vietnam and surrounding countries.
- Size: Black sharks reach 16 inches long in home aquariums. Can grow over 3 feet in ideal settings.
- Lifespan: Approximately 10-15 years with proper care and tank conditions.
- Temperament: Largely peaceful but can be aggressive toward similar shaped fish. Non-confrontational toward dissimilar tankmates.
- Appearance: Elongated black body with tiny eyes and smooth skin lacking scales. High dorsal fin and ventral fins set back near tail.
- Varieties: Common black shark along with redtail and white shark varieties. Selected color morphs being developed.
- Price: $10 to $25 for juveniles depending on availability and locality.
Habitat and Tank Requirements
- Natural Habitat: Large, fast moving tropical rivers and tributaries. Bottom dwelling fish.
- Minimum Tank Size: 150 gallons or larger recommended. Several hundred gallons ideal.
- Water Parameters: 75-82°F; pH 6.5-7.5; Water hardness: 8-15 dGH
- Setup: Fine sand substrate. Rocky caves and driftwood for cover. Dim lighting and strong current.
- Diet: Carnivorous – accepts variety of meaty foods: shrimp, fish, worms, insects, pellets.
- Feeding Habits: Feeds along bottom and in mid-water. Offer food at least twice daily.
- Suitable Foods: Shrimp, mussel, salmon, insects, shrimp pellets, freeze dried krill, live blackworms.
- Reproduction: No parental care. Scatter spawning among plants and decorations.
- Breeding Requirements: Triggers spawning by performing large cool water change. Sexual maturity around 7 inches long.
- Spawning Process: After spawning hundreds of eggs are deposited. Adults should be removed after to prevent eating eggs. Hatching occurs in about 3 days, with fry being slow growing initially.
Common Health Issues
- Ichthyophthirius (Ich) – Quarantine new fish. Use raised temperatures and aquarium salt. Medications if needed.
- Parasitic infections – Treat promptly with appropriate anti-parasitic medication.
- Bacterial diseases – Consult with a vet and treat with suitable antibiotics if needed.
- Fin damage from aggression – Avoid overcrowding and have only one shark catfish per tank.
Special Care and Considerations
- Compatibility: Best maintained alone or with giant peaceful species that won’t intimidate them.
- Special Instructions: Require exceptionally large tank and pristine water conditions. Not suitable for beginners.
- Regulations: None in general, but check local laws before obtaining one of these large fish.
- Giant Gourami
- Redtail Catfish
- Clown Knifefish
- Freshwater Stingray
- Large Plecos
- Giant Danios
Males may develop slightly longer ventral fins. Females gain fuller abdominal region before spawning. Venting or behavior needed to confirm sex.
In summary, while challenging to keep, shark catfish can make fascinating aquarium pets for the committed fishkeeper able to meet their extensive housing and care needs. Let me know if you have any other questions!
How many species of Shark catfish aquarium?
Three main species enter the trade but the black shark catfish is by far the most common. Different color morphs exist through selective breeding.
How to feed Shark catfish aquarium to make their color brighter?
Offering a variety of meaty foods high in carotenoids like shrimp, seafood, and spirulina will help enhance colors.
How Big do Shark catfish aquarium Grow?
In home aquariums, the black shark reaches around 16 inches long. Can potentially exceed 3 feet in huge public zoo-like exhibits.
How fast do Shark catfish aquarium grow?
When fed properly and given sufficient tank space, young sharks can grow several inches per year, reaching full size within 2-3 years typically.
How long do Shark catfish aquarium live?
Average lifespan is 10-15 years in home aquariums. Some reports exceed 20 years in ideal set ups.
How to take care of Shark catfish aquarium?
Provide exceptionally large tank of 150+ gallons, strong filtration, test water quality routinely, feed variety of meaty foods, maintain excellent water conditions.
Which food products are the best for Shark catfish aquarium?
Hikari Carnivore Pellets
Cobalt Aquatics Shrimp Pellets
Tetra JumboKrill Freeze-Dried Shrimp
Is good to keep Shark catfish aquarium as Pets?
They make interesting pets for very dedicated aquarists able to properly house these large fish. Require advanced level care.
Why my Shark catfish aquarium die?
Common causes include undersized tanks, poor water quality, incompatible tankmates leading to stress or fin nipping, and starvation from lack of proper foods.
Are Shark catfish aquarium Aggressive?
Can show aggression toward similarly shaped fish, but generally peaceful toward tankmates of different appearance, especially giants.
Do Shark catfish aquarium kill other fish?
Healthy specimens are unlikely to kill tankmates but may consume very small fish that can fit in their mouths. Proper tankmates essential.
As a professional aquarist, you might be looking for a website that can help you with your aquaristic needs. You might want to find information about different species of FreshWater Fish, SaltWater Fish, plants, corals, and invertebrates, as well as their care Equipment, compatibility, and behavior. You might also want to learn about the best equipment, products, and techniques for setting up and maintaining your aquariums. You might also want to connect with other aquarists and share your Diseases & Cures experiences, tips, and photos.