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"I want to be free!"

Sharks and Rays in Aquariums
Gaining an understanding of how to keep these fishes in captive saltwater systems   

New Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Shark question; sys.; Blacktip        5/1/19
Good evening Sir from Thailand
My name is Dirk
We are setting up a 4000+ liter aquarium being 3m long 1m wide and 150cm high.
The idea is to add 1 or 2 Blacktip reef shark in there.
<Mmm; not really large enough... can likely house them when quite small (Feed VERY sparingly), but will crash into the ends, damage themselves when much more than about half a meter plus in length. Not as exciting, but I'd look into other shark species, as gone over on WWM:
I have installed 3 cross flow pumps (Jebao CP150) into the display creating extra flow on top of the 2 18000 Lph pumps overturning the aquarium. The main pumps are away from the aquarium but was wondering if the magnetic motors of the cross flows could effect the shark in any way?
<Likely not too deleteriously. Again, the big issue here is overall volume (and shape) of the system. Needs to be much bigger, rounder....>
thank you for your advice
<I have a book in print re Sharks and Rays in captivity; available on Amazon.com. Bob Fenner>

Attn Bob Fenner - Regarding black tip Reef sharks     8/2/17
Hello Bob,
So I have a 10 foot 1200+ gallon QT tank being used to house 3 small Juvenile/pup black tip reef sharks (24 inches).
<Need to be moved from here ASAPractical...>

Pup #1 and #2 were received perfectly healthy, pup #3 came in very sick at the receiving facility. It swam with an extreme wobble and dragged the rear half of the body. At one point to laid at the bottom of the tank gasping
for air. The facility specialist gave it steroids and it bounced back to life. We went ahead and accepted all 3 back then
Anyways, 6 weeks of QT had past. The Friday morning while the pups were being feed. The #3 only ate 1 of the silverside and refused anymore food.
Swam with a wobble and in distress. Body became pale towards a light brown color. It refused to eat the rest of that Friday and seemly became more lethargic and constantly running into things. The next morning it was dead.
<Not surprising>
The following week we received another replacement. from the supplier.
Very healthy and ate from the beginning. Its been about 1.5 weeks now and as of a few hours ago, we're noticing the same symptoms with the new shark. I am lost now
<Capture, handling, shipping stress all conspiring here>
This 1200 gal QT gets 400 gallons of water changes per week. it has a jumbo skimmer that pulls out 3/4 - 1 full gallon of skimmate per day. 80 lbs of ceramic media and 100 lbs of live rock.
any ideas? Thank you
<The wear and tear before you received them is at work here. I REALLY wish folks would not sell "sharky" sharks. Stick with the boring epaulettes, bamboos... that spend a good deal of the time on the bottom.
Bob Fenner>
*Wally Do*
Sea Side Aquatics and Tom's Aquatics LLC

BTRS... Black Tip Reef Sharks... commercial... handling...        2/6/15
I have been Googling to find information on acclimatising black tip reef shark.
<Indeed. But have you used the Search function on the front page (indeed, all pages) of this website? I just used that, and VERY FIRST result was the article you need, here:
Read, follow the links; do of course write back if you have a specific question not answered in the article.>
We are receiving the BTRS in couple of days and would really appreciate any and all information on BTRS acclimatising, caring etc.
<"Any and all"??? That's a big ask. Well, presumably you've kept giant/public marine aquaria before? And sharks generally? Nobody in their right mind would choose these sharks as their first jumbo marine fish, and indeed, you'd have to be doubly crazy to choose them as the first shark species kept! Big, extremely demanding in terms of space, utterly and completely unsuitable for the home aquarium (unless perhaps you're a Bond villain with an undersea mansion). Will sicken, get damaged and/or die at the slightest shortcoming in maintenance. Would strongly recommend buying, reading Bob F's electronic book on keeping sharks. Since only someone for whom "money is no object" would even think about buying a marine shark, the $10 price should seem a trivially minuscule investment!
Thanking in advance,
Best, Sameer
<Good luck! Neale.>
Re: BTRS       2/6/15

Thanks Neale,
Yes i have gone through that piece of article which is quite informative.
Apologies for not giving you adequate information. We are a company dealing in ,marine designers aquariums and been in the industry for over 8years and many more years as hobbyists.
<Cool. Makes sense now!>
We are setting up this BRTS tank for a client which is installed in a shopping mall.
<So hopefully lots of space for this/these shark/s.>
The information we are looking for is how to handle BRTS after we receive it at the cargo, what precautions we need to take while transportation, temperature, water chemistry etc...transferring to aquarium etc.

<Will direct you here, firstly:
But will also leave this message in Bob F's mailbox in case he has anything to add. Would recommend you read, digest all the linked articles and FAQs.
No real magic to handling, introducing Elasmobranchs generally... but their tolerance for sudden (or even gradual) changes is infinitely less than for most teleosts/bony fish... and consequently it's much, MUCH easier to shock, kill these animals if you don't plan everything to the nth degree.>
Any help will be highly appreciated.
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: BTRS...        2/6/15

Thanks Neale,
<Think Neale has put this in my in-folder. BobF here now>
Yes i have gone through that piece of article which is quite informative.
Apologies for not giving you adequate information. We are a company dealing
in ,marine designers aquariums and been in the industry for over 8 years and many more years as hobbyists.
We are setting up this BRTS tank for a client which is installed in a shopping mall.
The information we are looking for is how to handle BRTS after we receive it at the cargo, what precautions we need to take while transportation, temperature, water chemistry etc...transferring to aquarium etc.
<All this is gone over on WWM... DO READ the Shark sections... start here:
scroll down... Oh, and I have a short book on sharks in captivity available in print or electronically on Amazon.com>
Any help will be highly appreciated.
<Read! And soon. Bob Fenner>
Re: BTRS       2/6/15

Thanks again Neale,
<BobF again>
In fact have already gone through this link already, nonetheless will go through it again.
As you correctly stated that its easy to shock these animals, that's exactly
what we don't want hence being really responsible for the lives of these animals and looking for all/any information which we can get our hands on.
We don't want to make any mistake or overlook smallest of detail.

<... Have you perused the sections on acclimation? Commercial? HERE:
Looking forward
<Learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM. WRITE us w/ specific questions if all is not clear, complete to you; NOT generalities that are covered, archived on the site. Bob Fenner>

Shark Aquarium & black tip problem     4/5/14
I’m Mike Giltzow with the Aquarium in Boise. We are planning to build a new shark tank and I wanted to ask a few questions while we are still in the planning stages. We want to get it right in the beginning. The preliminary plans show a trapezoidal shape apx size is 16’ at the short width end, 24’ at the long width end and apx. 32’ long and will be apx 8’ high. Sorry for all the apx. measurements but we are still very much in the early stages of planning this tank.
<Understood. No worries>
After reading Mr. Fenner’s book I see that we need to rethink a few items starting with the square corners of this trapezoid. So we would be rounding those corners and what I would like to know is what radius on those corners we should be using?
<Mmm... for a system of these dimensions the trapezoid will likely be fine>
Or should we just forget the trapezoid (which by the way fits our building layout – that’s why the shape was chosen) and do an oval? Maybe an oval that tapers a little at one end?
<Ovals/bullnoses are better>
My second question concerns rebar in the tank. I note that in “Sharks and Rays in Aquariums” that Mr. Fenner states “Even metal rebar (reinforcing steel) cast into concrete walls in public aquariums has been indicted as ‘driving these fishes crazy’ , resulting in their deaths.” So if we don’t use metal rebar in the walls what would be an alternative? Could we use a plastic reinforcing or could we coat the rebar? What would you recommend?
<You definitely should (will have to) use re-bar for this height systems... just make sure it is coated/sleeved and that the plaster (cement) coats are done properly... doubled>
Last question is about a black tip we have in our old shark tank. The tank is about 17000 gallons and holds 2 black tips, 1 leopard shark, 1 bonnet head, 2 morays and several other occupants as well. One of the black tips is having a problem. Much of the time he is swimming normal<ly> and appears in good health. Then he will start swimming at apx a 30 degree angle from level (head up). He seems to be struggling to get back to level and sinks to near the bottom of the tank. He does not touch the bottom but struggles back up and then sinks again. Just as quickly as this comes on it stops and he starts swimming normally again. We routinely check the water chemistry and the tank is within normal levels. The black tip is about 3 1/2’ long and is eating normally. Our Veterinarian originally thought it was constipation and treated it as such. But this has been going on for more than a week and so we have asked another vet to take a look this coming week. If you have any ideas or suggestions about this we would greatly appreciate your help. Thanks - Mike
<Do you folks use Mazuri (.com) food supplements for sharks/cartilaginous fishes? Do you have any blood work up data you can send along? Does this animal look physically damaged? Bob Fenner>
Re: Shark Aquarium & black tip problem
Hi Mr. Fenner and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. The Black Tip does not look physically damaged. In fact when he is swimming normally it is easy to mistake him for the other black tip in the tank. The 'second opinion' vet has indicated that he would like to do blood work; so we will know more when he does that and I will pass the information on to you.
<Real good>
I don't know if we use Mazuri food supplements but will find out and let you know. Have you ever seen a black tip or other species of shark exhibit this type of behavior?
<Yes I have... your Vet.s may want to look through the ASIH' Elasmobranch group (AES) to gather more input>
Thanks again - Mike
Appreciate the information on the tank.
<Glad to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Black tip reef shark tank question     4/7/13
Hello Bob,
I was wondering if a (L x W x H) 160" x 60" x 50", 2000 gallon, racetrack tank would be enough for a black tip reef shark ( not full grown obviously) and till what age and size could it be kept in that tank. Thanks.
<... not really... as gone over and over on WWM... this requiem-shark family member is too-easily spooked, damaged in such small volumes... a one foot one might do okay there for several months; eventually to die from damage, stress...
Bob Fenner>
Black tip reef shark questions     4/7/13

Hello Bob,
I have several questions about black tip reef sharks and was wondering if you could have me answer them.
1. What size are black tip reef sharks born at and how many inches do they grow per year?
<About 6"/15cm overall at birth... several inches of growth per year. See Fishbase.org for a general growth per time curve>
2. What is the best type of filtration for a black tip reef shark?
<... Please read here:
scroll down to the "Sharks" tray... articles, Systems FAQs>
3. What tankmates can be kept with it, can SW fish (e.g.. Tangs, clownfish, pufferfish etc.)
<... the "Compatibility" FAQs>
4. Can corals be kept with it?
<None really... too likely to damage, knock over... Systems too large/deep to provide adequate light and NOT over-light the shark/s simultaneously>
5. Is there a "shark food" that you are aware of that can be bought at stores or online instead of fish and squid from the supermarket?
<Mmm, see "Foods, Feeding, Nutrition FAQs">
6. What is the best shape tank for a black tip reef shark, is racetrack shape good?
<... bullnose rectangle and torus/circular>
7.what is the minimum tank size for a black tip reef shark, not until it fully grown, just until its 3.5 feet, what would be the minimum length width and height for a 3.5 feet black tip reef shark?
<25-30' by 10 by 6' or so. About 20,000 gallons>
Thanks a lot Bob, your the best.
<You're? I'll do... can after all only by my self... and am happy as such.
Black tip reef shark  

Hey bob,
You said that a black tip reef shark could fit in a 2000 gallon when it's 1 foot, I was reading your other answers and some other guy in your answers has 3 black tip reef sharks in a 750 gallons, and someone else has a 3 foot one in a 1200 gallon, so are you sure a 3-4 foot one couldn't fit in a 2000 gallon if it could in a 1200 gallon and 3 in a 750? Thanks
<I stated what I stated, they did what they did. B>
Re: Black tip reef shark   4/8/13

Hello Bob,
I was wondering if you could recommended a filtration set-up for a black tip reef shark tank. I looked on your website and could not find anything on black tip reef shark filtration. Thanks.
<... You didn't understand my directions?... Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black tip reef shark... Requiem indeed 4/8/13

Hello Bob,
Thanks for the link again, but I couldn't find a paragraph specific,y about black tip reef shark filtration. Thanks.
<There may well not be any for the species specifically, but there's plenty for anyone willing to read... How to put this... accurately, wanting to neither encourage or discourage you: You're not ready for this project if this is where you're deriving plans, basic information. Go see this Carcharhinid in the wild, public aquariums. DON'T just be yet another partly-informed "enthusiast" who tortures these sharks, submitting them to short, damaged lives. B>

Hi Bob and Crew, hope all is great this weekend, I need our advice.
I received a 11" Queensland Grouper
<Wow; some shipping cost now!>
 from Quality Marine 2 days ago, the fish is doing great, I putted him on quarantine but the final
tank for this fish will be with a 30 " 3 year old Blacktip Shark; the question is: Do you think the Grouper will be safe with the Blacktip or I should grow the grouper a bit more separate and if so to how many inches?
<Depends on the size of the system and amount of cover mostly (and thirdly, the temperament history of the Carcharhinid... has it been easygoing to date?). If the system is small enough (not big enough to allow the shark to
get out of view and launch into attack mode (let's say less than twelve foot long on both L and W dimensions), and/or there's lots of habitat, the bass is likely fine>
Thanks for your help and have a nice weekend
<And you, y tu, my friend, mi amigo. Bob Fenner>

Thanks for your answer Bob, the tank is 9 by 8 foot not too many hiding places
<I'd add some rock... for caves>
 and about the temperament history of the Carcharhinid, he has became aggressive since the last 2 years, eating some show size fishes like Orbicularis Batfish, Hawaiian Black Trigger
<Both much slower and less aware than the new Serranid>
 and its own remora!
 I thought that because of the Grouper's temperament, it will be safe but I guess this is not the case so regarding Grouper´s size what do you think it must measure to be "respected" by the shark?
<Better for now that it is small enough to hide... I give you better than even odds that it can adapt to this system, tank mate if there's room to get out of it sight, and hide>
Gracias amigo Bob
<Nos vemos. BobF>

Help me with my sharks please!    6/6/12
We have 20 Blacktip Reef Sharks ( *Carcharhinus melanopterus* ) in 400 m3 tank.
We have had them for over 1 year now but lately, I  have noticed their chin getting fat and unusual. It looks like they have a tumor(i send you some of their pictures).
<Yes; goiter most commonly labeled... Their diet is lacking in useful iodide-ate... Are you familiar with Mazuri (.com) foods for sharks? SEARCH WWM re shark goiter and READ. They need this halogen for metabolism>
Beside that, They are doing fine and eating normal but I'm so worry. I don't know it's just they are too fat or it's a disease sign. I looked up everywhere but I cant find anything the same. I hope you can give me some advices. Here is condition of my tank: pH: 7.8, Ammonia: 0 mg/L, Nitrite: 0 mg/L, Nitrate: 0 mg/L, Salinity:  29 ppt, Temperature : 29 OC. its tankmates are 9 stingrays, 14 small turtles and 5 white tip reef sharks (white tip reef shark 's chin are normal ) We feed the sharks with fish and feed them once in 2 days. please help me!  Any advice from you guys would be appreciated.
<This condition is VERY dangerous. Needs to be addressed ASAP, their diet supplemented. Do you understand?
Bob Fenner> 
Shark goiter query

Hey Bob,
I saw a query in the crew mail related to sharks "Help me with my sharks please" that I can handle for you, but it won't be as complete as might be needed.  That is, I know the problem is goiter, related to an iodine deficiency, but the fact that there are probably other issues going on is something I may well miss.   I've never kept sharks, much less Black Tips, 20 at a time, along with turtles and other sharks in a system and am not sure of their requirements re: tank size, chemistry, etc.  If you're in a crunch for time, I can handle it for you though and go over the iodine issue.  Just let me know..
Take care,
<I already responded, but do ask that you do as well. More "fuel to the fire" needed here methinks. BobF>
Help me with my sharks please! Goiter - 6/6/12

<Hello, Lynn here today.>
We have 20 Blacktip Reef Sharks ( *Carcharhinus melanopterus* ) in 400 m3 tank. We have had them for over 1 year now but lately, I have noticed their chin getting fat and unusual. It looks like they have a tumor (I send you some of their pictures).
<Thank you, your sharks appear to have what’s known as a goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid gland, that’s brought on by an iodine deficiency.> 
Beside that, they are doing fine and eating normal
<The goiter can eventually interfere with the shark’s ability to eat, so it’s important to address the situation as soon as possible.>
…but I'm so worry. I don’t know it's just they are too fat or it's a disease sign. I looked up everywhere but I can’t find anything the same. I hope you can give me some advices.
<You’ll need to provide the sharks with a supplement.  Do look into the “Vita-Zu Shark/Ray Tablets” offered by Mazuri (as an example): http://www.mazuri.com/search.aspx?find=vita-zu+shark .  For more information on this topic, please enter the search term “shark + goiter” in our Google search engine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm .  Here’s a good site as well for captive shark care that has articles covering a variety of topics: http://sites.google.com/site/elasmobranchhusbandry/manual >
Here is condition of my tank: pH: 7.8, Ammonia: 0 mg/L, Nitrite: 0 mg/L, Nitrate: 0 mg/L, Salinity:  29 ppt, Temperature : 29 OC. Its tankmates are 9 stingrays, 14 small turtles and 5 whitetip reef sharks (whitetip reef shark's chin are normal) We feed the sharks with fish and feed them once in 2 days. Please help me! 
<Hopefully the supplements will take care of the problem but do refer to the above-listed links for more information related to keeping sharks in captivity.>
Any advice from you guys would be appreciated.
<You’re very welcome.  Take care and good luck with your sharks! Lynn Z>

Re: Help me with my sharks please! Goiter - 6/7/12
Dear Lynn Z and  Bob Fenner
Thank you so much for your advice and the links you gave me. I will do as you said and hoping the goiter will go down. Your e-mail was like a lifesaver to me. Once again, thank you so much for your big help.
<You're very welcome and good luck! Lynn Z> 

Hi Bob, I need your help please!
<Here for you amigo>
This week temperature went down here in Mexico City and my costumers shark tank drop to 70 degrees.
The tank is 1200 gallons housing a 30" 3 year old Blacktip Shark, the shark was eating and behaving normally all this time, water levels are:
Ammonia 0
Nitrite  0
Nitrate 0
Ph     7.7
<Mmm, a little low... I take it you use buffering compounds...>
Temp (before heater failure 78)

My guess is that the shark got hypothermia(let me know if I am right).we spend the whole night and part of this morning raising tank temperature, now it is 75 degrees but the shark barely swims and sinks on the bottom after just a few laps to the tank.
I grab it every time carefully and force him to swim, I increase aeration and last night add some ph up(Brightwell Aquatics) but don´t know what else to do, is it possible that having his temperature back to normal his muscles and other body organs work again or he is far gone?
Please help me the answer is not on your files, I was searching for hours.
Thanks a lot
<"Don't panic!" All should be fine w/in a day or two my friend. Go slow here w/ any changes. Nos vemos. RobertoF> 

Muchas gracias Bob, I´ll keep you posted
<Thank you, BobF>
Re: BLACKTIP SHARK HYPOTHERMIA, plus pH/Alk adjustment for large volumes    12/3/11

Hola Bob,
<Hey Wil!>
I want to tell you that the Blacktip is swimming normally again, like you said it took a couple of days.
I didn´t know they could get that bad at 70 degrees, I mean it is not really cold but they are tropicals hu.
The only problem to be solve is de Ph/Kh issue, I can´t raise it to the right levels, is there an effective product that you recommend?
<For 1,200 gallons... It may well behoove you to make your own. Formulations are available on the Net if you search. Otherwise, there are "bulk" suppliers, like BRS: http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/products/calcium-alkalinity-magnesium
In the long/er term, if this were my account, I'd be looking into a calcium reactor...>
Thanks for your help as always.
<Welcome. BobF>

Blacktip shark and blue spotted stingray compatibility   8/3/11
Hi there,
I have a 2500 gallon aquarium housing 2 Blacktip sharks. I am planning to add 2 blue spotted stingrays but couldn't find any information about their compatibility. Any ideas?
<Not really compatible. The Rays are hard to keep on their own, let alone trying to get food to them past the sharks>
One more thing, my system doesn't have w/d system but more than 800lbs of live rock. Should I add one?
<... I wouldn't rely on either for much of any sort of "filtration"... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkfiltr.html
and the linked files above>
Best regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Feeding Of Shark, C. melanopterus     1/17/09 Dear Sir, *Greetings of the day* <And to you> Myself Ahsaas, presently a Research Scholar in the Central institute of Fisheries Science Mumbai India, and also managing the one of the biggest Marine Aquarium of the country too. <So I've read> We had a baby shark over here which was calm with the other fish species and feeding well with dead Mackerels earlier when it was a baby. As it has started growing up with the length approx 2.5 - 3 ft and serrated jaws, it has nowadays started hunting on the other fish species. <What they do> I just want to get your suggestions, what should we do for the same? <Move it> I have suggested to the management that we should free the shark in the natural ambient and help in the conservation of adult shark under captivity. I have one more query, we are feeding fish once a day since last one year, is it convenient? <Likely so... if fed less, it would likely predate its tankmates even more> Few of the fish have started developing fungal infection, <?!> though they are segregated out for Quarantine, but there can be still any possibility of the infection in the water, so what is the procedure (Chemicals) to make the water sterile without affecting the fish species inside the tank having a water carrying capacity of 6 Lack litres of marine water. <There is/are none... the water needs to be checked, improved itself... Do you use Ozone?> Kindly give your valuable inputs Warm Regards Ahsaas Rasool PhD., M.F.Sc <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm  The linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Black Tip Reef Shark not eating. 1/14/09 Dear Bob, I have read some of the articles on your web, very interesting. Meanwhile I have a issue with reef black shark 2.5 feet not having regular feed of macreel , <Insufficient nutritionally... I hope you are using vitamins, inserted inside...> We have one of the best aquarium in the country and is taken care by professionals but still we wish to know how to sort out this issue. What do you normally attribute this problem to. Ramesh Naidu, Mumbai. <Mmm, need information to make any real suggestion... the system, water tests... Likely a cumulative nutritional deficiency at play here, with a stress component for sure... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Shark Tank 7/9/08 Hello, quick possible shark tank question. Would a 12' diameter x 2.5' height cylindrical tank be able to suite either black tip reef sharks or bonnetheads? <Not in my opinion, all get too big. Sphyrna tiburo documented up to 6 feet, Sphyrna corona up to 3 feet, and Carcharhinus melanopterus up to 6.5 feet. All are active swimmers and need lots of room.> <Chris>

Help with a Black Tip Reef Shark.....-12/22/2007 Hello, I was wondering if I could get some assistance on a shark issue I have. I am the newly appointed Aquatic systems manager of an Aquarium Store with 3, 3000 to 6000 gallon capacity show tanks that have numerous type of fishes. Specifically I am having a problem with a BLACK TIP Reef Shark. They have had some issues with several others that were lost. (I am sorry to say) I have one left that seems to be wasting away. Any info on Pharmaceuticals or vitamin supplements I should be giving and also any info on water quality and chemistry that would be useful. <Posted... on WWM> Also in the tank with the blk. tip is 3 Wht. Tip Reef sharks a Horn shark, Brown Nurse shark and also I believe a cat shark, 2 large eels and one small eel and various fish, all of which are doing well. I am sure you may need more info from me as well, which I will gladly provide. Please get back to me asap. I don't want to lose this shark too. If you can not help me, maybe you could forward this to some one who may be able to.....Or send me a LINK... These are averages... *PH = 8.4* *S.G.= 1.025* *Amm. = 0 to .10* *Temp.(F) = 76 to 78* *Dissolved Oxy. = 11.1 ppm* <Dubious> *Shark Info: Black Tip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) * - *Approx. 24 to 28 inches* - *Diet* *(If she eats!)- Spanish Sardines, Squid, Silversides Fish*, amount: one gallon bucket full of equal parts silversides and squid and two thirds sardines. for the whole tank) - *Tank mates are*: *3 White Tip Reef Sharks* about 36 to 38 inches in length, *one Brown Nurse shark* appx. 40 to 42 inches, <Needs to be removed> *Cat Shark*and a *Horned **Shark* both appx. 22-24 inches. *Emperor Snapper* about 5 Lbs. Various other *Damsels and Snappers.* *2 Large Moray eels* appx. 45 to 48 inches,* One* *small moray eel* about 28 to 32 inches. [image: Carcharhinus melanopterus] <http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/photos/HI_Reef_Shore_Fishes.pdf> Tank Info: - 12 Foot Circular Lexan Tank - 6 Foot Deep - 3 Foot column in the center that function as the skimmer and holds plumbing for return flow to the tank - 5000 gallons or at least that's what I'm told. - Remote two stage sump with another 1000 gallons. - 2 Separate pump/filter systems (Pleated Filters) flow from the tank to the sump through 5 micron filter sox, 2 on each - 1 Closed System filter - 2 Fluidized Sand Bed Filters - Large Protein Skimmer that returns to the sump through Bio-Filter Balls - Flow in the tank is made to have a gentle circular flow - From the inside Lexan wall to the "fake Coral" that covers the central section; there is a 4 foot to 4.5 foot space free of obstructions for sharks to "Glide with the current" or "Swim against the current" Lighting = 16 Power Compact Florescent Actinic Bulbs 4 175Watt Metal Halide Bulbs All are spaced evenly in a circle Half of them come on @ 9:45am The other half comes on @ 10:00am Off @ 9:00pm. There are no obvious issues to speak of. Only that he is skinny. Swims fine. Just started to give an iodine supplement and a basic multi vitamin in the food. Ordering a "Shark Specific" Multi vitamin from MAZURI.com. <Good... May be too late though> She eats very little, has been fed only once a week until now, I have gotten them to allow me to feed them twice a week. Fed Them last night all ate very well but Blk tip only ate three silversides. I've learned from others I'm in contact with as well that its possibly an internal parasite, of unknown origin. Also found some voltage leaking into the system and added another grounding Probe today was at .35 volts now at .16 volts. so to re-cap, Voltage in water, No vitamins, no iodine, <... need this essential nutrient...> not fed enough, also I think the tank is to small and the tank mates are too big and aggressive and she is intimidated so she cant relax.... How does that sound so far? Am I on the right track? You can get some sort of view of the tanks in some pics found there. Anything else you need, Please Let Me know. Thanks, Doug Benson Big Al's Aquarium Super store http://www.bigalsaquariumstores.com/ <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm my articles on sharks, this species... the many FAQs files... Write back with specific concerns... Bob Fenner>

Thanks from China, Carcharhinus melanopterus in captivity   6/20/07 I just purchased a 9 X 4 foot marine aquarium for my new home in Beijing, China and had the bright idea that I would also buy a couple of Black Tip sharks (readily available here for US $200 or less) and enjoy watching them swim around and occasionally devour the fish I would give them. I wasn't going to buy the sharks until a week or so after the tank is installed, which will be next week. <Mmmm> While I was happy to be able to buy an impressive and high quality aquarium setup, including all the required filters, etc, here for only US 1,200.00 (I think it would price about $8K in the US), I was concerned about the "no problem" answers I was getting to my questions about going with a pair of Black Tips for this tank. They look great in the store, seemingly healthy (no white spots, smooth skin, etc) and are about 14" at the moment. I was told they would not get bigger in captivity... <Ah, no> This site saved me a lot of obvious grief, <Not to mention the sharks!> and I just wanted to write to thank you. A month from now, I think I would have ended up with a couple of dead sharks that are too small to make a good soup. In retrospect, the idea now makes about as much sense as buying a baby Tiger for a city apartment (which I could probably also find here...). Thanks again - I'm glad I found this site!! Jay <Thank you for your kind words, relating of your experience. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Thanks from China, Carcharhinus melanopterus in captivity   6/21/07
As to one comment ("not to mention the sharks"), I won't be killing these guys - they are dead men walking, so to speak. <Ah, yes> A shame, because they are beautiful animals, and I'm surprised they have lasted as long as they have at the store. They are feeding them goldfish and sometimes meat left over from lunch. No, I'm not kidding. <A bummer as the youth of today, or not so long ago used to remark...> Thanks again. Guess I'll stick with tropicals that weren't too close when the dynamite went off... <The small Blacktips were likely captured with throw or barrier nets in very shallow water... but do "deserve" a decent environment... Not to be tortured, swimming in tight circles for a few short months. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Thanks from China
<A bummer as the youth of today, or not so long ago used to remark...> It was long ago. They don't get it anymore. <Even a further shame is the apparent apathy... "not caring if they get it". B>

Parasite treatment of sharks ?  11/21/06 Hello I'm a veterinarian who like to help a new started shark aquarium keeper with his black tipped reef sharks. He got 1 male and 2 females a month ago. The male was eating very well for 2 weeks and did not eat one day and dead next morning. Bleeding in and on testes no obvious parasites. I'm waiting for pathology, bacteriology and parasitology . after this one of the females has started to swim in an different body position and is not resting during shimming. seems to be in a hurry. The question has come about parasites and then my question - How to treat parasites flukes, tapeworm and nematodes in shark I do hope you can help us Tomas Lundgren Veterinarian Dalagarden veterinary clinic Bastad, Sweden <Mmm... need to know at least what phylum this source problem may be from... skin scrapings, microscopic examination. I strongly suggest you get/read "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment" by Edward Noga. You may well have another non-pathogenic issue here... environmental... The behavior you list could be due to poor water quality (metabolite accumulation), or electrical potential... Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasite treatment of black tipped reef shark  11/21/06
I wrote to you a while ago about problem with a new started shark aquarium The sharks are black tipped reef sharks  Carcharhinus melanopterus Can you help us with advise about parasite treatment, water quality levels - what span of water quality measures we have to keep. and of course where to find more know how about keeping those sharks and about diseases and treatment . My best regards Tomas Lundgren Dalagarden veterinary clinic Bastad, Sweden <Yes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/blacktipshark.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasite treatment of sharks ?  11/21/06
Hello I wrote to you about a mail BT reef shark that died and a female that has a behavior that might show that she is in stress. The aquarium has  the following levels of the water. PH:8,2 Densitet (salthalt):1.022 <I would raise, keep the specific gravity near seawater strength here: 1.025> Nitrat:5-10mg/liter Is there anything more to check up and what levels are accepted for this kind of sharks. <Mmm, ammonia and alkalinity> If there is parasites - how do we medicate them to get rid of the parasites - we can manage to put them in a separate 1,5 m wide circular  plastic container with a accepted water level as a treatment container. What do you suggest My best regards Tomas Lundgren veterinarian Dalagarden veterinary clinic Bastad, Sweden <Again, this depends on the phylum of the parasite... Protozoans, worms of various sorts, crustaceans and more... I would NOT simply administer a compound w/o microscopic examination/determination. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasite treatment of sharks ?  11/21/06
Thank you for your answer I will follow your hint and I will write more to you after I have got the post mortem exams Best regards Tomas Lundgren vet Bastad, Sweden <Very good. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blacktipped reef shark disease and treatment    11/29/06 Black tipped reef sharks in Sweden in a private owned public new started display tank of 75000 liter . The sharks 1 male and 2 females around 1 m each, arrived from Holland around 4 weeks ago. One female did not eat but the male did eat very well from start  after 2 weeks he stopped eating and the next day he was found dead. <Coupled with the stress of moving...> Autopsy did show bleeding in the sperm reservoir. <Perhaps artifactual> Bacteriology has shown pseudomonas <Almost always present in culture in these settings> and 2 more bacteria  sensitive to Tetracycline and Gentamycin. Histopathology has given diagnose Orchit with septicemia . as there were kidney damage and muscle damage in hart and body muscles. <Again, very common in moving cartilaginous fishes... Sharks, rays, skates take a beating in being handled, particularly if/when larger... Need to be anesthetized, carefully monitored in transit... perhaps treated (through injection) prophylactically> The female that did not eat is still not eating after 4 weeks More about those Blacktipped reef sharks food and environment Life-support system: Display tank 75 000 liter of water * Protein skimmer (70 000 l/h) * 4 biological sand filters (25 000 l/h each) * 3 UV sterilization units (10 000 l/h each) * Denitrification filter <... Nitrate concentration?> Above this * Extra pumps for circulation (100 000 l/h) Food we have tried - al fresh food. Herring, mackerel, salmon, anchovies, pike, smelt, squid Saltwaterfish  and fresh fish live ,dead and...stressed Vi have tried  daytime and evenings  on daily basis and 3 times a week Water parameters:2006-11-26 Temp.: 25 C Salinity: 1.022 PH: 8,2 KH: 7,4 Nitrate: 10 mg/l <I see... a bit high> Nitrite: 0 Ammonia: 0 We are thinking know about starting the treatment of the female with antibiotics. <If so... oral or intramuscular...> But as we do not like to catch her more times then necessary we wonder if We could use Tetracycline  twice the ordinary dose and every other day instead. <You could, but I would not... especially not Tetracycline Hydrochloride... the HCl radical is too acidic... If available I would try "the silver bullet"... Chloromycetin/Chloramphenicol succinate... three injections/uses, once every three days...> Then we can minimize the stress and force feed her with a stomacktube and give her antibiotics as well in the same time. Best regards > Sweden <Bob Fenner>
Re: Blacktipped reef shark disease and treatment    11/29/06
Than you bob for your answer about the BT reef sharks After I wrote to you the female that have not been eating for 4 week after arriving to the aquarium she did start eating yesterday evening. I decided to start her treatment with doxycyklin tablets 100 mg each other day with food her weight is around 7-8 Kg. <This is a good choice and concentration>   I did this choose because I wanted to minimize the stress for her as she arrived from Holland 1000Km in a tank and one month without food and the male dying in a tetracycline sensitive bacterial infection with sepsis after a ongoing infection in the testickel?? ( sperm organ) . <Yes> 2006/11/29, FAQ Crew crew@mail.wetwebmedia.com: If she had not been eating I think that Gentamycin 5-6 mg/Kg each 5 day IM could be a good choice in keeping the stress down. <Agreed> If she is getting worse during the treatment period I will try to get a blood sample for antibiotic blood levels.  If so  where do I take blood from a shark to minimize the stress and maximize the goal to get the blood. Regards Tomas <The brachial artery if one is careful... Bob Fenner>

Black tip Reef Shark 10/16/06 Hi. How long could I keep a Black tip Reef Shark in a 265 gallon aquarium that measures 7ft L x 2ft W x 2ft H? Thanks <For the 4 to 6 week quarantine period, and that's about it.> <Chris>
Black tip Reef Shark Part II 10/17/06
How long would the shark be at that time if purchased as a newborn? <Not long, and high mortality in such small animals.  These sharks are not good aquarium species.> <Chris>

Hi , my name is Chad Howell and I was wondering how fast a Blacktip Reef Shark grows per year.   8/19/06 <How far does a frog stay in the water? About knee deep... See fishbase.org, oh, here: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/PopDyn/KeyfactsSummary_2v2.cfm?ID=877&GenusName=Carcharhinus&SpeciesName=melanopterus&vStockCode=893&fc=11 Thanks , Chad Howell <"Your mileage will vary". BobF>
Re: Blacktip Reef Sharks  8/20/06
I meant how many INCHES it grows a year , not some stupid "frog" comment. <Mmm, ribbit... see the charts you were referred to on fishbase.org re this Carcharhinid... Too impatient, ignorant to understand them? You're not ready to try one of these Elasmobranchs.... Crrrroak!>

Black Tip Reef Shark, Not A Good Idea. - 12/12/2005 What type of filters are needed for a Black Tip Reef Shark. I know I need a wet/dry and protein skimmer.   <Is this according to "research"?> What other filters do I need? <Unless you're planning a large (EXTREMELY!) system, then best to move on to another choice. These should not be kept in the average home aquarium. Read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/blacktipshark.htm . - Josh>
Re: Black Tip Reef Shark, Not A Good Idea - 12/13/2005
I am planning a 5000 gallon tank 15'x8.5'x5.5' <OK....Good comeback. It seems you've done you're research after all, so I'll confirm what I'm sure you've already thought of. Fluidized bed filter, UV...as well as the mentioned skimmer (two would be good), wet/dry. Very frequent, LARGE water changes...strong (really strong) flow. Plan for rounding this system a bit as well (if you hadn't already). Here's a site, www.aquaticeco.com, to contact some folks who could help review your options for units of this magnitude. Perhaps send us a pic. of the completed project as demonstration for others who desire keeping these sharks, but don't really know what they're in for. Best of luck. - Josh>
Re: Black Tip Reef Shark, Not A Good Idea - 12/14/2005
<I've combined your questions here simply for ease and expedition.> I just planned actually a 10,000 gallon 22x10.5x6ft LXWXH. Would I be able to keep multiple amounts of Black Tips? <At the maximum, two.> And I will need double the filtration right? <Plan for 2.5 if not 3 times just to cover likely over feeding, uneaten/missed bits and waste.> Actually I'm planning a few months ahead. <Respectable and necessary.> If it is too much money I will minimize it a little. If everything goes as planned the first shark should go in the tank by the earliest at the middle of summer. <If it's too expensive, then simply drop the idea of two. Just give one a "Mack Daddy" display with any extra funds you would have applied toward the larger system. Skimping on this animals needs will result in disappointment.> Thanks for the website. <Glad to be of service. - Josh>
Re: Black Tip Reef Shark, Not A Good Idea - 12/14/2005
Also for filtration can you cut the filtration into pieces like have the skimmer do 1/3 of the job and the other filters to do like 1/5 and so on and so on, or do I have to have each do all of the job? <If you don't mind having constant problems/issues re water quality and ultimately losing the animal, then you could. For proper application and most likelihood of success, it's all or nothing. It seems like you are not 100% behind this project. I apologize if I'm incorrect, but the early mention of cutting cost and now this? I encourage you to only house what you are capable of/willing to, not just anything your tank is big enough for.> Sorry for asking so many questions. <No need to apologize, it's what we're here for. Please do begin to at least capitalize them however. - Josh>

Black Tip Sharks  11/22/05 Hello <Hey, Mike G here.> Hope you can help me. <So do I. :)> I am after purchasing 2 black tip sharks for an aquarium tank. <Hope it is a very, very large aquarium.> Where would I go about finding them, <Not sure... not exactly a readily available species (which is a good thing, for the most part) and have you got a estimated cost? <No, sorry. I'd guess somewhere around $400-$500 for a decent sized one, but I've yet to see them offered for sale, so...> regards <Good luck on your search!> David Fry <Mike G> 

Black Tip Reef Sharks! 8/9/05 Hello, I am the owner of a aquarium firm based in Chicago. I have a client that had two Black Tip Reef sharks in a 5000 gal reef aquarium. He had some work done in his home and the workers allowed dust to enter the aquarium, they died. I had raised them for 5yrs! I need to replace them ASAP. Can you advise someone for me. Thank You. Vaughn <How large were these animals? As you are very likely aware, the cost for procuring, shipping increases exponentially with size... I would apologize, offer, smaller specimens... Otherwise... if you'd like, we'll post your request with contact info., the date, and hope someone contacts you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black Tip Reef Sharks! 8/11/05
Hello Bob, Thank You for your help! These sharks were male 4ft & female 3 1/2 ft, but I would like to have them around min of 2ft no larger than 2 1/2 ft. Yes I am aware of procuring will be extra. I am in Chicago I would like to use midway airport for pick up. Thank you very much for all your help. Vaughn, 773.392.9330 24hrs. <Will post your request and number on WWM... who knows? Maybe someone has some larger BTR Sharks they're looking to unload... But do call Chris Buerner at Quality Marine and Eric Cohen at Sea Dwelling Creatures, both off 104th, LA... re this order... They are your best wholesale bet at supplying these sharks. Bob Fenner>

Need help!!! Black tip reef sharks & incorrect tank sold &  purchased 7/24/05 Dear Bob, <Darren> I purchased a 96" long x 30" wide x 30" tall tank in my office from a local pet store and was convinced by the store owners that two Black tip reef sharks would be right for this tank. <....> They sold me the idea, tank & sharks!! <How much money invested? ... and you didn't investigate...> After having these beautiful fish for a few months and being extremely challenged in dealing with the "thieves" from this pet store who were only concerned with making the sale and then running not walking from their responsibility, I have done some research and after coming across your site and reading the Q&A sections I know that the set-up I was sold is incorrect. I have two Black-tip reef sharks nearing 20-22" in this tank, they often get red bruises on their noses, they heal pretty fast but I am sure this is not good for them. Also the fins rub the sides of the tank when they swim and I fear that this will deform them over time. <... they won't live that long> Now that I know this set-up is incorrect, are there any tank manufacturers/suppliers that you would recommend?? <Quite a few... but let's "cut to the proverbial chase"... how much space do you have? For how long do you want to keep these animals... healthy> I feed them twice per week fresh squid, shrimp & clams as instructed by the store and they are growing!!. <Oh yes> I am determined to keep guys and I want to do what is right for them...new tank etc...   They swim very calm, feed like clockwork, water is kept immaculate, tested everyday etc, recently now that summer arrived the tank temperature has risen to 83 degrees F even in an air conditioned office 24/7 and after asking around I find out that a chiller should have been installed??? <Maybe... if the temperature gets above 85 or so F....> ...is my situation immediate fix as I think, or do I have some time to make the changes?? <Time is "of the essence" or the essence itself> This is my first entry into aquariums and I could use some guidance. All the local stores/aquarium service companies have such conflicting opinions that I really could use your thoughts and a good tank supplier contact. <... you will need a "bull-nose tank" or such of about twelve feet length for now... three times that in time...> I am upset with myself, as business man I should have done more research and not put my faith in a Local pet store owner... who I might add after doing research on him after the fact I find out he has one of the worst reputations in his industry of steering people wrong and just making the sale. <Shameful...> I am here now and the mission is to right the wrong. Looking forward to your responses. Thanks, Darren <You can likely save money by doing a bit of investigating, shopping, haggling here... There are good companies... Tenecor in AZ, San Diego Plastics in CA... and many more that can/will fabricate a suitable (short term) habitat... but shipping... I would also look at your (metropolitan cities) "Yellow Pages" under "plastics, fabricators" and see if there are folks who make acrylic tanks locally... Bob Fenner>

FAQ from Darren 7/24/05 re BTR Sharks 7/31/05 Dear Bob, <Nic> Greetings!  My name is Nic Tiemens and I write to you out of concern for one of your shark enthusiasts and information seekers.  On July 24, a man by the name of Darren wrote to you with the unfortunate news of being misinformed by the local pet shop regarding the proper keeping of BTR sharks in a home aquarium.  As the co-owner of Infinity Aquarium Design in Manhattan Beach, CA, I come across these situations from time to time as I sporadically get requests for shark tanks from prospective clients that all too often have neither the necessary space nor the budget. <I see> It sounds to me like Darren's disappointment lies not only in the fact that the pet shop made a significant profit as a result if his lack of knowledge, but also that his vision of a "proper" shark tank was not done right the first time.  Because there is a handful of custom aquarium design companies here in Los Angeles, it is not surprising that people are literally shocked by hearing the parameters for proper shark keeping when they call my business for a consultation, and run as fast as they can to the nearest....I hate to say it....local pet shop where they are met with a much less expensive system and a handful of false information. <Chock much of this up to "human nature"... still, disappointing... We have folks who have written in repeatedly, pretty much with the same query... I guess hoping for the response they want to "hear"/read.> My knowledge and experience when it comes to keeping black-tips has taught me something that is very important and obvious to the educated aquarist: there is the right way and the many wrong ways to create an environment for sharks.  If sharks are what you want, be prepared to spend the money, dedicate the space for a very sizeable aquarium, and want to gain knowledge of this incredible species; it will only bring longevity to your livestock's health. <Agreed> With that being said, I would like to extend an offer to Darren to give us a call and discuss the revision of his shark tank.  I can offer some of the most creative, thorough, and correct ideas that the aquarium trade has to offer.  All consultations are free and if after meeting us and seeing what our company can provide he wishes to gather opinions elsewhere- we will understand. My work is my life and I hope that Darren will not give up on this hobby! My Best, Nic Tiemens Infinity Aquarium Design, Los Angeles 310.625.FISH PS.  I really enjoyed your site.  It's always good to find a well-built and thorough information source. <Ah, thank you all the way around. I will post your material in the hopes that Darren and others will contact you. Bob Fenner>

Blacktip tank size - 9/7/04 Hello, You have a lot of useful information on keeping black tips in captivity, but do you think you can give me some specific information on the size of aquarium they should be housed in. <Sure can. I thought it had been mentioned before but to be more specific we are talking about a wide and long rounded tank and not very high. Somewhere in the vicinity of 4000-6000 gallons per Blacktip. Seems extreme but we (Monterey Bay Aquarium) used to keep two Blacktips (juveniles) in a 1500 gallon tank and they outgrew it in a year!!!>  You mention quite a few times that they need a "large" aquarium, but can you be more specific. <Stated above> I currently have a 1000 gallon aquarium and I would like to order a black tip in the very near future. <I justifiably feel that the Blacktip will outgrow this in a year or less>  I know that I cant keep the shark in this tank forever <I am thinking a year at absolute most> which is why I am making plans to build an extremely large tank in my fish room. <A very conscientious decision that I can appreciate....and so will your shark>  I have been told time and time again that the tank needs to be "large" but I need some specifics.  Wholesalers tell me that my current tank is big enough but I am skeptical. <A wholesaler and retailer will tell you anything within reason to get the animal out of their tanks and money into their pockets. Not in all cases but it seems a frequent trend. Knowledge is power. You are using your abilities of reason wisely, my friend.>   Can you please tell me the recommended size and shape of the aquarium? <As stated above. Also, be sure to supplement your sharks diet with vitamins. We use Mazuri (www.mazuri.com) Vita Zu shark/ray tabs. Thanks for your valuable question -Paul> Thanks

Blacktip Reef Shark Dear Bob, <Mike D here, filling in> I have read most of the articles on your web site and found it to be the most informative resource on keeping Blacktip Reef Sharks in a home aquarium. I have a 530 gallon saltwater aquarium in my house and so far I only have one Blacktip Reef Shark in it (18" long).<This would seem too small for a black tip, with their swimming habits and peculiarities making them only truly suitable for larger, round tanks in time.> The owner of the shop who built the aquarium for me suggested that I introduce some Picasso Triggerfish into the aquarium and assured me that the shark will not attack them.<I can't see why he would have told you that as nothing that I'm aware of would indicate that this is even mildly feasible.> Last night we put in four Picasso Triggerfish (4" long). I was horrified when I woke up this morning to see that the Shark had massacred the Triggers.<Blacktips normally hunt by night with finely tuned senses that enable them to detect sleeping fish and literally dig them out of the LR. Granted, the "trigger" fin of the Picassos is an evolutionary adaptation to allow them to "lock" themselves into crevices as a defense against just such a predator,  but to work, there has to be LOTS of LR piles in such a manner as to create mazes and nooks that the shark simply can't get into. Without LR arranged so, the triggers would be fillet on the half shell, as would almost any other fish, the Blacktips being the masters at this  type of hunting.> Was I wrong in introducing the Triggers into the aquarium?<I would appear so> What other species can I introduce into the aquarium with the Shark and how many?<This is dependent upon many things....the size and type of the other fish, the amount and arrangement of the LR and many, many others> Is there any type of shark proof fish?<Two that I know of, and neither of which are available or particularly appealing, the Hagfish, an eel-like shark relative that produces amounts of slime so copious as to be almost unswallowable by anything, and a flounder from the Mediterranean called the Moses sole that seems to have evolved the ultimate shark repellent, so complex that they still haven't been able to unlock the secret.   In my estimation, adding LR would help as long as it's not open and airy looking, with the requirement being fortification rather than aesthetics, while any fish attempted need to be at least as large as the Blacktip and/or able to worm into the LR and not be dug out. The final condition, of course, would be feeding.  If the shark is very well fed just before or as the lights go out, the odds of tankmates being gobbled in the night decrease dramatically. While sharks have unbelievable digestive capacity, it's not a particularly fast process, much like a snake. The kicker, of course, is that you have a small juvenile shark, meaning it has higher dietary needs to take into account the fact that it's trying to grow.> I would greatly appreciate your help on this.<Sorry I couldn't be more encouraging, but you've chosen an animal that specializes in eating fish and are keeping it under sub-optimal conditions, OK for now, but very temporary as it grows.> Amir Dajani

Blacktips with issues - 3/30/04  hi there  I have three Blacktip sharks in aquarium, I have 3000 litre (750 US gal) aquarium. One of them (sharks) has a very thin white layer on his right eye <Besides the obvious here...that your tank is entirely too small for a Blacktip let alone three I would need more information on your setup, water chemistry, pictures would be a great help>.... what to do? <not really ringing a bell> How to treat? <Need to know more about the symptoms and environment first> the others have a white scratch on there bodies. <Picture would be a big help here. Again, this is too ambiguous a description for me to be of any help> pls help. <More info on the environment, pictures will really help. From what you describe it could be physical damage. Other than that, I really can't offer any more help, sorry to say ~Paul>

Black Tip sharks - 1/23/04 Paul thank you for your insight.....I have chosen black tips or possibly white tips, but likely black tip just because they will stay a little smaller I am planning on a 70 inch adult animal. (is this adequate?)<Roughly speaking, yes>  I have definitely not gotten a lot of positive feedback on having a couple sharks both from the web and some local retailers... <I agree with them. You don't really have my support either to be honest> The shop I have been doing the majority of my questioning with appears to be willing to take on the task, however they to are trying to persuade me to do a reef tank......<Good idea> I am a diver and would love to see a great white in person (me in a cage) any resources you can recommend on black tip education? <Well, not really any one per se. I have found the price for a 14 inch juvenile to be around $1000> have been told they will eat about anything but should be fed human quality fish from the local seafood department? <True. We feed ours squid and smelts or an equivalent fish, no sardines or anchovies (fatty fish) as you want to prevent the shark from getting too fat. Additionally, you want to supplement iodine to prevent "goiter". Look for some type of multi-vitamin "Shark Tabs" made by Mazuri. Again, I highly recommend something other than a shark tank. Just talked to our shark expert at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and he related to me that just for one black tip shark it would likely require a 2000-3000 gallon tank for one black tip. ONE!!! He said more like 10000 for two and 20000 for three due to aggression and their cannibalistic ways. Imagine that for a moment. I bet it is starting to get pretty financially unviable now, eh?? As far as a site for keeping sharks, I really don't have one source but maybe some of the aquariums around your area? Ummmm......do some searches on the web and again, rely on no one person for you info. There are books out there. Try this link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1890087572/104-5199566-3996718?v=glance. Do your research man and take your time. Think long and had about what you are about to undertake. Most of all, think of the animal. I believe they are best left to the ocean and looked at via diving and public displays at AZA accredited zoos. Palau has some great dive sites chocked to the brim with black tips, white tips, greys, and silvers on every dive plus many more. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is opening a new exhibit dedicated to sharks and rays. Become a member of your local aquarium. Check it out! Money well spent without the re-occurring high expense! ~Paul>

Black Tip Reef Shark Dear Bob, <Hey Holip> Just wanted to say that your photos are amazing! <Glad you enjoy them> I am thinking of getting the black tip shark for my home.  There are currently a couple of them in my local LFS, sized around 14 inches. <Mmm, I wish you would think a bit more about this... not easily kept in home aquariums> The aquarium I am planning to set up will be 120 inches (L) x 40 inches (W) x 36 inches (H).  Is this aquarium sufficient in terms of size? <Not for long (enough). This fish could be as long as this tank is wide in a year or so... or much more likely, dead from being too cramped.> If they do outgrow tank, how long before they do so? <Generally don't "outgrow"... but die as a consequence> How fast will a 14-inch black tip grow? <Depends on feeding. 1-2" per year the first year or so> Thanks in advance for your time on this. Best, Holip <Please give the shark sections on WetWebMedia.com a good read over here. Either consider a less "sharky" shark (e.g. Bamboo, Epaulette) species, or better still, other groups of organisms. Bob Fenner>

Black tip sharks 9/1/03 Thank you for your time.  I appreciate your valuable service.  <all good, Eric. And I sincerely appreciate your understanding and taking the standard issue knocks <G> given out to new shark enthusiasts. Heehee.. its kind of a tough love gauntlet to run... but it does (hopefully) prevent some folks from buying a shark they can't handle (yet) before they are better prepared/informed. I must say, I honestly do not discourage the keeping of any animal that is not threatened, as long as it can adequately be cared for> I will not waste anymore of your time until I have thoroughly researched this subject by reading the book, visiting a few aquariums, and joining the society.  <excellent to hear... and I do believe that you will succeed after arming yourself with such knowledge. The journey as you study is at least as much fun :) > I have another undertaking at the moment anyhow (my 300 gallon tank).  I am just trying to plan ahead for an addition on my house!!!  Thank you very much for your time.  I will let you know how my endeavor goes.  You have started me on my way!  My first email should have just said: "Please tell me where and how to research the Blacktip Reef Shark." and that is all! <you are indeed on your way... the bibliog.'s of most any book really hold a wealth of knowledge that few folks pursue. Don't be shy... tap university libraries for these references... and make a vacation to San Diego if you must to visit the Scripps library. Outstanding oceanographic archives. Best of luck, Anthony>

Black-Tip Reef Sharks The tank is 5.5 feet wide and 5 feet tall and 12.5 feet long it is in oval shape like this. I was also going to move about 100 GPM. I am going to check my water condition 2 a day like my other tanks and keep my water conditions around 75.45 F and if this moves or changes including all other systems the computer will page me. The size shark I am thinking about getting is going to be about 22" long because smaller fish tend to get sick very quickly with little warning to you. I am going to use a UV, sand filter, a skimmer and a wet dry and possibly a fluidized bed filter and a bag filter. Please email back soon. Thank you, Sean Stalter <<Well, you certainly sound well prepared. And likewise, I'm sure you understand that the shark you want will not stay 22". Regardless, you sound quite determined... and well invested in this system. I'm sure it will work well enough. I'm not exactly sure what you wanted me to say. Good luck. Cheers, J -- >>  

Sharks and Rays in Aquariums
Gaining an understanding of how to keep these fishes in captive saltwater systems   

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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