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FAQs about Shark and Ray Eggs, Juveniles, Reproduction in General 2

Related Articles: Sharks In My Living Room?, Coldwater Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Port Jackson Sharks, Blacktip Reef Shark, Nurse Sharks, Cartilaginous FishesMoving Sharks

Related FAQs: Shark Eggs, Young 1, Shark Identification, Shark Compatibility, Shark Behavior, Selection, Systems for Sharks, Feeding, DiseasesColdwater Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Heterodontus, Moving Sharks

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

Banded coral shark egg     8/31/17
Hi there my question is.....i have a shark egg was seeing lots of movement and now it has stopped for a couple weeks now. as of today every time i check on him its floating around the tank. does this mean he died?
when i
held him up to light air bubbles came up when i tilted him.i can see he is about a inch and a half long .but don't see any movement. feeling bummed!!!
Please give me ur input. Ty colleen
<... I would shy on the side of conservation here... Wait a week more. Bob Fenner>

Banded cat shark 3 week old acting strange. Hlth.; nutr.           6/13/16
Hi WWM crew,
I have a banded cat shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) that I had hatched from an egg. I haven’t seen it totally eat yet but it has snapped at my grabber when I put squid in front of its face a few times and the squid seems to go missing so you’d assume it had eaten. This only happened once or twice though and I have tried to feed it prawns, scallop, squid, mussels and krill.
<Do please read on WWM re Thiaminase poisoning/B avitaminoses. The diet needs to be enlarged, altered (whole non-fatty small fish esp. added)... plus vitamin supplemented. Are you familiar w/ the Mazuri line? Search on WWM Re
It has never really shown any interest even if I put the food in its face. It likes to hide in the caves and is quite inactive a lot of the time. It breathes every second or so at a healthy rate, it has no cuts or abrasions or redness and looks to be healthy. it is currently about 8 inches.
I have tried soaking the food in Selcon and garlic guard, the other fish eat it with no problems. (other fish currently only a regal tang, fireball angel and a leopard wrasse)
Tank is 200 gal, 25 degrees Celsius usually, no nitrates or phosphates
<How are these rendered zip? This could be an issue... chemical filtrants
or ammonia (obviously).
I found the shark upside down today and thought it was dead, I flipped him over and he moved off a bit, was still breathing but seemed sort of asleep. He has been acting sort of ‘asleep’ in the same area of the tank at the same time of evening 2 or 3 days in a row now. He hides in the cave during the day and every time I check back to the tank he is in one of his 3 usual spots. He doesn’t exhibit this worrying behaviour during the day, just for a few hours on an evening around 8-9pm for the last 2-3 days.

I am baffled by this behaviour. My priority concern is getting him to eat now, my next concern is why would he be upside down and not wake up or move even though he was breathing steadily whilst upside down! do they sleep?
I read they are nocturnal.
I have tried fooding a plethora of foods at different times of day.
How would I test if this was a ‘grounding issue’?
<Gone over on WWM>
I live in England and don’t know if plugs are different in the US but aren’t all plugs grounded? our plugs are all “earthed”
<Mmm; your other livestock has not been mal-affected; so I discount induced current issues>
I have tried to include all the info you may need here to rule things out so sorry for the length of this email.
<Let's review: You're to read re young shark nutrition, Mazuri.com vitamins for sharks, the mis-use of HPO4 and NO3 removing methods... on WWM. Write me back if you have further questions, concerns.
Bob Fenner>

Question (Reef compatibility). Baby sharks      1/6/15
First I just want to say thank you for all your education on your website per the numerous issues that can occur while having a hobby such as a reef aquarist.
I have been in the saltwater reef hobby for almost 6 years and have been quite successful for the most part (Except the first year). I will always go to your website for any question I may have and normally will always get my answer but every once in a while I don't get that exact answer I was looking for hence my e-mail today. Here is some
background on my equipment and inhabitants I keep in my reef tank (Interested in your opinion at that as well)
I have a 210 gallon reef aquarium with a 75 gallon sump w/refugium, Skimz SM203 protein skimmer, LifeReef calcium reactor, 200IBS LR, live sand, and MH/LED lighting. Reef system has been running for about 4 years with very minor issues in the past.
As for inhabitants, I have a Emperor angel, Blue angel, 3 Chromis, Yellow tang, Blue tang, pygmy angel, bi-color angel, Flame angel, Rock Beauty angel, 2 clown fish, six line wrasse, blue star leopard wrasse, neon Dottyback, numerous Nassarius snails, and sand sifting/serpent sea starfish(s). I only am able to keep a few corals (Some Stony corals, green star polyps, and birdsnest coral)
All fish & inverts have been in tank either a year to 4 years.
Somehow I have been successful with keeping all of them which I credit that to the many caves and hiding spots I made an of course my disciplined water change (10% twice a month). Now my question.
A friend of mine sold his house and needed to get rid of his tank, equipment, inhabitants, etc. I did not take anything except 2 items (Or  risk my wife divorcing me;)).. He had 2 shark eggs that needed a home and I was the only friend he knew that has a big enough tank to take them. As of now I have recently put shark eggs in my refugium (Sand bottom). There are 3 baby clown fish (Clown fish had baby's) and yellow wrasse in this refugium along with a lot of micro algae (40 gallons-middle of 75 gallon sump). I will be upgrading to a 300 gallon tank however I will not be
purchasing/setting up until June of this year due to my renovations I'm doing on my basement of house.
Once these shark eggs hatch (Assuming in a month), can I somehow get them to survive 6 months in my main tank with all these inhabitants? Do I even have a 50% chance?
<I'd move the other fishes; lest you lose them to the sharks; but otherwise they should be fine here.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Question (Reef compatibility)     1/7/16

Thank you Bob, I have been reading your comments about many other reef aquarist's issue's for many years and I do appreciate your insight and time reading these questions (Especially mine, lol)..
As for moving the fish, I couldn't do that until June this year however my plan was to get the 300 gallon going and put the sharks in there with maybe the Emperor and Blue angel, I would leave the rest in the 210. I was just hoping with the sharks smaller size in the beginning that they might be ok for 6 months in my main tank (210).
<They will/would be; just sans the clowns and wrasse (which they may eat). Sorry for the confusion>
How fast do you think they could grow in 6 months if I'm feeding then 2-3 times a week?
<A couple of inches likely>

I have a coral cat shark and a epaulette shark. Repro.      6/24/15
I just added the epaulette shark about 10 days ago because the original owner couldn't take care of the shark. This morning the epaulette shark laid an egg. Since they are different sharks I didn't know if the coral cat could reproduce with the epaulette shark.
<Ah, no... the egg was developing months back>

Also if so when would I be able to determine if the egg is fertile and how.
Thank you
<Only time going by; your careful observation... see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

bamboo shark hatched          3/30/15
I have recently had a bamboo shark egg hatch and the baby looked ok upon arrival. What I have concerns about is that the baby bamboo just lays in one place for days and pants heavily and seems lethargic.
<This is what they do>
I have picked him up
<Don't do this>
in the tank and tried to gently coax him to get active or show signs other then just laying there, I only did this a couple times as I didn't want to overly stress the poor thing. He is in a 55 gallon for now, salt level at 1.022
<Too low... I'd keep the spg at near seawater strength/concentration (1.025-6)>
and temp at 76. I have a skimmer and a power-aerator with good circulation. nitrates and nitrites are good.
<... see WWM re>
I don't know what I should do to help this baby shark and have found nothing on the internet to pin-point this problem if it is one. The shark is now 5 days old and it still hasn't changed in it's condition.....any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you Michael
<Do review all we have archived re young sharks. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo shark egg       1/22/15
Hi, I've had a shark egg a while now, when I first got it it was a very small shark inside and you could see the huge yolk. I got it around the 10th December 2014 and as I write this it is 22nd Jan. I know this isn't long enough for it to be ready but the yolk was getting noticeably smaller and recently the shark seems to be huge and the egg is a lot fatter.
However, in the past week the egg has started to get this white stringy stuff on the outside of it as though it's deteriorating.
<Might be; might not... there's not much digestible in the egg case itself>
I wiped a bit off with my finger and candled the egg and I can no longer see a perfect shark and yolk shape. I can see the tail very well and the tail fins, I definitely saw the tail fin move a bit but otherwise the shark has been a bit lifeless for a long time (it can barely move in the small egg because it is now big) I fear the shark is dead. The egg does not float
<They don't... unless it is dead>
though and has always been attached to a veggie clip 2/3rds up the tank in good flow as advised.
<I would not use a clip... better to just wedge the egg case somewhere out in the open>

I have Googled this white stuff and not much comes up about it. The egg sometimes appears to wiggle about but that could be down the flow somehow. Any advice would be great but I do recognise that my explanation is somewhat vague and erratic, it's a very hard thing to explain.
I have attached a few pretty useless pictures too..
Here you can see the white stuff, it was very stringy before this.
This is the shark when I first received it in December, it was incredibly active at this point.
This was the shark on 9th Jan
Few details: 6ft tank now, 200 gal system.
Perfect water quality, never had any issues.
Local aquarium (4 miles away) have a huge shark pool and hatch their own eggs, they agreed to help me when the shark is too large or if it gets sick. They readily accept donations.
<To their credit>
Thanks for any help you may be able to give, I am fully aware the shark may be dead but need confirmation.
<I would not give up just yet... You will definitely be able to discern if/when this egg is no longer viable. Bob Fenner>

Brownbanded bamboo shark sick      12/20/14
I got my bamboo shark when he was in a purse, watched him hatch about 4 weeks ago,
<Ah, congrats>
and have taken care of hi m since. I had him in an 80 gallon
<Will need more room>

tank with healthy levels of pH, salinity, etc., he had healthy eating patterns (three times a week- small pieces of shrimp),
<And more than this. See WWM re Thiaminase and feeding small sharks>

and he was very relaxed (pretty much stayed put during the day, moving sometimes). Then, I brought him into another tank where I could take care of him over break with healthy pH, salinity, etc. However, here he got attacked by crabs overnight, and I took him out in the morning when I saw, put him in a bucket with an aerator, and brought him home to my new tank with nothing but a couple of large rocks to hide under and a pipefish. He seemed healthy yesterday, but today he started looking strange. I fed him some shrimp like usual, but he didn't eat, which I just assumed was because he was acclimating to the new environment, but he looks like his brown bands are discoloring a little bit and he is breathing very deeply, very quickly. I know there is enough oxygen because along with the filter, I put an aerator in underneath a rock. His dorsal fin, anal fin, and tail are chewed up on the back and I don't know if he is in pain or what to do.
<Just provide good care; stable and optimized water quality>
He also is swimming very erratically. He will start swimming back and forth and sort of turn on his side briefly while swimming, then turn back over still while swimming. I am very concerned also because my pH dropped significantly over night from 8.4 to 8.0.
<Not good.. pH is a base 10 log... this is a huge swing>

Also today shortly after I put the food in the tank, he did this weird thing where he lifted up his front and looked like he was throwing up some clear fluid that looked like snot, and a lot of it came out. I don't see any red spots on his stomach. Is it possible that he has ich?

He looks like he has about 5 white spots on his nose that aren't sand. I also don't have any sand in my tank as I had to set it up immediately because of the situation with the crabs attacking him. If you have any advice that would be so helpful because I am really scared that he could be sick, and I don't want him to die.
<Reading for now. Bob Fenner>

Preserving a shark egg case?     10/29/14
I work at an aquarium and today I found a non-viable zebra shark egg case.
I would like to preserve it to use as an education prop. I've seen the finished product before but I can't find any info on the process. Do you have any info or links? I would really appreciate your help!
Best to You,
Jodi :-)
<Mmm; I wish I had online access to some of the larger biological journals (to look up); am guessing that either 40 plus percent (80 proof) alcohol or formalin (10%)... let me refer you here:
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Bamboo Shark Egg's yolk looks runny     8/25/14
Hey guys,
I just bought a Bamboo Shark Egg earlier today and place it on a 30 gal tank after 2 hours of acclimating. Since i am well aware off the max size of this species, i have a 650 gal fowlr tank ready once it hatched and fully weaned on prepared food.
The problem is that, when I flashed a light on the egg sack, I did not see any round egg yolk nor any shark moving inside. It looked like the yolk might've been 'burst' and also it looks 'runny'. Is this an early stage of
the shark being develop? or it's a dead one?
<I wouldn't discard this egg just yet... it may be fertile, intact>
The pictures attached is the best shot i can show you.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

White spotted Bamboo sharks fighting or mating?     4/26/14
Hope all is well. The tank is doing great and all the sharks are as healthy as can be. Largely due to the info on your site. I have two male white spotted bamboo sharks that are 26 and 27 inches. I noticed a few months ago that they began what looked like fighting.
<Might be>
One would grab the others tail and drag it around the aquarium and latch on the pectoral fin and stay locked for 5-10 minutes or so. I was very concerned at first when I saw this but noticed neither of them have any injuries from this at all. It was happening several times per week. (This is where it gets weird). I also have a 26 inch short tailed nurse shark female that I am taking care of for a few months and one of the sharks starting doing the exact same thing with her. Again no injuries and none of the sharks seem stressed out at all. The nurse shark was dragged around the tank a little by her tail and he (white spotted bamboo shark) held on to it for about 15 minutes. I have researched this for months and can't figure what is happening.
<Reproductive behavior>
I am now contacting you because this is the first time it has happened with a different species and sex housed with them. I also noticed my brown banded bamboo male (19inches) was involved somewhat with what was going. He was nosing the female nurse shark in the side while the other male held on the tail but he never bit her at all. After reading everything on the net I can find and the breeding section in Michael Scott's book I am still lost and need your vast knowledge. Are they fighting or is it possible that the two males are not sure of each others sex and is it possible that one of the male white spotted bamboo sharks is trying to breed with a female short tailed nurse shark?
<I think you are right/correct on both counts... playing leading up to repro.>
Thanks for the help.
Shea Bailey
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: White spotted Bamboo sharks fighting or mating?

Is it possible that a male white spotted bamboo shark can breed with a female short tailed nurse shark?
<Can do the genetic intromission bit; but not produce young>
From what I have read the Short Tailed Nurse Shark is oviparous but I do not know if it is possible for them to breed with one another and deliver pups.
<Highly unlikely>
P.S. AquaC skimmers are awsome just as stated on your site. I have two EV1000's on my tank and they are great.
<Ahh! BobF>

Banded Cat Shark Feeding     4/2/14
I’ve been reading some posts on your website and can’t really find the answer to my question. We have a 75 gallon saltwater tank,
<Too small for a shark>

started out with live rock and live sand. Toxin levels were all perfect when we got our first fish, 2 damsels and a shark egg (thinking it wouldn’t hatch for another month or longer!) and some snails and hermit crabs.
The shark hatched (we were sad we didn't see it happen, he was just all of a sudden there) after less than 2 weeks in, so we rushed to the store and got some krill and squid
<See WWM re Thiaminase>

to try to start feeding him. The shark has been hungry and eating well from day one. Until now we have given him a half krill or equivalent small amount of squid every day. When we see the other fish stealing a small piece we don't feed them to prevent an ammonia spike (we used to feed the damsels a few flakes every other day before the shark hatch).
Now that the shark is a week old and eating well, we want to know if we’re doing it right. We’re also wondering how often and what amount we’re supposed to feed him. Many sources say ‘just a little bit’ and ‘not too often’, which is not very specific and not helpful at all. Not that we didn't do research about feeding and raising a shark beforehand, we would just appreciate your opinion on this topic.
<The amount and frequency... are best judged by the "fullness" of the specimen. You want it "just full"; not concave nor convex>

Thanks in advance, Nicole
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Banded Cat Shark Feeding      4/2/14

Hi Bob, thank you for your fast reply! Then I believe we're giving him enough to eat, because it seems like he's still waiting to get more when we're done feeding. We know our banded cat shark will outgrow this tank, so we are already planning to get a bigger tank in the future and turn this one into a tank with coral. Kind regards, Nicole
<Do re-read the FAQs on WWM re shark feeding... read what is presented on Mazuri.com; consider borrowing/reading my book on captive sharks on Kindle if you're a member (for free). BobF>

banded shark egg. Need HELP ASAP     9/7/13
my husband bought a banded shark egg it was in the store for over a month.
Tonight the shark stopped moving inside and he asked me to open it,
<... Not generally a good idea...>
when I opened it the shark started to move around but still had yolk attached to it, when it backed up into the egg sac he closed it to the best of is ability and rehung it from the side of the tank as the store owner told him. I don't want it to die should I just leave it hanging or go ahead and let it out? Please respond ASAP as the life of a baby shark is on the line.
<I would leave it, all as it is. Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Newly Hatched Marbled Cat Shark    9/7/12
My marbled cat shark hatched last night, and appeared to be doing great, she even ate a few moments after emerging which I wasn't expecting her to do so soon, but was pleasantly surprised. I went to check on her this morning, and she didn't appear to be breathing, so I panicked and positioned her in front of the power head, and she started to breath again.
Is this something I should worry about, or is this behavior normal for a newborn?
<Not unusual. "Don't panic!". Bob Fenner>
Re: Newly Hatched Marbled Cat Shark    9/7/12

Thank you so much, I have had sharks in the past, this is my first I have hatched on my own, so I wanted to be sure.
<Welcome. You may well benefit from reading on WWM here:
and the linked files above. BobF>

baby Indonesia cat shark  8/1/12
Hi. I have read your EXCELLENT  blog for 2 hours now and see that a large portion of questions are repeated. I haven't seen any questions related to my species and therefore had to send you this e-mail. Sorry if I missed any answers and am wasting your time but, We just acquired a baby Indonesian cat shark from a web site for aquatics in Yonkers N.Y. ( Never comfortable doing this! I know. Husbands choice.) And when we had asked about the size given the picture on said site was extremely small, We were told not in specifics of measured length but that the Pict. was an older one and that this shark was a small but decent size larger than that of the Pict. We have 3 others that range from 6 inches to 18 inches all bamboo family types. Which was why we had asked. Well this one arrived very well packaged and seems healthy, but, maybe 2 inches in length! Uh a toothpick in comparison. No sack left and no swollen belly so I want to make sure she eats. She is in a nurse tank inside our regular tank so no one decides to have an extra meal, so feeding her although will be a slight challenge, moving the nurse tank to reach it each time, It will be done until she is large enough to be set free with the others. We were told she was eating from the seller. (But we know how that can go.) However I have never seen a cat hatch so small .
<Me neither>
Now I've never  had this particular breed either so is this a normal size?
<I'd guess so... as the fish appears healthy>
 I know they reach about 2 feet at adulthood.(This egg must have been the size of a walnut. Would have loved to have seen it.) How fast give or take does this species grow?
<Can be quite quick if fed often/daily... an inch or so a month or so for the first year>
Assuming that she is a normal size for this species, She is so small I find it hard to believe that she can eat live shrimp as they seem to big for her.
<Try live brine/Artemia, other small chopped up sea protein>
 Im afraid to try. I don't want her to get discouraged from eating altogether. It will also be a major pick to find them small enough. We do have a recently found place were we can catch live shrimp fresh from the ocean as often as needed due to a failure of 3 pet stores being unable to receive them for purchase at this time. I have no problem catching them right now but soon when the weather changes maybe not so well Im not sure.
Any recommendations? We have Krill, Brine shrimp, Baby Brine(too small), Clams, shark formula, squid, silver sides, (Which I can also catch live), etc. You name it we got it!
<Chop up... small pieces, offered right in front... change water out after>
We have it all. Our fish and sharks eat better than we do. Variety is the success in our home. but I want to know what live feeders are best for something so small. Or suggestions on healthy frozen foods. Do bait shops carry the same frozen quality of silver sides as pet stores?
<Often so; yes>
Lastly, Now maybe a stupid question but, asking you, I don't believe this is true as I've seen male cats in eggs before ( gender noticed easily) but, It was told to me by another aquatic seller that male gender doesn't show until sexually mature.
<Not so>

Now, we have a 5 or so month old black banded and he's definatly a male.
And to young to be active which is why I don't necessarily believe that but, the baby we received today seems to be a female. Is it possible that isn't the case?
<Can be sexed by claspers, or lack thereof at a very  small size.>

Not caring we love it anyway. But curious. Any and all incite will be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long E-mail. And all the questions.
Thank you,
<Welcome; and thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re baby Indonesia cat shark    8/1/12
hey Bob
sad to say the baby  Indonesia cat shark  died today around 4:00 am total size was 4'' long female way smaller then my egg hatched banded cat was
<Thank you for this follow-up. DO report back to whomever sold you this animal, and urge them to in turn contact their supplier on back through the line. Sharks this small should NOT be collected. Bob Fenner>

Parthenogenesis in Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks   11/8/11
I have a female White spotted Bamboo Shark in a 96"x30"x30 360 gallon aquarium. She has been in the tank since November 2010. The only other shark in the system is a female Coral Catshark. She was approximately 16" when purchased and is now around 20". About 6 weeks ago we started seeing
egg cases around the tank, so we gathered them up and hung them in veggie clips on the front of the tank. The first case or purse was empty. I believe they call this a wind egg. Of the three others we have collected, all have yolk sacs. One egg today was found to have a live embryo.
My question is this. How common is this or do we know yet? How would one go about trying to get this certified as a virgin birth? Is it possible for the female to store milt a year or greater for use later?
<I do think the latter is the case here; i.e. this female copulated w/ a male ahead of your acquiring her. However, there are believable accounts of parthenogenesis in sharks, including this species:
and others. Thank you for your query. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parthenogenesis in Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks  12/6/11

Thanks for your reply. Since our last communication, we have collected a total of 14 eggs. 9 of them seem to have healthy looking yolk sacs. The original live embryo is about 1.5 inches long now and many features such as eyes, gill slits, and fins can be seen. This particular egg somehow has managed to get a bubble of air in it. Will this be a major problem and if so is there something I can do to remedy it?
<Mmm, some folks advocate puncturing... making a stent of sorts... I like to "anchor" these by just placing under a stable nook/cave so they don't float out...>
 As for the question of parthenogenesis, the plan is to hatch the sharks and determine their sex. Right now there are four live embryos at different stages of development. If just one turns out to be male the question is answered. All females then I think I have institutions that are interested in further investigation.
<Thank you for this update. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo Shark Baby, sys.    10/29/11
Hi guys,
This website has helped me over the past few months. I have a 400 gal FOWLR Tank and we are currently building a house with a custom 1000 Gal FOWLR Tank. I have to send you pictures when all is done. Earlier tonight my baby bamboo shark hatched and to my surprise was very active. I quickly noticed I had a question that I have yet to find an answer to, can you have to much water flow "current" for a baby bamboo.
<As long as it's not getting tossed around, no>
I noticed that he would get in the path of the circulation pumps and would get tossed for a sec before he would move out of the way. I have moved the direction of the water flow more to the surface so not to bother him.
<The surface, producing a gyre, is best>
Is this normal and something that he will learn to deal with over the next few days?
<Shouldn't be an issue>
thanks for any and all help. Wish me luck getting this little guy to eat.
<See WWM re>
He has no yolk left but does have about 2 cm of cord left and his belly is plump so I didn't even attempt that tonight. Sorry for the rambling just very
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bamboo Shark Baby, sys.  11/1/11

thanks for your response. one last question for you I and ill leave you alone.
<No need but please run your writing through spelling and grammar checkers>
He likes to kind of move sand around and make holes, which I've heard is normal, my only concern is he always has sand on his face and right by his eyes. So will the sand getting in his eyes have a negative effect and if so how in the heck do you fix that? Thanks a lot
<Use suitable substrate mostly... and/or not worry re. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bamboo Shark Baby   11/8/11

Thank you guys so much with everything that you guys do. After nearly 2 weeks of my baby not eating..I witnessed him put down two little ghost shrimp tonight.
<Ah good>
the ghost shrimp were not intended for him but were more of a treat for one of his tankmates but either way...I now know that he has had something to eat. I am fully aware that this is not a everyday diet for him and I am still going offering the shark diet, shrimp, scallops, and squid that I purchased. But if he is at least eating the ghost shrimp intermixed with my attempts with the other foods, will he be ok.
<Hopefully so>
Other than that everything is going great. He is extremely friendly and has become friends with a tang that resides with him, you almost always see them together. While I've got your attention. I love the way trigger fish look, but know that they can NOT be in a tank with sharks, but on a recent trip to my LFS I was told that blue throat triggers are very passive and do well with sharks. Have you ever heard of that???? Again thanks for the help.
<Of Balistids, the genus is about the best... but still no guarantees. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bamboo Shark Baby  -- 11/08/11

Thanks a lot. No guarantee is not enough for me.....I'll stick to my Naso and scopas tang.
<Ahh, you show wisdom. BobF>
Re: Bamboo Shark Baby, fdg.   11/20/11

Just thought that you guys would like to know that Venom the bamboo shark took some frozen foods today.
I've been hand feeding him ghost shrimp and he has got very comfortable with me. Well today he was a lot more active than normal and it looked as if he was searching for food, moving sand around a lot...so I took a piece of shark food
<What is this?>
that I purchased cut a small piece off and went to stick it in the tank.....before my hand was even fully in, he was swimming toward it and took the food right out (I think he though he was getting some shrimp).
since he just ate yesterday I only gave him 2 small pieces and he ate both of them. So all in all a VERY good day. Next feeding I will try some scallops. Thanks for the time
<Welcome. B>
Re: Bamboo Shark Baby    11/21/11

The shark food is made by ocean nutrition:
<Ahh, thank you. Am familiar>
krill, mackerel, salmon, squid, clams, shrimp, tuna, fish meal, vit. E and C Vit b12 and D3. I also have Human Grade Shrimp and Scallops to use as well. Any issues with the Ocean Nutrition Food?
<None whatsoever, but I would be using a good vitamin supplement. My fave Mazuri(.com).>
The LFS that I use have 2 very beautiful Bamboos, right around 3 feet long. They said they use that food as well as several other foods.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Bamboo Shark Baby    11/21/11

Good to here <hear>. I will make sure I order some. Thanks for any and all help. I have really enjoyed having him and he has become more than just a fish in a tank.
<Ah yes. B>

Epaulette shark breeding and behavior  12/11/10
Hello all!
I am intent on breeding various sub-species of Epaulette sharks. Currently I have 6. From largest to smallest : a 36" male Hemiscyllium ocellatum, a 28" female H. halstromi, a 28" H. ocellatum, a 26" make H. ocellatum, and two 14" female H. halstromi. I have two 550s at 6x4x3 high and another 550 at 8x3x3 high in addition to two 7'x2' H 400g agricultural tanks.
I have too many questions to ask in this format. I've read Scott Michaels' text, obsessed over and contributed to these pages and those at SharkRayCentral, MonsterFishKeepers, and others. I've spoken with the gentlemen at Tropicorium at length (they have successfully bred multiple species of benthic sharks.)
<Likely Dick Perrin... we're well-acquainted, have been to his operation, seen the side business of shark breeding there>
I want to know who is the expert. I imagine someone at a public aquarium in Australia would be a great source (as they are indigenous to their seas.)
Maybe B-Fen (trademarked) has some insight... I understand that these are likely friends, co-workers, and acquaintances or yours
<Mmm, unfortunately no>
and will provide them the greatest in respect. Essentially, I need to know WHO I need to know to pester (used lightly) via email occasionally. I sincerely appreciate the wealth of information here and your time as well. Feel free to call me personally at 205-276-XXXX if you like.
Happy Holidays!
<General husbandry questions, pathology, you're welcome to send our way.
Commercial reproduction? I don't really know anyone else who is in this field. You might want to run down the member list of the ASIH, write them for further referral: http://www.asihcopeiaonline.org/
or the AES: http://elasmo.org/
Bob Fenner>

Need help with Shark care   10/28/10
Hello to the crew of WWM.
Let me start by saying I have always been a huge fan of ocean life....and especially sharks....I have wanted a shark since I was 13....20 years later I couldn't resist. I have an 18 month old who I took to a fish store with me one day and he decided
that he really wanted this bamboo shark they had and a snowflake eel by continually saying...."I want dat" his words. So....we have an eel, his name is Dah....yes dah. On with the reason for my message.
<Not good choices to house together>
I am new to shark keeping, not necessarily to saltwater. I have had saltwater tanks for almost 3 years and in a rush purchased a Banded Bamboo shark egg....then like the impatient person I am I ordered a
Marble Cat Shark. But now I am left with tons of questions. I have been reading through this site for a few days now (I know....should have done the research first) trying to obtain as much information as possible. I found the links to Mazuri and ordered the 5M24. I am curious if I need the gel too?
<Mmm, no; the tabs are fine alone>
The problems....when I ordered the egg and then the shark the guys told me that they wouldn't ship for over a month which was ideal because I am picking up a 240 (96x24x24). Problem is that they shipped the egg within 2 days. I only have a 60g cube (24x24x24) so now I am in a panic. I can see the shark in the egg and I can tell it's only about 3 inches or so and the yoke is a bit smaller than a ping pong ball.
<Plenty of time...>
I can see he is active, which is good, but I am concerned he is going to hatch before I get the new tank set up. As stated my current reef is almost 3 years old. Water parameters are in line (PH 8.0, Sal 1.025, Calcium 600,
<Too high... way>
Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, ammonia 0) I do know that even the 240 is small and plan on building a larger tank in the next year. This is probably impossible to answer but how long do I have before he hatches?
<More than a month, unless the temperature is also way high>
Are there any issues I should be aware of with the 2 different sharks in the same tank?
<Mmm, not these two... if kept fed>
Big question is, I found out after the fact that I was mislead....the guys told me the banded bamboo would only get 24 inches....now I am reading 40.
<Likely yours will not/ever exceed two feet>
Then, I got an email saying that my "Marble Bamboo shark" is being shipped. Well that makes me nervous too because I wanted a CAT shark that only gets 24 to 27 inches....not another 40 incher.....is there a difference between marble cat and marble bamboo?
<? Yes... one is Atelomycterus macleayi, the other Chiloscyllium plagiosum... some places have the common names confused>
I would imagine for the time being, with it only being an egg the 60 is ok for now. I just hope I can get the 240 up before it hatches.
On with the immediately relevant questions....first up....the egg. When I purchased the egg the guy told me to just place it in my sand.
<What? No>
But after reading I am hearing, or reading, that suspending it is a better idea. Do I suspend it close to the bottom or the surface?
<Nearer the surface is better... Use a "veggie" clip... a foot or so down from the water surface>
I ask because I have a 250w DE HQI that only sits about 4 inches off the water and I don't want to cook the baby. Also, I have a Melanarus Wrasse, Snowflake eel, Hippo tang, Lawnmower blenny, Niger trigger, serpent starfish, skunk cleaner shrimp, 2x tiger tail cucumbers, and various snails and hermits in that tank, I know that I need to pay close attention to the trigger when the shark is hatched but do I need to worry about the egg?
<Hopefully not>
Are any of those other fish going to pose a threat or become food?
<... you don't want to have a baby shark in here>
I keep seeing these video's with people cutting their shark out of the egg.....is this recommended?
<No... only if absolutely necessary>
Seems like a bad idea. How hard is it going to be to move them, I say them assuming they are going to send the marble early too, into the new tank? Do I acclimate the sharks just like fish?
<They are fishes>
Are there any corals I should avoid housing?
Why are lionfish discouraged with sharks?
<May eat them or get stung by them>
Thank you very much for your time and assistance. I have heard very good things, and read very helpful information here so I look forward to getting some guidance. I am an active member on several reef forums like Reef Central, Reef Frontiers and others, but shark information is kept to a minimum on those sites as they typically focus on corals.
P.S. Bob....from what I hear you are the MAN!
<We are the fish men! Bob F>
Re: Need help with Shark care Follow up Questions MikeV's go 10/31/2010
Thank you guys for your input thus far. I do have some more questions though....
<Hi Eric, MikeV here, Bob is in Fiji>
1. Why are the Bamboo Shark and the Snowflake eel not good choices for tank mates?
<For the same reason most of your other fish are not going to be compatible - eventually, one is going to injure or kill the other. In this case, eventually, the shark will kill the eel.>
2. Was my Calcium too high at 600?
<That is extremely high. Anything above 500 is considered dangerous. You run the risk of causing a 'snowstorm' and having all of the calcium precipitate out of the water. This drops the alkalinity to dangerously low levels, pH drops as a result, at best, it would stress your fish, and likely kill the shark. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm I would suggest getting the water tested using a different kit. If it is truly that high, you need to bring it down slowly.>
3. Why would mine not exceed 2 feet?
<They rarely grow to their full size in captivity, unless of course, you have thousands of gallons.>
4. I suspended the egg using one of my Mag float scrapers...is this ok?
<Should be fine.>
5. When I listed the fish I have, Bob had commented that I "don't want to have a baby shark in there" Can you please explain this a bit more? Which fish are the issue or is it the shark?
<It is very likely that the fish will pick on, and possibly kill the shark when it is a baby>
6. I know that sharks are fish, what I was referring to was the acclimation process....is it any different for sharks than your average tang or wrasse for acclimation? Should I do a slower acclimation or the typical process?
<Typical process, you just have to be VERY careful moving them. It is easy to cause internal injury to the shark by moving it.>
7. Why should I avoid all corals in the tank with the sharks?
<A 1' shark is going to weigh more than all of the other fish in your tank combined. Think 'Bulldozer' Sharp coral skeletons and the like can easily injure your shark, which frequently causes infection and ultimately death. Also, some corals and anemones are pretty noxious and can sting\poison...>
8. Why are Lionfish discouraged as tank mates?
<Lionfish sting. The danger is the lionfish stinging the shark when the shark is young, or the shark trying to eat the lionfish and getting stung.>
The reasons for all these questions is this. I planned on starting off the new tank with just the sharks....
<A very good idea. Get it up and running ASAP.>
Let them get settled and let me figure out what all I am up against as far as maintaining a healthy environment for them with water parameters and so on.
<The water parameters should be kept at 'reef' quality. Sharks do not tolerate nitrate. Keeping the water quality this high is made more difficult because sharks are very messy eaters\defecators A large sump or better yet, a refugium, a phosphate reactor, and a very good skimmer should be considered an absolute necessity. As the sharks get bigger, a nitrate reactor could be considered as well. Additionally, there should be nothing electrical or metallic in the tank. Sharks are very sensitive to stray voltage and will normally cause them to go off feeding http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm. You also cannot discount the possibility of them chewing through the electrical cords.. The Vortech powerheads work very well for sharks, as all of the electrical components are kept out of the tank: http://ecotechmarine.com/ With a large enough sump\pump setup, you can dispense with powerheads completely>
After a few months I was going to start with adding a wall along the back that provides over hangs and caves....the rock "wall" would in no way reduce the amount of sand space available to the sharks. But it would allow me to have some corals and such.
<You should have some live rock in there at the start, it will help the tank cycle much quicker. Shark tanks are frequently done with an 'island' of live rock in the center. Sharks HATE square corners Since round tanks are very expensive, you can block off the corners with live rock to make caves and overhangs>
Is the potential chemicals released by the corals that is bad for the sharks?
<In a small tank yes. They are much more sensitive than 'normal' fish are. It can be done, but understand that the shark can plow through them, destroying them, likely injuring itself in the process (for stony corals). Soft corals would be a safer option, provided you have a good amount of carbon in the filtration system to soak up any toxins they release Most soft corals are less likely to sting as well..>
I started having my "Shark tank" built but wanted to run the dimensions by you guys to see what your thoughts are. I am thinking of going with 6 feet x 6 feet x 24 inches high....is that sufficient for happy, healthy sharks?
<That is a nice size to keep two sharks. If it isn't too late, I would make the tank 30" deep rather than 24" This will give you an additional 135 gallons of capacity, as well as a bit more stability with your water parameters. You will also want to look into some sort of covering. For a tank of this size, plastic screening works well - sharks can jump. What is troubling to me is the fact that you have made no mention of filtration. As I alluded to earlier in this letter, you will need a large filtration system to successfully keep these sharks long term You will want at least a 10x turnover in water, a large sump\refugium and a very robust protein skimmer to keep these sharks long term. If you need further help, write back, I have some experience with 'home shark tanks'>

Banded Cat Shark Egg 9/3/10
Hi. Have been researching on the Internet for a couple days and cant find the answer to this question. I am a preschool teacher with over 30 years experience in marine aquariums. An old fashioned 150 tank was recently donated to me. I am setting it up to hatch a Banded Cat Shark egg for my class. Here's my question.... I am wondering if anything can harm the egg...
like some tiny brittle stars I have found in the live rock..
<Usually not...>
also, could I put a couple hermit crabs in there?
<Small ones will likely be fine>
Since I have your attention... any special way egg should be placed.. on side, near water flow, etc...? Thanks a bunch! Teacher Kim
<With some flow about/near it, but not especially vigorous. Bob Fenner>
Re: Banded Cat Shark Egg

Thank you for your time and answer! The children are very excited as our egg arrived yesterday afternoon! I currently have it attached to the side of the tank with a power filter gently flowing on it.
<Ah, good>
Small, apparently white, baby about 2 inches is active inside! I immediately noticed a small bubble inside the capsule.
<Not to worry>
I called to check on this and was told that it was normal and helped egg to float around in the ocean to make sure the babies were dispersed over a wide area. I started checking on the computer and have found conflicting information regarding this. One site actually said I should gently put pressure on the capsule to expel the air.
<Don't do this>
Sounds logical... but also dangerous.... I will use your advice... Thanks!
Also, Id like you to know that this shark will hatch into it's own tank, 6 ft. long. Tank has very fine sand with small amount of live rock forming a cave for it and excellent protein skimmer plus other filtration. I
decided on this project because all my children are sooo interested in sharks!
Forget my 55 gallon reef tank! Lol My goal with these tanks' is to instill a love of the ocean and its creatures so that hopefully these children grow up and help to protect it! Sorry for rambling! Thanks again!
<Please do peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
the second tray... Esp. re baby sharks/reproduction FAQs. BobF>
Re: Banded Cat Shark Egg 9/3/10
Thanks again! I'm so glad I found you! I checked the site you referred me to and actually I had read much of it the other day before I sent my first question! That's what made me feel like I could actually trust your
answers. I think were set for now. THANK YOU!
<Ah, certainly welcome. BobF>

bamboo shark... no info.   8/30/10
I have an important question about bamboo shark eggs, I currently have one . and he has a month before he is hatched ,
also there is a clear mucus forming at the bottom of the egg, please I need to know if he's okay ,or I can do anything .
<Can't tell from this description, lack of data... What re water quality? Any movement of the shark w/in? Have you read here:
and the linked files above? Do so. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo Shark Egg, using WWM, reading  5/9/10
Hello, I just purchased my first Bamboo Shark egg. I have browsed other resources for information particularly on the basis of feeding and providing the proper nutrition during and after hatching. I have read that iodine should provided in their diet to minimize the chances of gout...but, where can I get that and how should it be administered?
<Posted... Learn to use the search tool/indices. Am off visiting in a place/country w/ too slow a Net connection to "hold your hand">
I am currently only adding Zoe(vitamins,etc)to the Brine, Mysis and Ghost Shrimp for the other critters in the tank. I have a few Lions, Marine Betta, Indigo Snapper and an octopus(separated) that I feed as well. What other supplements will this baby need?
<Also posted... See WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

banded cat shark, juv., hlth... may be nutr.  -- 02/02/10
I have a banded cat shark that hatched in October. She has been very active, night and day, and has always had a very good appetite. I usually feed her shark formula by ocean nutrition, but sometimes mix it up with frozen clams.
<Mmm... and vitamins, iodide/ate supplements?>
I have always fed her everyday; just half a cube of food. She stopped eating almost 2 weeks ago. I have tried feeding her squid during the night and the day to perk up her appetite, but there's been no response. Her color hasn't changed, but her respiratory rate has gone up. I checked my water and the only thing that tested positive was nitrates at 10 ppm. My salt is at about 1.025, and I always top off with fresh water. None of the other fish are having any symptoms like these. My first theory for her loss of appetite was when I bought two new fish for my tank, they were attacked by a territorial damsel and killed. When I noticed that I had no ammonia count
<Mmm, this could be "it"...>
in my tank, I figured that she had been eating the remains of the fish since I had never recovered any of the fishes bodies. I wonder if an Anthias or a honey damsel could have given her a toxin to cause her feel this way.
<Not likely, no>
I've also heard of force feeding which I might be willing to try after two weeks of starvation,
<Best to avoid>
but my tank is a couple feet deep which makes it impossible to grab her. I don't think I can persuade her to eat any kinds of vitamins.
<Marine fishes "drink" their environment... so, adding to the water will get a (diluted) amount into them>
Is there something else that I missed that might be worth trying? I'll do anything for my Shelia. Thanks for reading!
<I suspect a nutritional deficiency syndrome here... Please put the string (of words): <shark nutritional deficiency vitamins iodine goiter>
in the search tool on WWM here: http://wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm
and read the cached views. Stat.
Bob Fenner>

please help with a shark egg... thanks   1/31/2010
I have a bamboo shark or a banded brown shark and its still in the egg but is fully grown and has no yolk sack or umbilical cord attached to the belly.. Is it not eating anything anymore and should I cut the egg open a help it out.
<Not advised>
The egg is still completely sealed with no signs of opening at all please help I dont want it to starve...
Thanks TIM.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Shark hatching with yolk still attached????   1/22/10
Hello, I am relatively new to marine aquarium shark keeping but we all have to start somewhere. I have been doing lots of research on how to keep The black banded bamboo shark and from what I can find on the net, I couldn't know more about them (well that's what I think). So I purchased a Bamboo shark egg from my LFS a couple of months ago and low and behold, the little thing hatched. He will be joining my Regal Tang, Maroon Clown and my Zebra Moray ell in my 300gl tank.
One thing surprised me when he hatched and I couldn't find ANYTHING on the net which explained it. He hatched with a pea sized yolk still attached.
This baffled me and I would like to know what's going on, will the shark be OK?
<Yes, likely so>
For safe keeping, I have made a large egg capsule for him because I was completely stumped on what to do. The shark itself seems fine, no sign of stress or anything. Is this normal and am I just being overly finicky, I hope so.
<Is normal>
Any help on the matter would be very much appreciated as I would love, for mine and the animals sake, for my first shark hatching to be a success
<Do give a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaq2.htm
and the first linked FAQs file above in this series, for background.
Bob Fenner>

zebra shark, Juv.    1/23/10
My baby zebra shark hatched out of its pouch today how long will it take for the "placenta" to come off of it?
<Days to a few weeks... mainly dependent on water temperature, how far along it was developed when it left the capsule. Bob Fenner>
Re: zebra shark
Thank you
<Welcome... Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaq2.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>

Need answer asapp. Selachian egg rescues   1/18/10
two days ago we found four shark eggs on the beach
<... return them>
two of them actually had the embryo in it with sharks attached we have them in a bucket of seawater with an oxygen pump one of the sharks is a pretty reasonable size and it has a crack at the bottom of the egg the shark
is still attached to its yolk sack should we open the egg and let him out even though he is still connected?
<No. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm
and the linked files above.
Bob Fenner>
Re: need answer asapp
so should we return them back to the ocean or take the to the Warner sea center near by?
<Re-read the last msg. B>

Banded shark egg   1/10/10
I have had a banded shark egg for about 3 weeks now. I candled it
<Mmm, how? And why?>
the 2 days ago and I everything looked fine the shark was swimming and moving around.
To day I went to candled it and I couldn't seem to find anything inside and when I placed it back into the water it seemed to have some white liquid dripping it. Is the egg dead?
<Likely so>
Anything I can do?
<Remove it if the casing is empty>
Thanks Nick
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Floating shark eggs -- 11/16/2009
Hello. Your site has been quite helpful to me over the years, and I just spent the last few hours searching through it. I have a comment rather than a question. I have hatched several bamboo shark eggs over the years.
Actually have one now that I just got yesterday. On one of your posts someone was questioning "burping" the eggs. And another was about the egg floating. And the answer given is that the egg is empty or the shark is dead. But occasionally when the LFS pulls the egg out of the water, or the aquarist, it looses some of the water from inside it. And then it will float because of the air in the case that was replaced by the water. It
just happened to me yesterday at the store. But the case is not empty and the shark is very much alive. All you have to do is GENTLY "burp" the egg, so to speak, under water. Just slightly squeeze it a few times. The air will be forced out and replaced by water and it will no longer float. Just don't want people to think because its floating it's dead and throw it away. Or for them to just leave it floating around with all that air in it.
Keep up the good work...
<Thank you for this useful input. Will accrue/share. Bob Fenner>

EGG CASINGS   9/9/09
wow that was quick! i did not expect a reply that fast.
sorry about that.
<No worries>
I came across your site while doing research. It's a great site and I learned a lot. My problem is my young son came home from the beach with a jar full of shells and inside the jar were two black egg casings. I recognized them, but I am no expert, I'm guessing that they are either Skate or SAND SHARK/DOGFISH.
<Could well be>
He was on the Jersey shore at LONG BEACH ISLAND and I know these species are in abundance there. The casings seem to be fully intact. Fortunately the jar was full of water. My question is does it pay to go through the time and expense of trying to save these animals?
<Mmm, up to you>
By what I read on your site it is quite a chore to care for them. I would release them to the wild when they are strong enough.
<Uhh, please don't do this. Returning most anything to the wild when raised under "captive conditions" can be a huge error... introducing here mainly unwanted microbes into a novel environment>
They have been in the jar for three days now as of this writing.
<W/o aeration, circulation, filtration?>
I do have a 20 gal. low wall tank that is not being used at this time. My curiosity has the better of me now and as previous owner of many fresh water tanks and ponds, and a marine life enthusiast since a very young age ( big fan of Mr. Cousteau)
I would like to see the results. What is the first step that I should take? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help in this matter.
<I'd set up the aquarium with a sponge filter... water from the ocean likely... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/marsetupindex1.htm>
p.s. I have spoken to my son about not taking live animals from they're habitat. In his defense he did not know what he was taking.
<Lessons for all. Bob Fenner>

Black Banded Catshark egg     9/3/09
Hi guys. My boyfriend has been dying to buy a black banded Catshark egg for months now so I have been doing some research, but have found some conflicting information from different sources. Please help me clarify.
<Clarity is pleasurable>
Our tank is 125 gal. and contains a 12" Panther Grouper, 16" Snowflake Eel, 5" Shortnose Boxfish, a 4" Lawnmower Blenny and about 100 lbs. of live rock. I know this tank is too small for now but if we upgraded to a 300 gal. or so in the next year would this work and would the livestock be compatible?
<Likely so, though it may be hard to get food to the Eel and Shark. They will have to be attended to; "stick fed" individually>
Also is there some kind of sand sifter that you could recommend since the hermits would likely be eaten?
<Best to just provide
I am also wondering if some rock would have to be removed to give more open space. The tank is right next to a window and gets lots of natural light, would this be a problem even if I constructed a good dark cave for it?
<Not a problem>
Since the sharks produce more ammonia than other fish, aside from skimming and good filtration what could I add to help keep the ammonia levels under control?
<More and better filtration... fluidized beds are good in such high density, variable settings... along with means of eliminating the consequent excessive nitrates produced. See WWM re both>
And one last question, are there certain vitamins or nutritional additions this shark might need?
<Yes. See WWM re Shark Nutrition, and look up Mazuri.com's site>
Sorry for such a long list of questions but like I said in the beginning I was getting some drastically different "opinions" and I value your knowledge and input over all others. Thanks for your time!
<A pleasure to share with you; aid you in your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo shark twins!!! -- 4/30/09
Greetings all, long time reader, first time asking a question. I ordered a bamboo shark egg a week ago, and it arrived today with a little surprise... there are two embryos in it!
They both appear to be developing normally (although one is just a hair smaller than the other, but not overly so), and are both moving. My questions are; how often does this happen, what is the likelihood of survival for both or at least one.
<Akin to our own species, "doubling" can take a few forms... the twins can even be conjoined... Likely a non-disjunction event during Anaphase...>
I am somewhat concerned about them getting enough nutrients because it looks like they are sharing one yolk sac. If you know anything about shark twins, please tell me, I can't find info anywhere.
Thank-you for your time,
Mark Patmore, Phoenix, AZ.
<Mmm, put the words "shark twins" in your search tools and read on! Bob Fenner>

Shark Egg, reading  -- 4/17/09
Hi, I emailed you about a panther grouper the other day and asked a couple of questions. I got the levels in that tank checked and they are fine.
<Oh, great>
That is besides the point though.
<Oh, fine>
What I am emailing about this time is I have a banded cat shark egg in that same tank and I have had it for about 8 and a half weeks. The egg seems to have a small hole in the side of it but I have candled the egg, and the shark is alive. Could the shark be stuck inside the egg?
<Not likely>
Have you ever heard of a shark egg that has taken that long to hatch?
Should I do something for it?
Thanks again.
<Sure. Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaq2.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo Shark Egg + Allergy??? 04/03/09
I am writing because my husband has a 200 gal saltwater tank. I know nothing about it, other than it's big, takes up more space than I like it to, and sometimes there are cool fish to look at in there. (I stick to my 75 gal cichlid tank & my 29 gal saltwater BioCube).
He's had the tank for at least 5 years, and of course, have seen different types come and go. For some reason, he does much better with the aggressive species (Triggers, puffers, etc) than cute and sweet guys like I have (clowns, gobies, etc).
Anyway, the last of his fish died off in there several months ago, <Then why is he still getting more fish? I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound discouraging or critical, but these animals are not "cut flowers." I think your husband would be well advised to learn why his fish are dying off before he attempts to keep any more (especially a shark! which are very difficult to care for).>
and he had been debating taking down the tank for a while. Well, instead, he did a full water change and re set everything about 2 months ago. Then, about 2 weeks ago, did a water change and went to a our LFS and got a bamboo shark. (I'm kind of against this, as I feel that sharks are just one of the many animals that do not belong in captivity.) Well, I don't know how much research he did on them, but I now will be looking into everything about them as I am really against not caring for animals the right way.
Now, here's my questions. When he purchased the egg, it was that dark brownish color and you could almost see through the egg and see the shark on occasion. It's now looking kind of crystallized and grayish? Is that normal? Two days ago I could see the shark moving in the egg but now it looks like he's grown cotton puffs overnight?
<I suspect that the egg has died.>
Second, my husband moved the egg from one location to another in the tank the second day the egg was in there. He decided that it would be a better location for the shark to hatch. This is going to sound ridiculous, but ever since then, my husband's hands are swollen and red, and he's convinced that he got poisoned or is having a reaction from touching the shark egg.
Is this possible? I looked everywhere online and can't find anything about an allergic reaction.
<Yes, it's possible. People can be allergic to all kinds of things. If he thinks he's allergic to this shark egg, the best I can advice is that he be very careful with it and wear long gloves (or better yet, not touch it at all).>
Thank you for your time.
Reva H.
Sara M.>
Re: Bamboo Shark Egg + Allergy??? 04/03/09

Thank you, Sara, for your advice.
I want you to know that I must have worded my inquiry wrong, though. When I said the last of his fish died off, I didn't mean that they just up and died randomly. When we had the community fish in there, one of the fish we bought introduced parasites (we now have a quarantine tank, too)
<Ah, good.>
and killed off everyone. We tried it again with community fish but our hermit crab ate our tang and our angel,
<Hmm... what kind of hermit crab was this? I suspect that the hermit crab was framed... caught with the dead bodies after the fish had died from other causes. Most the hermits sold for marine aquariums are scavengers, not such aggressive predators. However, there are exceptions. Thus, I ask again, what kind of hermit crab was this?>
even though research and our LFS assured all would be okay in the tank together. Then, hubby switched to aggressive fish. Again, the little bastard hermit crab (which we wound up giving back after this incident) ate the porcupine puffer's spines off and who knows how long poor Puff Daddy was blown up (we tried to save him after we found him like that in the morning after waking up).
<Again... if this is any normal hermit crab, as are usually sold in LFSs...
I doubt it's to blame for any of these fish deaths.>
The Humu Trigger did die randomly, but all fish tank levels were okay and the Harlequin Tusk and Wrasse we had were fine. We had those two without any new additions for several years. I'm not sure what happened, but they did eventually die. Hubby's water levels were okay both times, and everything was working correctly in the tank.
<Well, this is a difficult hobby and there is a lot to learn. It does take time to come to understand these animals and their needs.>
Now, as far as the shark egg goes, is there a way to tell if it is truly dead or no? I do not want to remove it from the tank and risk killing it if it is not dead.
<I would hold it up to a light (briefly and not too close, don't cook it) and look inside. If you don't see a wiggling shark (as you did when you first got it), I would say it's safe to assume it's dead. But even if it had lived and did hatch, these sharks can be quite difficult to raise past the juvenile stages. I'd opt for a better livestock choice... something easier and more hardy (and better suited to aquarium life).>
Thank you again.
<De nada,
Sara M.>

Banded shark dying Please help!   3/21/08
I have just recently hatched a banded shark. It did hatch with sac and cord still attached. I had another shark years back and it hatched without this and was fine. I did a little research and confirmed that the sac would shrink and the cord would eventually come off. I did feed the shark a few squid drops
<Mmm, I would not feed a shark still digesting its yolk sac>
and could get it to take a single bite or two for the first 2-4 days.
The shark is now 7 days old. The cord is just about gone, but I am now very concerned. the sharks belly seems to be huge. It is sitting at the bottom of the tank on its side with not much movement. Is it possible that it never developed a complete digestive system?
<Mmm, not likely...>
Its breathing seems to be a little short. About every second. I am fearing the worst. I do not know if it is possible to help this newborn or if I am going to wake up in the morning and find it belly up. Could you please offer any help?
<Best to just try to be patient at this point. Bob Fenner>

Shark hybrids?  11/17/08 Bob, I do not recall dropping this in your box upon your return...my many apologies. I am very interested in your input, as I am sure many other are too! Scott V. <Thanks. Please see below> Subject: re: shark hybrids? Hi Scott Thanks for your reply. Well so far I haven't been able to dig up anything at all, which is remarkable since in almost all other groups of animal a lot more (natural)hybridizing is occurring than previously thought! Whales, dolphins, seals, lots of fish (teleosts), lots of inverts, you name it- they all do it..Inter specific and inter generic. Even marine turtle do it, despite some species being genetically separated for 50-75 million years! And a lot of them produce fertile off-springs! But, nothing on sharks or rays which I find a bit odd. Anyway, I will eagerly wait to see if Bob can enlighten us with some new information. Cheers Anneli <As far as I'm aware there no authenticated crosses between shark species. Folks have done a good bit of karyotyping, PCR investigation into Elasmobranchs... and there are anecdotal accounts of "virgin" and hybrid births amongst Selachians... but none authenticated scientifically as far as I know. Bob Fenner>

Cross breeding... twixt families of sharks  -- 09/12/08 Hi Crew, <Howdy> It's Ben here with florida tech. I was wondering what you all would say about a coral cat and banded cat cross breeding? <Doubtful> Do you think it can be done? <Mmm, no> We would like to discover what the F1 generation will turn out to be then breed them... We are still gathering up topics and ideas. Thanks, Ben <Be chatting, BobF>

Options... Shark... learning    8/23/08 I'm currently in high school and have been told that we have a set up currently in one of the rooms that I can use to raise a baby shark in. Apparently it has been done before so I know that it should work. I do plan on getting information on the sixe of the aquarium and take a look at the set up. Your sit is the only one that I have found that is of any help to me so what I would like to know is if there is any information out there on what I need to do to the tank water and if I should start from an egg or not. <Mmm, what is your intent? That is, what do you hope to accomplish, find out from this experience? Likely starting from an egg is a good, the best idea here> I only have the school year for this and plan on passing this project on if I can so that the shark wont have to be moved. I have learned a lot from your site and while I was wanting to get a bull <Carcharodon leucas? REALLY would need a very large volume...> I decided on the bamboo because of size. Can you recommend any other websites I should look at? <Mmm, none off hand, however, I do recommend you get, read Scott Michael's in-print volume on "Aquarium Sharks and Rays":; http://www.directtextbook.com/prices/1890087572 and make a pilgrimage to a large/r library (college) after reading... and compiling your husbandry questions> Also I don't live anywhere near the ocean so what foods would you recommend? <... posted> I really want to try this because I love sharks and want to work with them in the future so any information I can find is really helpful. Thank you, Crystal. <See here re your lit. search: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm and the linked files above. Do feel free to write us with specific questions. Bob Fenner>

Hello, I have had a banded shark egg - 7/1/08 Hello, I have had a banded shark egg for the past month and a half and he seems to be in good health (continuously growing).? He looks like he is about to hatch so I have a few questions. 1. The egg is clipped onto one of those algae clips at the top part of the egg shell. When the shark hatches, will this inhibit him from breaching out of his egg or will it not be a problem. <Shouldn't be... if the egg is clipped by an extreme end of the casing> 2. If the water quality is suitable for him to grow well in the egg, will it be pristine enough once he is hatched or will I have to make some changes. <If the volume is sufficient, filtration adequate... all should be fine here. You have read on WWM re juv. sharks? Bob Fenner> Thanks, Justin M.

Shark eggs debacle   6/26/08 Hello, I just got 2 banded shark eggs, both are the same age. (guessing) I candled them both once a week just for good measures. the one egg died, there was nothing in there. the second had a worm (assuming it was the shark or is) on the yoke. <?> yesterday i candled them and there was mush inside, and no signs of the shark. there was about a two week period that i didn't look at them. also a white cream is seeping out of the egg. Can you help with this issue or give me so advice? -jonny <... You got/bought two bunk eggs... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked file in the series above. Bob Fenner>

Re: banded shark... killing  7/11/08 hello, so I had bought two banded eggs, <Tommy, are you a non-native speaker, writer of English?> I wrote you and you said they might be duds. they were so the pet store just gave a banded shark aprox. 8-9 inches long. <...> the day I got it and put it in its new home it ate 4 ghost shrimp, the second 3 ghost shrimp. yesterday 1 and today none. the shrimp was live feed now they are starting to look dead. any suggestions on what to do? "<Fix your English and send all future corr. to Crew@WetWebMedia.com>" <... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm the "Shark" tray... Bob Fenner>

Baby bamboo shark.  6/12/08 I have a brown banded bamboo shark that just hatched yesterday, with the yolk still attached. I know not to mess with it because it will eventually fall off. <Ah, no... will be absorbed> But she really seems bothered by it, she keeps thrashing around. Is this okay? <Likely so... given that there is not structure that this fish can injure itself on> I have also heard that normal breathing for a shark is 30 to 40 gill movements a minute. She's breathing much faster than that. Will her breathing slow down as she grows? <Yes> Or is something wrong? I know it seems like I didn't take the time to research. But I really did, the problem is there is tons of stuff online about how to care for a shark, just not much about what is normal and what's not for newly hatched sharks, I'm not sure what to expect at this point. <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Baby bamboo shark. 6/13/08 I was up all night reading just about everything you have on here about raising sharks of any kind. I think I'm going to trying feeding her today, when I feed my other fish she shows great interest in what she's smelling. I'm glad her breathing is okay because when I counted she was breathing about 70 times a minute, but her breathing has been steady. <Good. BobF>

Banded Shark Egg 6/1/08 How can I tell if my shark egg is still alive? <Movement> I see movement of something in there but I cant make it out, it looks really small & kinda resembles a fish but looks more like a worm & the round yolk isn't round its more of an long oval shape & laying at the bottom of the egg is this normal or is it a bad sign? <The former> my LFS told me it will hatch in 2 months which tells me its early <Mmm... not early> in its development but was just wondering if he is supposed to be that small at this stage of the development? Thanks, Robert <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked file in the series. Bob Fenner>  

Baby bamboo shark "writhing" 5-1-08 Hello all - I have a question for you guys that has me stumped. <Michael> I have a female baby bamboo shark (~7" long) that I've had for a month in a 40 gallon breeder quarantine tank (bare bottom, some non-live calcareous rock) until I move her into her 110. It is heavily filtered with an emperor 400 power filter, wet/dry filter, PhosBan reactor full of SeaChem carbon, remora HOB skimmer (their largest one) and a large UV sterilizer. She'd been hatched a week when I bought her, and has been eating Selcon-soaked raw shrimp every 2 or 3 days and the occasional ghost shrimp until yesterday, when I tried to feed her and she didn't eat (which I thought was odd). Today she appeared to get 'stuck' between the rock and glass, and when I extracted her by moving the rock, she seemed disoriented and 'off balance' if you will. She is now lying upside down, seemingly constantly trying to correct herself, but not very successfully. She doesn't seem to be breathing very rapidly (compared to when I introduced her, say) but is breathing more rapidly than normal. I just performed a 50% water change, and added SeaChem's Stressguard. Parameters are 0/0/not sure because my test kit sucks but I imagine the nitrates are low/8.3/82F. <I'd allow the water to be cooler than this... for a few reasons... reduced MR, increased DO...> Ideas would be nice - I really like this shark, and had planned on buying her a large aquarium, as I've run across a really good deal on a large tank recently. Thanks, Mike <... Many small sharks don't survive the vagaries of development... Bob Fenner>

Re: Baby bamboo shark "writhing" 5-1-08  I'd try cooling things off a bit... 82 seems warm to me... 75-78 > probably being more comfortable. Power heads in the tank? They would > need to go outside the tank somehow... likely confusing for it.> > Those are my quick thoughts. Hope that helps.> > Cheers,> > J

Shark Egg 4/18/08 First of all thank you for having such a great website; it has helped me a lot. I recently purchased a bamboo shark egg from a LFS. I put him on my 55 gallon fish tank, my question is how long can I keep the shark after hatching in the 55 gallon before I have to purchase a much bigger tank? Thank you in advance. Gilbert Gomez <Not long, few months maybe. My suggestion is to return the egg to the store and set up the big tank, then get a new shark egg, will be easier and better for all involved.> <Chris>

Bamboo Banded Shark Umbilical Cord? 4/15/08 Hi, we recently purchase a shark egg and the shark hatched this past Saturday. Looks really healthy and swims in the tank a lot, very active and colorful. The shark has a small string like substance with what looks like a flesh colored ball on the end of it. The ball is about the half the size of a pea. Just wondering if this could possibly be the umbilical cord and if so will it eventually fall off. <Possibly (of a sort) and yes> We had a shark before but it never had one of these attached to it. Any help would be appreciated. Thank You, <A pic would help. Bob Fenner>

Black Banded Shark Egg   2/26/08 Hi Bob! About 6 weeks ago I bought a black banded shark egg. I have read through your FAQs leading up to this decision.... and have the required filtration, skimmer, sump, tank size...... My question that I have not seen on the Shark FAQs <which I have looked at for days> is that my shark egg was thrashing about.... preparing to hatch I assumed. Well now a week and a half after the main movements, it has stopped moving in the past 3 to 4 days. I have tried to do the candle test, but the egg is pretty thick and can hardly see through it. I was able to see the shark moving, but now I can not see mush or baby. Should I help the baby out? <Mmm, I'm inclined to encourage you to do so here, yes> Will it be dead if it has stopped moving after a week? Any incite on the matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much Grant <I would cut a slit in both ends of the egg-casing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Black Banded Shark Egg   2/27/08 Well if your inclined to say yes, any words of advice? Have you ever done it and how? <I used a single edged razor blade or sharp scissor, perhaps placing the egg case in a pan of water, outside the tank, to drain a bit, rinse out...> Also, I read somewhere in the FAQs last night that the shark could come into a lull period for up to two weeks prior to hatch... Was that before the magnificent movement of the egg from the shark? Thanks again Grant <Perhaps later... There are instances where I'm pretty sure that w/o intervention, these "baby" sharks would have been lost. Bob Fenner>

Cat shark Eggs...  - 1/24/08 Well I have searched and couldn't find anything relating to my question. I recently got 2 banded cat shark eggs. I ordered them online from a company in FL, That was the only place that had them in stock I could find. <They come and they go> My question is when I got them I candled them to check them out but there is no shark in there, only a round ball am assuming to be the yolk. Does this mean they are fertile or they have just not developed yet? <Likely the latter> Just wondering if I got ripped off or have a long wait ahead of me. Thanks! <Ditto. BobF>

Grey Bamboo Shark Egg, source   12/24/07 Hello, <Hi there> I've been reading through your FAQ's about sharks and have decided on a Grey Bamboo Shark. Was wondering if you knew of a good online source for eggs??? Thanks, Tom <The usual good companies... Dr.s Foster and Smith, the Marine Center... Bob Fenner>

Black banded cat shark... or such... reading   9//15/07 Hello crew, My cat shark hatched today. He is seven inches long. I wanted to know what is the difference between the black banded cat shark, and the brown banded cat shark. Are they the same species just different color morphs, or two separate species? <... the quagmire of common names... I doubt if by the former you're referring to http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=4304 but neither of the stated as "cat" sharks, but Chiloscyllium punctatum (Muller & Henle 1838), the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark. Mine has black bands. Also I read on Reef Sanctuary that his diet should consist of shark formula alone, and that it contains all the nutrients that it needs. Is this true? <Not... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Banded cat shark... cont.   9//15/07 Hello crew, It's me again. My banded cat shark hatched today. He is 7 inches long. I am currently housing him in a 300 gallon tank. Live sand substrate, canister filter, queen turbo skimmer, BakPak 2 skimmer, Skilter 250, 4 powerheads, and a 10 pound chunk of live rock. Is this too much filtration, or not enough. <Not enough reading. RMF>

Banded Cat Shark Egg... floating...    8/24/07 Hello. I just got my banded cat shark egg. I did the acclimation process correctly. When I got the egg in my tank, it was floating. After reading stuff on your site I realized floating wasn't a good thing. I can see the shark moving and breathing in the egg. Later that night I realized the egg sank to the bottom and again I realized that it sitting on the bottom wasn't good because it shouldn't be sitting on the sandy ground. I was wondering if I should make some thing to keep it suspended in the water or if floating or sinking to the bottom was ok. What would you do? <I would tether it down... with a bit of sewing thread or low-weight fishing line... looped over it, rock. Bob Fenner>

Banded Cat Shark, young, fdg.  -- 08/17/07 I have a banded cat shark still in its egg. I want to know what to feed it when its born? Any stuff that I can buy at a local grocery store or does it have to be live white shrimp or brine shrimp or certain live shrimp that has to be kept alive. Can I just get it small bites of normal shrimp, clams, squid, and mussels? Please give me any other information that you would find helpful for a first time banded cat shark owner. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Shark egg -- 08/17/07 Hello I have 300 gal tank with a 5" niger trigger a 7" panther grouper and a banded cat shark egg. My question is will either fish bother my hatchling <The Trigger, too likely> or should I move him to my 20g long hospital tank until he/she hatches and gains strength. Please help I couldn't find my answer on your website. <I would move this small shark when it hatches out... and screen it in the meanwhile. Bob Fenner>

Banded cat shark question, juv. fdg.   7/13/07 Guys, I KNOW I have seen this on one FAQ, but I have read bunches of them and cannot find it again. Bob answered some questions before for me, about the baby shark, initially in the 80 gallon with the Passer, dogface & yellow tang. We got our 200 gal in, got it set up. I used all new substrate, replacing gravel with mostly fine substrate, and moved my filter (& active media) and all the live rock at once. (Of course there is a skimmer, too) It's been two weeks and all has been well. Three nights ago, the shark ate an entire cube of 'Shark Formula' which I cut into small pieces. I watched him eat one at a time, consuming them all. The next night he did not feed, then last night he showed interest, nosed some pieces, and ate maybe two small ones. The other pieces he hovered around, and tried to mouth them, but without the typical aggression or desire. I saw on FAQ somewhere about another shark doing this. Since he is now approx 6 weeks old, and now 8 inches (I'd say he's added an inch to two inches in length), I'm wondering what his feeding routine should be. My opinion is that he isn't too hungry after eating so much. <Yes> His normal meal had been almost half a cube prior to that hungry night. Is this what you would think? Also, is this guy ready to scale back to feeding every other day. I've read all the feeding FAQ, and it says newborns should be fed every day, whereas older ones every couple of days, but not really sure when this might take place. Oh, and water quality is fine, 0 ppm of ammonia & nitrites, Nitrates less than 5 ppm, salinity is 1.021, PH is 8.2, and temp can run from 79 at night to 82 during the day. Once again, thank you. Thomas Roach <I would offer some food every other day. And add vitamins to such... as proscribed on WWM. BobF>

Floating egg, Hornshark  7/9/07 Hello Crew! I've had a horn shark egg since February and have been waiting on the baby to hatch. I placed it in my chilled system of 90 gallons (will go into my 400 gallon once he grows enough to not be eaten by others). He is in a little boxed netted area sitting in front of my return hose where he gets proper aeration and can be undisturbed. Yesterday the egg sort of began floating! <Does happen at times...> What should i do? <Mmm, either be satisfied with the current arrangement, leave it alone... Or move this egg to another setting... perhaps wedged twixt rocks below... I did notice it had a little crack on it and let some bubbles out of it. <Not necessarily problematical> Every time i did though some white stuff came afterward. I thought the egg might have been trying to patch itself up but have no idea. Its supposed to hatch in the next two months and now I don't know if it will. <Only time can/will tell> What should i do? Can't candle the egg because my lights are not that strong. Will try to candle under metal halides. The egg is never taken out of the water so it is always submersed, in the meantime here go some pics. <I would likely submerge the egg, as stated, place where it won't easily float free... I am more concerned with the possible lack of water/circulation should too much of it float above water. Bob Fenner>

Cat Shark juv. fdg. questions -- 06/08/07 Hey, guys, I browsed through the FAQ on feeding sharks, saw a lot about sharks not eating & such, but nothing really about this one... My hatchling is 2 weeks old, has started feeding readily on cocktail shrimp soaked in Zoe. Question is, how much should I feed him? Currently, he eats one per day. So is that enough or too much? I've heard conflicting reports, feed them daily, every three days, etc. Oh, btw, he's a banded cat shark! :) Thanks again!!! Thomas <Need more than this nutritionally... and the bio-assay of a non-concave "tummy" is useful here. BobF>

Re: Juv. shark fdg.   6/9/07 Hey, Bob F! (what's the F for?) <My family name; Fenner> Thanks for the reply on the feeding of the baby banded cat. I'm gonna be out of town Mon afternoon thru Saturday morning (Cozumel, snorkeling, etc.), and the Mom-in-law will be fish & daughter sitting. That was the reason for asking feeding frequency. She's gonna do it, I'm thinking if I feed him Monday, she could do it Wednesday & poss. Friday, but if she needs it every day I'll walk her through it. I want her in the tank as little as possible, and thought about not feeding the 4 days, but since it's still a 'hatchling' I want to make sure he gets what he needs. <Mmm... I would likely just risk once...> Also, the shrimp with Zoe was a stark, the little guy is now also eating the "Shark Formula", not a whole cube, I cut it into 8 pieces and feed him 4, after a cocktail shrimp he'll usually eat two pieces, then the puffer cleans up the rest. Now as far as the 'full belly' observation, my tetra's in the old lady's tank will eat and eat and eat, but we only feed once a day, not ten times. Don't want to overfeed, ya know :-) Thanks, Mr. F!!! Thomas <Do read re Mazuri.com's vitamins for sharks. RMF>

Shark Egg Questions  - 05/02/07 Hey there! <What's up?> Its me again! <Should I be concerned?> Wondering if my shark egg should look fatter as the baby inside grows? <Well considering the animal inside will go from barely visible (a few millimeters) to almost 7 to 8 inches in length...yes the egg will slightly expand and the animal will become more pressed for space; constricted as time elapses.> I think it looks thicker. I currently have my horn shark egg in my chilled 55 gal <Very happy to hear that "chilled" word....very good.> until it gets to a good size so he or she can go into my 400. <Wow...I'm liking you even more...you actually did your homework.> The egg is gently placed in a safe spot and has current flowing towards it to provide aeration. It is expected to hatch around sep. Any other tips? <Sounds like you're on the right track.> I can't candle it! Its too hard to see! <Flashlight at night!... Adam J.>

Port Jackson Shark (tropical in this case... Australia) Reproduction -- 4/29/07 Hello, <Hi there!> I have 3 Port Jackson sharks in a tank together. <Neat, I'm guessing/hoping that it's a very large tank!> I would like to know if they can be sexed.. <If they're mature, no problem. If they're young, it might be more difficult. Mature males have obvious 'claspers' located at their pelvic region. See photo at this link: http://www.marinethemes.com/aasearchfiles/Horn%20Sharks/pages/S04A02%2054639.html > ...and if they will breed in a tank. <I have heard of these breeding in captivity, but I'm guessing it involved very, very, large systems. I'd think that it would be unlikely in a home aquarium situation. These fish take a long time to reach sexual maturity, around 8 to 10 yrs for males and 11 to 14 for females. Many, simply don't live that long. Given the right conditions and care, though, it's always a possibility!>   Regards, Francis <Take care and good luck! -Lynn>

Bristleworm and Cat Shark Issues -- 4/17/07 Hello. <Hi there!> We recently hatched a small banded cat-shark in our 90gallon tank. (Don't worry, when he grows he will be destined for a much larger 240gallon) <Mmmm, hopefully that will be soon as these sharks grow very quickly in their first year. I wouldn't have recommended anything smaller than a 125g to start - for the shark alone!> Last night I had the flashlight out watching him feed on ghost shrimp, as his appetite has been hit or miss in the first few weeks. <Not unusual in a very young shark. Am concerned though, about its well being in a crowded community tank. Sharks, especially just out of the case, are vulnerable and in need of some quiet and care. A situation such as this could be very stressful/detrimental. Please watch for aggression (picking/nipping) from other fish, along with any signs of decline.>   While doing this, I noticed a few large orange puffs appear in the tank. I watched, and found some large (~3inch) bristle worms would stick one end in the air and "discharge" a milky orange looking cloud. I managed to film one of them doing this. <Neat! By the way, thank you for sharing this experience with us. It helps us all!> Then I noticed several of the smaller ones doing it on a much smaller scale. The entire tank became as cloudy for a bit.  Now, my questions are 1) What were they doing? <Likely releasing gametes/spawning.> 2) Was it harmful to the tank? <No, just added to the nutrient load.> 3) Our population seems to have really exploded since our arrow head crab died. <Yes, rapid population increase likely due to a nutrient problem, combined with the loss of a predator. Decrease/export nutrients and the bristleworm population will fall on its own, to more normal levels. Please see this link regarding nutrient control: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm.> I am hesitant to get another, as we have a fire shrimp and a red striped shrimp that I am worried would be no match for an arrow head. <Given the chance, the shark will eat these first, then go after any slow fish you have (mandarin).>   What would you recommend as a population controller in our tank? <(See above) Unfortunately, your tank is more than overcrowded, which is putting a strain on your system's ability to process the bio load (and it's only going to get worse as the shark grows). It's also not an ideal situation for the inhabitants. Please read these links for more information on shark keeping and compatibility: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkcompfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkslvgrm.htm> FYI, in addition to the shrimp and cat-shark we have the following: 2 blue damsels, 2 silver damsels a coral beauty, and angel, a yellow tang, a large clown fish, and a mandarin goby. Todd Aston <Take care and good luck! -Lynn>

Sexing Bamboo Cat Shark   3/31/07 Hi, read through the site to try and figure out how to sex the shark and got some useful info. <...?> Nevertheless im <im?> about to buy a second juvenile in an effort to breed them one day down the road and was really hoping that maybe there's a picture of these claspers which would be very helpful in determining what it is. <All over the net... see fishbase.org...>   Also my current one is about 10" long and im not sure if that's big enough to see claspers. <Is...> Also as a side note this shark lives with two eels and really likes to swim into their caves and usually gets stuck lucky for him or her i check each morning. <Need to widen these....> Built him his own swim through cave and he still burrowed under the heaviest rock in the tank.  My main question is if its capable of getting into a hole is it as a rule always able to get out and is just chilling when i wake up or should i continue to dig him out and rearrange until one day he gives up or just cant get in.  Thanks for the past replies and hopefully this one. <Can't tell from here... but if it were me/mine... See above. Sharks, cartilaginous fishes have/"do" internal fertilization... Males' claspers are obvious, extensions on their pelvic fins... Bob Fenner>

Please help, baby shark sick  3/28/07 Please please help me, my baby black banded shark is sick.  Water quality is normal for his system (a shared system of approx. 280 gallons) <Shared with?> which is ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 12, and ph 8.1.  He is only in a thirty gallon tank right now, <.... way too small...> perhaps it is time to move him up to a 55 <Also way too small> since he is maybe three months old (hatched in wholesaler's tanks, a miracle because the conditions were AWFUL!  It was one of those "poor baby, I will save you" deals, I know, I know, this is totally the wrong thing to do) I plan to graduate him to a 240 gallon, then probably close to a thousand gallons, maybe low and long. Anyway, this will not happen at all if I cannot diagnose his problem!  He would not eat today, although he has been eating very well. <?>   However, the only food I could get him to accept was silversides, <...> he will only nip at krill but will not eat.  I ordered some shark formula, but when I went to try to feed him some soaked in a little silverside juice, he was uninterested.  He wouldn't even eat the silversides, usually he gobbles the little shedded pieces up so fast his belly gets a little big.  (His belly appears wrinkled right now, I'm assuming this is why)  Then I noticed he appeared red and blotchy, and hurried to your forum right away to read up.  I saw you told someone to not feed silversides, <Not exclusively> but couldn't find where it said why or what you should feed, whole food wise. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The tray on Sharks...> Upon closer inspection, he has a small deep red area under his chin, a few millimeters, very small.  His head appears pinkish, and he is swimming irregularly. <Very bad signs> His substrate is CaribSea Special Grade, and he has been on it for a few months with no problem. Please help me, why is my baby sick? <In an inappropriate environment, malnourished... Period>   How can I help him?  I am a LFS owner, yet I love my animals very much, <Mmm, no... or not at least by my definition... IF you did care, you would take the time, invest the resources to know what the animals in your care required, and provide them... As a painful example... Our U.S. president claims he is a Christian... but in actual fact he is a liar, thief and murderer... Any of which exclude his Christianity> they are not just money to me.....I am in tears about this, and I really, really, need your help.  I have cared for these sharks before, at other stores, and have never seen this reddening of the skin get this bad. <Move this animal to a better world... NOW> The water was changed a few days ago, the normal amount, maybe 15%.  Everything in his system has been kept quite consistent, although I did add a 80watt UV Sterilizer about a week ago. <This won't save this animal> He already has a skimmer, media, liverock in other tanks in his system, I just don't know what else to do for him.  Ground probe? <No> Dip of some kind?  I am not going to just throw him in something without knowing it is what he needs, so please please help me diagnose this problem! Grace <Move it, and READ... Bob Fenner>

Shark Eggs 3/28/07 Hey guys! I just received my first horn shark egg and was wondering how I can candle it? Its hard to see inside because of all the curves. Also Where should the baby be located inside the egg? Middle, bottom, top? My system is chilled and the egg is about 2 months old. Im expecting it to hatch in late or early September. Is this right? <Do read FAQ's here and linked files above.  Should find what you are looking for here.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm> <<Mmm, no, not likely... the young should be visible... toward the middle of the egg... a flashlight held behind should do. RMF>> Thanks so much. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Horn Shark Egg  3/19/07 Hey crew! I was wondering what i need to do in order to tell if a horn shark egg had a baby inside <"Candle it"... strong source light behind... looking> as well as what to do to hatch it? <Suitable habitat... chilled, rock et all to hang in, circulation/aeration> I plan on placing it in my 55 gallon <Too small for long> until it gets a little bigger and can safely go into a larger tank. It will eventually go into my chilled 400 gallon system. <Much better> I know these sharks <Is this Heterodontus francisci? There are a number of sharks with this common name, some semi-tropical... but not the one from the Californias> prefer cooler water so no worries (all my tanks have chillers). I have been looking for a horn shark but this is my first encounter with anyone who has an egg and I've hatched a few bamboo eggs but would like to ask the experts and see what they have to say. I'm getting it from a local guy and he doesn't know too much! Thanks for all the help! <You've seen my survey article here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm Bob Fenner>
Re: Horn Shark Egg  - 03/20/07  
Yes it is Heterodontus francisci. It is from California. Now is there supposed to be movement in the egg at all times? <No, only intermittently> As I am told it is in the first trimester, there is not movement yet and it barley developed eyes. Is this correct? <Yes... barely> I do not want to purchase anything dead! Also how long until I can place him with other sharks biggest being 18" and the other being 12"? <Depends on the other species... The principal predators of cartilaginous fishes... are sharks> Both are docile but the 12" one is a little mean. The tank it will be in when it gets big enough is 8ft long, 3 and a half feet wide, and 2 feet tall. <Mmm, wish this were wider...>   As of right now I will hatch it in my 55 gallon. Should I purchase? <What?> Also it is said the egg is about 2 months old and still sort of soft. Is it supposed to be this way? <Mmm, no... all of the "Mermaid's Purses" of this species I have encountered have been chitonous tough...> Also would it survive shipping? <They are shipped... yes> What should it be shipped like so it can make it? what temp should the egg be keep around? Thanks <Best to read on WWM re shipping marine livestock... Insulated, light-tight boxes, double bagged, oxygenated... Much to state. Bob Fenner> Shark egg yolk shape  3/16/2007 Hi, i have just purchased a shark egg from my LFS and i candled it and seems to look like a blob of dark stuff inside, no way resembling a round yolk, is this normal for the stage of development??? I have read all the faq's available!! The LFS had this egg for about a day.  Is it normal to look like a nonsymmetrical blob???   Thanks <Not atypical... this food mass is quite malleable... Bob Fenner>

Re: Shark egg -- 03/17/07 Hi again,   I did take the egg back to my LFS where purchased and they examined it and it was indeed deceased.  I had them cut it open and it was a rancid smelling yellowish green goo.  I am glad i took it back and didn't waste my time.  thanks for the quick response! <Interesting. Thank you for this input; will post/share. Bob Fenner>

Newborn Banded Catshark   3/14/07 Hi, my banded catshark hatched last night. I have him in a nylon mesh basket (for baby fish) sunk in the bottom of the tank. I have him in the basket because I have a 6 inch Niger Triggerfish, and a Porcupine Fish. The Porcupine is a big baby, but the Triggerfish will bother new things in the tank for a week or so. <Mmm... the shark may damage itself on this basket... and moving about is important for its respiration and digestion... It needs to be elsewhere or the other fishes...> The baby is about 7 inches long and the basket is only 6 x 8. The guy I bought the egg from told me to leave him in a container for a couple of weeks after he hatched, <Poor advice> and  that I could even put him in a hamster ball in the bottom of my tank. <...> Should I leave him in a container of some sort to protect him from the Triggerfish,  or should I just release him? <... no> I have caves built and he started chewing on  a piece of Krill today. I just want what's best for him, and I couldn't find this question in the archives. Thanks for your time, Chuck........ Chuck McFarland <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked files above... And consider running down a copy of Scott Michael's (either edition) work on captive Chondrichthyous fishes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Newborn Banded Catshark ) 3/14/07
Hi Bob, <Chuck> Thanks for the email. I didn't get a response right away, <Real computer/Net troubles today...> so I went ahead and released him. He lays around in the caves a lot and ate some krill. I've been keeping the lights off quite a bit, my triggerfish likes to hide when it's dark. The triggerfish is always territorial for a few days, then he mellows out. <Do NOT take your eyes off of these fishes...> I already have Scott Michael's Sharks and Rays and his book on marine fish. The Sharks and Rays book doesn't really get into detail about raising the Catshark. I've been having more luck just researching on the internet. <Thank you for this input> I'll check on Amazon for his other book on captive fish. <Mmm, really Scotter has nothing besides the one work pertinent to sharks> Thanks for your help, I've been reading your forums a lot, I enjoy it. Talk to you later, Chuck.... <Any way to put a divider twixt the triggers and this shark? Really. BobF>
Re: Newborn Banded Catshark ) 3/14/07
Thanks Bob, <Welcome Chuck> So far so good. I kind of figured the nylon cage was a bad idea. If a shark needs a large aquarium, a baby needs adequate space. That's why I went ahead and released him. I'll probably go ahead and make a partition until I get the other tank I have cycled. <Ah, good> I really appreciate the email, and reading your advice in the forum has helped me a lot more than the Sharks and Rays book. It's a great book for general knowledge, but this forum is way more help on certain types of sharks. Keep up the good work. Thanks, Chuck... <Will endeavor to do so. Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

Baby shark food question   3/4/07 Hello, I'm the engineer on a split hull hopper dredge doing beach replenishment off of Morehead City, NC. Yesterday we sucked up a sand shark? dogfish? about 30" long. <Neat!> After passing threw our dredge pumps, she was very dead. To find what she had been eating, we cut her open and while inside, noticed that there was an embryo inside with the nutrient sack attached below its mouth. The embryo was noticeably trying to swim so we put it into a bucket of salt water and put the bucket in the engine room with the hopes that the warmer ambient temperature would keep the little fella warm enough. Today, 24 hours later, after changing his water out every few hours, he's still swimming around and appears to be trying to lose the sack. Does it detach naturally? <Yes... this group/family of sharks has the young feed w/o a "placental" like attachment... on the "egg yolk" as you describe, develop internally and pass out of their mothers when developed sufficiently to feed externally> If this occurs, what should we try to feed it? <Not likely for a few days... a good idea to offer meaty food items though... No shells at this point, but fish flesh, molluscs, shrimps...> We have various types of fish and shrimp in the galley, but we are also going to the dock tomorrow. Thanks for your help! Sincerely, Brian LeBlanc <Mmm, had a good friend in college named Tom LeBlanc... Oh, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Found Egg Case  - 02/15/07 Hi Bob, We were walking along to the tide pools in Pt Loma/San Diego a few weeks ago and found an shark egg case washed up high and dry on the sand. <Neat> The egg case had 2 leaks in it and was almost void of water but the baby was still kicking inside. I tried to secure it in a tide pool but didn't have any confidence it would stay there when the tide and surf came back in so we brought it home and set up a 30 gallon tank for it to hatch in. Undoubtedly it will outgrow this tank pretty fast and I don't plan on converting my 200 gallon tank back to salt at this time, but we just wanted to give it a chance to survive and see it born and then release it back to the sea. It's been very active, wiggling/swimming in the case for the last 2 weeks. The yolk is still about 7/8" of an inch in diameter so I doubt it's close to hatching. When I checked on it this morning I initially thought it had died as it was curled up and not moving but noticed it is still moving a little bit. I'm afraid it has twisted it's yolk cord and is strangling or something. It still appears to have a lot of room in the case. Do you have any guidance to helping it survive thru birth in my tank? <What little I know of such is posted on WWM> Also, I've been trying to find out what type of shark it would likely be from the San Diego, California area. It looks very similar to the lower photo shown below (of a "dogfish") Shark Egg Case with Embryos < http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/sharemed/targets/images/pho/t025/T025537A.jsm>   <A possibility, yes> Do you have any ideas what species it would probably be coming from here? Most of the sharks/rays we have inshore here are Leopards (live born?) <Yes> , Shovelnose Guitarfish (live born?), <Mmm, also ovoviviparous, yes> Smoothhounds (seen plenty in the bay but never in the local ocean beaches), Horn Sharks (different egg case). I'm stumped... <There are quite a few other possibilities... See Bulletin 157 Ca. Fish & Game> I also don't see how they get out of the egg cases as this one is tougher than leather. Perhaps when it was drying in the sun it became too tough? Is there anything I should do to assist it when it's time comes? <Mmm, the case thins with time... the animal needs no help freeing itself> And how would I know when it would be ready? <No way to tell really... perhaps another month given the appearance here of the young> Any assistance would be appreciated. Keep up the good work. Roger
<Life is indeed adventurous eh? Bob Fenner>

Live sand and bamboo shark, juv., sys.  1/29/07 Hello all, Ya'll have the best site possible, many thanks. I have a question concerning my  wanting to purchasing of a bamboo shark egg and place it in my 320 gal that I am currently setting up (custom job turned bad, but worked out for the better I guess).  I have read that elasmobranchs can play host to larva isopods within their gill slits as well copepod infestation. <Mmm... not starting as eggs as far as I'm aware> I have searched your website and really haven't found any true data.  But my question is if they are so prone to this infection, should I use live sand, because more than likely it will have such pod life within it? <All substrates become "live" to a degree... in the presence of live rock... but not with these parasites> I have not purchased the egg yet ( I haven't placed the substrate in the aquarium for that matter either and there is no livestock in it also) I would like to hear what you have to say first. Thanks, Michael <I would not be concerned with the potential for isopod infestation here, nor with the LS. Bob Fenner> Bamboo Shark Egg 1/22/07 Hi <Hello Michelle> I've had my egg for about 3 weeks now when I handle it I can only see a yolk. No movement. Is it dead? <Don't know, can't see it.  Read the FAQ's on this subject.  You more than likely will find your answer here.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm> Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Michelle

Shark egg... health   12/14/06 Good afternoon, crew. I have just the one relatively simple question. Recently i got a Brownbanded bamboo shark egg from my dealer and when I put it in my shark tank, I observed it's breathing was quite noticeable, the gills pulsing regularly. Yet now, when i "candle" the egg case, I am unable to see much gill movement, just a little twitch, at regular intervals, but very slight. <This rate is variable... sometimes related to water temperature, light/ing... other times seemingly unrelated to anything external> The day I got the egg, I'd added an extra powerful air pump on the far corner of the tank (with this plus my skimmer, I feel good about oxygen levels), and have the egg in a area of high water flow. Water conditions are near perfect. Is there anything to be worried about? <Mmm, not much that one can actually do anything about... other than provide propitious circumstances... good water quality, a dearth of metabolite concentration... Which it appears you are doing and are well-aware of> I appreciate your time, and your website is truly a gem. thanks. 15 year old Dinesh, from Singapore. <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Summat about a shark egg    11/24/06 Hey there.... Back  again with another couple of Q's. umm 1st shark egg with like a slit in the  bottom.. good or bad? and schooling Raccoon Butterfly fish, any info I just got  one with a 4in clown tang and yellow wrasse. any help is great. Thanks Morgan <... the slit may be of natural progression... You have read the FAQs files on juvenile sharks on WWM? RMF>

Bamboo shark egg   9/20/06 dear Bob, <John, beginnings of sentences are capitalized, as is the personal pronoun "I">             my name is John Jr and i have a bamboo shark egg that i believe is about ready to hatch ( yolk gone, fully outlined figure, constant movement) but i read in one of your FAQ's that a floating egg means the shark is dead? <Usually, not always> my shark is still moving but there is air in his egg do to a recent tank transfer. not sure if there is anything i can do or if he is on a course with death? please help?      thanks John <... with? I'd anchor this egg/juvenile and allow it to hatch out... if all the yolk is gone for more than a day or two... consider cutting open the case. Bob Fenner>

Shark Eggs, Lots of Required Reading 8/23/06 Hi, great web site. <I like it too> I use it often. <Me too> I am purchasing a banded cat shark egg in the future and am wondering about the hatching. Can you tell me the best way to do it. Should it be placed in strong light or dim? Salinity? Anything in the water chemistry need to be changed form the norm? Should it be near high flow or lower ? Any other information would be greatly appreciated Thanks Joe <Time to hit the book.  Please take a look at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkslvgrm.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and pick up Scott Michael's 'Sharks and Rays", it's pretty much required reading for keeping sharks.> <Chris>

Re: shark egg, poor English   8/29/06 me again well I purchased an egg. By the time I picked it up it hatched. He seems to be doing fine swimming about then resting. He seems to be doing a little heavy breathing not drastic but looks out of the ordinary (im no expert) He"s only been out for about 20 hours now and I am wondering if this is normal or should I take action(if so what) Thanks for your help Joe <See where you were referred before? Read. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo shark not eating (five weeks in)   8/18/06 Hi there guys, firstly thanks for all the help over the past year on the site it has been an invaluable source of info. However i find myself stuck. As of this Sunday it will be five weeks since my bamboo shark hatched. As with the info on your site and scott Michaels book i have systematically gone through a wide variety of foods with no luck. However i did make the mistake of only dimming lights for feeding over the first two weeks, but as we know she may not want to eat during that time. So far the food list is muscles, prawn, krill, ocean nutrition squid and shark formula, brine shrimp on the off chance, and a bit of herring. Without the specific numbers water parameters are all ok. <W/o numbers I can't help you> Ive <This is your tenth English error thus far...> tested the water for current but all under 0.1v. I feel it may be time to try the force feeding? <Not encouraged> Scott Michael does suggest live foods but im unsure on what to do about this. During the force feeding im assuming like other larger species she will go into the trance state when turned upside down. Is this going to be to stressful especially if she's weak? <Uhh, yes> As for her behaviour its completely normal, sleep during day relatively active at night. The other morning I found two hermit crab shells so hoping that maybe she's eaten them in the meantime. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. thanks very much Jonathan <Check your system... other tankmate behavior... not listed, change the water temp. (upward), NSW concentration? Use your spelling, grammar checkers. BobF>

Baby Shark Questions ... system toxicity   7/26/06 Bob,    <Michael>   I have been trying to keep bottom dwelling sharks for a few years now. I have had a number of baby banded cat sharks that all seem to die with the same symptoms. Whether I hatch them from eggs or bought them as small juveniles they all seem to suddenly start to swim in erratic circles and end up dying. <Something unsuitable in the environment...> That all have had reddish/pink bellies once they died. <Chemical, physical...> They all were eating well and I usually feed Silversides, krill, squid and clams. I had 1 12" cat shark living in the tank for about 2 years but he recently jumped out and though I found him on the carpet still alive, he died about 24 hours later. I got him beyond the baby stage I have had my others. Is there something specific to the babies I am missing? <Mmm, no... not likely... perhaps just more toxic to young/er... Likely a source of metal... could be a shaft on a pump or powerhead... a heater...> I have them in a 150G tank, with some live rock <Could be metal contamination, part of the LR> and a refugium under them tank. A protein skimmer is on the tank but it does not put out much waste.   I am receiving 2 epaulette sharks today and want to make sure I am caring for them correctly. I have lost 2 or 3 of these in the past too with the same symptoms as the banded cat sharks. What is the pink bellies an indication of <General irritation, poisoning, septicemia/petecchia...> and how to I prevent it so the babies can mature?   Thank you,   Michael Koenig <Perhaps a review of what is posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharksystems.htm and the linked files above... Chemical tests... data from same? I'd run Polyfilter in your filter flow path... have a QA lab do a run on your water... something toxic, amiss here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby Shark Questions
- 07/26/06 I use a Kold Ster-il water filter so I am pretty sure my water is not the issue. I have never used Copper or anything like that in the tank. I have 2 small maxi-jet powerheads and 1 RIO 1100 powerhead <Likely culprit...> and a Mag 5 or 7 for a main pump. so I am not sure metal contamination is this issue. I respect your response and will review the setup. Tested for Nitrate last night as the new sharks were acclimating and got no/very low reading on Nitrate.      The live rock has been in the tank for 3+ years. I am not sure I understand how the rock could be an issue. <I still suspect some source of ferrous/magnetic contamination. I have necropsied many sharks that have perished from such in public and other institutional settings... Not easy for a home hobbyist to check for such stray electro-magnetic issues... but I'd remove the powerheads... Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby Shark Questions   8/1/06
Ok I have pulled the 2 powerheads that were in the tank out and did a 30 gallon water change on Friday night. I am now concerned with the water movement and surface aeration though which is why they were in there to begin with. There is still the main Mag drive pump and 1 powerhead that pumps water into my TurboTwist UV filter in the refugium.       Can you expand on why/how this could be the problem? <The Ampullae of Lorenzini... look this up> How could a little piece of magnetic impellor be poisoning the sharks? Is it safe to put in brand new powerheads? <Ones with non-ferrous drive shafts, yes> Maybe the old ones were to old?  1 cat shark already has a pink belly and I removed him to a separate tank for now. <Good> I have added a poly filter in the refugium and added a bag of Seachem Purigen in the overflow box. I have 5 more Poly filters on the way so I have them in supply. I plan on added my canister filter with Reef Carbon as soon as it arrives.      -Michael <Good moves. Bob Fenner>

Re: Baby Shark Questions... system on the loose  - 08/15/06
Bob,   Since my last email I have lost a personifer, an emperor and a banded  cat shark from this tank. The epaulette sharks are showing a little  pink on the bellies and are scratching on the sand on rocks. i have no  idea what to do now. The only powerhead left is the main pump which is  either a Mag 5 or 7. Could something in the liverock be doing this? <Is possible, but not very likely>   Something in the refugium? <Ditto> I have a livesand bed of 2-3" <Mmm, see WWM re... in general should be much thinner... or deeper...> and about 5 lbs of miracle mud in the refugium which has not been changed for 3+  years. The vlamingi tang in the tang is also infected with something. <... there is something "amiss" with the environment here...> I  have resorted to starting a Stop parasites treatment from Chem-Marin <These folks products are shams...> which required me to stop the charcoal filter, UV, PolyFilter and  remove the absorption pads. <I would return to gear that is known to work...> The canary, dwarf moray and miniatus  grouper are not affected. The sharks are still eating well but need to come up with a way to get this problem under control. <Correction... need to define, characterize, actually find the problem first...> I tested for  Nitrate and had no reading, no ammonia, ph was about 8.2. a 30 gallon  water change was done a week ago. There is now a grounding probe in the  tank as well.   Anything else you could possibly recommend on why they are scratching and showing the pink on the bellies?     -Michael K. <... a long list of possibilities... For what you have invested, I strongly suggest getting hold of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment" and reading it front to back... I recently have... This will likely serve as a/the best general survey, reminder of what might be "going wrong" here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Epaulette sharks/Pink Bellies/New tank on the way   8/22/06   Bob,   I bought a larger tank yesterday and am in the process of getting it set up.  It too has a large glass refugium and a larger protein skimmer. Got this reef tank setup for $500 used. Bargain of the year! It had a one live rock among the others that weighed 80lbs plus 2,  6" maxima clams, hard corals and tons of star polyps and serpent stars. Only some of the rock that came with it will got back in. That large rock will not, just enough to make some hiding places for the sharks. This tank had 2 pumps running it. One internal Mag 12 and 1 external pump from Pentair that they don't make anymore (quiet one). <Keep the cooling port clean on this> I want to get a new pump on this tank. You told me that metal from the pumps/powerheads could be causing the pink bellies on the sharks. <Yes> What would be a good brand of pump to put on the tank that would not have very much metal internally to the pump but also run quiet. <Posted on WWM... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar.htm and the linked files...> I need to get the transfer done fairly quickly as they still have pink bellies and I can't figure why. <Substrate type?> The ph was at 8.44 this morning with salinity of about 1.024. There is not a recommended specific gravity listed in the epaulette sharks section of the Scott Michaels book. Are those parameters ok for these Epaulette sharks? <NSW is best... about 1.025> The reef tank had 4 serpent/brittle stars and an urchin. I assume they would not be safe with he sharks. <Not indefinitely> I had them isolated with the fish that came with the new tank last night and the sharks were trying to bite though the screen mesh separator I built.      Oh, lastly. I was doing some reading on your site and saw topics about silver sides and sharks. some of the articles said silversides for sharks was a no, no but did not say why. Can you explain? <A little fatty> They seem to like them.  Are silversides ok for eels? <Not exclusively> If the sharks are not supposed to eat them I would at least like to use them up with my eel and grouper. My epaulette sharks have been eating small clams and krill as well as some silversides.      - Michael <Bob Fenner>

Shark Egg...One Less Scavenger In The Sea  6/5/06 Hey crew! Hello Ben> My shark looks like it's about to hatch very soon. The egg was moving a lot this morning and the shark looks big inside the egg. I have the shark egg on an algae clip on the glass. I was wondering if it is necessary to move the shark egg off the clip and on to the sand? <Yes.  Do read here and related links above for more info.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog) Ben
Re:  Shark Egg...One Less Scavenger In The Sea  6/5/06
Crew, I know I should keep the egg off the bottom for good water quality but won't the clip get in the way when the shark is trying to break loose? Thanks for your time. <Mmm, wonder why my response didn't show up here?  Yes, place the egg on the bottom.  Do read the FAQ's on shark eggs for more info.  James (Salty Dog)> Ben
Shark Egg Hatched...Pass The Cigars, Antonio For Me  6/15/06
Hey crew! <Hey Ben>    Just want to thank you for all the help you given me. Today, June 14, 2006, my little banded cat shark was born. It looks like he or she is about 6in long and looks very healthy! I notice that the shark hatched when I was feeding my fish and the shark egg still looked like the shark was in it. Thanks for your help! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>    Ben

ATTITUDE  - 04/27/06 HI BOB, WHAT IS WRONG WITH SALTY DOG?? HE SEEMS TO REFER EVERY QUESTION BACK TO A PRIOR Q & A SESSION AND THEN IN ONE INSTANCE REGARDING A QUESTION ABOUT SHARK EGGS HE SAYS SOMETHING TO THE EFFECT OF, " WHY CAN' T THE COLLECTORS JUST LEAVE THEM IN THE OCEAN."  IF THIS WERE THE CASE WHY NOT JUST LEAVE ALL THE FISH, INVERTS, SHARKS, & RAYS IN THE OCEAN AND FORGET THE HOBBY ALL TOGETHER. WE COULD ALL TAKE UP GOLF AND LIVE VERY BORING AVERAGE LIVES AND NOT LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT SEALIFE. IF HE DOESN' T LIKE  ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON THIS SITE THEN WHY IS HE DOING IT?   <Adam, there is nothing wrong with Salty Dog.  If you want to learn more about sharks, the library is full of info.  I believe sharks are best left in the ocean. For every shark or egg taken out, it is one less scavenger, and a very efficient scavenger helping to remove waste from our oceans and reefs.  Most, if not all aquarists buy the shark/egg strictly as a novelty, having no idea what they are going to do with it after it hatches.  Most will be in non-supportive systems for keeping one alive for any length of time.  Some say "When it overgrows my tank I'll give it to the local aquarium".  Aquariums have all the sharks they want and the odds of the aquarium accepting one are very remote.  I picture most aquarists that buy these eggs/sharks to someone buying a German Shepherd and keeping it in a closet. There are few, and very few aquarists that actually plan this venture out with a large enough system and know-how to keep a shark alive for an extended period.  If you are one of these people, accept my apology.  I have been in this hobby over 35 years and have seen countless shark eggs that were sold, and soon after hatching,  were discarded, as the novelty was over. James (Salty Dog)

Strange (Shark) Discharge   4/7/06 Hi, Bob.  I have a 2-year old female Brownbanded bamboo shark I raised from an egg.  She is about 26 inches long which I understand is close to sexual maturity. <Yes>   Her diet is mostly a mix of shrimp and squid (both injected with liquid vitamins) which I sometimes supplement with live night crawlers.  It's my impression her health is excellent.  Recently, every couple of weeks in the middle of the night when she is active, she has been discharging 'packages'.  These things are brown and the size and shape of a peanut.  They have a skin like a grape and will pop when I apply pressure to them after I pick them up out of the water.  They are filled with a brown gunk.  Any idea what these might be?      Dean C. <Likely early attempts at reproduction... "takes two to tango"... Bob Fenner>

Re: Hello there shark crew!     3/17/06 HI there again!   I got the egg. I have a few questions. Should I lay it on the bottom of the sand or clip it with a algae clip? <Better clipped> If on the sand, where should the egg be laying, it's laying on the side with the most algae on it should I flip it the other way? I have a chocolate starfish, will he eat the egg?   Thanks   Ben <Might. Bob Fenner>

Shark Embryo Development/Shark Egg FAQ's  3/15/06 Greetings, gentleman. I've owned one brown-banded catshark for some time now (he is kept in a 600 gallon basement tidepool) that I purchased as a medium-sized juvenile. I recently received a tank-produced egg which I am attempting to hatch. My question is this: The embryo inside is still in the early stages; the yolk is about the size of a chicken egg's, and the baby is very small. For the past few days, he showed a great deal of tail movement, but as of this morning he is very very still. Is this normal during the early stages? I can't seem to find any information about early-stage embryos, only the ones that are ready to hatch. <Pete, do read our shark egg FAQ's, part 1 and 2. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm Thanks, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Pete Sewchok

Shark Egg  - 03/05/06 I have a banded cat shark egg and my local fish store told me I will have to cut the egg open when its time to let the shark out. Is that true?? Right now the yolk is smaller than the size of dime, how long will it take from there for it to hatch?? <Do read our two part shark egg FAQ's. I'm sure you will find your answer there.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm  James (Salty Dog)>

Hopefully not a repeat dumb shark question! Just poor English  3/2/06 well here's to mark twain and his no stupid question philosophy. I read you faq's on sharks and I understand your moral standpoint against keeping them, but since I disagree (different strokes for different folks) I must yield to the experts. <?> Apologies for the babbling, on suspension of cat shark eggs, I understand the better water quality/circulation but I was wondering if it was safe to rest (secured) on a large rock standing in the center of my tank, I rested the egg on a cradle like out shot of the rock, and wrapped a net around the egg and tied it under the outshoot. I was simply wondering if it should be remover from the rock, other than the obvious shortly before it hatches so it isn't tangled up on a rock, but will resting it damage the shell at all should I flip it etc. Once again apologies for the babbling on, but I try to be thorough.      thanks,      Joshua <Likely not a problem here. I would leave it as is, un-tie when near hatching. Bob Fenner>

Shark size/age and sexabaility  - 02/20/06 I am trying to find out some information regarding the sexing of bamboo and epaulette sharks. <... easily done... the presence/absence of claspers...> I would like to know what is the smallest size that these species are reliably sexable based upon the presence of claspers in the males?   <Sexable at birth...> Are the claspers something that become visible at sexual maturity, or can they be used to determine a male as a baby or juvenile? <The latter... Bob Fenner> Thank you very much. Chris Kirscht

Shark Egg Care   12/28/05 I just bought a Chiloscyllium Punctatum shark egg from my local fish store, and I wanted to know if I should take off all the hair algae type stuff on it. Also I wanted to know if you know how long it will roughly take to hatch, I can currently see the shark in it and it is breathing. <Some algae growth on the egg is normal, since you can see the egg is does not sound excessive so I would just leave it be.  I would rather not risk puncturing or damaging the egg.  As for incubation duration it's hard to say without seeing the actual animal. Though those offered in the trade are often near the end of the term though so I would say you anywhere from 4 to 10 weeks left, as a pure guess. On another note please research the needs of this future tank buster, if you have already I apologize for assuming.> Thanks <Welcome, Adam J.>
Re: Shark Egg Care
Yes I have a 180 gallon with only a blue damsel in it so he will be by him self. On the one side of the egg I can see the shark he already has all his colors and fins etc... <Sounds good should be fine for at least a large portion of this animals lifetime, Adam J.>

Shark Egg Care  12/30/2005 Adam J. I can see the shark inside the egg he has his fins gills etc... and he also has his colors. so how long should it take. <Depends on the size of the animal but if it is easily seen I would say 8 weeks or less, Adam J.>

Banded Cat Shark  12/16/05 Greetings crew, <Maria> I own a 220 gallon salt water tank, that contains about 50 lbs of live rocks, all which are on one side of the tank in order to maintain open space on the other side. <Good idea with sharks>   On September I purchased a Shark egg, and was born on November 23rd.  Since then, I have not witnessed the shark eating food, but I am guessing he eats what I put out for him, which is shark formula, ghost shrimp and brine shrimp, since he is still alive. <Mmm... best to observe first hand... use a "feeding stick" to place the food right in front... don't leave items not taken...> Also, we believe that he could be blind because he tends to run straight into the rocks and when he tries to catch his food he does not succeed. <... are you supplementing the food? Vitamins, iodine are important... Covered on WWM> 90 percent of the time the shark likes to hide inside the rocks even though there is plenty of room on the other side of the tank.  Is his behavior normal or do I need to take out the rocks? <Not normal/healthy... rocks present are not the real issue/problem...> Another concern is when one time the pH in tank was low and I had to use a pH  buffer, and I believe that the shark did not like this because  he got out of the rocks and started swimming uncontrollably. <A bad reaction> If the pH buffer is bad for the shark, what are my other options, what can I use instead of the buffer? <This and all other water quality modifiers should be mixed up in new water outside the system, introduced slowly, as during changes...> Thank you, let me know. Sincerely Diego Arboleda <Do read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Floating shark egg question?  Pop Goes the Shark!  11/19/05 I am a huge fan of this site you guys are great. Well all you guys then there is Paul, 99% of the time I would say great well this is my 1 % story. So you know the story out with the bull. So I have a fairly advanced system with a 90g display tank, 30g refugium, a 55g display as well as a 30g display all connected. h2o is great all ways macro is great coralline also very well. So I read a lot about fish and what they need and who can go with who etc etc etc. So last week my girlfriend (the only thing worse than a major aqua addict is one having an also aqua addict girlfriend) got me a present yeah. Well to my surprise she pulls out a dark brown object that looked kinda like a rock perfect for skipping.  "A Shark Egg!!" she says all excited. and after all my reading I had never heard of such a concept bring it home and do it yourself for 40 bucks cheaper. Well the LFS told her to half berry <bury it in the sand and leave it alone. And that it would be fine in the 90g for two years. <... no I myself wish I was there we never would have gotten the egg. I do plan on upgrading my system in the near future but not for one fish. After lots of reading I found great instructions on how to do this and countless struggles with the girl I attempted to move the egg to the lettuce clip well the egg was a floater, thinking nothing of it I fixed the egg so that it was suspended not floating. later that night I was reading WWM and I read an article about a floating egg and Paul wrote that if the egg floats than it's a empty egg or a dead shark. <Often the case, not always Well I grabbed my specimen container and a knife very sharp <Neat syntax and I began to examine the egg. Well nothing has happening so I thought he was right it must be dead well being a marine bio major I decided I was going to dissect this shark, it had other plans..... <Wow, if this were written "up and down" I'd swear it was Japanese... for the lack of commas, word order...> as made one tiny snip and out jumped a perfectly healthy shark onto the carpet of my room. <Neat The shark is now safe in the tank seems to be ok I've already begun to find a suitable owner for the shark my question is do you have any recommendations for that maybe someone to contact in Boston area? <Mmm, nope... but know how... I'd post this in the large/r BBs And more so I wanted to tell you about a floater not a sinker thanks so much. "the greater good" <Mmm, BobF, the "lesser evil"

Shark Egg...  11/9/05 Please help me: I don't think you got my message before <Don't recall seeing this> Will any sea buffers harm my SHARK when it hatches? <Mmm, not likely> I have a product called Perfect PH 8.2. I realize that it says 8.2 not 8.3 but I use it in my reef tanks and since adding it, none of my variety of fish or inverts have died. This buffer is not a must but I think that it would help the health of my SHARK by using it. These are questions that have truly stumped me and I have looked hard to save you people the trouble but just couldn't find them. Thank you, your website is very helpful on SHARKS but I cant seem to send you a normal message- Mike Bending <I would not be concerned here... but do take care re familiarizing yourself with the care of juvenile sharks. Bob Fenner> 

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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