Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Ariid Catfishes, aka Columbian, Silver-Tipped-, Iridescent Sharks Identification

Related Articles: Marine, Brackish & Freshwater Catfishes (Columbian, Silver-Tipped, Black Fin... "Sharks") of the Family Ariidae by Bob Fenner, Columbian Shark Catfishes and other Ariidae by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs: Ariid Cats 1, Ariid Cats 2, Ariid Behavior, Ariid Compatibility, Ariid Selection, Ariid Systems, Ariid Feeding, Ariid Disease, Ariid Reproduction, Marine Catfishes, Catfishes in General


FW minnow shark and BR shark catfish... ID, together? 9/24/05 Hi Bob, <Catherine here today.> I just purchased two Bala sharks, an angel fish and a silver tipped shark from the pet store.  They're all small, two inches at most, right now.  The pet store told me that they would be fine living together. Is this correct?  <Well, maybe.  They are all fairly aggressive fish.  The Balas may nip the angel eventually.  I'm not sure what a silver-tipped shark is.>  Where can I find books on these type of fish?  <You can get some basic information from: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm.  You might also want to use Amazon.com>   Also, I saw the same looking fish at another store and they called it a high-fin bull shark instead of a silver-tipped shark.  Are they the same thing?  <I Googled both names, being unfamiliar with these common names.  The silver-tipped shark that most commonly appeared was catfish and I only found saltwater bull sharks.  They may very well be the same thing, but I don't know what you have.>  My tank right now is 20 gallons, but I want to up-grade tanks and give my gold fish this tank.  <Your goldfish will be appreciative.  Your Balas will get to be nearly a foot long and need a tank of 70+ gallons.  Depending on the type of angel, 30 or 50+ gallons would be appropriate.  www.liveaquaria.com has good pictures and reasonable estimates of tank size.>  Also, the pet store told me that the sharks were freshwater fish, is this correct? <The Balas are freshwater critters.  The silver-tipped probably is a freshwater fish if it's still alive, but you might want to surf the net a bit to see if you can find out what it is.> Thanks so much for your knowledge.  Jennifer <Hope it helps, Catherine> <<Cath, Jenn, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ariidcats.htm RMF>> Arius after all Nope it is a "catfish" shark, silver tipped shark.  Anyway I took it back to the pet store since another one died and I didn't want to have it on my conscious that I am a fish killer  :)  Thanks anyway <Thank you... will add this common name to our Ariid catfish section so the search tool will find it hence. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater Question Hello Bob, Very informative website you have and I enjoyed reading many of the articles. <Ah, good> I have a question....I recently purchased a 55 gallon tank from a friend with an Emperor 400 filter, Visi-jet protein skimmer and the normal gear. The tank is about 3 weeks old and although I wish I waited, I jumped in and bought 2 fish. 1 is a "half-black" angelfish who has a cloudy eye which I am treating with Melafix and the other was called a "silvertip shark". I have searched high and low for information on this fish with zero luck. Do you know what the real name of this fish is??? He is about 3 inches long with a silver body and black fins, he has whiskers like a catfish as well. I appreciate any help you have to offer. <Thank you for writing... with improving water quality, time, perhaps a better skimmer, your dwarf Angel should improve. The "shark" you so well describe is indeed a catfish. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ariidcats.htm Bob Fenner> Regards, Derrick S.
Re: Saltwater Question
Mr. Fenner, Thank you very much, that was exactly the information I needed. I will look at purchasing a better protein skimmer and possibly finding a home for this "silver shark catfish" so I will be able to have other fish that will not be eaten.  <Good point, planning...> It's Sunday, it's cold outside and my NFL team is out of the playoffs....looks like I will be reading some more valuable information on your site ;) <Much more beneficial, real> Thank you again, Derrick S. <And you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Shark Catfish <Greetings, Amy. Anthony Calfo fielding questions for Bob while away (actually, he just got away from his leash...hehe)> I'm hoping you will be able to answer my question. About 6 moths ago my boyfriend and I bought a 55 gal. tank from a woman out of the Greensheet. She already had 4 "sharks" in it. She said they were Colombian reef sharks. I've been to 3 pet stores in my area, and no one has ever heard of that species.  <you're in luck, we have. Arius Seemanni... is native to Central America. Omnivore... feed a wide variety of foods including frozen bloodworms/mosquito larvae> It is a freshwater tank.  <Aieeeee! babies will live in freshwater, adults live in full seawater! You should increase the salinity (slowly) of their water as they mature or you may have a "mysterious" death on your hands one day> The "sharks" are between 6 and 10 inches long.  <adult maximum 12-14"> They are dark gray, with white/silver bellies. They have 8 fins each. Two on top: one large, one just barely poking up- Two pairs underneath- One single one underneath leading to their back fin. Their fins are dark gray with white/silver tips. Their heads are sort of flat, and their eyes are bugged out on either side of their head. They have 4 whisker things under their mouth. They have one gill slit on each side. They're not slim either, they have potbellies. They are frisky, but not mean. I have a second question as well. I noticed that the largest ones eyes have a pink tint inside. I'm worried that he/she may have injured his/her eye, and it's bleeding. <common, damage from transit or being spooked (tank is too small!!!)slow to heal, may not be necessary to medicate unless evidence of infection. Maintain good water quality> Sometimes, the fish freak out and ram into things in the tank. If I have a species of shark that gets to big I'm going to have a problem. I would appreciate your help with this. Thank You, Amy <Yes, again...the tank is way too small. Honestly not big enough for one of those fish in the 1-2 year plan. For their health, you need to find them a bigger home. Very best regards, Anthony>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: