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FAQs about Shark and Ray Eggs, Juveniles, Reproduction in General 1

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 2, 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 Cat Shark  12/12/05 Hey Guys, I just had my Banded Cat Shark hatch today and I want to make sure I take care of it properly. <Should have done the research before you bought the egg.> I have a 280 gallon tank that I have sectioned off right now so that the other fish do not pick on him until he is strong.  My main question is feeding him.  What is the best food, how often, live food, dried food, etc.  Besides that any pointers you have on keeping this shark alive would be great. <Check the link out I've posted.  This should help you out.>   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm Thanks <You're welcome> Greg

Banded Cat Shark  12/7/05 Hi, I recently hatched a Banded Cat Shark and he quickly began eating. Woo hooo!! I feed him small chunks of raw tiger shrimp and he appears to love it. (I'm also trying silversides).  Today he took a large chunk and I noticed a piece of the shrimp he just ate was hanging out of his gill. 1) Tell me he'll manage to clear it without a problem. 2) Verify that helping him by removing it would be bad and may harm his gill.  <<If it were my shark I'd be hand-feeding him/her (have you sexed it yet?) bits of the shrimp, as well as krill.  Just keep your fingertips turned under, even if it latches onto you it shouldn't be able to do any damage (though it may scare you).>> <I'd let nature take its course right now.> He was hatched in quarantine and I intend to keep him there long enough to establish a healthy eating pattern. (Stick feed) Then I intend to move him to my 150 FOWLR. (I know I know.. it's small. I'll get a larger tank later. ;) 3) How long do you think I should leave him in quarantine?  <At least 21-28 days>  4) Can you suggest a vitamin supplement that I can use to mix with his food? I'm looking for something that I can use on my Porcupine Puffer, Niger Trigger, Volitans Lion, Yellow tang and Squirrelfish. I take it Centrum would be bad.. right? ;) <I'd use a vitamin formulated for marine life not human life. Selcon is one such product. Please read articles on this link so you know what you are getting into. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharksys3.htm > Thanks!!  <You're welcome, James (Salty Dog)> 

Banded Cat Shark  11/18/05 Hi, I've read about everything I could, but I can't seem to find an answer to my question. I have a 125 tank with a panther grouper and the shark. The water quality is good and I recently did a water change. The shark hatched on 11-6-04 and until recently was very healthy. A short time ago he started swimming very erratically and hunched almost like his back was broken. He lays on the bottom on his back. He is breathing normally and was eating with help now he won't take food at all. He is still thick bodied so the food isn't a real issue yet. I could force feed him if it came down to it, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about doing that. <This is posted on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm > Please help I hate to have to watch him this way and worse I don't want him to die. Please any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Bill <Read. If your shark is not taking food, you need to take matters into hand. Bob Fenner> 

Why does a Shark egg need to be kept off the bottom  10/20/05 I was reading through the many shark egg questions you have answered (some more then others) and I learned that the egg should be kept elevated or above the bottom. But I didn't find an answer as to why it needs to be kept raised? Thank you for this site. <Mainly an issue of providing better/best water quality... including good aeration (breaths through the "shell"), and a dearth/lower concentration of total bacteria. Bob Fenner>

Those cute eggs turn into Monsters, Chiloscyllium punctatum Care 10/16/05 Hi, <Hello Kazeky.> My Local Fish Store had a Banded Cat Shark egg, which they told me that it will hatch in about six months and I'm very interested to purchase it. <Has very specific needs.> Is there any one there that can help me make my decision because I don't want to buy it now and then not be able to maintained it you know that at store they tell you whatever just to sell it. <Well the first thing to consider is the species itself. While this animal is one of the smallest sharks available it is still a shark, this animal can reach an astounding 42 inches in length, and while it is primarily sedentary it still needs room to roam. As with all sharks it needs a large tank with a large filtration system as they are quite messy. There are many things to consider when getting into the real elasmobranchs red here for more detail: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm  and please read the FAQ’s which are linked at the top of the page.> Ok what I was reading is that they need sand they need at least a 180 gallons aquarium,  <Many aquarists believe that a 180-gallon tank is suitable for an adult however I tend to disagree. A standard 180 gallon tank is 24” wide not nearly enough for a 42” individual.>  and I already have a 55 gallons Fish Only With Live Rock.  I would like to know if I can keep the egg on my 55 gallons for about two/three months while I purchase my 220 gallons tank?  <I would wait until the larger tank is set up and established before purchasing the egg, the egg are very common and you should easily be able to get another when the time is right.> I also heard that it could not live with live rock on the tank. is that true? <No, you just don’t want the shark in a tank crammed with live rock, as it will take away from swimming room, you just want enough to create a hiding space.> What else do I need to before and after the egg hatches, <Make sure it is in a secure spot in an established tank with moderate water flow.> because at the store they tell me that I don't need nothing especial besides the sand and the aquarium. Can I keep the shark with others fishes?? <Depends on the exact fish, some can fall prey to the shark while other may attack the shark itself. Please read the link above and invest in a copy of Scott Michael’s “Sharks and Rays.” Research, research and when you are done research some more, caring for sharks is not a casual endeavor.> Thank You, <You are welcome.> KAZEKY <Adam J.> 

Buoyancy problem with juvenile PJ shark 7/24/05 Hi Bob, Great site! I have a fairly urgent question. I've got a number of port Jackson juveniles (7-10 weeks old). Yesterday one of them began floating upside down, swimming frantically in circles, and he can not stay down. I have tried massaging his belly lightly and straightening him out (as this has worked for PJs I have had in the past) to no avail. I moved him to a shallow tank on his own but even this is not helping. I recently had a crested horn shark baby die after having the same problem for several weeks. What can you suggest and what is causing this? <Frightening... do you know how these animals were collected? There are some enteric problems this might be... so my first, easiest suggestion is to administer Epsom salt to the water (a level teaspoon per ten gallons of system> I can only assume he has gulped air at the surface and can't expel it. <Maybe... but doubtful. Much more likely some sort of food decomposing within the animal... hopeful the magnesium sulfate will "move it". Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob Victoria Brims Department of Biological Sciences Macquarie University Sydney NSW 2109 Availability of shark eggs I am interested in buying the following shark eggs: -Stegostoma fasciatum (Zebra shark) -Hemiscyllium ocellatum (Epaulette shark) -Atelomycterus macleayi (Marbled Cat shark) -Atelomycterus marmoratus (Coral Cat shark) -Chiloscyllium confusum (Cat shark) -Heterodontus francisci (Horn shark) or any other eggs that may become available, other that Chiloscyllium punctatum and plagiosum which I already have. Please let me know if  you know where I may find them. Thank you, Haroldo <Stegostoma you might be able to get from fishermen or institutions (mainly in the orient) who keep them on display... Heterodontus eggs are sold from time to time by California collectors... you might have luck contacting or having a LFS contact Quality Marine re... The others are available from time to time from aquarists, stores and large (public) aquaria... but you will have to write, call... Are you a member of the Elasmobranch division of the ASIH? Likely an association there will benefit you, your charges. Bob Fenner>

Chiloscyllium punctatum egg 6/13/05 If I were to consider raising a Chiloscyllium punctatum egg and would like to provide it with the best food possible, what live foods could I consider culturing ahead of time?  I had considered trying Poecilia reticulata and feeding them live brine shrimp fed on cultured phytoplankton and copepods. I had read though they like shrimp a lot as well.  Is there a species of shrimp that is not impossible to breed and that would be a healthy died for a small shark of this species? <I commend your willingness to culture live foods, but it is impractical and unnecessary.  Quality frozen foods are available or can be made at home.  Mysis and chopped squid are high in HUFAs which are necessary for early development larger sharks will do fine on a diet of just about any meaty marine foods as long as you provide variety.  Occasional supplements of vitamins and iodine (hidden or injected into food) are a good idea.> I am months away from purchasing an egg, and trying to learn as much as possible.  Do you think a 96 gallon corner tank would be sufficient for a single shark of this species and nothing else? <Not even close.  A standard 180 is a bare minimum.  The shark should be able to comfortably turn around in it's home, and at adult size, this would be tight even in a 180.  At it's full size of about 36", it might be able to turn around in the corner tank, but it would be able to do little else but chase it's own tail.> I have read your article at “ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm” as well as a great deal of “ http://www.colszoo.org/internal/drum_croaker/pdf/2004SS2.pdf” are there any text you would suggest buying or pulling out of the library that could help me to further understand this species.  I also want to find out if it would hurt to have computer speakers in the same room as the animal, or if music or television noise in the same room would bother a Chiloscyllium punctatum.  Any and all information greatly appreciated.  Jon Gordon.  <There aren't any sharks that should be kept in any smaller than a 180, and we generally discourage the notion of keeping one in a smaller tank with the intention of upgrading later.  It seems that no matter how well intentioned we are, such upgrades rarely come.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Rolling Whitespotted Bamboo shark Hatchling Hi, I have a problem that no one seems able to help me with. I have a Whitespotted bamboo shark that just hatched 2 days ago. Yesterday it was perfectly fine. I fed it three small pieces of tuna (.01g each) and it ate readily. <Is/was its "food sac" completely resorbed?> Today it was continuously rolling on its side. Not flashing, but actually rolling like a log down a hill. It rolls for about ten minutes at a time and then stops (I think because its exhausted) only to start up again 15-20 minutes later. I also noticed a lump on it's snout, but this may simply be swelling because it seems to be hitting the top of its snout a lot. What could be causing this? I have put the shark in a small quarantine tank until it gets better (or dies - hopefully not). Anything you could tell me would be helpful. Thanks, Jennifer <Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm.  Bob Fenner> 

Shark trying to eat but can't catch shrimp...... Hey guys, <Alex> As I'm sure you know this already but I'll say it anyway "GREAT SITE!"  I've got one simple (hopefully) question. I have a 3 week hatched bamboo catshark and he's doing great so far, but I'm not sure if he's getting any food; he's chasing ghost shrimp, snapping at them and trying to eat but I don't think I've seen him (or her) catch one yet. I feed him at night with the lights off (except the moon led lights) and like I said he's totally up for eating but they seem to get away from him and in the morning all the ghost shrimp is gone, but likely to the dwarf lionfish (which I feed krill or washed shrimp before I throw the ghost shrimp in to give the shark a fair chance while the lion is full). Any ideas on how to help the shark out? <I would make sure this specimen is getting food by "stick feeding" it... cut flesh/muscle of fishes, crustaceans... placed right in front of it. Bob Fenner>

Shark egg systems I was given this site as a recommendation from a friend I have a question I need answered please. I am looking for the best gravity for a banded catshark to hatch and survive in if you can help that would be greatly appreciated. Tony <Near seawater strength, spg of 1.025... Bob Fenner> 

Brown banded bamboo shark Hello, I have a brown-banded bamboo shark still in its egg case. It has no yolk sack left and is nearing hatching time.  Water quality is perfect except kh-29; dangerously high. I know how to get it down and I am ready to at any time. Here's my question: Is the KH the reason it hasn't hatched, or is it just not ready? My salinity is at 1.021; too low? Thank you very much. Greg. <I would change out a good deal of the water here in a few changes... to lower the KH and raise the spg to near seawater density (1.025)... Likely these values being off are having negative effects here. Bob Fenner>

Feeding a newly hatched bamboo shark - 4/14/05 Hello.  <Good morning> I know that there has been others asking questions on feeding new born Bamboo sharks.  <Oh yes.>  Mine just hatched one week ago and has not eaten.  <Not unheard of at all can take up to a few weeks and sometimes a few days. Remember they feed on the yolk until hatching.>  The store where I got the shark egg from says that the shark should be eating right away and if it does not eat soon that it will die.  <If sharks don't eat they will die, but remember, as I said before, they do feed from the yolk until hatching and in some cases it may take a while for the shark to build appetite.>  From some of your other questions answered you stated that you should not feed the new born for three weeks.  <Oh no, it can take a newly hatched pup three weeks to eat but you should offer food every day. The question here is what foods are you offering? It is well documented what to feed them but I would try pieces of human quality prawns, krill pieces, smelts, anchovies, squid. Try various small pieces of fresh human quality marine foods.>  I am just confused with what I have heard and what is on this site.  <Understandable.>  Do you know for sure that I should wait for three weeks before feeding it?  <I would not. Offer suitable food choices everyday.>  I just don't want to starve it for 3 weeks and risk it dieing if this is not what I was suppose to do.  <Agreed. Thanks for being part of it all! ~Paul>

Bamboo shark/ epaulette shark non-reproduction - Capitalization, Punctuation, NO Netspeak please! Please can you help. Your FAQs are fantastic but after trawling them for some time just need a little extra. I have a brown banded bamboo and an  epaulette together with a few other fish in a 500 gallon tank. .I'm in London England and have found that my two different species sharks that are both female have suddenly started laying eggs after being in my tank over two years.  I have had one egg laid 6 wks ago which was empty but in the last few days 5 more that are all neatly attached to a rock in my tank. I don't want to candle them as they are well fixed. The shark has just this minute added another, what's happening? Do I need to remove the other fish? I obviously wouldn't be able to keep all these if they were born as I have tried buying eggs before. I was successful in birthing them but shortly after died from not eating, and I think one might have been breakfast for the mummy. Can you please let me know if this is normal? Many thanks.... Karl <Very likely... these eggs are sterile. No worries. Bob Fenner>

Shark egg case with hole - 3/7/05 I have bought a banded shark egg from a pet store 5 days ago.  <Didn't you ask some questions about shark keeping a while back? We actually discourage shark keeping here>  I have the egg in my 300 gallon tank and have the temp at 76 degrees. I've noticed that the egg started getting this white fuzzy looking stuff growing around it and that there is a small hole at the bottom of the egg.  <White fuzzy stuff could be algae but not sure based on the ambiguous description. A hole in it could mean trouble. Not to say for sure but possible. Have you "candled" the egg yet? (means put a bright light behind it and see if you notice development or movement of the embryo.) If not you may need to take it back to the store>  Does this mean the egg will die and not hatch?  <Possible. "candling" is the only way to tell>  Thanks for your time.  <~Paul>

Shark sexing - 3/6/05 Hello, I wanted to know how do you tell the sex of a shark. I have a banded cat shark and I wanted to know the sex.  <Well, Anthony, I really suggest taking the time to read not only our website, but the many that are available online about shark reproduction and shark "sexing". Here is the information right from our main shark article under "Reproduction, Sexual Differentiation/Growing Your Own" located here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm   "Sharks have an astounding reproductive biology. Different species lay eggs, give birth live with and without umbilical-like attachments; with surprisingly long gestation periods and low birth rates. If you're going to invest the money to try one out, put in the time to investigate the way the sharks make their life. All utilize sex, that is internal fertilization, granting an easy manner of determining whether you are looking at a male or female. Males possess claspers, specialized tube-shaped pelvic fins for genetic transmission. The pelvics of females are more triangular shaped." I highly recommend "Aquarium Sharks & Rays" by Scott Michael published by Microcosm Ltd. There are many others to be found as well. Do make use of your favorite search engine.> Also if it is a female will it lay eggs?  <Likely, but they will not be viable without a male to fertilize. ~Paul><<Or having been fertilized ahead of your receiving the female. RMF>>

About Bamboo shark breeding - 2/21/05 Hi Paul, great news! Checked the egg cases again this morning and have movement in three cases.  <So great to hear.>  Also spoke to a friend of mine at Chester Zoo he tells me that he had heard that an Aquarium in Belgium, couldn't remember which, had viable eggs from a female only tank without a male bamboo for over a two months.  <Interesting..>  Can these fish store sperm?  <Not for that long. At least that is my understanding. Maybe someone who has had more closely studied these sharks could tell me. I believe that bamboo sharks fall into the category of Retained Oviparity – also termed “multiple oviparity”; several egg cases accumulate in each oviduct and are retained, unhatched, up to several months before being laid in a collagenous case, resulting in embryos from the same clutch at slightly different stages of development. embryos derive nourishment solely from yolk in external yolk sac and undergo much of their development outside the mother’s body. Here are some links: http://na.nefsc.noaa.gov/sharks/repro/reprointro.html and http://www.elasmo-research.org/education/topics/lh_rep_modes.htm >  Would be great to get any input from your meeting. Will keep you posted.  <Thanks>  All the best!  <The same to you. ~Paul>

Cat shark laying eggs - 2/10/05 Hello from the U.K.  <Greetings from sunny N. California> I have recently been given the fabulous task of running the marine tank in a restaurant. The tank is 1000 gallons and is running well within specified parameters. The occupants are 4 yellow sailfin tangs, a Naso Tang, a Sgt Major Damsel, a Lion Fish (Volitans) and a 2 Foot Bamboo Cat Shark. Starting on Christmas Day she has laid a total of 14 egg cases, in batches of three.  <Very normal>  As two of the eggs were attacked by the Damsel, I have installed a second tank within the main tank and suspended the cases inside.  <Well, this is a great idea, but unless there is a male to fertilize the eggs, there is no point>  I know that it is still early days but all remaining eggs appear viable is there anything else I should be doing to ensure healthy babies.  <How about a male shark as you made no mention of another shark (let alone a male one)>  Incidentally in case you were wondering I got the job as I have a degree in Zoology and am one of the house chefs.  <Hopefully they are paying you extra as this should usually be done by a tank service company (who make fairly good money if they are worth anything) Thanks for being part of it all! ~Paul><<Mmm, could have been pregnant before purchasing... RMF>>

Misc. shark egg questions hi I've had a saltwater tank up and running for about 6 months now and have bought a shark egg. I don't know which type the egg is because I was to stupid to look at the label but I heard the staff talking about the eggs and saying that they were banded or zebra catsharks. even though I have several questions: 1: it looks like its about the size of a nickel, so how long will it take to hatch? 2: how big will it be when it hatches 3: how big will it be as an adult 4: what size tank will it need as an adult 5: how much can it grow in a year <Hello Shaheen, I'm sorry, but these are all questions that should have been asked before you bought the shark egg.  Without knowing the variety, <<Mmm, see above, small catsharks. RMF... who would have referred this querier... to WWM>> I couldn't tell you when it will hatch and how big it will be.  When hatching nears, you will be able to see the embryo moving inside.  Once they hatch, feeding won't be necessary until the yoke sac disappears.  They do grow quite fast and you would need a tank upwards of 300 gallon before long.  James (Salty Dog)> thank you very much, Shaheen

Bamboo Cat Shark eggs - 2/17/05 Hi again.  <Uh....hi.....>  I don't know if you got my last message but I was hoping for a better response as I am concerned about the animals in my care.  <Sorry about that, to me, the way the email was interpreted, I didn't think it required a response, but for that I apologize.>  To re-iterate our female Bamboo Cat-Shark has now laid 15 egg cases. She was in a holding tank for over three months with a male of the same species before she came to us.  <Well, how long after being in a tank with a male did she drop eggs? In any event, the simple test here is to do something called "candling" Hold the egg up to a very bright light and see if there is a developing embryo inside. Bright light on one side of the tank and you look through the other.>  She feeds very well and responds well to contact.  <Good to hear, Ian. I would try your best to add a vitamin supplement to the sharks diet. We use Mazuri Shark and Ray tabs (www.mazuri.com). This is to help with missed vitamins and minerals that can happen in captivity.>  Now to get back to the point I have separated the cases from population they are in a tank suspended in the main tank, can you tell me if there is anything else I should be doing to ensure their health and safety.  <A low flow over them would be ideal, but other than that you did the most important things already, removal and suspension. It can take up to four months before hatching so keep a journal once you know the eggs are viable. Once the pups hatch, they may not eat for sometime. A few days to a week. There bellies will likely be swollen a bit from feeding on the yolk. So within a few days you should try to feed. Smaller foods are ideal, squid and sardine might do OK initially. Offer to you adult and pups a variety of fresh human grade seafood. Here is a fairly useful tidbit on Cat/Bamboo sharks: http://www.petsforum.com/cis-fishnet/seascope/MA0298.htm >  Incidentally my boss at the restaurant has visited your aquarium... <Which aquarium?>  ... and tells me that it is a very well run attraction.  <If it is the aquarium I work at then yes, we try to keep a tight ship>  Not a plug just fact.  <Understood>  So a little more help if you please.  <Ahhh.... =) > Thanks in advance  <Thanks for sticking in there. I apologize for a lack of a proper reply. Being that this is a volunteer site, I have had a great many more priorities in my personal life as well as I work two jobs so time is short. So please understand that this is more a labor of love and kindness than a necessity. I do thank you for coming here and being part of it all. ~Paul>

Update on breeding bamboo sharks - 2/17/05 Hi Paul, <Hey Ian> thanks for the response and for the extra information. <No worries> I have used the "candling" technique and it would appear that all but 2 of the eggs have embryos within. <You can see movement or not yet?> Incidentally she laid the first batch approximately three weeks after being separated from the male whom she was with for 90 days. <Seems like this is quite long after. It is to my understanding that bamboo sharks don't take this long. I don't believe they can store sperm. Weird. I will bring this up with fellow aquarists in the next meeting> Anyway thanks again and good luck with all you do. <Thanks Ian. Keep me updated. ~Paul> Ian  

Shark eggs case care - 2/17/05 Hey there, I just purchased a bamboo shark egg from my friends LFS. <Despite our feelings for such I will try to keep my opinions to myself. I must admit I am always very skeptical and concerned when aquarists (and I use this term lightly) tend to think that the many expressed concerns and opinions do not apply to them. Just my thoughts.> I am quite experienced with marine systems/fish but like everyone else I still run into the odd problem here and there. <OK> Anyway, this shark egg will be staying in my 75 gallon tank for now where there is also a Blue ribbon eel, Emperor Angle and a Kole Tang along with many-o-corals. Basically the bamboo shark purchase was made between a friend of mine and me, he wants a bamboo shark for his 650 gallon but cannot put a brand spanking new baby shark in there because it will be eaten by his other fish before it hits the gravel and I would love to care for one while it grows until it is ready for his tank. <That's cool. Nice of you to help> My question is....... is there anything special I should be doing for this little guy while he/she is still in the egg? <Weird....I literally just answered a similar question. Keep it suspended off the ground, and low flow. It does not require any lighting> I'm monitoring my temperature religiously, keeping it at a nice 81.5 degrees, <A little high in my opinion> all water used is RO and I have a wet-dry Eheim and another 2290 Eheim filtering the system, and a Prizm protein skimmer, <How is that working for you. The Prizm are not considered a very good skimmer but I like to give them the benefit of the doubt> there are three power heads all flowing from left to right, right to left and back to front; however I placed the egg in an area clipped on the glass away from any overwhelming water flow. <Sounds about right!> Is there something I could be doing more of, less of? <Nope>  Does it need lots of light, less light, normal light? <Normal light is fine, but no need for more or less> And when it hatches, is there something I should do right away, or not do? <It may not feed right away and might even have a swollen abdomen from consuming the yolk. May take a few days to a few weeks to feed. Quality food is the key here. Do do some research and look the through the FAQs and dailies on our site here for up to date information. Hope this helps>  Something I would be better off feeding it upon its arrival? <Well, I would be more concerned with human quality fresh seafood. The key here is size. Try a variety of things. Also, be aware of vitamin supplementation. I use Mazuri shark/ray tabs (www.mazuri.com). Always a good idea as animals in captivity are not always getting all of the nutrients they need. This happens for many reasons not necessary to explain here.> Thanks a lot, and may I add what a great and helpful site you've got, I find myself reading things all the time that don't even apply to me just for the sake of learning something new. <Me too, actually. I love this site and that is why I volunteer here. Thanks for being part of it all. ~Paul> Thanks, Alex

More on shark egg keeping - 2/17/05 Thanks for your help, I do apologize for writing with my questions as I'm sure you have been asked it many times, just like you stated "Weird....I literally just answered a similar question"  I tried my hardest to find something answering my questions on the site but couldn't really locate anything directly answering all my Q's. <No worries but just can be time consuming re-inventing the wheel. No worries though> Oddly I have had bad luck with the easy to care fors, like small wrasses and yellow tangs but yet good luck with the supposed "avoid" species like the Blue Ribbon eel, etc... <I can sometimes have the same results but let's not press our luck, eh?> I totally agree (for the most part) with your opinion on purchasing these guys, a really good friend of mine runs a local fish store and he had already purchased two eggs, I don't fully agree on fish stores buying them and continuing the chain of pulling these from the ocean but I'd rather it be me that tries my very hardest make this thing live the best life in captivity it could rather than watch some 19 year old say "wow cool a shark, I gotta buy it" and have him kill it. <Well, true, to some extent. Yet you are part of the chain regardless of your stated opinion. You still bought one. Also, I thought your buddy with the big tank is the one keeping this guy in the long run? Be worried about him, too. Again, be sure to do your research, there is quite a bit out there on this species. Also, thankfully this species is not taken from the ocean so much anymore. There is regular captive breeding programs now.> I know my purchasing it feeds the industry but you can't win either way when it's already there and I refuse to just let it stay there and die. <Well, noble but still part of the capitalist chain....What if we were to stop answering shark queries? Would that stop you from buying? ;}  ~Later, Paulo> Anyway, thanks again for your help,

Sharks questions - 12/9/04 I emailed you a few weeks ago regarding my banded cat shark eggs. Your information was very helpful and one of my eggs (one of three) have hatched. I know that sharks do not excrete ammonias like fish <Sure they do>--my question is what do sharks produce?  I looked it up on your Q&A and could not find any tidbits on it. Please also send me information on what chem.s I need to reduce the shark chem.s in the water.  <Water changes (frequently) will do best. Don't buy into the hype that you need this chemical additive or special filter media. We have lots of information on our site about the proper set up and design for sharks. Good filtration (via sump with live rock) decent water movement, quality water and salt mix with quite a bit of diligence thrown in by the aquarist will go a long in shark survival. Don't forget proper diet, including vitamin supplementation (I like shark/ray tabs from Mazuri www.mazuri.com)> I also wanted to let you guys know that thanks to your suggestions to other question askers on your site, I have looked into volunteering at my local aquarium. <Excellent, not only a great feeling and learning experience, but a great way to keep animals that have no business in your home aquarium =)> I look forward to learning from both you and the aquarium that I will be working with. <Which aquarium are you interested in? Thanks for your inquiries. ~Paul> Thank you again for your time and knowledge! Jennifer  :)

Shark giving birth hi my names Joanne and me and my partner have a 30 inch brown banded bamboo shark and we noticed last night that she had given birth to 2 shark purses. <Neat> we are not sure if they are fertile or not as we've only had her about 12 months and she hasn't been with another shark since we've had her but don't know whether she was prior to us having her. <Likely are fertile> How long are they pregnant and is their any way if we can tell if they are fertile or not? <Can look up most of this on fishbase.org under the common name...> If they are how long till they hatch and is there anything we need to do to them, or do we just leave them with their mother. <About 180 days... more/less depending on water temperature... can leave in with parent> please can you get back in touch as soon as possible as we are really confused and unsure what to do Many thanks Joanne, Birmingham GB <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Sudden Shark Egg Good Morning...and HELP!!!<Good morning to you too, MikeD here>   I recently attempted to order some hermits from EBay for my setup.  When I opened the pkg this morning...SHOCK...it's a shark egg case.<Cool>  The pup is alive w/ a nickel size yolk sac.  I immediately read as many posts as I could find on this fantastic site.  (Of course the seller can't be contacted yet).  My question, any tips on acclimating this guy??? Does he need to get out of the shipping bag ASAP?<I'd say yes, and just a normal 15 minute slow exchange would suffice, especially if it's still alive by now>  Of course I cannot keep him, space, tank mates etc...looking for some input b4 talking to my LFS.      Thanks for any quick advice.<You've already come up with the best idea. The odds of it surviving a return are slim to none, and your decision is wise as they are rapid growers, in the grouper/Lionfish range and with even heartier appetites>  Wm

Banded Cat Shark Egg Hi! <Hi back...MikeD here> My name is Christy and I wrote you guys awhile back about an egg I got from the pet store. Well, the shark has not hatched yet and I am getting concerned. Is it possible for it to have died?<It's always possible, but if the egg has been left in the water, not extremely probable. There are surprisingly few reports of the eggs not hatching, a testament to the toughness of these creatures> Does it need help?<No! It will hatch when it's ready, and opening the casing is a good way to injure or kill the shark inside.  My wife talked me into opening ours after it laid there for a week with a small hole in one end, even though I knew it was unwise.  Upon exiting, the shark still had unabsorbed yolk sac attached, a target for attack by other fish. It made it, but not because of our interference.  I hope you have a large tank as ours, at one year old is almost 30" in length in our 300 gal. tank> Is there anything I can do to help it?<Yep, DON'T help it **grin**> I notice it has gotten bigger, but I can't see any movement anymore. I'm not sure if that's just his size filling the egg or if something is wrong.<Again, patience is your best bet and will yield the best rewards> Thanks for all the help.

Bamboo Shark Hatching Hey guys-- <Hi, Mike D here> Thanks for all of the great information.  My question is, how do you know if your shark is still alive in the egg?  I have a few eggs that I have had for about a month and a half--yolks are about size of a nickel but they don't seem to be progressing.<What's the water temperature? Hatching time is often shortened by keeping the temperature in the high 80's>  They aren't moving around but they are still shark shaped in their eggs--any suggestions on ways to tell if they are still going to 'hatch'?<I don't suppose "have patience" is the answer that you're looking for?**grin**  They have not turned to sludge yet so there is hope I guess.<More than guess...you're 100% correct. Make sure the eggs stay completely submerged and that there's water current in the tank and wait. I've heard of eggs taking up to six months to hatch and you have no way of knowing when they were laid.> Thanks again in advance for your time in this! Jennifer

Re: Bamboo Shark Hatching ah--temperature is in the mid 70's--if I raise temperature to high 80's will it bother the damsels, goby, blenny and leaf fish? <Possibly... if nothing else from increased metabolic rate, decreased gas solubility. Sorry to jump in here (en medea res), but MikeD seems to be out... I would NOT raise the temperature this much, or quickly... elevating it to the low 80's is likely the most that could be done safely and to advantage> I don't plan on keeping these kids all together after the sharks get bigger, the sharks will go into a 150 gal (already set up with damsels, a canister filter for 200gal tank and a penguin 330--plenty of filtration) and eventually a bigger tank (right now they are in a 36 gal).   thank you again for your time and information. Jennifer <Bob Fenner>

Re: Bamboo Shark Hatching Thanks, I have been raising temp slowly and went from mid 70's to high 70's within a few days -- then jumped it up another degree or two and right now am stopped around 81 degrees.  Thankfully I knew not to jump the temp up too quickly.  I assume I should stop upping the temp and stay at low 80's and hope that my eggs hatch.   <Yes> Again thank you all for all of your help and knowledge! Jennifer <Glad to share my friend. Bob Fenner>

Banded Cat Shark Egg <Mike D again> Well, after writing to you the last message I had quite a shock the next morning. I woke up and turned on the tank light and noticed I could see right through the egg like it was empty. There on the bottom of the tank was a beautiful and healthy looking baby!! I was so excited. I can't believe how beautiful it is! I do have one question. Is it true I need to wait 3 weeks before feeding it and then try some frozen squid or just Ocean Nutrition shark formula?<No, that's definitely not true. Animals, even sharks, don't hatch on a timer, just as all babies aren't born exactly nine months later.  I'd suggest trying small pieces of squid (a favorite), shrimp or clam, well washed, from day one on, until your shark shows interest in the food. After that feed 2-3 times daily, fairly small amounts until she establishes a feeding pattern. I'm not familiar with the specialized shark formula you mention and while it may be fine, I tend to be leery of "complete" foods, with many having quantities of "juice", finely ground mulch, etc. that can cloud the water and cause bacteria blooms.  Be sure to increase the amounts she's fed as she grows, something that an amazing number of people can't seem to come to grips with,>   Thanks for all your help!!<You're welcome, shark family>

Bamboo Sharks Thank you so much for the great help. I guess I am kind of wondering what  are some signs of a healthy bamboo shark?< The single most important is probably the presence of a healthy appetite, for, like most of the moray eels, they have an extremely acute sense of smell.  Physically, you should probably look for a lack of red areas on the abdomen or other signs of inflammation.>   I know they are pretty mellow  sharks, so I was just wondering if there is any way to tell that they are happy  and doing ok? <Again, as with many other marine animals, a healthy appetite is always one of the best indicators.  Even though they are primarily nocturnal by nature, the scent of food in the water should at least bring their nose out of the LR in a fairly short time, and the longer the shark is with you, the more this becomes evident.....after a year, mine has no hesitation about feeding from my fingers at the surface of the water, even in broad daylight and has moved well into the "bottomless pit" category. The best of luck with your new baby and don't hesitate to spoil it at every opportunity.>     Thanks a lot John & Tiff  Proud parents of  a new bamboo shark

Yellow tang and bamboo shark First of I would like to thank you for the info that you give on you web page.  My first ? is that my yellow tang develops  white strip when ever I turn the light off, from your web page I have noticed that this is a common thing, yet is there any way that I can make him feel  safer when the light is off so the strip will not appear. <Totally natural for him to do that. Generally considered sleeping colors.> My  second ? is I just hatched a bamboo shark about two weeks ago. He started  eating white clouds and rosy reds in the light about three days  later.  I wanna know if this is a good sign.  Plus I have noticed that  as I feed him more his breathing has increased and lead to a decrease in  activity. <Digestion but you might check your ph and nitrates both of which sharks are very sensitive to.>  I was wondering if I feed him to much will he become less active, and overall if he eats the food immediate as I put it in the tank is that a sign of good conditions. <Sharks are big eaters and therefore they put out a lot of waste.  So you will need to watch your tank conditions carefully, testing frequently. Good luck, MacL>

Follow Up to External Shark Parasites, advice to others re juvenile sharks Mr. Fenner,   I just wanted to drop a note and thank you again for the advice.  I manually removed the copepods and treated with a formalin bath to prevent secondary infections.  Both animals seem to be doing fine thus far and are showing strong appetites. <Outstanding.>    I have one comment to make about a question that was answered on today's list.  Someone had written to ask about their yellow tang and a bamboo shark that just recently hatched.  I noticed that the person was feeding the shark freshwater feeders, white clouds and rosy reds.  The crew did give some good advice but failed to point out the inappropriate diet being fed.  I would suggest either silversides or squid strips.  I would also recommend to other potential shark egg buyers that it is not always an easy task to get juvenile sharks feeding if they do not have much prior experience.  I only point this out to help others who might consider purchasing unhatched sharks.  Thank you. <I do agree and thank you, Bob Fenner> Matt Hall

Shark Bite? I have just bought a  banded shark egg.  He has not yet hatched but I was wondering, will he bite when he comes out? If it does, will it be a serious or a nasty wound? <No worries about biting.  At hatching it will be so small as to make biting impossible, while as it grows you will discover the teeth are much like sandpaper, very much like those of a stingray, also incapable of causing even minor injuries.  The adult size of less than 4' makes them harmless, miniature versions of our own Nurse sharks.> thanks ,Keith

I think my black banded cat shark is sick hi how you doing,  I bought a shark egg like about 2 months ago and it   finally hatch this morning. Is the first shark I get so I'm a little new to them,   at times he is good he just sits there other time he goes like crazy swimming all  around and he turns upside down looking like he is goin to die so I flip him  over and he flips him self back, is the common with these shark pups? <Yes. I would not touch this animal. Leave it be> I also try  to feed him today some pacific plankton and no luck what should I feed him  Please respond ASAP I don't want my new born to die oooooooooooo I just actually  looked at it and it ain't breathe damn could you please tell me what could of  been the reason ?? <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and onto the linked files (in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Shark Egg Query I was wondering if you ever heard about 'Burping an egg' We had a shark egg a couple of years ago and the Pet Store we purchased it from the woman told us to burp the egg. Our friends had recently purchased one at a different store and we asked about burping and they looked at us like we were insane so they were concerned if they didn't would it put there shark in danger? >>>Greetings, I've hatched out a few shark eggs in the past, and 'burping' whatever that means in the context of shark eggs didn't come into play. Just leave it alone. It's a self contained life support system, designed believe it or not, to function without human burping procedures :) Jim<<<

Banded cat shark Hi! My name is Christy. <Hi Christy, I'm MacL how are you doing?>  I recently bought a banded cat shark egg case for my tank. <AHHH VERY EXCITING> The guy at the store said it should hatch in 2-3 weeks. Of course it's been that long and he's still cozy in the egg. <Like they really have a clue sigh> I read on your sight that they won't hatch until almost all of the yolk is gone and I notice he still has a way to go. <I've had them wait until a while after that as well Christy and I've had to help them out of the shell as well.>  My question is, How does he get out? <Okay how to put this so you'll understand it, sometimes my words get confusing.  They usually grow large enough in their egg sack that they basically bust out the seems. They usually come out the seems Christy as he or she gets larger and larger you will see him fill up the sack.>We have him clipped at the end of the egg case with a veggie clip hanging near the top where the water flows. <Perfect until he gets larger.> I am worried that my clip might be in the wrong place, I don't want to block his opening. <As he fills up the egg I would suggest letting it lay on the sand but you do need to keep sand off it. You just don't want it covered with sand. Also, try to keep air out of the egg. They way you have it placed in the tank now will allow you to see through the egg and watch the progression of his development and definitely watch that egg sack.>  Also the store told us to hang it so it doesn't get covered with sand. Is this correct? Any other suggestions? <As he gets larger he will start moving around and probably pull himself down from there. They start flipping their egg all over the tank. That is very normal.> Thanks. <Hope that helped, MacL>

Shark egg case floating - 9/17/04 To Whom It May Concern: <Paul today. I want to apologize for the delay.> I recently purchased an egg from a local pet store and was told the shark was a banded bamboo cat shark.  The egg was floating at the surface of the tank at the store.  My question is does this egg need to be positioned under the surface of the water, or does it not matter.  And if it should be fixed under the surface, should the egg be placed flat, or sideways, <Either way just not floating> or does this not matter much to its success? <If the egg is floating, it is due to two possible reasons.  One, it is either empty and full of air or two, DEAD.  Probably stinky too! Sorry to be the bearer of such grim news but in my experience I can't think of one time that an egg case floated without either a dead shark or no shark. ~Paul Thanks! Greg

Dead Shark Egg? (9/9/04) Hello, <Hi. Steve Allen here.> I purchased 2 banded shark eggs.  We are having a 500 gallon tank built into our new home but I wanted to get the eggs prior to the tank being completed (bad idea). Nevertheless, I have a 100 gallon reef system with a sand bottom, I was told this would be fine temporarily.  One shark popped out last night, he doesn't do much but seems fine.  The other was moving around in the egg quite a bit last night.  However, when I came home today I found that my shrimp "doing something" to the egg.  When I got him to move I discovered he had somehow punctured a hole in it and some of the sharks flesh appeared to be coming out of the egg.  Now, there is no movement.  I'm assuming the shrimp somehow killed my shark?????  <I strongly doubt it. Much more likely that the shark hatchling died trying to get out and the shrimp is merely scavenging, like they are wont to The hope was probably made by the hatchling before it died.> How long should I wait before I try to open the case to verify it is, in fact, dead??? <If it still looks dead tomorrow or is starting to decay, then it's obviously a goner. :(> ...PS...its a small peppermint shrimp. <I would say it is all but impossible for this shrimp to kill a shark hatchling.> Thanks for any help you can provide, Tiffany <even though 500 gallons seems like a large tank, even banded sharks get pretty big. I would suggest you stick with only the one that hatched and not buy another. I suspect it will be better off not having a competitor in there.>

Re: Banded shark egg Thanks Steve for your quick reply regarding my dead shark egg Yes, it was in fact dead.  The other shark is doing fine, he's not quite a week old and he's stalking the shrimp and snails in the tank. I have decided to take your advice and only keep 1 shark.  Thank you so much. -Tiffany 

Shark producing eggs without a mate - 8/9/04 I wish to firstly thank you for such an informative web site. <It is our pleasure and duty to repay the hobby> Its existence has made mine all the more simplified! <Excellent to hear> I'll be brief.  I work at the Wildlife World Zoo in Glendale, Arizona (and if you ever want to come, just let me know in advance!), <I work at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and if you ever want to come just let me know in advance. Also, I just bought a house in Surprise, AZ and am looking in the Phoenix area as well.> and our aquarium is small, only 20 tanks, ranging in size from 29 to over 300 gallons. <Have to start somewhere or have very rich backers> We have a single female epaulette shark named Sweetheart, and the zoo has had her for several years now. <Very cool> She was a donation from a family who didn't realize that a shark will outgrow a 50 gallon tank. <Alas, a common misunderstanding of these small sharks> This past week, she has had two eggs; she is a solitary shark in her aquarium, and as far as we know, she did not have a mate at her previous home. My question is thus: are epaulette sharks able to store sperm, on the off chance she -did- have a mate at her previous home? <No, they cannot but a excellent question. They are like chickens in the way that they can produce unfertilized non-viable eggs even without a male present or sexual activity> Is it dangerous to her health if she continues to have/lay eggs without a male present? <Not at all. We have a skate that produces eggs even though there is only another female in the tank with her and she has never had any noticeable health problems for the past many years. Just be sure to supplement Sweetheart's diet with vitamins. We use the Mazuri brand supplements. www.mazuri.com> Thank you for your time. <not a problem at all, Tara. Pleased to meet you and please look us up at the Monterey Bay Aquarium if you are ever in town. I will do the same when I am out in Arizona. Take care. Paul> Tara Launders

Juvenile Shark sexing Hi its Virginia again<Hi! MikeD again !>, just getting back to you, not sure what you meant by claspers on fins( if male or female?) could you show me on a picture if possible <here's a good example http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/Sharks&Rays/claspers.htm >, trying to feed it by hand doesn't look like it wants to eat, have some more suggestions, getting a little worried about it but it seems to be breathing OK swimming around good<Swimming around too much is actually a bad sign as they spend much time on the bottom> in tank seems happy but haven't seen it eat. Do I just feed it normal squid from grocery store?<Squid or shrimp often is best, with squid often being almost like "shark and eel candy"> fresh and keep it in the fridge<I keep it in the freezer and thaw and cut off pieces as needed> sorry for all the questions<No problem. Sometimes it IS confusing. Often newborn sharks won't eat for several days or longer, living off stored yolk, but after that it can get serious quickly. An excellent book is "Shark and Rays", By Scott W Michael, one of the best IMO> Please write back Virginia
Juvenile Shark sexing
<Hi, MikeD here> Thank you so much for all your help and for the site, when I get a chance I will let you know if it's male or female now that I know what I'm looking at.<You're quite welcome. On your species the claspers on the male will be considerably smaller, just barely visible until it grows larger and begins to mature. It's not actually all that important, unless you name your fish or are likely to try and breed them at a later date. I actually tried to find a male to go with my female and found one male out of  seventeen sharks  in the store. The sex may or may not be temperature dependent, as in some reptiles.> P.S. it ate some squid today<Excellent!!!!> so things are looking better and I will purchase that book<It's one of if not THE best of the type available.> Thanks again<You're so very welcome.> Virginia

New juvenile shark Hi, its me Virginia<Hi back, MikeD here> Well our shark finally hatched June 29,  9:15 pm,<What type?> its so cool I missed it but my son got to see the end of it, I had a feeling I'd miss it, I thought it would have happened last night ,stayed up till 5:00 am in the morning and missed it any way oh well<Me too. Frustrating isn't it?> , When can it start seeing or when do the eyes open? Its so pretty and Big! Ha, Ha, Write Back<The eyes should be open now as they don't have any eyelids, at least in the human sense, but rather just a nictitating membrane for protection when feeding or burrowing. His/her (easy to tell...the males have claspers on the ventral fins) vision  isn't all that great for detail, with it relying mainly on scent and electric sensing for important information, such as what's good to eat or run from.  Start offering it food soon, in small amounts at first, such as shrimp, squid, etc. When the appetite kicks in you'll be able to tell quite easily! Best of luck and observe your new baby to get familiar with its habits re normal/abnormal as each acts just a little different> Virginia

Feeding a juvenile shark <MikeD here again> Its a cat shark, thanks for writing back, oh I thought it was blind at first because its hard to see its eyes, Ok tried to feed it some ghost shrimp but its not eating, do I just put the shrimp in or do I have to hand feed it.<If you mean live ghost shrimp, it (male or female?) may have some trouble catching them at first. You might want to try some sinking predator formula cubes (get the smallest package, just in case) as these usually have a strong scent to them. Your little one has a GREAT nose, even though his eyes are a little weak, a lot like Mr. McGoo. Another thing, try feeding just after lights out as well, as they are nocturnal by nature. Once it's feeding, it will come out the second it smells dinner!> Thanks Again for writing back, please write back again Virginia <Good luck to you. They are great animals!>

Shark Egg Hatching hi <Hi Virginia, MacL here> We purchased a shark egg probably a cat shark could you tell me how long it takes for it to hatch? <Hard to tell because the shark breeds hatching time varies.> and how its going to hatch, <Generally what happens is that the shark inside the shell grows so big it hardly fits in the shell any longer and the yolk sac gets so small it cannot sustain him any longer. Then he hatches. I have had circumstances where they have needed help hatching but if that's the case please find someone that knows what they are doing to help you.>  We have had it for about one month or so.  <Can you see it inside the egg? Is it moving? How full is the shell? Honestly it looks like the shell will explode the shark can get so big in it. On a more serious note Virginia I hope you have a very large tank for this boy to go in as he grows up.  They need at least a 220 gallon to be healthy and happy.> thanks, Virginia <Good luck>
Shark Egg II
Hi its Virginia again,<Hi again Virginia. I'm quite enjoying this as well.> getting back, you've been a great help for me thanks. <Thank you> regarding your question on if its doubled over inside the egg its formed like a "U" if I am looking at it though that window on the top of it. <Definitely which means its getting very big inside the egg.> By the yolk do you mean that stringy stuff that looks like seaweed, if so yes its still there, <Sorry I wasn't more clear.  Attached to the shark will be an egg yolk. Its what the shark feeds on (inside the egg) until its ready to hatch. Usually a ball shape somewhere around the abdomen.> Oh in my tank I also have a porcupine puffer and a lunare wrasse will they fight? <You may have trouble with the puffer out competing the shark for food.> P.S. are these sharks fast growers? <Relatively but they all grow at different rates.> thanks again so much can't wait to tell you when it  hatches feel better knowing your there for me :}  <Thank you Virginia, you are very kind and I can't wait to hear about it. MacL>
Shark Egg Hatching III
hi again <Good morning Virginia> well its hard to see if the yolk is there , it looks pinky I guess. <Probably> I flashed a light on it to see better but couldn't make it out to good. <Its possible that it could be all dissolved inside of him.> After he/she hatches what should I do with the egg remains? <Throw it away.> So will it come out from the sides of the egg or top don't remember if i already asked this question. <Virginia, as you look at the egg if its a cat shark egg is has a side that's sort of sealed. This side is where the shark generally comes out.> After all this I hope I don't miss it hatching its so exciting. <I am sure you'll see it happening.> Actually my son got me interested in salt water tanks now I'm hooked (ha, Ha,)<Boy do I understand that hooked part.> I hope it doesn't have trouble hatching if so I can talk to the pet store not that there much help but I always can talk to you. <If it has trouble hatching but more than likely it won't.>  How long do you think the hatching should take probably to hard to answer knowing deliveries are all different. <I've seen them pop right out and seen it take a long time. Remember as he gets bigger he will need a bigger tank. Somewhere around a 220.> Ha, Ha, well should go to bed Have a good night Thanks <Take care Virginia and good luck, MacL.> Virginia,
Shark Egg Hatching
thanks for writing back <You are most welcome> yes we can see it move it looks happy so far its in a 108 gallon take with sand hopefully that will keep it happy,<Should be okay for a while but remember its going to get pretty big. Oh and Virginia in my experience they don't do well with nitrates at all. So you'll have to have super clean water for him or her.> Ha Ha, when it moves around sometimes you can see the whole egg jolt is that Ok! <Yes its a good sign.  Also a sign its getting close to hatching. They are very strong.> when we bought it they said sometime in June it will hatch hopefully its soon <Sounds like it.  Can you tell how big it is in the egg? Is it doubled over inside it? Does it still have a yolk attached?> what does it usually eat when it hatches <When mine hatched we fed it pieces of raw seafood meat on a stick.  I know people who have fed them by hand and I know people who have accidentally gotten bit so its much better to just get a long stick and use it as a feeding stick. Mine started eating squid first. Very smelly but apparently very tempting for it.  If it is born with some of the yolk still attached it probably won't start eating until that is gone.  Also, don't be surprised it is difficult to get him to start eating. One of mine began eating immediately, another took over a week.> sorry for all the questions <Not a problem> Write back. thanks again Virginia  <Good luck Virginia, MacL>

Bamboo shark hatching - 5/7/04 Hello Crew, I finally got a bamboo shark egg. <Ok. Sorry for the delay, Adam. I am prepping for a massive diving trip to Egypt and today is my last day. I will be gone for the month>  Right now I have power heads in the aquarium.  I do not know if they have any copper in them or anything, <No. They likely don't> so I was wondering if there is any way to know if the shark is under stress when it hatches? <I'm not sure what you mean by stress when hatching. They are designed to hatch without too much stress, so if you leave it alone, it should be fine.> Also I was wondering if you think it's about ready to hatch. <> It's stripes are very visible, I can make out its 2nd dorsal fin very well, the egg yolk is about the size of a marble, and it's not moving its tail at all when I've seen others moving it. <The yolk sac will be completely absorbed before the shark will hatch> Another question is do you know of any way to tell if the shark is going to hatch the day it does? < The shark will usually become very active just prior (day of) to hatching> My last question is I got a magnet to help scrape the algae off of the inside and was wondering if you think it will cause any problems? <It should not. If anything, it will be attracted to it and you will easily see this type of behavior. If you think it might be a problem, only put the magnet in the tank when you are cleaning it.> Would it work to get the shark to be active being that they are attracted to the earth's magnetic fields? <Not likely> Thanks for your help Adam Siders Oh yeah and Paul I'm really starting to consider visiting Monterey Bay over the summer! <Let me know when you are on your way and what day you plan to visit. I will make some time if I am in town>

Shark hatched - 4/26/04  Last night my Banded Cat Shark hatched (Wahoo!) and when I removed his egg I could not see any way of him having got out, do you know where they come out from, is it the edge of the egg or do they "rip" out of the centre. <The edge, mate. Take a look at either side> I was also worried about all the things you have been saying about what you can and can't have on the floor of a tank i.e. sand NOT gravel, <A fine sand is usually better for the Banded Cat shark's underside (it is usually less irratating0 due to the fact that this animal spends most of it's time on the bottom> is marine salt safe to use? <You mean in the tank water? You should be using a salt formulated for marine aquarium use i.e. Instant Ocean or Tropic Marin Sea salt and be sure to pre mix and heat the water to tank temp before doing water changes.> Thanks for any help you can give. <You bet. ~Paul>  Mick*

Baby shark not eating - 4/23/04  Hello  Great web site <Thank you for coming here and for being a Conscientious Aquarist>  Two week ago today, I had a banded bamboo shark hatch. <Great! Congratulations> Currently I have him in a 75G tank. I am cycling a 250G tank for him in the near future. <excellent> My problem is that he will not eat. <No worries. It is not heard of for a newly hatched shark to go for weeks without eating> He may have been in the egg longer because he came out without the large belly I have read about. <Possible> I have presented everything under the sun in regards to food (Squid, Mussels, Crab, Shrimp, Sardines, Silversides <Do not feed sharks these fish as their is a chemical that discourages the intake of iodine thus is sometimes implicated in goiter in sharks> , Krill, Guppies, Octopus, Oysters, etc). I wave the food on a feeding stick, he attacks the stick when first presented and pulls away after trying to grab the food. Of course I present the food in the dark like I am suppose to. <No need to feed in the dark> My water parameters are excellent. <That is a fairly relative term but I will take it on good faith. There is more than good PH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, Alk etc> He is also turning over and scratching himself on the substrate. <May be some form of parasitic infection perhaps. Do search the shark FAQs on our website for recommendations for treatment:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkdiseasefaqs.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfaq.htm   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm >  He is very skinny and I am getting worried. Should I be worried? <Well, the worry is well founded for the scratching part, and the lack of feeding may be related. at the same time though, it is not unheard of for a newly hatched shark not to eat> Do you have any suggestions? <Unfortunately, I have little more than what I have stated>

Shark birthing issues - 4/22/04 Hello I would like to thank all of you for your great information.<Thank you for taking the time to be a Conscientious Marine Aquarist> Alright my question is this I have a banded shark egg that is about to hatch however, a friend of mine who works at a pet store came over and saw the egg and says that the shark is facing the wrong way. He says that the shark can only break out of his egg on one side so since he is facing the wrong way I will have to help him escape the egg. <Well, in my experience, I believe the shark will be fine and will not need any assistance to escape the egg case. Do keep an eye on it, though just in case. I wouldn't worry about it though. Be sure to read through our FAQs on care for this species of shark. Vitamins and feeding are very important to sharks so please do take a look at the information available> This to me sounds absolutely wrong but I wanted to check with the experts. <Not experts but aquarists with experience> Thanks again <Thank you. ~Paul>

Arabian Bamboo shark Hybrid?  Dear Mr. Fenner,  <Mr. McNeil>  I love your website, it gives me a lot of ideas and it also solved a lot of my problems! Is it possible for an Arabian and A White-Spotted Bamboo shark to mate and create hybrid pups?  <Not as far as I know... there have been reports of crosses in other cartilaginous species however>  I have had this Arabian ever since it was 5 months old, and it has been with a mature male white-spotted Bamboo shark for some time. The Arabian just laid two eggs, one with a yoke sack and one with out.  Is it possible and these two mated and created a pup within this egg with the yoke sack?  <Possible, yes... but more probable that this is a "virgin" sterile event>  Is it possible that the Arabian was impregnated before I received her at 5 months of age? My tank specs are follows: 8 feet long 4 feet wide 2 feet deep "touch tank" type, 28 parts per thousand salinity, protein skimmer, bioballs, and filter floss.  <Not at five months... please see here on Fishbase: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Chiloscyllium&speciesname=arabicum. Maturity is listed as occurring between 45 and 54 cm. in total length...>  I don't think that the type of tank matters in this case, I just like to know are these two concepts are plausible?  Thank you so much for your time, Bryan  <An interesting possibility. Will be neat to see what happens 80-90 days from now. Bob Fenner>

Keeping and breeding Bamboo sharks - 4/7/04 I was interested in purchasing some brown banded bamboo sharks so I bought the book "Aquarium Sharks and Rays" by Scott W. Michael.  <Excellent. A little research before purchase is a great attribute to have in this hobby>  I wanted to have a chance at breeding these beautiful creatures. <OK.>  Well I was thinking about putting a pair in the tank (380gallons) and a few fish. <OH?>  I've now after buying the book and doing some reading decided to completely change my mind.<Good>  I'm looking at turning this tank into just a shark tank. Scott says for breeding purposes it's best to house 1 male with several females. <1 Male with 2 females>  In the book on page 220 it recommends for Brown Banded Bamboo Sharks: 684L or 180g for 2 sharks, 912L or 240g for 3 sharks and 1,140 or 300 gallons for 4 sharks. Is this to much? <Volume is as necessary as the footprint of the tank. These sharks are known to get as big as 3.5 ft long in captivity. My experience at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (our new shark exhibit) has actually helped to change my feelings about Scott Michaels's book. I think he grossly underestimates the needs for keeping sharks in captivity. I feel that more than anything, size and shape of the tank (volume and footprint) mean the most to successful shark keeping. This is not to say that this is the only factor for success but is a great place to begin as this is where the animal spends its time. Regular feedings of proper foodstuffs, vitamin supplementation and excellent filtration are also obvious factors>  I mentioned this to a friend and they told me no way! <"No way" what?> I'm just looking to get some answers. This is coming from a well known author, and it's also the book that Everyone says to get when looking at either sharks or rays. <Well it does have some uses and is helpful in general, but again, I think he underestimates the need for a proper footprint and large volume tank.>   What would you put in a 380g tank if you were only going to put sharks in it? <I would do a shark only tank (no other inhabitants.... well, maybe some coral if you would like but not necessary) and I think you might be able to fit two in there but it will be crowded if this is a squared off tank. If you are planning on a custom design, then I would go for a rounded design or a flat back but half oval front and sides and try to get it up to 500 gallons if you plan to keep two sharks.>  How many if you were looking to breed? <1 male and 2 females. For breeding purposes, you need more like 500+ gallons with a low water height and big rounded footprint. In fact, I would look to this type of footprint for keeping sharks in general, regardless if breeding or not. The smallest we keep our adult bamboos in is around 1500 gallons.>  When dealing with a tank like this how often do you do a water change? <As tests show that it is needed but at least once a week> It's hooked up to a pretty big pool pump filter system. <Is this designed with biologic/mechanical/chemical filtration in mind? Do look through our FAQs for more information on filtration. Do some research on the net as well>  Is there anything else I need to know? Thanks in advance I do appreciate it. I'm just looking to have a chance at breeding these and I don't know who to believe anymore because Everyone has their own opinion!  John <A good and bad part of the hobby. I would consult those who are in the business of keeping sharks. You have read opinions and books (more based on a compilation of opinions) now consult those who do keep sharks for a living (professionals as it were). A respected Aquarium, a respected highly regarded aquarists, Biologists who research said animals, yourself (as in how much money I have to keep such an animal long term and healthy). Good luck and thanks for being part of it all. ~Paul>

New Bamboo feeding - 2/11/04 our 4 day old bamboo shark doesn't seem to have any type of pot belly which draws our concern. <Pot belly is not really of concern or a reliable way to identify shark health> How should we know when he will be ready to eat? <See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm please note the first response> and he is not very active, and turns his head away from krill. <Krill is not a great first food choice right now. Our newly hatched sharks rarely move at all for days on days. Nothing to worry about unless water quality is bad> We are gonna try other types of food, but we know feeding him too soon could kill it. <Not likely, in my experience. The sooner they take food the better. If he eats then he eats.> Any new suggestions would be helpful. Water quality seems fine, but how can you check for voltage in the water? <See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm read the links for FAQs as well articles> ~Paul                                                   thank you  

Newly hatched Bamboo shark and feeding - 1/26/04 I have a newly hatched Bamboo Catshark, and have read the Aquarium Sharks and Rays book. <A good start> Your support team seems to contradict itself, <Uh oh...uh...> I've read on here to feed right away and I've also read to wait 2 to 3 weeks. Which is it? <Offer food immediately although, it may not take food for a few days or up to a week or more, you should try ASAP. We (Monterey Bay Aquarium) use chopped squid, clams, or any type of chopped fish fillets like salmon or anchovies, sardines, scallops (all fresh food grade not canned or frozen) or something of that sort. No live feeder guppies or gold fish or anything like that.> Any solid help on this would be appreciated. <Hopefully I answered your needs. Good luck. ~Paul >  Thanks, Eric

Shark Assistance Hi, Sorry to bother you again but, I have a 4 week old Bamboo shark which has been feeding now for nearly 3 weeks on a mixture of squid and tiger prawn chunks one a day 2 too 3 pieces.<that's good that he/she is eating> I noticed over the last couple of days his breathing has speeded up slightly too about 30+ breaths per minute I believe the average is about  22 breaths per minutes and tonight also noticed how very fat he is.<I would not be too concerned about this yet, you might want to feed him a bit less> My main concern is how fat he is I was told to feed him daily for at least the first couple of months.<I agree, feed a little less though> The water levels are ok nitrate 15ppm, Ammonia Zero, PH 8.2 and Nitrite zero, I have an operational Prizm pro skimmer and 2 large canister filters with 4 power heads and most importantly the tank is 120 UK gallons.<is this a 6 foot aquarium?, if not he will definitely need one> Is the breathing linked to the possible over feeding,<possibly, my fish tend to breathe harder if I overfeed them :)> how would be best to deal with this.<feed less lol> he is very active at feeding time and has always eaten with the lights on.<very good> Your advice would be much appreciated Thanks again<So far everything sounds really good, you might want to try to get the nitrates to 0, but 15 is really not bad, just feed a little less and you and your little shark should be fine, IanB> Darren  

-Newly hatched bamboo shark- Gentleman, My local fish store recently hatched a bamboo shark that they say is about one week old.  (I am guessing older cause I cannot see the sac below it.) They asked me to give it a safe habitat cause I guess I am the only one with a set up large enough for it (260g).  They currently have it in a (believe it or not)  10 gallon and realize this is just not humane.  My 260 is not ready to put fish in it.  It has been cycling for about 3 months now and the nitrite levels are still spiking. <That's odd, most tanks cycle in a few weeks. Something is amiss...> I do have a 54 corner that I feel might be suitable for it in the mean time.  My area of concern is that I have a sea apple (which I know you are not big supporters of) <Actually, I think they're gorgeous. It's your tank inhabitants that have to deal with it when it pops out its guts!> , a sea cucumber, a Haitian pink tip anemone and a good size banded coral shrimp.  The only fish are a pair of mated clowns.  Would this set up work for a month or so until the 260 is ready for the shark? <Sounds good to me. I'd remove the anemone just in case.> I do have other tanks I could put the anemone and cucumbers in.  Any advise would be much appreciated, I really want to get this shark out of this LFS and give it a good home.  I figure that until the 260 is ready a 54 corner has to be better than a 10 gallon they have him in. <Absolutely. I'd recommend that you purchase Scott Michaels Aquarium Sharks and Rays book for further in-depth information. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks ahead for the advise, Michael

- Feeding a Young Bamboo Shark - Greetings, <Hello, JasonC here...> I really appreciate the tips you gave me last time. My bamboo shark is now 2 1/2 weeks old now. I read that you are suppose to wait at least 3 weeks before feeding the shark. <I've heard this anecdotally but never seen it in print.> Today I dropped in a few ghost shrimp for my eel and my young bamboo shark went after one. He ended up chewing and swallowing one that was no longer than an inch. I also read that it is sometimes hard to get it to feed so I was kind of happy to see it eat, especially with the lights on. Is this still too early to let him eat? <I don't think so, and it would seem that neither does your shark.> He has been lurking for food during the eels feeding time the last few times I saw him so I figured it wasn't too bad to let him eat. If it is still too early, when should I start letting him eat and how often should he be fed? <Start right away.> Much thanks, Steve <Cheers, J -- >

- Baby Shark Feeding - <Hello, JasonC here...> I have a question?  I am new on having this type of shark.  It was born one week ago.  Do I have to feed him immediately? <I think you should try. Best to feed with the lights out at this early stage.> What type of food should I provide him? <Feed whole, meaty foods like small shrimp and/or squid.> What is the adequate temperature for this type of shark at its aquarium? <78 F> How long should I wait before feeding it? <Not more than a day or so.> Is there any link or address were I can search more information of my banded shark.  That can orient me on its growing, development, stages, etc... <Try these: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm > I will appreciate all the information that you can provide me <Consider picking up Scott Michael's book, Aquarium Sharks & Rays - a good guide to shark care, and one that you should have. Cheers, J -- >

Bamboo shark in a 20?! Hi This is the first time I have used this.  My LFS has had a lot of bamboo shark eggs and young(6 to 10 inches). <That's unfortunate, I can't bear to think how many of them will end up in 20-75g tanks...>  I have fallen in love with these sharks.  I want one but want to make sure I do everything right.  The larges tank my LFS has is a 175 gal.  Would this work.  This is very pricey and they said I could hatch an egg in my 20gal and give it back when it got too big. <Everyone has this idea, and it's a BAD one. You'll have a hard time trying to find a home for it when it get's larger. Only buy things that you can accommodate for the long term!> Is this ok.  I have done my research and understand they need large tanks when fully grown but how big are they when they hatch? <Pretty small, maybe 4-5 inches, they're really crammed in those eggs.> Could they live in a 20 for awhile or not. <Assuming water parameters are good, yes, but it's not a long term solution.> I mean singly without other fish.  Also they eat scallops and shrimp right. <Yep, meaty seafoods> How much do they eat a week because these are very expensive foods. <You don't have to get take-out from a fancy restaurant, your LFS should have a wide variety of frozen seafoods at your disposal.> I love these sharks and if they wont work for me please tell me and I'll stick with a community tank. <If you really love these critters, the first thing you should do is run out and purchase Scott Michael's Aquarium Sharks and Rays book. Also, check out this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkslvgrm.htm which recommends a 220 as a MINIMUM for this shark. MINIMUM means the smallest possible, so a tank larger than that would be recommended. My advice, stay community, and leave the sharks in the ocean. -Kevin> Thanks Clinton

Feeding Sharks...  5/5/03 I have a question?<Let's hear it!>  I am new on having this type of shark.  It was born one week ago.  Do I have to feed him immediately?<NO!!!  Don't!  Feeding too early will kill the shark!  Wait at least 3 weeks.>  What type of food should I provide him?<Best bet may be to get the "pre-made" shark food>   What is the adequate temperature for this type of shark at its aquarium?<mid-70's>  How long should I wait before feeding it?<See above.> Is there any link or address were I can search more information of my banded shark.  That can orient me on its growing, development, stages, etc...<Not being an pita, but next please research the animal before you buy it.  Sharks will die in 90-95% of all aquarist hands.  Much research and planning must be done.  IMO, "Sharks and Rays" by Scott Michael is one of the best shark books out there.  Pick it up ASAP!!!> I will appreciate all the information that you can provide me!<Hope this helps! Phil>

Shark Egg   5/1/03 We bought a shark egg about 2 months ago.  Since then we have had some problems with our tanks nitrates and pH levels.<Oh no>  We have lost most our fish, but the shark egg seemed to do fine.<I have a feeling this is not the case.>  This morning the shark egg started floating...<Ummm...> we did what you had suggested and there looks to be air bubbles in the egg, but no movement.  Is it normal for the egg to float??  Is it dead??  Is it getting ready to hatch??<Shine a flashlight over the egg at night and you should be seeing the baby shark.  If you see "mush" well I'm afraid the little guy didn't make it.  Read over WWM and read over "Sharks & Rays" by Scott Michael for more info on shark eggs.>   Thanks,<No problem!  Good luck!> Joe<Phil>

Shark decomposition while inside egg. My previous bamboo hatched out at 8 inches, healthy and well, before he got himself wedge into the powerhead intake attempting to retrieve some ghost shrimp - unfortunately he died about 4 months into his post-hatch. Distraught, I then purchased another egg.  I have had the egg for over 2 months now, and I haven't touched it since I put it in the tank.  When I first bought it, the egg looked fine, the shark, albeit very small (3-4") could be seen breathing, and you could easily make out its shape and outline.  Now 2 1/2 months later I positioned the egg in front of a backlight.  Much to my chagrin - there was no shark in there at all - just a lot of mush floating inside the egg - it was as if the shark had dissolved into a gunky mess. Well, I know this is not right, so I opened the corner of the egg to peer inside - and the shark had turned into a complete jellied mess, its egg yoke was seemingly in pieces.  It looked like a yellow crumbs in jellied mess.  Nothing was even identifiable as a shark - and the smell from inside the egg was pretty horrible.  The last time I witnessed the egg do a shimmy shake was about 1 month ago.  My guess is that he must have died awhile ago, and has just been decomposing in the egg - the water inside the egg just breaking him down or something - perhaps bacteria - was helping out the decomposition as well. Have you ever heard of anything like this and if so what in the world would have caused this?<  I have heard of this.  Shark eggs should be treated as the hatched shark would.  He may have died for too much shipping stress, wrong placement (they need to be placed in fine sand) etc.  You can read more on them here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm   Cody> My water levels are at dead on standards - my other fish are seemingly fine (1 clown, 1 tang, 4 damsels). Thank you.

Re: banded cat shark egg Hi I have a banded cat shark egg in my aquarium that is on the verge of hatching but I noticed that there are tiny transparent creatures crawling on the egg. What are these creatures and will they harm the baby shark at all? <Unusual... don't know what these might be... if not just material being moved around inside the amnion (the membrane covering the shark. I would not be overly concerned though. Bob Fenner> Thank You Mike Collins

Shark Egg ?? I have a 175 gallon tank. Approx. 40-50 lbs of Marshall Island Rock.  Here's my question I have a Banded Shark Egg (bamboo shark?). and I want to know if I can keep it in a "floating" nursery.  Want I did was take a large clear plastic jar and put holes all over it (lot of circulation), place the Egg in the jar and let it float in the tank. It was not getting enough circulation on the bottom with the container protecting it from a very curious dragon Wrasse that kept poking and disturbing it. <No reason this can't work as long as there is adequate circulation.> I have never "hatched" an egg before, will it be obvious when the shark is going to emerge ? Is there any thing special I need to do? Thanks in advance, Andy <It should be pretty obvious.  Go to WetWebMedia.com and type "shark egg" into the google search engine, there is lots of info on shark eggs there.  Good luck!  Craig>

Baby Bamboo Shark's feed with lights off at first Bob, I noticed that you tell people that newly hatched Bamboo sharks will not eat with the lights on for at least a month. I thought you might be interested to know that I have a shark that has eaten with the lights on since it was one week old. Keepin' it real. <Tom... thanks for your input. Will duly post this. Your shark is simply an exception... and it is necessary for us to advise people of this likely quirk with such Elasmobranchs when the majority do indeed behave as such. If 800 of 1000 baby bamboos need the lights off for the first few weeks... so be it, and their keepers are well advised. The other 200 aquarists are pleasantly surprised. Best regards, Anthony>

Question (reproductive biology of Cat Sharks) I just purchased a young female marbled cat shark. She was housed with an aggressive triggerfish at the shop and has a few bites taken from her dorsal fins. <Not smart on someone's part> She also has some nicks in her pectoral fins that look, in my experience with horn sharks, like mating scars. She is only about 10-12" long. Do marbled cat sharks of that size breed? <No... are near three plus feet at sexual maturity. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Shark hatchling Robert, OK, My Bamboo Shark has hatched, unfortunately my Sharks and Rays book has not yet arrived. Listed below I have some very valuable information that I have gathered from your site. -Salinity preferably 1.025. -Lights out for 12-16 hours a day for the first month. -Do not attempt to feed for at least the first week, more like three weeks.  -Feed silversides, squid, shrimp etc... -No metals in water. Is their any essential information to the survival of this pup that I am leaving out  <yep... begin feeding only with lights out... they are disinclined to feed by day at first. And emphasize whole prey foods with shells on (heads and guts too when possible). Raw cocktail shrimp and large krill are good staples but do provide a varied diet> i.e., PH,  <target over 8.2 at all times (day/night)> Temp,  <under 82 F if possible to improve Oxygen saturation> any susceptibilities to Nitrates  <yes... as evidenced by frequent "yawning" when the nitrates climb too high (also seen in other fishes like SA redtail catfish)> like its cousin the freshwater stingray? Thanks, T <best regards, Anthony>
Re: New Shark hatchling
Robert, OK, My Bamboo Shark has hatched, unfortunately my Sharks and Rays book has not yet arrived. Listed below I have some very valuable information that I have gathered from your sight. -Salinity preferably 1.025. -Lights out for 12-16 hours a day for the first month. -Do not attempt to feed for at least the first week, more like three weeks. -Feed silversides, squid, shrimp etc... -No metals in water. <Yes> Is their any essential information to the survival of this pup that I am leaving out i.e., PH, Temp, any susceptibilities to Nitrates like its cousin the freshwater stingray? <Much... keeping the system nutrient-accumulation free, well-circulated and aerated is of high value, the specimen from being harassed by other life in the system important. Bob Fenner> Thanks, T

Gestation of white bamboo shark Please tell me about a white bamboo shark who held babies for 3 years in before giving birth <<Not sure what exactly you're talking about... try these references for more info on the White Spotted Bamboo Shark (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) or go to http://www.google.com and put in the Genus/species as above... if that's the animal you're looking for.>> http://www.colszoo.org/animalareas/shores/bamboo.html http://filaman.uni-kiel.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Chiloscyllium&speciesname=plagiosum http://luna.cas.usf.edu/~motta/whitespot.html http://www.shark.ch/cgi-bin/Sharks/spec_conv.pl?E+Chiloscyllium.plagiosum <<Good luck with your research! -Lorenzo>>  <Just found this story of 'Shark Gives "Virgin Birth" in Detroit'. Barb> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/09/0925_020925_virginshark.html

More baby Cat Shark woes I have a Black Banded Cat Shark about 3 weeks old. He hatched fine and ate three time but does not seem interested in food now.  <there is a small mountain of information on this topic here on WetWebMedia. Please do a keyword search, my friend, from the index page on the Google search engine (WWM bulleted only)> At first he would attack at the food but never take it, but now he just ignores the food. It's been about 1 week since he ate.  <it is potentially fatal to feed a newly hatched cat shark for up to one months after hatching (depending on how big their "pot belly" was: remnant yolk sac> He is also not moving much. Does not seem like he has much energy.  <they generally are not inclined to feed with the lights on for the first couple of months> Once he went around the tank kind of jerking. But it just sitting there now breathing slow. Checked all water and it appears to be fine.  <they like normal or slightly higher salinity (like most Elasmobranchs). Be careful not to go below 1.022 (1.024-1.026 better). Also assuming that nitrates are near zero> What do you recommend? Feeding? Water? Treatment? Thanks. <please do research this and all animal's well before buying. There really is a lot of information in print and online on this animal to help us keep and even breed them. I am truly hoping that you have a 100gallon aquarium or larger for this small shark species. Adult size is still 36" and it really needs a large tank even in the short run (fast growth or risk of stunting and dieing prematurely). Best regards, Anthony> Joel PS. I read through http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkdiseasefaqs.htm and not much seemed to apply to my situation. The shark does not seem to have any rashes or abrasions.

Cat Sharks Dear Anthony Calfo, Steve Pro and/or Bob Fenner, <Howdy> My bamboo catshark hatched last night. I've had the egg in my tank for 3 months.  <appropriate timing... 3-4 months> Over this time I've maintained my water quality according to what I had read was it's needs. Salinity is 1.026, Ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, ph is 8.3ppm, Phosphates 0.1ppm (using the water and gravel left over night and testing the next day method) and nitrates vary between 5ppm to 10ppm, by the time the next water change is due. Upon my sharks hatching I noticed two things about this catshark, First it's color was different from all the ones I had seen before at the pet shops. This one is a bright white and black striped.. all the other ones I've seen were tan to brown with black stripes.  <variation and maturity will reveal in time> Is this color a normal variation or a sign something's wrong?  <very fine> Also Her breathing seems a bit gaspy.  <typical... > Another fish I had gotten at the same time as my shark egg from the same store kept in the same tank as they had the shark eggs in fact, upon closer inspection once I got it home had signs of Gill Disease so, I treated it in my hospital tank with Maracyn and it's been doing find since.  <coincidence... Maracyn is just erythromycin and could have done little if anything to improve a "gill disease". Really a useless and antiquated drug nowadays> Could my shark have the same thing seeing as it was from the same tank in the store were I bought it?  <very unlikely... if it is any problem it is an aspect of water quality not to its liking> If so what is the best way to treat Gill Disease for sharks? If it's something else, what could it be and how would I treat that? Thank you for your help, Kimberly<please read all of the many FAQs on this animal on the Wet Web Media site... it has been written about extensively in the FAQs. Redeemer too: DO NOT attempt to feed this animal for the first several days if not more than a week until the pot belly remnant of a yolk sac if absorbed. You will kill the animal likely if you attempt to feed. Also, know that it will mostly or only feed with the lights off for the first several weeks. Best regards, Anthony>

Bamboo shark Hi Anthony, Thank you for your help. I feel a bit more relaxed now. :)  <very good to hear> I read over the FAQ's last night before mailing and found it very helpful but the only FAQ I found on the breathing, it was suggested the nitrates maybe the cause and my nitrates 5ppm - 10ppm appeared to be at good levels. (can't seem to get it lower then 5ppm.) Is there a FAQ archive? If so where could I find it?  <the best way to find anything archived on the site is to use the Google tool at the bottom of the index/home page and search the WWM site (check bullet) for a specific word/phrase/topic> Also, I was planning to change over to an ecosystem filter along with the use of my protein skimmer. I've read so many wonderful things about the effects an ecosystem has on fish and corals but, I'm wondering if that will be enough to maintain the water quality with the amount of waist sharks add to a tank?  <agreed... sharks are high bio-load and make a good case for lots of live rock, a good sized wet/dry filter and weekly water changes> Right now the only things in this tank are 2 green dragnets,  <WOW!!! will be eaten by the shark in the near future and they will both die... the flesh of the dragonets is toxic> 50 blue legged hermits,  <natural shark food... crustacea> along with corals, 3 curlicue anemones and the baby shark. The only other fish I want to add are a pair of yellow striped maroon clowns. It's a 100gal. tank and I plan to upgrade to a 200gal. with in the next 6 months. <excellent and appropriate> Thank you again for every thing, :) Kimberly <best regards, Anthony>

Shark Egg I bought a shark egg recently and I am having trouble identifying it. The egg is similar to a banded shark (shape and size) but the shark's markings are significantly different. It is darkly colored with faint striping and it has small spots on its body. On the front of the head are 4 small white spots that are a great contrast to the rest of the body. Can you help me? Thank you for your time. <Please look here for your answer http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm -Steven Pro>

Shark Nursery Thank you again for your help On my ill Clownfish letter. I set up a 30 gallon a month and a half ago to hatch a banded cat shark egg, all it has is a sand bed, a small Biowheel filter, a Skilter, and a standard sized 50/50 daylight/actinic bulb, pretty dim. Is that a good light set up or does he need more? <Way more room.> Since I just added the egg and he has maybe even months left to hatch I thought it would be a good environment while we set up a larger tank. <Will/can be tolerated until hatching.> So I have a number of questions, mainly about the new tank. 1. How long can he stay in the 30 gallon after he has hatched? Is it a until he is cramped sort of thing, or a certain size, or almost immediately after hatching, or a certain age, so I can plan on when it is necessary to set up the new tank? <Almost immediately.> 2. How big should the new tank be minimum? <I like the standard 180's, 2'x2'x6', to begin with.> From what I have seen most say 180 gallons, but there is such a HUGE price jump in my area between 125 and 180 (approximately triple the price and has to be special ordered). I was curious how it would do alone or with one or two other compatible fish in a 125 (of course not the tall one, but the wider more surface area version)? <My recommendation on a 180 is temporary at that. This is a shark that reaches an adult length of three feet and will need a tank that wide so that it can turn around.> Also if it will take more than 3-4 years for the tank size to become too constrained, that would be alright also, since I could save the money to move up eventually and have another lovely large tank to feed my addiction. 3. Is liverock as necessary in a fish/predator only tank, especially since it limits the open space he can move in and presents a possible irritant? <Not necessary in any tank, but very helpful in some quantity.> I do have live sand as suggested not to irritate his underbelly. But will a Biowheel or bioballs do well enough for biological filtration? <Both are effective and maybe necessary in high bio-load situations.> Also, my local fish store suggested, I set up a cave out of smoother (possibly calcium rich rock, used for discus fish) for when he hatches in the 30 gallon, so he will feel more comfortable with a place to hide. Is this a good idea, or should I use live rock or something else instead? <Any saltwater safe material will do.> 4. What kind of fish would be compatible with a banded cat (preferably things I couldn't keep in a reef tank, since my 72 gallon is a beginning reef)? <Any gulpers; eels, groupers, and lions oh my!> I am ordering that shark and ray book, so hopefully it will help also. 5. What is a good varied diet for sharks, I house sat for a friend who has a baby shark (where we fell in love with it). He is only about a month old and he would only eat Squid tentacles. Maybe 2-3 tentacles every 3 days or so, is that enough? <More than one food is best. Three or four is great.> He would only eat after the lights were off and seemed very disinterested in the food for a good minute or two then snatched it roughly off the feeding stick. He absolutely refused to eat anything that was laying on the bottom of the tank. I realize the diet should be more varied, but what else should and could be offered? <Clams, mussels, krill, etc. Do look through the writings on WWM for more suggestions.> I am kind of second handedly asking for my friends, and also so I know in the future. Thanks again! -Kelly <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>
Shark Nursery II
"2. How big should the new tank be minimum? <My recommendation on a 180 is temporary at that. This is a shark that reaches an adult length of three feet and will need a tank that wide so that it can turn around.>" So what would be the recommended tank size for the adult shark? <Three foot wide, two-three foot deep, and nine feet long or more for an adult.> How big a tank does he require the first few months after hatching, and how long would be able to remain it  <I would use the 180 right off of the bat.> "3. Is liverock as necessary in a fish/predator only tank, especially since it limits the open space he can move in and presents a possible irritant? <Not necessary in any tank, but very helpful in some quantity.> So would you recommend I do add some? <Yes> I just don't want to limit his space. He is only about a month old and he would only eat Squid tentacles. Maybe 2-3 tentacles every 3 days or so, is that enough? <More than one food is best. Three or four is great.>" Is that amount enough? <Yes> It seemed kind of small or should the amount be based more off of what he will eat? <Based off of what he will eat, but every few days to every other day should be fine.> And is every three days often enough? <Yes> Thanks, Kelly <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Ughh... leopard sharks Bob, <cheers, mate... Anthony Calfo here while Bob weeps at the thought of another aquarist keeping a leopard shark <G>> Hi, first I wanted to say that so far you have helped me a lot with my banded cat shark and egg thus far…I have also bought Michael's book as well…I just have a few questions not covered in either … <glad to hear of Bob/WWM of help as usual... and agreed, Scott Michael's book is fantastic ("Sharks and Rays" I presume) 1: I know that my banded cat shark egg is in its 4th quarter …and I was wondering when will I know my shark is about to hatch <not sure what you mean by fourth quarter...month? Such eggs often take around 4 months to hatch. Please do advise if I have misunderstood. Else, know that the last several weeks before hatching the shark is packed tight in the egg and doesn't move... quite natural during final growth spurt before flexing muscles to spring case open. Please DO NOT open the egg case... the shark is not dead. Also, please do read our WWM FAQ's on this topic... covered quite extensively in other queries> 2: This is on Leopard sharks…I am thinking on getting a 8”-10”  <ughhh! doubly horrifying... first the though of keeping it captive with an adult size of 6-9 feet long. Doubly because they hatch at 12-14" long... sometimes longer which means the 8-10" babies so commonly seen are yet more products of the abhorrent practice of catching a single pregnant adult female and gutting her for her babies prematurely. All too common. Your purchase of this shark would support this practice> and I was wonder how fast it would grow…I have a 200 gal aquarium and I was wondering how long before I would be able to keep it….Thanx <any discussion of this animal in a tank under 1000 gallons is moot. Leopard sharks need huge aquariums to support their fast growth and adult size (6-9 feet). Else, they will stunt and die prematurely like most in captivity in tanks under 500 gallons. Many/most will hang in seemingly OK for up to 2 years before dieing "mysteriously". No mystery... tank is too small. Please do NOT buy a leopard shark unless you have an aquarium fit for a zoo. Best regards, Anthony> Shane Isaacs

Shark egg ID Is there a way you can tell between a marble cat shark egg and a banded cat shark egg…I bought what they told me was a marble egg but it looks just like the banded…then <yep... when the shark has advanced to any significant stage of development, the egg can be "candled"...even underwater. Tank lights out...dark room... egg on bottom of tank propped up on narrow end and shine a bright light from behind and through it (a flashlight through the outside corner). Banding is VERY conspicuous on even a small shark still with a large portion of its pigmentation. Indeed... banded pigmentation by the time the egg is 8 weeks old. Best regards, Anthony>

Banded Cat Shark (Elasmobranch: Elsasmobroke-out) Hi my name is Cassandra <Cheers, dear> I have just released my Banded Cat shark from its egg as we have had it more than 4 month and we could not see it moving very much.  <quite frankly you most likely released it prematurely. I'm almost certain of it having seen a great many bamboo/epaulette and horn sharks hatch through the years. It is natural and common for the juvenile to be quite still for the last 2-4 weeks prior to hatching. Imagine, if you will, that they have become so well developed nearing the end that they cannot move but are still growing. They need to grow squeaky snug in the egg so that they can eventually flex their muscles to spring the case open. I assure you that it is rare for a juvenile to get that far developed and then die in the case... mother nature didn't design them that way <wink>. And if it were going to die so, then the specimen would not be likely to survive much beyond your assistance anyway. Still... your fear was very natural and understandable... a lack of experience that should bring little harm to the shark> it hatched with no egg sack  <not quite true... it has been hatched with no visible egg sack left... but still is unlikely to need fed for at least a week... perhaps closer to three. Notice a little pot belly on it? PLEASE be sure to keep the tank dim and lights off for a healthy 12-16 hours daily. Also, make no attempt to feed with the lights on for the first month... it is unlikely to eat then. Do wait at least one week before trying anything> and he seems to be dragging his body along the floor and breathing quite deeply.  <fairly normal...although a low salinity can stress sharks. Elasmobranchs tend to favor normal to high salinity. Under no circumstance IMO should you be under 1.022... and preferably aim for 1.024-1.026> I want to give him the best chance he has got please please please can you help. <I trust that it is being kept by itself? It really would be best and despite it being a smaller shark species... they will still approach three foot in length. A six foot (150-200 gallon) aquarium should be in your 2-3 year plan. You may need a bigger tank later or if you want to add other fish. I know that I wouldn't want to live my life in a room only twice as big as my height or not even for my life. Please do read through the MANY FAQs on this site regarding bamboo and cat sharks. I wish you the best of luck. Anthony>

Shark egg Bob, I have a bamboo shark egg that I just bought…cute little thing…anyway, the yolk is about in 1.5” diameter and I can see the shark inside wiggling….how long should it take to hatch, and what should I expect to happen in that time as well as the first couple of months to follow…thanks… <Begin here... read, then explore links and FAQ's at the top and beyond... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm All will be revealed <smile>>

Banded Shark Hi, I read some of the other faq and I was hoping you could help me. I bought a banded shark egg, which hatched about a week ago. The shark has not wanted to eat. <Very normal> I tried shrimp. Also, reading the other articles I realize they have been mentioning "yoke sac". I hope they are not taking about the egg. I threw that out when the shark was born. Didn't know any better. <No, the yoke sac is attached to the shark below is belly.> What should I do now. Please help. Thank you <Continue to read the FAQ's and wait. The easiest thing to do is acclimate some ghost shrimp to full saltwater and live them in the tank alive for when the shark is ready. -Steve Pro>

Bamboo cat shark eggs Hi bob, I see the bamboo cat shark eggs advertised at a lot of different places.  No-one seems to know how long it will take to hatch. Could you give me some  info on them and if you think it is something worth buying? Thanks. I read  you Q/A every day. It's very informative. Edna <About Bamboo Sharks or just their eggs? About 138-160 days to hatch out... I am not near as big a fan of the prominent Shark (et al.) writer Scott Michael of the use of these (or any other) Shark families in captive systems... They are amongst the smallest, mainly bottom-dwelling, easiest to maintain sharks though... but historically more than half are dead in a month... and ninety some % in three... Not worth buying in my estimation. Bob Fenner> I was wondering if know how long it takes a bamboo shark egg form  ffexpress would take to hatch.  I just received mine and I can see the shark moving around inside but it  is only about an inch or two long.  Thanks  <From 138-160 days to hatching... perhaps information of not much value... as who can tell how old the egg was when you received it? But this gives you some idea. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo Shark Eggs III No, I'm going to put the shark into the 40 for a few months until I get my 150 for Christmas. <Christmas is now 9 months away. Add to that the time it will take to install and cycle the tank and if you buy the shark soon, plan on housing it in the 40 for close to a year. This is inappropriate. Besides a 150 is not big enough long-term. This is an animal that should reach three to three and a half feet long as an adult and would find it very difficult to impossible to turn around in a 18" wide tank.> I just wanted to know how fast they grew. <You can do what you wish, it is a free country. I can only advise. -Steven Pro>

Shark eggs Dear Bob I recently watched a documentary that showed carpet shark eggs which appeared to be ribbon-like spirals. Is this the normal shape of shark eggs or is this peculiar to carpet sharks? Thanks Marcus <There is a great deal of diversity in the types, shapes of shark eggs... and even their modes of reproduction. Not peculiar to Carpet/Wobbegong Sharks. Bob Fenner, who encourages you to look for Scott Michael's shark book.>

Banded Cat Shark Egg Hi I have recently purchased a Banded shark egg and I am really excited about my upcoming delivery and I have placed it in my 30 gal tank with my eyelash Blenny and snails and 3 peppermint shrimp and want to put it in my 55 gal reef tank with my damsels and arrow crab and red legs and other fun things. Is this a good Idea or should I raise it in my 30 only?? <Leave it to hatch where it is... move in a month or two after...> Any info on this would be a great help Thank you Angie <Scott Michael's newly redone "Shark and Ray" book ought to be out from Microcosm/TFH in a month or two... you're a candidate. Bob Fenner> Angie
Re: Banded Shark egg
Hi I wrote you concerning my Banded shark egg and the care of it what is the best type food for a newly hatched baby ?? Also later after he grows ??? <Hmm, smallish, meaty foods of all types... offered on a feeding stick... Please see the "Cartilaginous Fishes", FAQs sections posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com and the references listed thereon... Bob Fenner> Thanks Angie

Shark Eggs I have two banded bamboo shark eggs the babies are still developing but I need to know what to look for how do they come out do I have to assist in freeing them from there egg (cocoon). I was hopping you could help me with some information on the birth of them. thank you for time . <Mmm... don't know if I understand you here. These young sharks will free themselves when it is their time. No need for you to assist. Please take a look at the small bit of information we have posted on sharks, FAQs: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm beyond this survey article (the blue links at top)... and do consider getting a copy of Scott Michael's new book on Sharks, Rays... cited there. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo shark eggs <Anthony Calfo in your service> Robert, Thanks for your website. I have been searching for one. just a few questions as I know you get a lot of them. I have a shark egg in one tank and want to move it to another tank. How long must that other tank be set up before I can move it?  <if the other tank is fully cycled and biologically sound you are not restricted. Although moving around is not a good habit. Assumedly, the new tank is larger?> and freshly hatched bamboo cat sharks eat what?  <you can't feed the newborns post-hatch until their yolk sack is entirely absorbed (otherwise can be fatal). Some merely hatch with a pot belly that will be absorbed in days to 2 weeks... others hatch with a more apparent remnant sack that needs to be observed. In this case the creature should not be fed until it is clearly absorbed (up to one month). None should be fed right after hatching. This is the sort of information one gets with proper information gathering before you buy an animal (sorry to use you as an example, bud). Also, hatchling horn and cat sharks will feed voraciously on almost anything after the yolk is absorbed... but only with the lights out! A most amazing thing... turn the lights on and they are sluggish to feed (at first), but turn the lights off and they pounce on food! Within a month or two they will acclimate to feeding by daylight. Always research your targeted species thoroughly before you buy them, my friend. > I live in Colorado and have always loved and studied sharks. I have just gotten Scott Michaels book and am going to read it now. thank you for all you help. Steve <a fine book... best of luck to you, Anthony Calfo>

Shark Egg does it matter which side the egg lays on? <the egg has evolved to snag upon the rocks with the weedy/fibrous tendrils on end to tolerate some current. If you do not have these tendrils or cannot fix it so that it is so, please provide the best current possible around the egg for gas exchange. The egg really shouldn't lay motionless on one side for weeks or months as I understand it. I suspect it is not a great matter either way though... we shall just do the best that we can. kindly, Anthony>

Shark egg Is there any way to know if my banded cat shark egg is still alive. And do you have any hatching tips thanks <they take three to six months to hatch, Never forcibly hatch open an egg (the last two weeks the sharks will be very cramped and still in the egg case appearing as if dead but waiting to bust out), watch embryonic development by backlighting (lean egg up against corner of tank, turn off lights and shine flashlight through water behind egg in corner), Do not feed the hatched shark for the first two or more weeks until yolk sac is completely absorbed (may just be a bulging belly but still, do not feed until clearly absorbed), when ready...feed with lights off at first...many babies will not feed with lights on, offer finely shredded crustacean meats. Hatched shark 101 <smile>. Anthony>

Shark Egg When the egg hatches and I feed the shark what should I feed it, how should I feed it, and how often. Also is it normal for the egg to have a hole on it? <for care of hatched sharks, please do read the FAQs in the archives. It has been asked and answered quite a bit to your liking I suspect. As far as the hole in the egg... yes. Indeed the eggs are born with an open end to the "purse" egg capsule. If air should ever get into the egg you can actually point this end of the egg upward underwater and "burp" it. Do avoid the event however... just need to know info. Baby sharks also may abrade or chew a hole in the egg capsule to facilitate hatching... else their growth expands the open end of the capsule. Kindly, Anthony>

Bamboo Shark Eggs Bob, <Steven Pro this afternoon.> Hello, I was thinking about buying a bamboo shark egg, but after reading your site I'm not sure if I should, <Glad to hear you are having second thoughts.> how do I know if the shark is even alive when I buy it? <You can usually see some movement. Otherwise, it will become necrotic.> also, I have a 40 gallon tank for now, how long will it be before I have to upgrade? <Pretty much immediately. Really not even good to start with.> and what would be a good size for 1 shark? <A standard 180, 2'x2'x6'.> For 2? <30"x30"x8'> Thanks, Shane Isaacs <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Bamboo Shark Eggs Follow-up How fast do they grow? <Your question leads me to believe you still wish to attempt to cram a shark into a 40. I have nothing more to add other than I stand by my original recommendation not to put any shark in such a small tank. Sincerely, Steven Pro>

Home for a Banded Cat Shark Hello, I was wanting to know if I could put a banded cat shark in my 125 gallon tank with my stars and stripes puffer and honeycomb grouper my nitrates are about 20ppm and there are no nitrites or ammonia and ph is 8.3. This shark is about 10 inches and they only have him in a little 55 gallon tank so do you think it would be okay in my tank for 2 years or is my tank to small

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

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