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FAQs about Sharks in General 2

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A very small Chiloscyllium punctatum in captivity.

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

Trigger, Shark, ich, and a 300 Gallon home Hello everyone, <Hi! Ryan with you> I've got a problem here and was hoping for some suggestions. <Sure> I've got a 75g tank that has been cycling for 6 months now. Water parameters are excellent. I've got one bamboo shark in there and a black trigger that I recently moved from the 75g to the new 300g. <OK> I also have a new 300g tank (bought specially for Henry the shark) that has been cycling now for roughly 6 or 7 weeks. <Good, he'll need it.> The water parameters there are excellent as well. In this 300g tank I have 1 domino damsel, 3 cleaning shrimp, 5, cowry snails, 1 white moray snake eel, a Snowflake eel and the black trigger that I moved from the 75g. As mentioned above, water parameters are fine, but here's my problem. I think the domino damsel infected my trigger with ICH, so I immediately returned the trigger to his old home with the shark, hoping that he would heal with out medicine, or hypo. <Hmmm, not the best move.  Next time put him in a quarantine.> I understood that ich is like a flu to humans and can heal on their own. <Whoa! No, not at all!  Ich is a parasite- not a virus.  It has a life cycle of its own.  It doesn't cure itself, it kills your fish!>  The trigger has only been in the larger tank for 1 week, so I'm optimistic he'll heal with no problem. <Not without treatment!  Please read up: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm >  However, here are the things I?m worried about and was hoping for suggestions.  The trigger has had ich before (3 months ago) while living with the shark. The shark never caught it. Is there a possibility that the trigger will heal it self with out passing it over to the shark? <Wouldn't count on it.> 300g tank: Could the eels also be exposed to ICH now, and should I allow them to heal with out any treatment? <They're exposed, as well as everything else in the tank.  See the above link.> They look pretty healthy and they are eating. What about the snails and cleaner shrimp? <Won't catch it-The cleaner shrimp will make it a meal> Will they live through it and what should I expect? Thanks so much, MZ <Good luck, and kill this parasite once and for all.>

Shark for aquarium and Dancing girls 7/10/03 Hi --- I currently have a 27,000 gallon salt water aquarium (yes you read correctly) with the usual stock---tangs ,wrasses, eel, rays, parrot, triggers, angels, etc. My friends want me to add a small shark. <Your friends also want you to send us, the WWM crew, beautiful strippers and a truckload full of one dollar bills. Don't listen to your friends> I've read on all the types and in my opinion none are compatible even in spite of the size of the tank. <We agree... especially because the "interesting" mid-water swimming species are often pelagic/open water and not accustomed to reef confinement> I have had good luck with the other tank mates compatibility even though many books say that some of mine are not compatible. <Well... even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes> I think the size makes a difference. <That's what she said...> I would like your opinion on which type if any would work best. Jay Piatek <I sincerely feel that your tank will fare better without the company of a shark. If you must have one, do consider the proper reef species like the Bamboo/Epaulette sharks. Kind regards, Anthony>

Outside Shark Pond.... No-Go..  7/4/03 I live in Long Island, NY.  I am thinking of moving my large nurse shark<Oh no.....> and bamboo shark outside to a large saltwater pond due to their size, will the warm summer weather and cold winter weather allow them to survive?<Not a chance....> My pond is 17 feet long by 4 feet wide by 5 feet deep.<A Nurse shark needs at least a 4,800 gallon tank, if not more.  The Bamboo needs at least a 250-300 gallon tank.  These sharks can not be kept outside in cold climates.  No way.  I suggest that you plan on buying a HUGE indoor tank to hold these fish.  And a word to everyone, please don't buy Nurse sharks unless you have the time, money, resources to house them for their entire lives.  They are best left in the ocean.  Thanks...<Sorry my news wasn't good, but it is the truth.  BTW, Happy 4th of July!  Phil>

- Shark and Trigger Compatibility - Hey guys have a quick question. <Ok.> I have a 7 in Banded cat Shark in my 150 gallon tank. He is currently in there with 3 damsels, a clownfish, and a mandarin. He's never made an attempt to eat any of them at least not for the 2 months I've had him. <Give it time... the ones that can't move quickly enough...> MY question is CAN I HAVE HIM WITH A CLOWN TRIGGER? <I wouldn't recommend it. If not immediately, eventually the Clown trigger would pick on the shark.> I really want a clown trigger but I don't want my shark to eat him or hurt him. <I'd be more worried about the trigger.> Are they compatible? <No.> If they aren't who'd win the battle? <Unless it was a juvenile, I'd bet on the trigger.> I'd much rather have the clown trigger now and regret getting the shark. I doubt the LFS would buy him back either so if they aren't compatible what can I do besides not buy the trigger? <Just skip it and raise a healthy shark. You've got a good tank to start with but will need upgrades in time.> Thanks in advance <Cheers, J -- >

Young Bamboo Shark Hi, My bamboo shark hatched a week ago and I was wondering if his behaviors are normal. Right now, I see him hiding under rocks all through out the day. At night, he looks like he crawls around a little bit but he is still not very active. <Make sure if there are any other fish in the tank that they're not picking on it.> I know that these sharks spend a lot of time sitting around but I was wondering if he well act differently as time goes by. Will he always be hiding in the daytime? <It will be fine as long as you are able to feed it, once it begins to eat it should be out more frequently.> Will I ever seem him swimming at the mid to higher water levels of the tank or do they just crawl? <Well, maybe if it gets really excited, but no, they usually just hang out on the bottom.> Thanks a lot for taking the time to help me out. <I hope you have a large tank for this critter as they grow a few feet long. -Kevin> Steve

Chiloscyllium  caerulopunctatum hi crew does anybody know where I can get a picture of the blue-spotted Bambooshark or info more specific than 50 to 57 cm long < http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=5902&genusname=Chiloscyllium&speciesname=caerulopunctatum you can look over this link, search google, or purchase Scott Michaels book of Sharks and Rays, IanB> thanks

More sharks is it true that a marble cat shark can reach lengths of only 24"? <according to fishbase.org Yes, the site is a good source of information, this fish needs an aquarium of at least 180 gallons 72"X24"x24", and even this is too small in the long run> and also what do you know about blue-spotted bamboo sharks and how often are they sold?<well I have never seen a Chiloscyllium caerulopunctatum in a LFS, or an online store such as the marine center or liveaquaria.com, I would contact themarinecenter.com because they get pretty rare fish in and can possibly find this shark, I would not place him in the 60X18X24 aquarium, At adult size this fish would not be able to turn around and would be more than half the length of this aquarium>                                             thanks<IanB>                                                      JON

A serious interest in Sharks Hey I would just like to know some information about the Chain Catshark, Scyliorhinus retifer.  He is really neat looking and I'm not sure if the information I found was accurate.  How big does it grow to??  What is the water temperature it requires?? <These answers are both on the fishbase.org link you give below... this is a small (less than two feet overall length), deep (to 550 meters) coldwater shark...>   Is it available in the pet trade?? <Never have seen this species>   I will send a pic jus incase that you have never heard of it.  I got it out of the book Aquarium Sharks & Rays by Scott W. Michael is where.  Here is the pic.   Click here: Species Summary .  Thank you very much.                                        Sincerely,                                                        Versusdude320 <Wish you were with me yesterday... saw a "true" hammerhead (the Giant)... or "mokarra"... off of Honaunau/Two Step out here in Hawai'i... about a fifteen footer! Do consider working/volunteering at a public aquarium re your interest in Elasmobranchs... and augmenting this experience with dive travel. Bob Fenner> Shark studies That does sound like a good idea.  I was in Kauai in April for Spring Break for 3 weeks in the town of Kapaa. <How nice> I was really happy cause I saw a Tiger Shark when we were out on a boat one day off of the I think there called the Napali Cliffs. <What a beautiful place... but too high up, scary for me> I'm not sure but I was really excited.  How would I be able to work at an aquarium since I'm only 15?  Please email me back.  You are very helpful and thank you and have a nice day.                                        Sincerely,                                                        Versusdude <Many such facilities have docent programs, use volunteers for many of the maintenance activities. Don't be dissuaded from trying due to your age. Bob Fenner>

- Rescuing a Nurse Shark - Hello, <Good morning, JasonC here...> My husband and I are quite concerned about the conditions of a nurse shark that is currently being kept in a local fish store in our area.  Apparently she grew too large for her former owner to keep any longer so they took it to Value Pets in Pennsauken, NJ.  The fish store is keeping the 5' shark in a 180 gallon tank, and she is for sale for $499. <Quite unfortunate.> We have asked the employees of the store what they plan on doing with her and there has been some talk about giving her to the Garden State Aquarium, but they are not interested as she is too small to be housed in the shark tanks there.   We have several aquariums at home, but the largest is only 240 gallons and that would not be much better then her current conditions. <Or really ever... these sharks grow to between 9 and 14 feet, so as you might guess... you'd be upgrading your tank quite often - optimally you'd need a system over 5,000 gallons.> Over the years we have rescued a couple of greyhounds, many stray cats, and quite a few mutts, but we do not have the expertise to rescue a shark that could grow to fifteen feet in length. <I'd advise against it...> Currently we have three dogs and four cats all rescues living with us and they bring us a tremendous amount of joy. <Very admirable.> I would love to see this shark rescued, I just don't know how to go about it. <I would recommend that you forget about it... sadly, this shark should have never been taken out of the ocean, and the only way to truly rescue it would be to get it into a public aquarium. The difficulty there is that most large aquariums already have their fill of nurse sharks and are unable to take on additional specimens.> We would be willing to buy the fish and help financially to get her released into her natural habitat or into a marine facility somewhere. <I think you may find the cost prohibitive... do continue to check around with other large aquariums, perhaps Atlantis in Long Island, but if not, please don't take it home... you won't be doing the shark or yourselves any favors, and it will also encourage the shop to procure more nurse sharks, which is the real tragedy here.> If you have any suggestions or advice it would be greatly appreciated. <Well, I admire your concern here, but if we were talking about a killer whale, you'd quickly surmise the complications of getting such an animal into adequate care. If you're interested in captive care of sharks, I'd recommend Scott Michael's book Aquarium Sharks and Rays as a good place to start. I'll briefly quote from this work, as it's quite apropos for this situation: "Even public aquariums have a problem getting rid of these sharks, so the hobbyist should not expect their local public aquarium to take an oversized nurse shark when it threatens to burst the walls of its aquarium. These animals should never be returned to the wild, leaving as the only alternatives turning one's pet shark over to a fish monger or taxidermist. If none of these scenarios appeal to you, as they don't to most aquarists, resist ever buying a juvenile nurse shark." [pg 108] > Thank you, Michele Todd <Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Cheers, J -- >

Eels Hi, <Good morning, PF here in the bright and early, at least by my standards...> I am purchasing that book I have already ordered it. <I'm assuming Michael's book on sharks and rays.> I know a lot about epaulettes but no where can I find information on how well they do with eels, in particular a Hawaiian Dragon Eel or a Tessalata Eel. <Both eels are piscivorous, and if there is a substantial size difference, I imagine one would eat the other. That said, Tessalata eels reach almost 6' in length, that's a lot of eel. Hawaiian Dragon eels reach about 32" - 1/2 the length. Don't forget the square/cube law: double the size, 4X the mass. > I have read everything on your website about sharks and almost everything about eels but I didn't find any information on Hawaiian Dragon Eels or Tessalata Eels. <I would recommend you read Scott Michael's Reef Fishes Vol 1, there's an extensive section on eels.> I also am looking into the blue dot stingrays.  I am not necessarily getting an eel or a stingray but I am definitely getting the sharks.  I have read numerous books on marine aquariums that included information about sharks.  I have also contacted the aquarium about epaulettes.  I am smart enough to know not to get any kind of shark that is sharky-looking, like a nurse, lemon, white tip, leopard, shovelnose, or hammerheads, which are available from time to time. <Good for you, I can't believe someone would try to keep a hammerhead, well, actually, sadly I can believe that.> I have read lots of information about the sharks but I cannot find any information on how they behave with the Hawaiian Dragon Eels or Tessalata Eels or the blue dot stingrays. <The sting rays fair poorly in captivity, and need a very different setup than either the Epaulette or the Hawaiian Dragon eel - the ray needs a large, sandy area, while the shark and eel need rock work. For the sake of the ray (not to mention your wallet) leave it in the ocean, or go see one at a public aquarium.> So I need to know if they can all be housed together or with just an eel or just a stingray and sharks? <Think I already answered that one.>  I also need to know some information about the Hawaiian Dragon Eel such as his behavior, what it eats, and if it is hardy? <It's an aggressive piscivore, like all eels prone to carpet surfing, and yes they are hardy animals. They are also known for going on hunger strikes. Do pick up and read Michael's book.>  I also need to know if the sea life I listed above are compatible with a woebegone? <Not in my opinion. The woebegone gets over 10' long and is no more appropriate to keep than the hammerhead.>  I know it is compatible with an Epaulette but I don't know if it is compatible with the other sea life I listed. Please help me. Thank you very much.  Sincerely, Versusdude320 <Well, I hope this helps. Please do some more reading and research before making any final decisions. Have a good day, PF

Shark Problems..  4/22/03 I have a 75gallon I know I'm going to need a bigger tank most of the place that I read said  when adult he can be housed in a 150 gallon.<You've read wrong buddy...  You WILL need a 300-500 gallon tank in short order.  Within the next 6-12 months no doubt in my mind.>  I am planning on getting a bigger aquarium but right know don't have the room at home.<That's one thing aquarist's plan for.  Never buy a fish you can't keep for it's entire life.  And some fish live 20 years!!!> I think I found the problem the ph was actually 7.8 I gradually been bringing it up I'm going to but some tetracycline to put in his food. and some Zo?br>marine.<Try getting some frozen foods made for sharks.> my filtration right now is a Fluval 404 setup for biological filtration I this with am going to buy a protein skimmer.<Think?... if your keeping sharks a skimmer is a MUST!> but they seem to be acting normal eating pretty good there breathing have been much better since I started to bring up the ph .it was dark when I checked and it looked like it read 8.2 that's why I said ph was normal but everything seems right but the nitrate like you said I will try and bring it down anything you recommend beside a water change.<Get that skimmer!  And plan for a much larger tank.>  I have a marine light, I'm using regular white sand smooth surface, my temp is 78 degrees.<As long as you keep the water quality up the sharks will be ok for now.  But you really need a bigger tank and soon!  Phil>

RE: Shark Problems 4/27/03 thanks I got that skimmer<Good!!> don't know if it's actually working I followed the direction it looks like it is but anyways thanks a lot.<Well... what's it doing to suggest its not working?> I really am looking to buy a bigger thank I know this sharks live for 20 to 25 years in captivity that's y I bought baby banded so in a year by the time I buy my house I could buy a 400 gallon that's my goal I'm pretty sure the could hold for a year in the tank. and the sharks are really in good shape at this point eating well .I've been putting Zo?marine in there food. I feed them krill and squid. is that what you mean buy shark food if not I would like to know so I can purchase it.<Try online retailers... aka- Drs Foster & Smith.. etc>  one more question even though the sharks look very normal should I still but tetracycline in there food if so how much. a capsule is 150 mg how would I but it on his food.<IMO, normal water changes and a healthy diet will be fine for your sharks.> thanks<No problem!  Good luck...  Phil>

Dogfish info please... Hi guys, I've looked through your site for quite a while, but don't find too much on the dogfish shark besides the bare basics. Before anything else, how large a tank would it need to be for it's whole life? I don't want to keep upgrading. I'm not sure if we're talking 200 gals or 2,000. <Five hundred gallons would likely do as a minimum> Also, do they need a companion of some sort, or do they do fine solitary? I would prefer it to be alone with maybe a hardy clean-up crew. <Will do fine by itself> Secondly, I read they eat crustaceans mostly. Can they be trained to frozen foods? <Yes, easily done> If so, are there any problems with nutrition with frozen vs. fresh? Any of the foods better in nutrition than the others? <Many institutions augment their sharks diets with vitamins, minerals added to the whole foods (often in capsules inserted in fish)> If you can direct me to some good dogfish websites that would be wonderful. <None exist that I know of... perhaps you will make one> Thanks for your time and info, Jenny <Bob Fenner, aka "Dogfish" in the Hash House Harriers>

Re: Dogfish info please... Hi Bob aka Dogfish... <On on!> Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I'm not up to taking care of a 500 gal min. tank right now. So, while I would still love to have one, it's not going to happen yet. My husband requires convincing, and my floor needs reinforcing. <Likely> If I ever do, though, I think I will make a website just for them. The info is so scattered. <Outstanding! And I will offer you images, what help I can. Bob> Thanks again, Jenny

Sharks At Home: Starting with the basics....Reality for the last 2 years I have been researching about grey Smoothhounds, black tip sharks, and their habitat. <I share your admiration for these magnificent creatures but immediately have concern/fear for the amount of your "research" or preparedness. Houndsharks are bona fide cool water (see fishbase.org http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Mustelus&speciesname=canis). While their southernmost range does extend to Florida... they are at their limit in such waters. You can find these Smoothhounds as far north as Massachusetts! As such... it is not realistic to keep this cool water Atlantic species with a tropical/sub Pacific Black tip reef shark under any  circumstance IMO.> I have also been thoroughly researching on how to build a 5,000 aquarium for 1 grey Smoothhound and 1 black tip. <again... I have a respectful doubt/concern for just how thorough you have been thus far. At any rate... you have accepted the need/advantage of a cylindrical tank I presume> I am also hoping to spend at least one more year researching details and building a plan, and biologically preparing aquarium for the precious sharks. <agreed, my friend... or longer> I have 2 questions to you: What should be the specific temperature of the tank that will benefit both grey Smoothound and black tip? <inappropriate to mix such unnatural species> I know some aquarists have both sharks at 23 degrees Celsius  Is it a good temperature? <although some folks do it... it is still unfortunate. Accelerating the metabolism of one or slowing the other is not recommended> Is it even okay to have these two species together? <not in my opinion> If no, then what specific temperature should Smoothhound and black tip be in? < http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Carcharhinus&speciesname=melanopterus > I want to collect all information possible before getting the sharks. Thanks for your help, John McRay (and my wife Lana) <for the investment you will ultimately make in this display... let me suggest that you visit some successful and competent Public aquaria with programs for these species to glean advice from their keepers. Well worth the money spent in travel for the practical education. Best regards, Anthony>

Spoon feeding wannabe shark keeper? Dear Anthony, I really appreciate your comments and suggestions. However, you haven't answered my question: <ahhh... but I have. You were given links to the exact pages on fishbase.org for the species requested... upon which your specific question(s) and hundreds of others are answered...help yourself, bubba. If you have any intention of succeeding with sharks or goldfish... you have to be at least willing to work hard enough to follow a link handed to you. If you will take the time to follow and read through the data on those pages... you will learn about diet/food items, reproduction, adult size, genetics, etc (active links near bottom of page). Its not just a splash page! Then after you've exhausted the fishbase.org info... you can then follow their listed references... the link pasted here for your convenience (again): http://www.fishbase.org/References/SummaryRefList.cfm?ID=2539&GenusName=Mustelus&SpeciesName=canis in these references you will find hundreds if not more than 1000 pages of useful scientific/valid literature.> What specific temperature should grey Smoothhound be sustained at? What about black tip? Thank you, John <John... you say you've done a year of research on these sharks... but you cannot even discern a fundamental parameter of water quality.... and you have elected not to follow the last links given. What kind of research have you been doing for the last year if you have no idea what temperature they hail from? Please don't kill a shark. Regards, Anthony>

Re: Atelomycterus marmoratus Bob, I hope everything is going well.  After what felt like an eternity of planning/waiting/reading/dreaming (actually about 18mos) I finally have a happy, healthy, 20" male coral catshark in my 265 gallon tank.  It wasn't all roses though.  After having the tank up and running for months with only a 6" blue-lined snapper,  I had searched everywhere for sharks at least 18" in length (my theory was purchasing a larger juvenile specimen (bamboo shark) would increase my odds of it reaching adulthood as opposed to an egg) Finally,  one LFS that had been checking with many supplier's weekly availability lists called me saying they could get me 2 Chiloscyllium plagiosum around 18".  After calling the supplier where it came from in Los Angeles and talking with their "on site marine biologist" to get as  much info on the animals as possible and confirming the animals scientific name, they were shipped to my LFS near Philadelphia.  To my surprise they were Coral Catsharks not C. Plagiosum!!  I decided to get them figuring this was as close as I would get to larger Elasmobranchs.  I immediately brought them home for quarantine instead of leaving them in the store (the store runs many, many tanks on one filtration source, risky for parasites, poor water quality, etc)  It back fired because the 24" female didn't last 24 hrs.  No external signs, I believe probably acute stress syndrome. (Fish were flown from Bali to LA, LA to Philly.)  Anyway, I plan to get a female in the near future but didn't realize how inactive this species is until I got him in the tank so I'm considering possible tank mates. <Yes> Are there any large angels or triggers that would be OK with the 2 sharks, a Spanish Hog and the snapper (Lutjanus quinquelineatus) in this tank? <Mmm, possibly. Maybe an Emperor... but there are many other Indo-Pacific species of pomacanthids to consider... and you should be observant re any species, specimen picking on your shark/s... this can/does happen>   I would like to get a black durgeon (Trigger) and/or a Passer Angel. I respect your opinion so please let me know. <These would likely do fine. Bob Fenner> Patrick

Sharks in Australia? <G> Bigguns too!  - 2/24/03 Ocean Park and website listed below Hi crew, Pete McKenzie from Western Australia again. <Cheers, mate... good to hear from you> Anthony, thanks for your last suggestion of making our invert. screen an opaque wall rather than glass/acrylic... I hadn't really considered this but it is the best option and we'll use it here.   <excellent to hear... and see pictures in time right <VBG>? Seeing Australia via e-mail :) >> No questions from me this time, but I thought some of you may appreciate the attached picture of an "Ozzy" Tiger Shark I took a week ago just outside Shark Bay, Western Australia.  It was around 4.5m long and 500+ kg (i.e. well over 1000 pounds)... the biggest I've seen.   <Wow! Magnificent.> We were diving just before this shark arrived and saw some others, but none this big or friendly.  The tiger stayed around the boat a while and ate a few dead fish we offered, then got a bit excited/confused and had a go at the outboard motor, which was promptly pulled out of the way.  We got some photos by just dipping our cameras in off the back of the boat... didn't quite trust this shark enough to get back in!   <heehee... I think it does say something in the SCUBA manual about not going back into the water after chumming (feeding/baiting)> Check out the girth on this guy... it was awesome! <truly a marvel of nature. Thanks indeed for sharing, my friend> Some progress photos of our new 600,000L tank can also be seen on our website www.oceanpark.com.au for those interested, on the "Oceanarium" page. Kind regards, Pete  

Houdini Shark Trick Hi crew... I must first compliment you all on the great site you have and thank you for the time and energy you volunteer for the goodwill of all of us struggling to do the best for our critters... <Thank you> OK, my question:  I have a 135 gallon tank with a banded catshark (about 10 inches long) who somehow found a way out of the tank last night.  It's a full canopy, but there is about a 2-3 inch opening in the back on either side of a filter, <...> and I guess he/she found it.    Anyway, I went to bed last night at around 11, and my girlfriend woke me up before 8 when she couldn't find it in the tank.  I found it, of course, behind the tank on the floor, but still alive.  I don't know, of course, how long it was there, but I suspect not more than 3-4 hours.  I just upgraded to this tank and don't have my old one set up again yet, so don't have a hospital tank big enough for this shark.  I went ahead and put it back in the main tank. <Which is what I would do... and "walk" it about for a few to several minutes to clean off some of the "lint" and hopefully help restore respiration> I also added some "stress coat" to the tank to hopefully help, even minimally, with any injuries from falling 5 feet onto the floor, etc.  Its eyes have been responding normally to light, and it seems to be gilling normally (more quickly than usual, of course).  Its mouth was gaping unnaturally when I put it back in, but that appears to be improving.  Otherwise it basically looks like a dog would after running a couple miles...Almost panting, blowing a crater in the sand under its mouth. Is there anything else I can do for this shark, other than wait and see (and nail up netting material on the back of the canopy)? <Do cover the area (with very sticky tape perhaps. Other than this, hope the animal will recover. Bob Fenner> Rich

Re: Houdini Shark Trick Thanks for the prompt reply!  If I could ask one more question...The shark also has a darkened spot on its underbelly, which is a little bloated.  I'm fairly certain the bloating is from eating too much last night, as it stole some food from others and ate more than usual.  I was just wondering about the darkened spot.  I suppose it could be just a little irritation from that spot rubbing more than usual across the bottom (and of course the wood floor...)  I just wanted to make sure it didn't necessarily mean something else. <Perhaps an internal bruise. Not much to do about this also. Bob Fenner> Thanks again!

Re: Houdini Shark Trick (catshark) Thanks again.  Wanted to let you know that I believe the shark is doing quite well now, and I look forward to a long time with it now that I've sealed up any hope of its escape again!  I did want to ask a question about this shark, however.  It's a banded catshark.  That I know.  It looks identical to any other brown banded catshark I've seen, except that it's gold.  I don't mean tan or beige...I mean gold...Like gold paint.  The LFS sold it to me as a "gold banded catshark", but I can't find any references to this common name, nor any other pictures online with this coloring. <Have seen some specimens with golden hues in their "white" banding> I'm sure there's something obvious I'm missing.    Like I said, it's clearly identical to a brown banded catshark except for the color, so I felt I knew enough about it to make the purchase...Just looking for more info. <Maybe peruse the catshark family species photos on fishbase.org Bob Fenner>
Chiloscyllium ID After more research on fishbase.org and elsewhere, and comparing pictures and descriptions, I'm 99% certain I've identified my shark as an Arabian Carpetshark (Chiloscyllium arabicum).  Fishbase and other sources list this species with a maximum length of 65-78 cm, making it only about half the size of C. punctatum. Through my research I did find a few differences between this shark and C. punctatum.  One was a lack of spines in its dorsal fins, and another is the longer tail.  It also has a slightly more pointed nose, with the eyes behind the mouth.    My question:  This is an awesome animal, beautiful, with a reasonable maximum size.  Why don't we see these more often? <I have never seen this species offered in the trade... It's range is the western Indian Ocean... not many people collect there, nor is there ready air-freight to the West... Your fish has no banding on it at all? (Like C. punctatum)? Good luck. Bob Fenner> Rich
C. punctatum pic Bob, Yes, is does have the banding, similar to C. punctatum, but truly gold in color.  The pictures of C. arabicum on fishbase.org do not have banding, but another source I found shows a picture that looks identical to my shark and identifies it as C. confusum.  Fishbase says that C. confusum's valid name is C. arabicum and lists "Arabian Carpetshark" as the common name for both. I'm enclosed a picture of my shark for your reference. Rich <This fish is almost certainly C. punctatum. Some are lighter colored, some more golden than others. Bob Fenner>

Cool water sharks Hi sir, I have a question. I am building a 3000 gallon tank for a Blacktip and a Smoothhound sharks. With two of them in there, I am wondering what should be the temperature of the water. Please email me back with answer. Thank you, Lana & Peter P.S. Is there anything else I need to consider when combining a Smoothhound and a Blacktip together? THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <with Elasmobranchs water flow and aquarium shape are sometimes big issues. What are the dimensions of your display? What sort of filtration have you elected to use?  Have you budgeted a chiller and its operational costs for these temperate species? Looking forward to helping you make the right choices. Best regards, Anthony>

Shark Dreamin' Peter, let me be frankly honest with you my friend. We get a lot of questions about keeping sharks and most are from aquarists that are truly ill-prepared to handle these demanding fishes. The nature of your questions indicates this is the case with you as well. You need a lot more information than a simple e-mailed response can deliver. You are at the earliest stages of planning for this system my friend as evidenced by the fact that you are asking questions like "what temp" when such gross and fundamental information can be found in a two minute search of the internet. I hope you will not take offense at the revelation but it is true. I have serious concerns that you will just be another shark-killer if you do not invest in some serious books soon, accrue some hard data and see/visit some professional installations of Elasmobranchs. In fact, there is an Elasmobranch society that you can join for tremendous information and fellowship. You state that "Since there aren't any skimmers available for 3000 gallon tanks". More evidence of your dire need to read some books and research shark displays at the local public aquaria. There are MANY manufacturers that make skimmers for tanks in the realm of tens of thousands of gallons! Let me help you here... RK2 in San Diego... Solor Components in New England. Let me also suggest that you buy and read Aquatic Systems Engineering by Pablo Escobar. It will answer your technical questions at proper length on UV, Ozone, etc. Incidentally... you do know that UV is likely useless for disease control here? I pray that you also have a 500-1000 gallon QT and hospital pool planned for import and contingency later. Your display should also be round or oval for sharks. Wave-timers would be ridiculous... these are pelagic species. I do ask you to forgive me for any harsh or disappointed tone... but your questions and profile put you in the category of passionate amateur. I hope to either spare you from making a mistake that will cost a creature you admire its life, or to inspire you to find better resources to prepare you. I also strongly suggest that you find a professional to build your tank. If you had previous experience in this arena you wouldn't be asking us about sealants. Dear Anthony,> Thank you very much for getting back to me. Below is the information about the 3000 gallon tank that I will build for my black-tip and Smoothhound sharks. I will appreciate if you could answer the questions that I have. I have put (????) beside them. Please include any additional information that I should have or know about, after the review of my summary. Thank you in advance.>>                               GE Silpruf or Tremco Spectrum 1 silicone sealants. ???? What is better? PUMP:         2*2000gph Iwaki MD-100RLT water Pump. WET&DRY FILTER:         I will build my own wet/dry filter.  I will use LAVA stone as it has fairly                       good surface area for the bacteria HEATERS/CHILLERS: ?????? Question: What should be the temperature of my aquarium (preferably in Celsius) for both Smoothhound and Blacktip? WAVE MAKERS: ????? Question: Is it really needed (if yes, what kind?) or is it just some marketing campaign? REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER FILTER: Maxima RO/DI - 4 Stage TFC - 50 GPD PROTEIN SKIMMER: ???? (What do you think is best?) Since there aren't any skimmers available for 3000 gallon tanks, I will either build my own or buy 4 skimmers (for 250 gallons each). UV STERILIZER: Aqua Ultraviolet UV Sterilizer w/ Ozone Generator ???? What size should I get? That's it for the summary. If you require any details or references, please let me know. I really appreciate your help. Please email back to me with your answers and suggestions. Thank you again, Peter

Unhappy Wobbegong I have a problem I need some help with.  I have a wobbegong I am growing for a local store I work for.  <Ughhh. I suggest that you gather together as many articles, books etc., that you can find that stating the survivability expectancy of sharks in captivity and present them to the LFS owner. If the owner is the least bit conscientious, he will see the folly of selling sharks. Too often they just don't live...and if it does survive, it will quickly outgrow most hobbyists ability to house it. This isn't my opinion but a restatement of facts that occur throughout hobbyist's literature. You are in a position to really help out the sharks by getting the shop owner to stop selling these animals> On arrival he was very plump and healthy, curious, and even ate silversides his first week. <He had probably just been snatched from the ocean. That's why he looked so good. Give it a few weeks in captivity>  A very nice well bodied carpet shark that is about 10-12" in length.  After his fist week he went off his eating which is not at all uncommon I am told.  This is his second week now with out eating which still is not uncommon according to your site.  However,  this 3rd week she has started scratching a bit on her side using fin and even turning on her side to scratch on the sand.  She is still breathing regularly.  I noticed also recently a scratch on her belly about a inch in length which looks more like an abrasion or irritation.  I thought it may be from rocks so I removed them and did a water test.  The gravity is 1.025, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, nitrite 0, and PH was 8.0 to 8.1..  Could the rocks and PH have been the problem because both have been corrected.  <Rocks is possible. pH wasn't far off target> She is in a 75 gallon tank with a SeaClone 100 skimmer <You need a better skimmer. Sharks are very messy eaters> 2 canister filters running at 200 GPH each and I am going to run a adaptable bio wheel to it for wetdry filtration. <Still doesn't sound like much filtration, turning the tank over less than 5 times an hour. May I inject a bit of honesty into this discourse? Personally I abhor the practice of keeping sharks in home aquariums. It's cruel and unusual punishment ending in (all to frequently) death. Do you realize the fish that we are discussing grows to more than 10 feet! Does the LFS owner realize this fact? How many hobbyists have tanks that can accommodate this critter? Even Bamboo sharks (very hardy) grow to almost 40 inches! Do the sharks a favor: Don't buy them and complain to your LFS when they buy them. Most sharks of any species are doomed from the moment they leave the ocean. Scott Michael in the book "Marine Fishes" lists this fish with a survivability rating of "1", his lowest rating. That means nearly impossible to keep in the home aquarium. This and all sharks suffer from a plethora problems>    I am also running a UV on it.  Water temp. is a pretty constant 80 degrees.  Any help would be great to make this girl happy.  <I realize that I haven't been much help with your actual problem. There is another good book out titled Sharks and Rays (Amazon sells it) and I think it's by Paletta. Check it out...lots of excellent information> Thanks <No problem. I don't mean to sound condescending but many people purchase sharks on impulse without knowing the facts. Sharks really are a pet peeve of mine. Their poor track record in captivity is well documented. David Dowless>
Re: Wobbegong
For got some info for you.  The specific kind of Wobbie is the Australian spotted Wobbie I have lights on for about 9 to 10 hours a day.  If the PH or the rocks was the culprit for the abrasion on his belly about how long should I expect it to take to heal and what should I do to prevent infection or are sharks pretty good at warding infection?  <I do think this probably caused the abrasion. It should/hopefully heal on its own. Watch to be sure it doesn't get infected> Thanks.  Oh yea, I also keep five 4 strip damsels in the tank with them but they are just for some natural food when they happen to get to close to her mouth (no spiracles mean a female by the way right?). <Don't know the answer to this one>   Other than this you have the info.  She is pretty normal except for the abrasion and the scratching.  Sits a lot using her camo. <Normal day time behavior for this animal...scratching may be normal as well if the scratching isn't...obsessive> One more question also, should Wobbies be aggressive eaters after initial acclimation to surroundings?  <They are very aggressive eaters. Use a feeding stick to give it shrimp, scallop, or marine fish flesh a couple of times a week. Do not feed large pieces of anything as this fish will bloat> Thanks.  If there is any info I have left out of these 2 emails let me know and I will send it. <You're welcome! David Dowless>

125 fresh to salt Hello, <Hi there> I am looking to switch my 125 gallon fresh water tank over to a fish only saltwater tank. It's funny when you go to some of the local fish stores to get a little bit of help they all have different opinions and cancel each other out. So I  went through your site (several times) and would very much like your option. Right now I have 2 magnum hot 250 filters. I have been told by several people that all I will need to buy is an under gravel filter, 2 or 3 power heads, some crushed coral, live sand and live and base rock. They say put the UGF down, cover it with an inch of crushed coral, put a screen on top of that, then cover up the screen with crushed coral and live sand. That way any fish I get that digs will be able to but without getting to the UGF. Will that work? <Likely all are concerned about your two canister filters capacity to provide continuous biological filtration... and hence the UG filter idea... You could try just cleaning one of the Magnums out per maintenance schedule... but I'd investigate adding some live rock, possibly a sump to your system. Worthwhile for you to study, delve into what marine filtration is, develop your own ideas re what your options are. Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/filtration/marineFiltr.htm> Also I wonder about a protein skimmer, will I or should I get one? <Yes. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toskimornotfaq.htm> And one other question, I know already that (for even a short period of time) I  want a shark. I have been looking and there are two that I am interested in. The first is the nurse shark, which yes I know that my tank is too small for something that gets 14 feet. The second is the banded cat shark. There was a third, which if you think would be o.k. (even if for a short period) would be called a port Jackson (that is what is was called in las Vegas/), and would you be able to tell me where I might be able to check online for that species.? They said it was from the horn shark family. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/coolh20sharks.htm Bob Fenner> Thank you for your time, Bill
125 fresh to salt
Hello, I am looking to switch my 125 gallon fresh water tank over to a fish only saltwater tank. It's funny when you go to some of the local fish stores to get a little bit of help they all have different opinions and cancel each other out. <Yup, different products, different opinions. There are many different ways to achieve the same results.> So I  went through your site (several times) and would very much like your opinion. Right now I have 2 magnum hot 250 filters. I have been told by several people that all I will need to buy is an under gravel filter, 2 or 3 power heads, some crushed coral, live sand and live and base rock. They say put the UGF down, cover it with an inch of crushed coral, put a screen on top of that, then cover up the screen with crushed coral and live sand. That way any fish I get that digs will be able to but without getting to the UGF. Will that work? <That will work, but so would your magnum filters.  I do not like the idea of under gravel filters.  There is no good way to clean out the garbage that accumulates underneath them without tearing your tank apart.> Also I wonder about a protein skimmer, will I or should I get one? <Probably one of the most important pieces of equipment.> And one other question, I know already that (for even a short period of time) I  want a shark. I have been looking and there are two that I am interested in. The first is the nurse shark, which yes I know that my tank is too small for something that gets 14 feet. <PHEW!> The second is the banded cat shark. There was a third, which if you think would be o.k. (even if for a short period) would be called a port Jackson (that is what is was called in las Vegas/), and would you be able to tell me where I might be able to check online for that species.? They said it was from the horn shark family. <Port Jackson's can get rather large as well, close to 5ft if I recall.  We have some good articles on sharks. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkslvgrm.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm IMO a sump and wet/dry setup would be best in your situation.  That will allow you to use an in-sump skimmer as well.  For the substrate use either less than 1in of sand or coral or more than 3in if you would like to go with the Deep Sand Bed idea. -Gage> Thank you for your time,

Shark/s in captivity Hi Bob!  A few questions when you get the time.  First let me say that although I've thought about it many times, a shark is the last thing I ever thought I'd  want to dedicate a tank to.  I know all too well what happens to the vast majority of them that end up in aquarium shops and I would not want to encourage their wild capture by buying one.   Having said that, I found this one at a local shop here in San Diego.   They say it was captive bred at Sea World. <Mmm, we live in SD... and Sea World doesn't sell livestock, excess or not.> The fellow I spoke to is actually a friend of mine whom I trust so I tend to believe it.  Convinced that it is indeed captive bred I bought it.  I have looked over the sharks & rays section of your site and will go to Birch today to pick up some of the recommended books, but of course I am still filled with questions.  As you usually respond in Q/A format I will make this easy;    Have I correctly identified the shark as C. plagiosum, the Whitespotted Bamboo Shark?    <Does appear to be this species> -   Based on info at your site it seems small to me, exactly 8 inches as opposed to the 10 to 12 indicated.  Is this cause for concern?  -   <If it's eating, no>   I read about the 2 to 3 times weekly feeding but as I feel it may be undersized and seems very thin I have been feeding it twice daily,  PE Mysis with tweezers.  It eats  3 or 4 each time and also took a couple on it's own while roaming last night.  Should I continue this until it fattens up a little or go immediately to the lighter schedule?   -    <I would keep feeding it frequently until it does "fatten up"> I'm not sure what I'm looking for re: "claspers", is there a photo  on the site?   - <Possibly... otherwise, easy enough to find on the Internet with these descriptive terms: "Shark", "Claspers", "Sexing"...>    The store has three more, would I be wise to get another or two if I'm going to dedicate a large tank anyway?   -   I have a series of tanks lined up for now, he is currently in a 40, will go to a 60 after quarantine and then a 125.  I figure that gives me at least a year?   -     The largest tank I can accommodate would be "pond style" modified oval (angular corners) 10 feet by 30 inches  with a max water depth of 16".  Plywood and fiberglass construction.  I could go 36" wide but  it would get awkward working in the fish room.  Will this do or should I nip these plans in the bud right now?   - <Hard to say... I would just keep one for now... this is not a very "exciting" species (mainly lays about even with growth)... you may well change your liking for it in time>   Is a fine sand bed required or would the shark be OK with bare bottom?      <Better to have fine "rounded" sand bottom... too much chance of scraping, disease with bare>       Well I'm sure to have many more questions as I go but will try to gather as much info as I can on my own.  Thanks for listening (er... reading),    hope to meet some day at a SDMAS meeting,  David.   <Yes. Bob Fenner>

Shark keeping Thanks much for your comments.  This is simply a follow-up, no questions for now.  It is amazing how much one can learn in 24 hrs!  After reviewing the WWM site and your comments, I scanned the internet for more info.  Then I went to Birch and talked briefly to both Fernando and Vince Levesque.  I bought the Scott Michael book and pretty much read 90% of that.  I'm beat! Based on all this info I am sure the shark is cb even if the Sea World story is bunk.  It seems to have acclimated nicely, this morning before daylight it was actively prowling the tank and continually assuming the raised head, arched back posture.  It quite aggressively ate a whopping dozen Mysis in a matter of moments (previously it took 3 or 4 at most and I practically had to cram them down his throat). <Will continue to eat more eagerly with time>   I'm pleased.  As far as the shark not being too "exciting", I understand what you mean but I have strange taste.  I have a 125, formerly full reef, that is now dedicated to a single Moorish Idol. It's a magnificent fish I've kept now for seven months and I don't care how much coral it eats.  I  have a 60 dedicated to a Jackknife Drum (Equetus lanceolatus) and if that isn't strange enough, consider that this one is blind!  I also breed seahorses (H. erectus) and have a 300 gal system just for them.  OK, a little odd, but the thought of a large tank with nocturnal sharks is "exciting" to me- will give me something to do after the lights go out in the fish room.  Thanks again-  David <Outstanding! You can (very likely) understand my/our "conservative" attitude toward elasmobranch keeping by aquarists. Good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>

Re: I just got my first shark (retail for sale) Not another one! Hey all, I just got my first shark... <wow... that sounds dreadful already: "First" shark implies that you intend to get and sell at least a second, and I know of very few aquarists with a tank big enough for the first one.> it grows only to 24 inches... <OK... and would you keep a 2 foot long dog in a cage that was 2 foot high and 8 feet long for its whole life. Hmmm... bad example. Sharks have an even larger territory and range in the three dimensional environment of the sea than most any dog would on land. Guess what... I'm not enthusiastic about fellow aquarists with small tanks keeping Elasmobranchs. And I sure as heck am not going to help you sell more of them by posting your advertisement. Have you ever read the FAQs here on WWM? If you are that rare exception that has a very large aquarium of more than just a couple hundred gallons... then I am sincerely happy for you and the opportunity you will have to study these magnificent creatures captively. Else... peddle your shark elsewhere bubba... the poor thing <G>> you might want to post about it.   <we post everything written in, bud. Educated and empathetic people can make their own informed decisions on husbandry issues. I will not personally post your retail link, however, to help you sell this item, let alone one that many of us believe is inappropriate to sell to casual aquarists for impulse purchases. You do have one option though... if you really would like to offer or sell your livestock (including sharks, smurfs and dodo birds) to our readership (which is now about at an amazing 7,000 daily unique ISPs), you can pay for advertising. I'm serious too... shall I send you advertising rates and information? If you want to be a good hobbyist and a good merchant... contact the folks in the elasmobranch society to sell this fish... you are likely to get a faster and better home for this and any shark/ray. Better yet... why don't you become a specialized fishes vendor to the niche market rather than shamelessly offer random animals on E-bay? If you insist on using E-bay, then sell more appropriate animals for the market that you are addressing? Bob will read over this reply... if he chooses to add your sales page link, so be it. Anthony [Bobster... I kept the link at the bottom of the message if you care to re-paste.] ><<Am not inclined to. Bob>>

Bonnethead sharks and Whitetip reef sharks Dear Mr. Fenner, First, I would like to say your website is very informative.  Definitely one of the best aquarium sites on the net.  I was particularly fond of the sections concerning sharks and their care.  This brings me to my question.  You may or may not be aware of the existence of a company in Florida known as Marine Life Designs, INC.   <Mmm, not until this moment> This company specializes in the creation of what they call "shark lagoons."  Ranging from a basic saltwater pond to systems limited in size only by available space and budget.  They build the systems, stock the systems, and can be contracted for maintenance. <This is the "dream" of most service companies> Their livestock offerings include lemon sharks, bonnetheads, Blacktip reefs, Whitetip reefs, Wobbegongs, and bamboo sharks.  The species that most interest me are the Bonnethead and Blacktip and Whitetip reefs.  The Bonnethead and Blacktip reef sharks have to be in constant motion.  Although the Bonnethead averages only 3.3 feet in length.  Apparently the average length of the Whitetip reef is 4 feet and they live a largely sedentary life. <Yes> Those ingredients seem to suggest they could adapt well to captive conditions. <Mmm, not really... are we talking Triaenodon obesus? This species is pretty "high-strung">   So, would any of these species be possible for someone to keep who is willing to spend whatever is necessary to create a habitat in which they could live in comfort? <If... they're willing to dedicate, have the resources... am mixed here (my sentiments) re the taking of these animals from the wild for home display... My question back is, "At what point is an animal, as individuals, species more precious in the wild than being put on display (removed from the gene pool, food web...) such that it warrants only being placed in public settings?" For me, most sharks in our time and place have "crossed over" this cut-off point> Thank You, Robert Perry <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Shark attack survivor happy to be alive (Someone we know) Remember Julie from the Hash, she was attacked by a shark while swimming in Hawaii. Check out this story--> http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2002/Nov/19/ln/ln05a.html <...! Very frightening. Bob F>

Sharks in my Living Room?? Hey to who ever gets the pleasure of reading this.  It's Phil, the 15 year old reef keeper who asks too many question!! LOL I was talking to Bob last week, and was telling him about how a LOT of people in the last few months are asking for help about their shark problems.  I had decided to write a mini-report about shark-keeping.  He said he would post it on WWM.  If you want, you can read it and give me feedback.  I'm thinking of sending it to Aquarium Magazines and heck, maybe even writing a book about it.  People are getting pretty sad these days.   At my LFS last week they sold a Nurse Shark to a woman who has a 120 gallon tank!!  I tried to explain to her that her tank was way too small, but she listened to the salesperson and the rest is history.  Anyways, here is my paper, you guys can post it.  Can you make sure Bob gets this once he gets back from the Caribbean?  Thanks as always!!  P.S. Sorry it SOOO long!                                   Phil

Shark Inquiry Hey all, <cheers, Vincent> I want to start off by saying thank you to you all for your advice in the past and you run a great site.   <our pleasure... please do pass your own wisdom along in kind> Now on to the question. Work for a company that wants to have a shark tank in our conference rooms. It will be over 8 feet long 4 feet high and 4 feet wide.  The only requirement for the shark is that is be very aggressive and take live food.   <indeed... this is the mentality of most consumers that want sharks> This is to impress clients I guess.   <have they considered offering  excellent customer service/products instead to impress their customers?> This goes against all of my ideals and beliefs of owning fish but I have no option here.   <understood> What would be my best bet for a shark? I have read your section on sharks and I would recommend a bamboo shark but are they aggressive enough?   <No sharks will satisfy them likely... most are quite boring. They are not aggressive by drama standards because they are gulping predators. To answer your question, no my friend... I am quite certain that a bamboo shark will not be aggressive enough, but I am truly grateful to you for having done your research and selected one of the few sharks that can realistically be kept in captivity. Even if they had a tank big enough for one of the mid-water species (smooth-hounds, leopards, etc)... they are still boring. It all comes down to being a gulping predator. The really wicked aggressive species are things like ocean triggers. They are furious balls of rage... they pick out the eyes of fishes, mangle live crayfish in a gruesome display, and attack humans (aquarists and divers alike) without a care. Many other trigger species like this too. My advice is to sell them on a toothy predator rather than a gulping shark species (no grouper or lions for the same reason...boring)> They really want a sharky shark and not a faux shark.   <that means a pelagic species rather than a reef species (like the bamboo) and these boys don't have a tank even remotely large enough to keep a pelagic shark. Leopards get 6 to 9 feet long and require a chiller that will cost another $2000 alone for this tank. Nurse sharks are bottom dwellers and get 12 feet long, Black tip reef sharks get 6 to 8 feet long and need cylindrical tanks, etc> They have suggested a black tip but I am trying to steer them to something smaller and something that can live happily.   <I personally guarantee that a black tip will die in 1 to 3 years. If your borough has any animal cruelty ordinances, I would personally fly to your district to file a complaint with the ASPCA for keeping a species that reaches 6 feet as an adult in a 4 foot wide tank. Fishes don't stunt for their tanks size of course... they simply die prematurely> Please advise if the bamboo shark will fill their need for aggression and be sharky enough for them. <I must admit that it will not. Be a great salesman... take a video camera to the local pet shop... find a huge mean trigger (or ask if they have any regular customers with a mature triggerfish)... and video the bugger destroying a large feeder crayfish. You can even hear the gnashing teeth of a trigger through the glass of the aquarium! You don't get that with a shark> Kindest regards, Vince <Best regards Vincenzo... Anthony>

Shark fin spine Dear Bob: Please give the details of the 3 dimensional structure and size of a shark fin spine? <Umm, the ones I have seen have been pointed cones (mainly on heterodontids) Is it always conical with a triangular T.S. or also thin blade-like? What is the shape of the spine's basal part when uprooted? <Time to head to the large college library and do a literature search... and even attend the Elasmobranch Division of the ASIH (American Society of Ichthyolologists and Herpetologists)... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm and the FAQs beyond re searches. Bob Fenner> Thanking You, Daniel Steves

More questions concerning my catshark I have heard from many sources that both the marbled catshark and coral catshark are about the same size. On http://www.animal-world.com/encyclo/marine/sharks_rays/sharks_rays.htm, it said that the marbled catshark only grows to 2 feet. However, in your previous email, you had said that the marbled grows to 3 feet plus. Where have I gone wrong here?  <I may have led you astray... did we ever talk scientific names? The two Marbled Catsharks labeled as such on Fishbase.org attain 60 and 65 cm.... Atelomycterus macleayi and Hemiscyllium trispeculare... both collected (mainly) out of Australia... What is commonly sold as a/the Catshark (Swellshark, Mottled...) in the U.S. is Cephaloscyllium ventriosum (out of the Eastern Pacific)... the last does grow to about a meter in length... A mention (hopefully not further confusing) is that these are "average maximum lengths"... meaning the ones you encounter will likely neither be this big, nor reach this size in captivity> She is currently housed in a 75 and I am planning to upgrade into a 500g+ in the next few years. I am, however, beginning to think by her markings that she is a coral catshark and not a marbled catshark because her markings are larger and heavier. What are their spatial requirements?  <Scientific name/s please> She is doing very well, the bites in her fins are showing no signs of infection and she seems to be filling out well (she was only about as big around as my thumb when I got her.) I'm feeding her my gel mix (canned tuna, shrimp and flakes) on Mondays, Ocean Nutrition shark formula on Wednesdays and a frozen krill, prawn, silversides or clams on Fridays. Is that a good diet for her? Anything else I could possibly go wrong with?

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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