Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Sharks in General 3

Related Articles: Sharks for Aquariums?, Sharks In My Living Room?, Blacktip Reef Shark, Nurse Sharks, Cartilaginous FishesColdwater SharksLeopard Sharks, Port Jackson Sharks, Moving Sharks

Related FAQs: Sharks 1, Sharks 2, Shark Identification, Shark Compatibility, Shark Behavior, Selection, Systems for Sharks, Feeding, Diseases, Shark, Ray Eggs,  Coldwater SharksLeopard Sharks, Port Jackson Sharks, Blacktip Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, RemorasMoving 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

Help! Shark Bill Hits The Floor!    5/23/11
Please contact your Ca state Assemblyman and Senator MONDAY and tell them to vote for AB 376, the bill that bans the use of shark fins in California. This is crucially important and you can help make a difference! Thanks, Brian

The goal of AB 376 is to save sharks and the oceans by banning the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins. Every year fins from tens of millions of sharks are used for shark fin soup. The human appetite for shark fins has been a major contributor to the near collapse of shark populations worldwide, including in California. Current federal and California laws banning shark finning control shark handling practices but do not restrict the number of sharks killed and thus do not address the issue of the shark fin trade. Sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they are slow to reach reproductive maturity and produce very few offspring. AB 376 will give critical protection to sharks and preserve the health of Californias and the worlds ocean ecosystems and biodiversity.

One of the most effective ways to protect sharks by reducing the number killed is to eliminate the market for fins by prohibiting their sale. AB 376 will ensure that California ceases to contribute to the supply and demand for shark fin through a ban on the possession (save for those with valid fishing/research permits), sale, trade and distribution of shark fins. A similar ban was enacted in Hawaii in 2010 and in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands in early 2011. Legislation is now under review by the Guam, Oregon, and Washington state legislatures.

Please send an email, or make a phone call. Monday May 23rd will be the best day to make contact.

The California shark-fin-ban bill (AB376) will be on the Assembly Floor Mon or Thur of this week for debate and consideration by our representatives.

To find the contact info for your state representative, simply go to this state web site and input your zip code: Rep Finder (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html )

We still have undecided Assemblypersons in San Diego (a coastal county)! Look below to track where each San Diego Assemblyperson stands:
Toni Atkins (76): YES
Marty Block (78): YES
Nathan Fletcher (75): YES
Martin Garrick (74) : Performing due diligence (Solana Beach to Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido, Vista, San Marcos, and surrounds)
Diane Harkey (73): Performing due diligence (Although aid in Oceanside says "No". Aid in Sacramento (Andrew) says, "Still deciding"). (Aliso Viejo, Dana Point , Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Oceanside, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano)
Ben Hueso (79): YES
Brian Jones (77): Unknown (Alpine, Borrego Springs, Bostonia, Casa de Oro - Mount Helix, Crest, El Cajon, Granite Hills, Harbison Canyon, Jamul, La Mesa, Lakeside, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, San Diego, San Diego Country Estates, Santee, Winter Gardens)
If your rep is a "Yes": Call them to say "thank you". If your rep is undecided (or a "No"): Call, email, and write them. We have to get them onboard!

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

bamboo shark... abusing WWM    12/13/09
hi thank you in advance
<... Please follow directions when writing us... Run your writing through a grammar and spell-checker>
so I have a 50 gallon with a hippo tang, sail fin tang,
<Too small a volume for either species>
2 clowns, 2 striped damsels and I had a bamboo shark egg
<And too small for this>
that hatched 8 days ago and I have been trying to feed the little guy almost every day but he wont eat and I am leaving on vacation for almost 17 days and I am scared he will die. again thank you
<... no searching first either. Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Brown Banded Cat Shark not breathing on one side.  9/17/09
Hi, I have a brown banded cat shark who until last week ate really well.
Last week he started sniffing the food but, leaving it. Today I noticed that he is not breathing on the left side. His gills remain still a little puckered looking. I recently did a water change out and there were a few
days I think the tank was a little cold and the salt was low.
<... Spg must be high, stable for keeping sharks>
PH has been fine. The Tank is only 72 gallons and I know he needs to be rehomed soon.
<Too small...>
He is housed with a Cortez stingray and a Zebra Eel.
<The Ray is a coldwater animal... may stick the shark...>
I just recently treated the tank for Cloud eye on a Stingray who ended up passing away.
<... with what?>
That's about all the info I can think of. I'm looking for some possible causes. I really don't want to loose him.
<Or lose... Have you searched, read on WWM re shark health? Bob Fenner>
Thank you.

bamboo shark... repro., reading, writing...    7/2/09
<... the beginning of sentences...>
guys, i
have got a banded bamboo sharks
that's doing really well in my tank. i was just asking how would i no if it is pregnant it has a big belly at the moment but not sure if he's just bloated from eating, i feed it 3 times a day but only small amounts, its
really active and loves swimming about but just wanted to find out if there's something that needs to be done is it is going to lay a purse?
can you help me please.
thanks guys
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

-sharks, general marine Qs, email troubles- 06/08/09
Hello WWM Crew, I have been reading your site and found out a lot of things and answers to questions I needed answered before starting a shark tank.
<Ok, first... please know that your message was sent in three parts, three different emails. This makes things confusing, more trouble for us. Are you sending this via text messaging? If so, please don't text us. Please email us in the "traditional" fashion. Thanks.>
This will be my first salt water tank. My question to you guys is do you suggest that I start off with just corals and fish first for a year or so to gain experience or does it really not matter as long as I have the time,
money, love, and effort to put into it?
<Keeping sharks is definitely not for beginners. The only way you can get around gaining the much needed experience is to hire someone who does have the experience, someone who can build and maintain the tank for you. And you will need a BIG tank (at least 600g+). Please do your research, start here:
Sara M.>

What's your opinion on keeping sharks as pets? 4/29/09
Sharks For The Home Aquarium

Dear Wet Web Media Crew:
I work in the education department at a fairly large public aquarium.
This summer, we are focusing on sharks, their adaptations, and their conservation. While the institution provides information about the larger sharks, I've been receiving questions about keeping sharks as pets. While I know some sharks, such as nurse sharks and Blacktip reef sharks are unsuitable for a home environment, I read a few, such as bamboo sharks, could make good pets. What is your opinion on this? I know more people are going to ask me, and I would like to know the opinion of people who have actually kept them.
<Diane, let me direct you to the articles/FAQ's we have on keeping sharks in the home aquarium. Do read here.
Thank you,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Fish poop in the news  11/17/08 Hi Bob, <C.J.> Your topics from years ago are now kind of almost showing up in the news: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7727136.stm If there's DNA in it, there must be some nutrition in it. <Now that's some whale shark feces!> C.J. (your past AV dude) <And hopefully future. Cheers, BobF>

Bamboo Shark Death - 11-8-08 We bought a black & silver Bamboo shark that was only a couple months old.  We had him two days and he died. What was it that we did wrong? We have a snowflake eel, two clown fish, a serpent starfish, 5 damsels. crab, snails, live rock & sand, & two anemones. Everything else in the tank is just fine, we checked the water and it tested fine, and the temp is at 79.9. We actually watched him die, he looked like he was having a seizure and then he was gone. <Please research our extensive database of FAQs on the subject *before* purchasing an animal, especially a demanding, large animal like a bamboo shark. I've seen the 'seizing' type death before in sharks, and it's caused by high water temperature. Anything around 80F is pretty much instant death for them - make certain the water doesn't exceed 78F or so.  Please do not purchase another animal without further educating yourself on their husbandry requirements> Thanks <Anytime> Carrie <M. Maddox>

Shark Hybrids 10/31/08 Hi guys I'm a postgrad student at James Cook University in Australia and is currently sweating over a literature review on hybridization in marine animals. At the moment I'm trying to find if there's anything on sharks and rays, however, it doesn't seem to be anything published on this topic.  While doing a general Google search I came across this page as someone had asked about the possibility of an Arabian Bamboo shark hybrid. I don't know what date it was posted but Bob Fenner replied "there have been reports of crosses in other cartilaginous species however". Could any of you (maybe Bob himself) give any more information on this? Do you know which species were involved? Was it in aquarium or in the wild? How was the hybrid status established (morphology or genetics?). It would be fantastic if you had a reference from a publication (I can't really use it in my review otherwise) but if not, I would still be very interested to hear about it. Anything would help! Thanks for you time and effort. Cheers Anneli <Hello Anneli. I am quite inquisitive about what you have brought up also! Unfortunately Bob is out of net service until 11/13 or so. If any of the other crew members have an idea I am sure they will chime in here, otherwise I will set this aside for when Bob returns. Have a good one, Scott V.>

Shark Egg, formatting, reading   8/26/08 I Purchased a banded cat shark egg 3 months ago & he is doing fine in the egg.? my question is, his yolk sac is barely noticeable anymore &? it looks like a little bellybutton on his underside.? there is no cord or anything just a little ball on? its underside.? should i help him in hatching or will he/she do it on? its own? <... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaq2.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Brown Banded Bamboo shark, young, fdg., reading    7/31/08 Hello, I have had a brown banded? <? You do or you don't?> bamboo shark egg for roughly two months and this morning the shark hatched. I was wondering if you could tell me the specifications on what I should feed him. <Mmm, yes> I have the Scott W. Michael book for a reference, but I am hoping you could tell me what added substances and chemicals that I should be adding to his food. Currently my LFS has given me prong shrimp alone to feed him, <Mmm, no> but after reading your website I have found that this diet lacks the proper nutrition to keep my shark healthy. Thanks, Justin M. <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Goblin Shark Information – 7/29/08 Hey everybody at WWM.com. <Hey there, Chris.> This may be an odd question for you, but here goes anyways. I have been trying for a few months now to turn up information on the Goblin Shark. <Neat sharks, aren’t they (scientific name Mitsukurina owstoni also known as Elfin sharks). That is, neat but indeed bizarre looking.> However, after hours and hours of searching, and burying my nose in many books about sharks, the information and pictures that I have turned up has been very sparse. I was just hoping that some of you on the crew might be able to steer me in the right direction. If you know of any published essays, reports, BOOKS (fingers crossed, but not holding my breath! haha), or of any good websites with some good information, it would be very much appreciated as my research has not led to very much. <I’m sorry to say that I don’t know of any specific books on Goblin sharks (perhaps Bob knows of some?), but I do have some online links for you below, some of which have bibliographies at the bottom listing their sources. Enter the term Goblin Shark in the (Common Name) search engine at this link. It’ll take you to a page with some good information. Also, if you click on the photo, it’ll take you to additional photos with basic data on each specimen shown: http://fishbase.net/ http://web.ncf.ca/bz050/goblinshark.html http://zz4k.com/Animals/M/Mitsukurina_owstoni/ ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/x9293e/X9293E04.pdf (PDF file) This link is to an AES (American Elasmobranch Society) discussion forum (must register first): http://www.elasmo.org/elasmol.php http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Mitsukurina_owstoni.html The following link contains a list of books, under different categories. I don’t see any specifically dealing with Goblins, but there may be some good information within. At least some of these books should be available through your local college or community library: http://web.ncf.ca/bz050/sharkbooks.html That should get you started!> Thanks so much in advance. Chris <You’re very welcome and good luck! –Lynn>

Epaulette Shark, reading  – 03/10/08 Hello, <Hi there> My boyfriend and I are looking at buying an Epaulette Shark. What size tank would you recommend would be best, and what other things will we need for the tank (e.g. protein skimmer etc). Thanks <All posted. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm the second tray... Shark Systems... read on sister, read on. Bob Fenner>

Coral Catshark breathing a little fast and keeps swimming to top of tank... Reading...    2/27/08 Hi, I just purchased a 18 inches coral Catshark today. While I was acclimating him he kept swimming around the foam bucket. <I hope you had "heavy" aeration going on during...> After an hour I put him in the tank 150 gallon tank. <... too small a volume> After about 10 minutes he starts swimming around like crazy going up to the top of tank. He would do this and then go back down for a while. I checked the water before I bought him and everything was at 0 and the salinity was .025. <... no> The store owner did tell me his water salinity is .016. <!? Much too different...> He also said the only thing he fed him was silversides. <... a very poor diet> Do you think that's the reason. <Reason for?> He fed him before I bought him so I can see he eats. He said he had him for about 5 months. Oh I have a vtail grouper 5 inches and a Miniatus grouper 4 inches. I unplugged the heater out of the sump and took the glass cleaner out of the tank and the thermometer out. I have some live shrimp in the tank but he doesn't try to eat them. I have a uv, protein skimmer, wet dry/sump. Should I buy a pump for more air. I don't want him to die, what can I do to save him. Did I do something wrong ? Please help <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The second tray... the Articles and FAQs files on Sharks... You should have done this ahead of this purchase. I would return this fish, pronto... it won't live for long in the circumstances you describe. Bob Fenner>

Help save sharks by spreading the word! Help save sharks by spreading the word. In the true-life documentary Sharkwater, director and biologist Rob Stewart sets out on a journey through 15 countries over five years, documenting the plight of our oceans through the eyes of one of the world's most misunderstood creatures, the shark. As species of sharks are becoming extinct due to poaching, you can do your part by telling your friends to see Sharkwater and pass on the message that sharks are not man-eating monster and need our help! Save the sharks, save the world. Forward this email on to ten of you friends, or better still ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS and let them know they can help by seeing Sharkwater and spreading the word. For more information, please visit www.sharkwater.com Thought this might interest you :) <Thanks Dan... Will post, share. BobF>

Re: Shark Question 10/04/2007 Oh, most definitely. Shark attacks are rare. We have quite a few (in comparison, I guess) here on the Galveston beaches, but by little Blacktips and spinner sharks going for mullet and grabbing a nice pale foot by mistake. <Well-stated> I do a lot of wade fishing and have had them swim by me, the largest being a 6ft Bull shark. <Yikes... Carcharodon leucas likely kill, maim more humans than all other sharks combined...> The Bulls here are much more passive than the ones in South America and in Africa. Still, when you're standing in waist deep water and this guy noses your trout in your basket, it's a tad unnerving. Sorry to get off topic! Seriously, note that beer invite somewhere if you end up around here anytime. Not much diving around here, though. The water resembles a nice blend of chocolate soup, or perhaps pothole mud.... Thomas Roach <Heee! Have visited, even slept on the beach there... Watch out for four-bys! BobF>

Sharks/Feeding 10/2/07 Thank you for contacting the Crew @ Wet Web Media. Your Reply is below: I have a baby banded cat shark about 3 maybe 4 weeks old and he still will not eat. What are some tricks to try? <All posted on the site. Read here and linked files above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Getting Back Into the Game; Bamboo Shark Care  – 05/03/07 Dear Crew, <Hello Bill…> Thanks for the wonderful site you have put together. <You are welcome and thank you.> I've been reading all the FAQ's (its taken me several days- not a joke) and I just wanted to say a few things. <Be my guest.> I was surprised at the redundancy of a lot of questions. Do people not read FAQ's before they send in questions? <Sadly, no…> Wow- READ UP FIRST PEOPLE!! <Agreed.> Anyway, I had a few of my own.... <No problem.> In a couple of questions, Bob had recommended adding vitamin solutions to food offerings for sharks. Makes sense. He had also said to add Iodide supplements as well, but in a previous question, I think it was MikeD who had said not to do this, as it could prove fatal. Which is it? <Over dosing iodine is indeed something the aquarist should be aware of…though through a disciplined practice it should not be an issue.  The occasional dosing is necessary (happens anyway with water changes)…it is also recommended that you soak the food in an iodine solution on occasion to prevent goiter.> I'm confused, is it only certain species or an age range that is the key factor? <See above; also if you want more detail I would look into Scott Michaels book; “Sharks and Rays.”> Also, I know most sharks are nocturnal, <Most of the benthic species we keep in the “average” aquaria; yes.> and therefore spend most of the day "sleeping." As I work late at night this is fine. My question is if I come home at maybe 11 to midnight, the shark should be active, but would prefer the tank lights to be off. So are there any lights that would allow me to watch him at night without interfering with his natural clock? <Low watt L.E.D. lighting or a red incandescent bulb.> Like "safe lights" used in photo darkrooms (deep red lights that wont exposed normal light sensitive photo paper)? Or possibly "black lights"? <No not black-lights. See above.> And should I just have my regular tank lights kick off at sunset-ish and just use the "spying" lights afterwards? <Yes use a normal lighting cycle; and then as you put it the “spy” lights to view the animal later.> Anyway. I found you site while trying to research shark aquarium keeping and have been hooked ever since. When I was living at home with my parents, my step father (who probably knows more marine biology than most biologists) had a banded bamboo. We never really had a problem with him, not till he got big enough to try to eat a bird wrasse (my moms favorite) and a spiny puffer (the other favorite). I believe he was a good two to three foot at the time. Anyway, my mom made us get rid of him (he went to a trusted LFS who specialized in exotics). Ever since then, I've wanted to get another one. After being on my own for several years, I came across an aquarium setup (at a garage sale) that I couldn't pass up. I set it up with the idea of getting a banded bamboo once again. Though he might be the only thing in there besides "live in food" (e.g.. ghost shrimp, etc. ). <I would recommend a VERY large/oversized protein skimmer.> Which brings me to my last question, How can I encourage "natural" hunting behaviors? <In young specimens; ghost shrimp (like you mentioned above) and fiddler crabs.  Having said that I’m not really a fan of live-foods. I prefer varied captive fair; mussels, scallops, squid, krill; etc. . Soaked in iodine now and then and vitamin supplements like Selcon.> What edibles can I keep in the tank for him to hunt, as enrichment (sorry, zoo term)? <See above.> Thanks for your time. I will reference your site for all my future questions. Keep up the great work. <Thanks.> Bill <Adam J.>

Shark pic  - 3/7/07 Hi Bob <Vici> We are publishing a book about Sharks this spring and I am looking for a picture of a live Brown smoothhound, Longnose catshark and a Common thresher. I came across a picture of a Brown smoothhound on your website. Can you tell me where I can get permission for that picture? <This is my image. What is the application? Bob Fenner> Vici Johnstone
Re: sharks pix  – 03/09/07
Hi Bob We are publishing a book on Sharks of the Pacific Northwest by Alessandro de Maddalena, Antonella Preti and Tarik Polansnky. The image of the Brown smoothhound would be used for species identification. It would probably be printed as a 1/2 page colour image. The book is 6 x 9 and we will print 3000 copies to be distributed in Canada and the PNW. We will give you credit for the photo and a copy of the book. <Real good. Please make it known what size, type of scan, dpi...> Do you have any ideas where I can source the other two images we are looking for? Vici Johnstone General Manager Harbour Publishing <Ah, yes... will BCC a few friends here. Bob Fenner> Excellent Bob. Thank you. Do you have a slide, photo or higher resolution version of this shot? Vici <Am pretty sure this is a two by... Have a Nikon 4000 dpi capable scanner... Do please send along the name/right click... or the URL and desc. of where this is. BobF> Hi Bob I would need a 300 dpi tiff or hi res jpg scanned to 4 x 5 (ish). I have attached the image in question. Vici Johnstone General Manager Harbour Publishing <Will the attached do? Bob Fenner, 8586 Menkar Rd., San Diego, CA 92126>
Re: sharks pix  3/10/07
Hi Bob Yes this will be great. Can you tell me a few details about the shot i.e.. Where and when you shot it? <Was taken in 2001, at the Birch Aquarium in San Diego, CA. BobF> Vici Johnstone

Headline - Rare shark of the deep snapped... A thrill with a Frill    1/24/07 Dear Bob, You have been sent this article link by Luke courtesy of smh.com.au Personal Message: Rare shark of the deep snapped <Neat. Thanks Luke. BobF> January 24, 2007 - 4:20PM To view the entire article, click on: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/01/24/1169594348990.html

About Bonnethead sharks ... and using the search tool...   12/19/06  Could you give me some information on bonnet head sharks. size of aquarium, diet, max size, etc.? <Greeting, Mich here tonight.      Have you used the google search feature on the bottom of the WetWebMedia homepage to search WWM and other sites?  I think you will find most of the information you are looking for and more.  This is an all volunteer organization and we generally prefer to respond to queries where the information being sought is not readily available.  We try to provide assistance with issues where the answers require more than a couple of tries with a search engine. If you are having further difficulties please feel free to contact us again.    Sincerely, Mich>

Need Help With Bamboo Shark - 09/26/06 I have a 60 gallon salt water aquarium.  Up until 2 days ago the only thing in it was a clown fish around 2 and a half inches who lives in my sea anemone. <<Nothing wrong with keeping it this way...>> My tank is running great, I'm happy to have so much growth inside, mushroom corals, bubble algae, feather dusters, sponge corals and a few things that I'm unsure of the names thrive in my live rock. <<A great hobby, eh?>> Ok I'm sure you must hear this all the time, I have a friend who bought a banded bamboo shark (around 10 inches I would say) and she only has a 30 gallon tank. <<Uggghhhh!  If the LFS where she bought the shark knew this........!!!>> Right away I said "why did you do that?" "it's going to die in there" well, she figured out about 2 days later that she didn't want it and came to me. <<...?  Why not return it to the LFS?>> I told her no because I knew there wasn't enough room in my aquarium for a shark. <<Indeed>> But like she said it's better off in mine then hers until I can find someone else to take it <<Mmm...semantics...>> (I work in a pet store so I'm sure I can find a better home for him). <<Is there a suitable tank at the pet store to house this animal until then?>> I'm curious about their behavior, hopefully you can help. <<I shall try...but you will likely find more info with a keyword Google search re on our site/the NET>> I want to know that I'm doing what I can to keep it alive.  He seems to want out, he goes to the top of the tank and looks like he's trying to find a way out. (it makes me really sad to watch it)  Also it scratches on the rocks and sand.  Is that normal? <<Under these circumstances, maybe...signs of a healthy animal/environment, no.  There is something in this environment that is irritating this creature...could be water quality...could be stray voltage/magnetic field from a "leaking" powerhead or some other electronic device.  Do read through our "shark system" FAQs for clues...you can start here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharksystems.htm) and do also follow the linked files above>> There are no sighs of ich.  I watched it turn upside down and scratch its back in the sand. <<Not necessarily a "parasitic" reaction>> I'm no expert on behavior, do you think that is normal? <<Nope>> Also, how much food they need at one sitting? (Is feeding him every 2 days ok? and how much?) <<Offer a small amount of marine based meaty food daily (shrimp, squid, fish flesh), and do have a good read here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm)>> For my last question, how well do they see?  Some times it runs in to the rocks and glass of my tank. <<Mmm, environmental again...does this shark have anywhere to get away from the bright lights of a reef tank?>> Thanks so much, I only want to help <<Understood, but this animal needs a more suitable system...and soon.  In the meantime, do avail yourself of the plethora of information on these amazing creatures posted on our site>> -Liz <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Need Help With Bamboo Shark - 09/28/06
Well, I work at PETCO; there isn't a tank large enough or really safe enough to hold him. <<Okay>> Also I'm worried about returning it to the store, because they will only resell it to another unsuspecting customer who will kill it. My friend said it was housed in an aquarium way smaller than my 60 gallon with around 10 other banded bamboo sharks. <<Mmm...>> It really is a bad idea for it to go back there.  I'm going to turn off my power heads, and see if his behavior improves (I have 3 in my tank for the coral).  Yes he can escape the light quite easily, and has dug several holes under my live rock to hide. <<Ah, good!>> I moved all the live rock to the center so that the shark could swim around. <<Excellent>> Thank you for your help, I'm going to visit a fish store tomorrow that I think may be a good choice for a permanent home for him. -Liz <<Good luck with your quest.  EricR>>

Port Jackson and? Coldwater/shark systems   9/16/06 Hi everyone, <Adam> Great site, Just a quick question, I have a port Jackson in my tank, and i know its difficult to have coral and a shark in the same tank, but, They have been living quite well together for 6 months, what i want to know is do you think the power heads have a bad effect on the shark, if so is there any thing else i can use instead? thanks Adam <Posted... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharksystems.htm and the linked files above. No way to tell how much you actually know from what you've posted here... Do read over the article, FAQs on Heterodontids as well. Bob Fenner>

More on Sharks - 09/14/06 Hello Eric! <<Hi Chad!>> Chad again asking a few questions for a friend (doesn't have internet). <<Uh-huh  (just kidding matey <grin>)>> His name is Nathan, I just recently got him interested in keeping one of the many beautiful Elasmobranchs. <<Indeed>> I showed him pictures of the Brownbanded Bamboo, Epaulette, Cat sharks, etc.  But he saw a picture of a Bonnethead and a Blacktip Reef Shark. <<Uh-oh...(sigh)>> He wanted me to ask you guys if he could keep a Bonnethead or a Blacktip Reef Shark in a 1000 - 1500 gallon system who's dimensions are 12ft L x 4ft W x 3ft H? <<Mmm, no...These are heavier, more active and much larger sharks...the Bonnethead grows to more than 5', and the Blacktip to more than 7'...would need a tank more than twice this size for either, in my opinion>> I told him that he probably couldn't keep them in there for more than about 8 - 12 months or so, but he wanted to know exactly how long and he wanted to hear that from experts, so I asked you guys. <<Well...I'm hardly an expert, but I have been around the block (or maybe around the bend!).  I don't recommend keeping these sharks at all unless they are "started" in a system suitable to hold them at maturity.  Often the "bigger tank down the line" never materializes...and rarely if ever can you just "bag up" the shark and take it to your local public aquarium or zoo, due either to local protocol or just the fact that they can't handle/don't have the facilities for the addition.  There's also the matter of developmental retardation from keeping and “growing” an animal under improper conditions and/or in "too small" an environment.  I can't point you to any studies, but my colleagues and I deal with this on a daily basis.  Mostly in the form of health and behavior issues associated with folks keeping "Tangs" in too small/crowded systems..."but only until they get too big for the tank" or "only until they can get a bigger tank"...get the picture?  Few hobbyists have the money/time/capacity for keeping these magnificent creatures...maybe you (and your friend) are the exception, just be sure to match the species to the environment...and vise versa>> Thanks for your help, Chad <<Happy to share my opinions.  Eric Russell>>

55 Gallon with predators... incl. a shark  - 09/07/06 I have a 55 gal salt tank and it has been running for a couple months. I currently have a 6 in clown grouper and a golden head moray, I purchased a baby bamboo cat shark, which I know isn't the best idea. <Youch big fish that eat other fish and produce large amounts of waste. Potential major problems.> The site says its for expert care only, what do I need to do special and what am I getting myself into. <Bamboo sharks are very, very, very sensitive to nitrates so you need to make sure you have absolutely no nitrates. This means very frequent water changes and pristine pure water chemistry in my experience. I have raised several, hatched quite a few and they can be extremely difficult to get to eat and to get to continue to eat. Always train them to eat off a stick because I know several people who tried to hand feed them and ended up severely bitten. Feeding is hard to do with these guys, they need extremely smelly foods to begin with to get them stimulated to eat and to find foods. I use squid and it hasn't failed me yet.>I am only planning on having the shark for a couple months and then will sell it to the local fish store so I am not worried about it outgrowing the tank. <Have they already agreed to take it? Stores around here are rejecting large fish. They don't have the room.> Will there be any hostility in the tank? What pointers and advice can you give? What do I need to do special for him that other fish don't require? thank you very much I love the site!<I'd watch the grouper, I doubt that a young bamboo would compete for food against one which might have your shark starving to death.  Good luck Jeff, MacL> Jeff

Feeding, shark   8/18/06 Hey Crew,      I have a 2 month old banded cat shark and I've been feeding him a mix variety of foods. I've been feeding him 2 times a week with some vita-chem added to the food the first feeding of the week. Just want to know if you guys agree with the feeding schedule?   Thanks,   Ben <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Gray Banded Bamboo... child/ish queries   8/6/06 Hey Guys,    I think your web site is great and I have learned a lot from you guys.  I live in Maryland and trying to get a newborn Chiloscyllium griseum no stores can get them in small. <English...>   One place called roozens has shark eggs but I read that most of them fail or are born with a fungal. <What?> I would put this shark in 360 gallon tank with my baby manitus groper <...> and catfish. I have my tank running for about 4 months the water is perfect, <Please have someone help you before sending out email> I started it off with assorted damsels but the groper ate most of them. I want to get the shark small so it can grow with my groper and catfish. What to do! thank you Joe   <... with what? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The links/blue file names on cartilaginous fishes, sharks. BobF>

Bamboo Shark/Compatibility   8/1/06 Hey Guys, <And gals.> I think your web site is great and I have learned a lot from you guys. <Thank you.> I live in Maryland and trying to get a newborn Chiloscyllium griseum no stores can get them in small.  One place called Roozens has shark eggs but I read that most of them fail or are born with a fungal disease. <I would not say most.> I would put this shark in 360 gallon tank with my baby miniatus grouper and catfish. I have my tank running for about 4 months the water is perfect, I started it off with assorted damsels but the grouper ate most of them. I want to get the shark small so it can grow with my grouper and catfish. What to do! <Do read here and related links above.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm> Thank you <You're welcome.> Joe  

Gray banded bamboo shark   7/8/06 hey guys just need some info about the gray banded bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium griseum).  first I have 180 gallon tank, <Too small... this fish can grow to about twice the width of this...> all ready for a shark I have 5 damsels that I used to start the cycle <Not a good idea... may well have introduced pathogens> and now I want to get the gray banded bamboo shark but I cant find much info. I read the book sharks and rays and the conscientious marine aquarist, and multiple internet articles including your site and fish base. maybe you could send me some info on this shark. thanks so much, Joe <Please read/glean what you can from reading here: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=4304&genusname=Chiloscyllium&speciesname=griseum and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm and learn capitalization through use of your Grammar Checker... Bob Fenner>

Whale shark experience Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 09:19:47 -1000 Aloha, I hope you can pull up this link. This is from my client, Reg, who lives down at Southpoint. He has been in Hawaii Fishing news more than a couple of times for his kayak fishing escapades. This is amazing. Aloha, Dawn Check out this web site:   Reg's latest fishing trip     http://web.mac.com/kpare <Neat... and no fishing story either... Now that's a Rhincodon typus! BobF> - Shark Questions!  LFS advised to change my ways -   6/14/06 Currently I have a 2000 gallon tank with a 16" bamboo shark, 18" black tip reef shark, assorted damsels and tangs. I have a huge Wet/Dry, a large power head pumping the water in a counter-clockwise direction. <Too bad the black tip will out-grow even this tank.> Question 1 I have been advised to add a second power head pumping in a clockwise direction and put them on a timer so they rotate X amount of time one way and then the other (to simulate its natural environment). Didn't sound like a bad idea but is it necessary? <Well... an opposing current would help create turbulence in the water which would help deal with some of the issues you list below. A singular source of water flow always creates a laminar flow - these do you no favors. On the other hand, electromagnetic devices in the same container as sharks is ill-advised. Even simple pieces of metal will interfere with their electromagnetic senses which they use to locate prey. Best to offer such enhanced circulation in a closed loop with the pumps outside of the tank.> Question 2 Currently I am feeding them daily and a set time/place/amount and have had no problems. I get fish from a local market, carve it, freeze what I won't use within 2 days, and refrigerate the next days food overnight in a Vitamin solution. Now I am being advised to feed only every other day instead, at what ever time, only fresh fish. <Well... every other day is probably better for a couple of reasons: one, you don't want them growing too quickly and secondly, this will tax your filtration system. But more importantly, sharks generally have a very slow digestive system and just don't need constant feedings to stay healthy. On the fresh vs. frozen debate, as long as you are going through the frozen stuff pretty quickly (isn't becoming freezer burned), then I don't see any real difference nutritionally - just make sure you thaw the food before offering it.> Question 3 The tank has a sand bottom that tends to get dark over the week from algae growth, before the black tip arrived we used a rake and stirred it a little to clear it up, but in doing so made the water cloudy for hours. <More circulation in the tank would help this.> Since the Black tips arrival we have been limiting the stirring to 1/8th at a time to keep the water from being cloudy.  My thoughts being the shark could become disoriented smack into the walls.  LFS says its ok to just stir it all at once. <Would think more regular stirs would be fine. Sharks don't have particularly great eyesight and rely on other mechanisms to locate prey, etc... should do fine in a sandstorm.> Thanks for the help ahead of time! <Cheers, J -- >

To Shark or not to shark?  5/11/06 Howdy Crew! <What’s up Jeff?> Was wondering what species to keep in a 220 gallon tank. <Of shark I would personally keep none…just because my personal belief is that shark quarters should be pond size or they should be left in the ocean, however there are a few which people commonly keep in tanks of this size.> If I did a shark, I would like it to be a brown banded bamboo shark. <Potential size of this animal is 40”+ so beware of that….may/will outgrow quarters.> And I would just have that one shark with possibly one ray (my LFS suggested I put a shark with a ray for the 220 gal.) <No tank is too small.> But I also like other fish such as triggers, <Not good to mix with sharks, will/can pick on sharks.> tangs, groupers, etc. <This is okay…but a heavy bio-load…messy, messy, messy.> I know it to be wise not to keep fish with sharks. <Well benthic sharks like the bamboo are actually not much of a threat to larger healthy fish, they couldn’t catch them if they wanted too.> So it's either one or the other: shark tank or fish only tank with the fish only tank hosting a Clown Trigger, Picasso Trigger, Blonde Naso Tang, Brown Powder Tang, Stars and stripes puffer, ghost ribbon eel. <I would say go for the fish only for the best long-term display but pick one trigger or the other and drop the ribbon eel from the list completely…these are to be left in the ocean….trust me it WILL perish in captivity, especially with the aggressive tank-mates you have mentioned.> Of course not all of them but the choices I would like to have. Anyway, what would be the best tank to have, shark/ray tank or fish only tank? <The fish only my friend, without a doubt.> Thanks <Sure.> Jeff <Adam Jackson.>

Aquarium epaulette shark    4/10/06 I am looking for a site or book on how to set up a tank for sharks. I want to find examples and pictures of home shark aquariums. do you know where I could find them. also what is the best food to feed epaulette sharks and where could I find it. I have read books and know about there iodine needs and the need for a vitamin supplement or fortified food. please let me know <Please look for/read Scott Michael's "Aquarium Sharks and Rays" by Microcosm/TFH. Available on a few sites... Amazon, SeaChallengers... Bob Fenner>

Shark Egg/FAQ   3/21/06 Hi, I recently read through a few articles on your site they were very informative. I recently purchased my first shark egg from an aquarium store and   had it special ordered, he thought it was a bamboo or banded cat shark.  <Why do people buy these?> I have never had a shark but I have had marine aquariums all my life. I have the egg in a critter carrier with a few extra holes in it for flow and a small layer  of smooth sand on the bottom of the carrier, the carrier is at the bottom of the  tank, the water temp is always between 78-80F, salinity is at 1.027 and was  hoping you could help me with what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong.  Should I suspend the carrier, should I get rid of the sand in the carrier, or both? Thank you so much for your time and your site is great. <Beau, anything I know about shark eggs can be found in the Shark Egg FAQ's.  James (Salty Dog)> Beau    Phoenix, AZ

Hello there shark crew! A lot of learning to do  3/16/06 Hello,   While back I asked you if I could keep a shark in a 125gal, you said no. I plan on getting a shark egg tomorrow (Thursday). Now before you start saying I should change my plans, I have to let you all know that I have recently just finish building my sump and fuge, yes working awesome! And I will be planning on going to college in about a 14 months. I while be giving my fish to Bass Pro Shoppe Outdoor World which is opening up this year in my city. <Have visited their home site in Florida... Really neat!> I have talked to the manager and the fish department there if they could take my fish when I leave for college and they said no problem. Now I have been doing my homework like a good boy. Is there any advice you would like to tell me that I don't know yet? <Have no idea what you know> Any secrets on keeping the egg? I'm also concerned about my Cyano algae break out, if the egg gets covered in it  is the egg doomed? <Have you read on WWM re shark eggs, juveniles?> I did my water test and here are my results:   Nitrate - 4ppm   Nitrite & Ammonia - 0   pH - 8.2 *should I raise it? <No>   Salt - 1.025   Temp - 77.9      I really appreciate your help alot! I have read alots of articles on WWM and they have helped me alot.   Ben <No such word as "alot"... Please re-read the Shark Eggs, Shark Systems... FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Leopard shark... abandonment issues   03/07/06 I have had a leopard shark in a 1500 gallon pond for about the last 3 years. I am now forced to move back up north (I am in Florida now) due to my parents becoming ill. I am not going to be able to get my pond set back up soon enough to bring her with me. I was wondering if you knew the contact info for sea world or any other aquarium that I could possibly donate her to? This all came up very suddenly so I need to try to get her placed as soon as possible. Thank you for any help <... you can try contacting... Maybe Bruce Carlson at the new Atlanta Aquarium... but not good odds. Bob Fenner>

How Big Do The Black Tip Sharks Get An How Big A Tank Do You Need? - 02/20/2006 <All covered. Try here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/blacktipshark.htm ,and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm . - Josh>

Shark ignorance - 02/20/06 Hi, I have two Banded bamboo sharks and as of last night one died...  I have a 500 gallon tank and all of my water parameters are perfect A-0, N-0, N-0, Ph-8.2...  I have a very larger protein skimmer that skims really well...  I also have three canister filters packed with media...   Also in the tank are 3 damsels and one tomato clown...  I have two inches on crushed coral for substrate... <There are better choices>   Temperature is at the mid 70's...  Also have live rock not much though...  I have had the tank cycled for a couple of weeks now and I introduced my first bamboo shark a week ago and the new bamboo shark on Wednesday...  Last night I noticed he was breathing really heavy and turning a little white, just before I went to bed he flipped on his back and just died...  I acclimated him the proper may and he was eating right away...  Can you please give me some in sight on what may have happened? Thanks a lot... <... Please see WWM re Shark Systems, Selection, Disease... Bob Fenner>

Shark, feeding, lack of...  - 02/16/2006 Good morning, thanks for your help in advance...  I have just recently purchased a brown banded bamboo shark (2-3 weeks old) and I have noticed its respiration is around 32 per minute...  Is this OK?  If not what could be the problem?  Also I have tried to give it food everyday and still no luck (krill, shrimp, octopus). Thanks Jamie <Respiration about right... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sharks, vitamins, reading WWM  - 01/24/06 Per your recommendation, what vitamin should I purchase for my port Jacksons' eye infection? <Posted... on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Shark egg care   1/20/06 I am going to purchase a banded cat shark egg from a LFS but none of them  have the proper care tips. Can you tell me where in the tank I should place it? I   have a 200 gallon show tank with minimal fish thank you in  advance.  <First off, these guys have specific needs you need to be aware off.  Do read shark egg FAQ's I've posted here for starters and do read other banded cat shark info on our site before you purchase the egg.  Why can't collectors leave these eggs in the ocean where they belong!  James (Salty Dog)> Sick shark   1/18/06 Hello again, sent an email long while back and you guys were excellent and very helpful. Am having a slight crisis! A friend of mine went to Iraq recently and commissioned me to take care of his baby Bamboo shark. I bought a 200g tank and set it up for the shark specifically. It was allowed to cycle for 3 months and under the supervised care and conditioning of my LFS.  Now after two weeks of being just fine and enjoying his new tank, he's floating slightly to one side. His tail is on the sand, but his head and front fins are raised -- as if he has a bubble somewhere that is causing him to be off balance. <Not good> Tank is fully cycled, there are no Nitrates/Nitrites. Possibly a trace of ammonia.  I just did a 25% water change to get rid of ammonia if there is any lurking. Specific gravity stands at between 1.020 - 1.021 <... needs to be about 1.025> None of the other fishes seem affected. Tankmates include: assorted damsels, starry eel, and two cleaner shrimp.  This is very sudden. Just last night he was perfectly fine. Since receiving him, I have been feeding him a Prime Reef brand food. I don't know if he has eaten it since I put it near him right before lights-out at night. <I'd use a feeding stick, other foods...> Since reading up past what his pervious owner told me, I found he needs better foods and was going to get him some meatier foods tomorrow. I may not get the chance!  >_< Please help! -Concerned Shark Sitter <With what? Please see WWM re "Sharks" period... Systems, Feeding, Disease... Bob Fenner>

Writing a shark article   1/18/06 On today's WetWeb faq page, you ended a response as follows: " Do you have any species specific care advice? Thanks, Steve <A great deal... unfortunately, am farther behind on other projects... rather than writing about even the more suitable shark species for aquarium use. Perhaps you would compile this information, write it up in an article format... I will gladly help you sell/place it in the e- and paper 'zine mag.s. Bob Fenner> " If Steve isn't interested, I certainly am! I am a full-time writer and long-term FW fishkeeper, new to SW. I would be happy to work through your information and create an article for publication. Do let me know if this appeals to you. Thanks, Heather <Mmm, am interested... though it would not specifically comprise "my information"... Is "the" topic of interest to you, or are there others of precedence? BobF>

Brown banded bamboo shark: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm   1/18/06 I am currently setting up a 200 gallon tank.(7ft long, 25 inches tall and 24inches width).  How large does the bamboo shark get? <Posted on WWM, Fishbase...> Do I have a big enough tank? <Only for a while> I would also like to put an eel or lionfish in the tank.  Is one of these tankmates better than the other, and how many other fish could I put in the tank?  I'm getting a lot of different opinions. please help <Stop wasting your time... and read on WWM re sharks... Bob Fenner>

Copyright permission request  01/01/2006 Dear Mr. Fenner,   I am a fifth grader working on a school Thinkquest project (www.thinkquest.com).  We are making a webpage and I am doing a page on sharks.  I need a good nurse shark picture so I can point out the barbells on it.  With your permission, I would like to use the picture on the web page below.  Thank you. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nurseshkfaqs.htm   This is my parent's email address and they have helped me with this message.  Thank you. <I do grant you such use. Please make it known if you need a larger file, different format. Bob Fenner>

How Do Sharks Breath? - 12/12/2005 Ram jet ventilation... Is it true that when sharks have stopped moving that they die? <For most, yes.> If so what causes them to die? <Suffocation.> Do they die instantly? <No. - Josh>

Selecting shark help  11/21/05 I am looking at getting a 140 gallon rectangle aquarium tank. what kind of shark preferably bigger than a foot in length when adult and does not need professional experience to maintain, would most likely be the best for that size of tank? Thanks Trever <This is posted: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkselfaqs.htm and the linked files beyond at top. Bob Fenner>

Banded cat shark  11/16/05 Hi, I don't know if this where I am supposed to send this question, but maybe you can help me. I have a cat shark that is a year old I hatched him 11-6-04. Recently he has 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 eating with help. Is there anything I can do? Thanks, Bill Ward <Likely a lack of nutrient at play here... Not enough information offered... as to system, history, foods/feeding... These issues are covered on WWM... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm.  Go there, now... and read re. Bob Fenner> 
Re: banded cat shark  11/16/05
Hi, The system is a 125 acrylic with a extra large wet dry filter that has 5 gallons of bio balls in it, the protein skimmer is a ETSS evolution 500, and there is a 25 watt U.V light setup. As for feeding I was feeding him along with the large panther grouper shrimp without the heads. <Not a good diet...> <<Yeah, most of the flavor (and nutrients!) is in the head!  MH>> He was eating to the point they would almost race to see which could finish all the shrimp first. Since he started having issues I've been feeding him cut squid with a probe because he has a problem getting to the food. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Bill Ward <Read... Bob Fenner> 

Bamboo Shark Purchase 10/11/05 Hi Bob, <Actually Adam J with you today.> Firstly just want to say thank you for spending your time answering everyone's questions on here! Personally I've learnt a lot just reading through old FAQs more so than articles. <The FAQ’s are indeed fun to read through.> I'm about to set up a tank to house a Brownbanded bamboo shark. It will be 6' x 4' x 2' as I believe this is the required tank size to house one for its lifespan.  <As I’m sure you know the bigger the better, but yes this tank sounds acceptable. Good surface area.>  My question is about a specimen I've come across for sale and would like to know whether you think it is worth "rescuing" this shark from an overcrowded tank, or whether you think he will be in poor health and I'd be better off buying a "new" shark.  "Yes he is still for sale only just I really need to let him go now as his getting a bit big!! I have had loads of interest but no one has made me an offer on him yet!! He's about 9 inches now and he/she (not sure!!) a brown banded shark, very happy at the minute but I'm sure he will have fish for dinner soon : ) <These sharks don’t really have the “weaponry” to catch a fast moving fish. They are in large part crustacean eaters though sedentary fish like gobies or wrasses may be at risk when housed with larger specimens.> I have him in my reef system at the minute with loads of different fish the tank is 4ft x 2 1/2ft x 2ft and its plenty big enough for him but obviously he will get to about 3ft over the years so he would need either a tank on its own or a very big tank. <So sad, I see many of these sharks die in this type of setting, at least she is attempting to find it a home.> The salinity of the tank is 0.023 and the temperature is always kept at 25 degrees Celsius by a water cooler.  He is in perfect health and feeding v well and has been for a fair few weeks now. <Well she does say it's feeding, make sure it is before you purchase it.> Make me an offer on it or any more questions you may have email me.  Please advise me as soon as possible. What worries me is the amount of tank mates he's had  <Some tank-mates can are inappropriate for sharks such as larger angels and triggers, though at the sharks small size peaceful tank mates usually leave the shark alone and the shark usually leaves them alone. However you are correct in that sharks are best kept in a species only tank.>  as from reading your website I've seen that not many fish make suitable tank mates. Thanks in advance <If the shark is eating and alert I would not be opposed to purchasing him. Though from the e-mail I gather that this shark would have to be shipped. When purchasing an animal such as a shark I would much rather view him myself (yourself) and check the underside for bacterial infections, witness feeding and look them over for parasites/obvious signs of trauma.> Ermis <Adam J.>

-Another shark- 10/9/05 Justin, <Pat, I apologize for the extended wait on the reply, I have been under the weather.> Nice to meet you, and many thanks to you and the rest of the WWM for all your help. On your advice I did some research in your anemones FAQ's. I was not able to positively ID the organisms living in my tank, but my chosen livestock comes first so I will rid my tank of the offending anemones no matter what they are (the feeling I got reading your pages seems to be that all accidentally acquired anemones are parasitic). <<Mmm, not "parasitic"... don't live in or on other species... RMF>> My tank contains three small sharks (an epaulette, a bamboo, and a coral cat, 400 gallon is in the works for January, two 29 gallon sumps/ wet-dry trickles with bio-balls are currently cycling with my current 150 so they are ready for the new tank) as well as one large tesselata moray.  As such I am always wary of medications, sharks seem to react negatively to such things. Your FAQ left me with two alternatives I am interested in trying: One was peppermint shrimp. I understand that a few of these will dispatch the offending organisms, but in your opinion would they have a chance to do such before they themselves fell to the bigger predators in the tank? <<No, they'll be eaten. RMF>> I also saw that I could remove the rock the anemones are growing on and boil them to kill all the organisms on it (recall that it is established volcanic rock and not live rock from the sea), or failing that I could just toss it and replace it with new rock. Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.  <I really think you best bet is to put the rock into your sump and let the peppermint shrimp reside there and see if they will clean it off. Otherwise ask your LFS to see if you can bring the rock to them for their shrimp to clean then pick it up when its done. Otherwise boiling works or does hypersalinity in the 1.60 range in a container and put the LR in that, It will kill everything or most everything as well. Third idea is to use Kalkwasser to inject the anemones full of and that kills them that works very well.> Also: I have a few questions regarding sharks. As I said I already have three, but in a four hundred gallon with ridiculous filtration (the two sumps I mentioned, 1200 GPH protein skimmer, six foot home made suspended gravel filter in addition to heavy mechanical/carbon filtration) I would be comfortable adding one more. < Unfortunately I would not as you are already overcrowding a shark tank. Each requires quite a lot of water and space and may kill another shark if not enough space is available. Also if you really want to keep a shark for its lifespan or the three you have, I would look into making a Saltwater pond of several thousand gallons. MattieJ on Aquaticpreadators.com has the most expertise on such things and keeps an 18,000gallon tank in his basement, and a 35,000 gallon 55ft by 35ft pool for 5 sharks. one or two being Blacktip reef sharks.>  My totally unrealistic dream is a black tip reef shark (LOL, some day), and your FAQ's/information sheets turned me off to leopard sharks. I was wondering about the Freycinet's epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium freycineti) and the hooded carpet shark (Hemiscyllium strahani). I searched you site and got a hit with no information on the latter and nothing at all on the former. I've also searched on-line dealer inventories exhaustively and found nothing.  <<Ever hear of fishbase.org?  A listing of species, with as much information as they have is packed into a huge database.  There are no assessments of availability within the ornamental trade.  Marina>><<<Actually Marina, if you look at the "Use..." per species, you'll find there is a description "Aquarium" for species. RMF>>> You can see pictures of them here: http://www.seapics.com/spsearchLynx/cgi.pan$188140x1x10?spsearchLynx  and here: http://www.seapics.com/spsearchLynx/cgi.pan$qs+&hemiscyllium&strahani?spsearchLynx  respectively. My question is do you know if these species exist in the trade, or are they entirely unattainable? I realize the scope of this question is massive and any help would be appreciated. <Hmm well I do not know about either of those sharks in the trade, however as for the Blacktip shark I DO NOT recommend it for any aquarium less than several thousand gallons as it is a constant swimmer and requires space and a lot of it to survive. The only ones outside of public aquariums that are thriving belong to MattieJ at AP (see above). If anyone knows about those particular sharks you are searching for he would, He also goes on shark collecting expeditions at times and has the licenses etc to do so. I highly recommend you get in touch with him.> <Justin (Jager)>  Thanks!! Pat 

Moving Bamboo Shark 8/13/05 Hi, Hope the WWM crew is well.   I have a 2 1/2 foot Brownbanded Bamboo Shark in a 240 gallon tank.  We are in the process of building a sump on the tank, and I will have to move him out of the tank for a few days.  I am wondering the best way to move him?  I am afraid if I net him, he will be injured. <Yes... very likely> He is obviously a good size fish and I do not want to take ANY chances injuring him while moving him.  Please advise me the best way to move a strong fish of this size without hurting him. Most Grateful Shark Obsessed, Jen Marshall <I would (carefully, and with help from strong individuals), dip in a square-bottomed, 4 mil (get this/these from the fish store), "fish bag", after removing all decor, lowering the water level about half... and slowly drive the fish down to the end of the tank, open the end of the bag a bit more, and scoop the shark into it... after the likely bit of splashing, thrashing about, place another bag, under, over the first one and (without straining your back), lift the shark, water, bags out... Bob Fenner>

I WANT TO SET UP A SHARK TANK 8/2/05 I want to set up a 125 shark tank with a black banded cat shark with a sump   live sand and protein skimmer and 10 lbs base rock ( with no metal)  . Would a sting ray be ok to. PS. I like your site <Then read it. Bob Fenner>

Chiloscyllium hasselti (Hasselt Bamboo Shark) 8/2/05 I work at a fish store by coincidence that Scott Michael (I saw that some of his books have been points of reference for this site) worked at years ago ("The Fish Store" in Lincoln, NE).  He is back in town as of lately and has been a great resource for find out name on different and rare species of fishes that come in from time to time.  I asked him last week about a small shark that came in for a photo session.  The tag for the shark said that it was a zebra shark but with my research that seemed rather unlikely.  Scott told me that it was a Hasselt Bamboo Shark (Chiloscyllium hasselti), similar to the Brown-banded Bamboo Shark.  I have tried to look up information for the store and possible purchasers of the shark but have yet not found any information.  You guys have been an excellent online source for me that last couple of years and I figured you would have some additional information.  Can you help?<<There is a some information on sharks and Chiloscyllium hasselti on our website. Try searching for Chiloscyllium hasselti. I also found some good information at the following two web sites: http://www.mfrdmd.org.my/sumber/shark/Chiloscyllium_hasselti.htm http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=54210&genusname=Chiloscyllium&speciesname=hasseltii Hope that helps.>> Thanks Bret Nelsen <<You're welcome - Ted>>

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

Another Shark Question 7/10/05 Hello! <HI! ;)> First of all, let me extend my gratitude for all of your efforts in answering the endless line of questions. Your site has been an excellent resource in my search to better my understanding in this hobby. <Thanks - to me as well> Since I have already read the FAQ's, I realize that keeping a shark is a responsibility best left to professionals or dedicated hobbyists with plenty of time (and even more money). <I wouldn't say "professional" because we all feel like "newbies" at one time or another, but definitely someone with the budget to support their requirements> Although certainly not condoned, but very apparent, is that there are many hobbyists who impulse buy sharks for a small aquarium and this leads to the eventual demise of the shark or the 'closet' analogy I've seen used throughout the FAQ's. <Glad to see you haven't fallen into this entrapment> To get to the point, my interest is in keeping a 'swimming' shark. After much research, I realize that a Blacktip Shark is not a real possibility because of its eventual size. <Correct> There are far better choices for captivity, but they are bottom dwelling and not the 'Mini-Jaws' that many of us dream about keeping. Since I live in Central Florida, I have been fishing out in the Gulf and caught several Sharpnose Sharks - Rhizoprionodon terraenovae (Richardson, 1836) *NOTE* I always catch and release*. <Good to hear> Supposedly, the sharks can attain a maximum length of 43.3 inches but average 31.5 to 33.5 inches as mature adults (most of the ones which I've caught have been little over 2'). Their feeding habits are not particularly special as they are reported to feed on silversides, shrimp (what I caught them on), and many other bony fishes and inverts. <Sharks usually aren't too picky> This shark as well as the Bonnethead - Sphyrna tiburo (Linnaeus 1758), attains approximately the same length but seems to be more inclined to prey on crustaceans than the former but not specifically. According to what I've read on the FAQ's I would need a tank 2x's body width wide by 3x's body length long to be adequate.<<Minimally. RMF>> Since most of the FAQ's are concerned with bottom dwelling, more or less inactive sharks, do these calculations also hold true for these sharks as well? <Not at all.  Most "ground dwelling" sharks are much less active swimmers.  The open water\'swimming' sharks never stop moving, and need much more swimming area> I had amateur engineered a tank 4' wide by 8' long and 2' deep giving me approximately 480 gallons.  I had figured on 4' high walls for avoiding 'leaping carpet' sharks. I've done enough research to provide adequate filtration, but will the tank size provide a adequate home for either of these sharks? It would be good to know before I build! <First of all, no sharks like the typical rectangular aquariums that we are used to seeing.  You should have a cylindrical or oval shaped aquarium custom made for you out of acrylic.  Second of all, you are going to need a very large tank for a ~3' open water shark, most likely too large to be practical.  For an oval\rectangular shape, we're talking 15-20 feet long, 10 feet wide, 3-6 feet high.  A cylindrical tank with a diameter of 15 feet or so would also work>   Also, are there any special husbandry requirements for either of these species which should be considered beyond filtration/supplemental vitamins/corrosive metals/copper medications/chemical water treatments/contoured corners? <Ah, you are aware of the need for contoured corners.  I would also use a grounding probe in the tank, to ground any stray electrical currents as sharks are very sensitive to these.  All in all, I do not recommend attempting to keep  this species in captivity without a tank of 1,500+ gallons> Lastly, if there aren't any other special requirements for these species, it seems rather absurd to purchase a Nurse Shark or Black Tail Reef shark given that there are much better choices for captivity. <Nurse sharks are much less active swimmers than the Atlantic shark you're wanting to keep, and black tip reef sharks are simply absurd for a private individual without a tank in the tens of thousands of gallons> Thanks for the great work, <Hope I was of service> Steven Beckman <M. Maddox>

Something to be ashamed of 7/5/05 Hi, <Hello Sean> Firstly, I would like to say that I love this site, and find it immensely useful in educating me in the needs of my oceanic pets. <Thank you>This is not really a question but more something I noticed. It is with great distress and disgust, that while browsing a website called monsterfishkeepers.com , I came across a member's gallery of a member called HilJack41. While browsing this gallery I found a picture of said member posing with a dead Hammerhead shark, to say I was distressed was an understatement. Given the current situation with ever decreasing shark populations, this kind of behaviour from a supposedly responsible site is outrageous. I am usually more of a reader than a contributor but this time I had to say something. I believe that it is has always been my duty to become educated and care for the fish in my care to the best of my ability and protect those in the ocean. Sorry to be a bit preachy but I firmly believe education is the way forward to stop this kind of behaviour and I believe you guys are instrumental in educating me and the countless others in this fantastic past time of ours. Anyway, keep up  the good work and I look forward to my trip to Washington and MACNA. <Thank you for your note.  Unfortunately, as long as the government allows shark fishing, not much can be done about it.  I guess it is no different that someone posing with a dead deer hanging from a limb. I enjoy watching deer and am not a hunter so something like this bothers me somewhat the same as your case.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again Thanking you in advance,                               Sean

About shark, questions 29 Jun 2005 please can you help me? what is the minimum tank size for a Bonnethead shark and the average price for one? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Shark - sigh... another in a mixed community tank :( 6/22/05 hello, I have a question about my banded cat shark. I bought him about a month ago from a local pet store, and he is about 8 weeks old. My tank is 55 gallons with some liverock and I had a few fish. <Please take the time to research your creatures before buying them my friend. Two concerns here for starters: the lack of quarantine and need for quiet isolation to get this hatchling shark started soundly and safely (pathogens). And... the fact that it has inappropriately been placed in a community tank. Few if any sharks really fare well long term this way. Many simply fed die slowly of attrition from the stress of active community fishes in the tank. Some of which will nip or kill the shark in time. Do read more on these points in the archives here at wetwebmedia.com> I have tested the nitrites, ammonia, and the ph. All is in the good range. The other morning I woke up to find all 4 of my fish dead. The previous night, I noticed them swimming slowly at the bottom of the tank (2 tangs and 2 damsels). Now all that I have is my snow flake eel and my shark. I don't really know what happened. <The lack of quarantine for new fishes, snails, LR, etc could have brought in a disease. Were have some fab articles on quarantine in the archives, again. Do take the time... it will go a very long way towards your success in the hobby. And save fishes lives> All were eating well but not being over-fed. I am pumping about 650 gallons per hour with my filtration and I have good current. I am now noticing my shark breathing a bit quicker and taking shorter breaths. <Please do several large partial water changes in the next week and look closely for signs of disease (see disease pages and links)> Before, it had a deep, slow breathing pattern. It does eat well but I am noticing some scratching on the bottom of the tank. <Indeed... if not water quality, then parasites in the gills> I just don't understand what has happened. I'm not convinced that it is a water issue, as I do have one anemone in the tank, and it is doing really well. <Yikes! Another misstep... the shark and anemone long term are poorly suited.> No issues with it. Can you please give me some suggestions.  Thanks so much, Christie <It sounds to me like you need to pause on buying livestock and invest in some good books first my friend. I fear you have not been getting good advice, and you did not educate yourself well enough to take on live saltwater creatures. let me strongly suggest you read Paletta's "New Marine Aquarium" and Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist." Best regards, Anthony>

Shark, banded/ bamboo? Hi! I recently got a bamboo or banded shark egg from a LFS. It is far from hatching because the yolk is big but how long does it take to hatch and what temperature should the water be? What are some other sites about banded catsharks and bamboo sharks? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Nurse Shark Questions 6/13/05 I just put a 2.5 foot nurse shark on layaway while I get the enclosure prepared.  my plans are to use a 1500+ gallon spa and later move him to a pool (not prepared to spend the money on salt for a pool size at this time).  He/she has been at the LFS for 2 years NFS in a 200 gal. <Keeping this shark in a 1500 gal spa is marginal.  A 200 gallon aquarium is flat out cruel.  If you aren't prepared for the expense of the salt for a larger pool, have you considered the ongoing cost of food and water changes for this animal?  Also, these animals can be difficult to maintain in well designed technologically advanced systems.  Trying to do so in a make-shift situation can be a real challenge.  I am not trying to be harsh or pessimistic, but these are demanding animals!> We will need to be moving him across Houston (50 miles at least).  Any tips on this to keep it calm, acclimating once it arrives, etc?  I was going to move it in a large tote with a powerhead but I didn't see much about this on the FAQ. <The tote is probably the best idea, but I would plumb it with an external pump that would draw water from behind the shark and return it toward the head.  You will also need a vessel that is both deep enough and has a tight enough lid to prevent excessive water loss.  I would not attempt any kind of sedation without the assistance of a marine vet.> what kinda of vitamins will need to be added to his diet and where can I get them if any are needed?  I currently make food for my triggers by blending squid, smelt, frozen trigger food, shrimp, scallops, and anything cool that the bait shops are selling cheap and freezing it in ice trays.  I was planning to do the same thing for this little guy so that I could add anything he might need.   <Your food recipe sounds fine, but considering the meal sizes that this shark will require, it may be tedious to prepare and make too small pieces.  Frozen squid is cheap, easy to come by and nutritious.  Try to find other whole foods (guts, heads, etc. intact) at your local sea food market.  No specific vitamins should be necessary if you use these good foods, especially since this shark is no longer a juvenile, but small amounts of a general fish vitamin can be injected into meaty foods.  You can also stuff whole small fish with Nori or dulce for added nutrition (especially iodine which is important).> The guy says he eats goldfish which seems overly stupid to me as there is no way he would ever encounter them in the wild, so I kinda figured a trigger-like diet would be better but larger.  I was planning on freezing it in plastic cups.  I was also curious about piggy perch and things like that which I could put in there live and he could eat them whenever he wanted and have something to make him work for his food so to speak.  a meal with mental enrichment.  I don't know if this is important for sharks but I have several exotic animals and it is very important for them.  what kinds of live food from the Galveston bait stores would be good/safe. <Indeed, goldfish are among the worst food choices for marine predators.  In fact, I would question the current owner for further info on what the staples of this fish's diet have been.  If it has been goldfish, I would pass on it for fear of poor nutrition.  Any kind of live marine fish that isn't obviously dangerous (stonefish, etc.) if fine and will indeed provide much needed stimulation, but it will also come with a risk of disease.  Also, to reiterate.... be sure to keep the pieces of your shark food preparation large enough that bits won't be lost to rot in the tank.> I saw something on the faq for shark moving where the guy stressed that he was not using playground sand.  Is this bad for the shark?  The shark and a remora (if I have the extra money when I'm ready to buy him) would be the only things in the tank. <Aragonite sand is a better choice than silica sand, but silica is acceptable.  Fine grain substrates reduce the risk of abrasion.> I plan to build a wall that would go around the spa so if it jumped out (I hear they are jumpers) it would fall back in.  good idea/bad idea? <A very good idea, probably a requirement.> basically my idea is to put the spa into my deck and cover the deck.  from there I would install fans in the walls to keep good air circulation and I have 2 pool pumps to circulate water into 2 bathtubs for filtration.  I wanted to run this all by the experts for a professional opinion as I do not trust LFS guys very much.  Thanks for your time, Michelle Walton <Please be sure that all of the components of this system are saltwater safe.  Sharks are very sensitive to metals, so any corroding fittings, drains, pump parts, etc could be dangerous to the shark as well as to you and your family.  You will need some serious filtration, both mechanical and biological for this system.  Sand filters work well, and backwashing can be combined with water changes.  Simply using the tubs as large sumps with conventional filtration techniques may be difficult, but a few gallons of bioballs prefiltered with frequently changed filter pads should do nicely.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Not sure what this is about but maybe sharks?? - 6/7/05 OK, I currently have a 125, no tank mates, and only a tiny bit of LR in the middle as I was told to. <OK>  In the tank are only 3 mini RBTA's and an LTA at the top of the rock. <Anemones> I will be upgrading to either a 265 if they come out with the corner overflows or a 300 if not. <OK. For what?>  My main question is what is the absolute best diet for them <Anemones?> if money is not an option.  Currently I have silversides, krill, mussels, salmon, bay scallops, clams, squid, and tuna. <all fine foods but I really think you are asking about a shark and not anemones> In the tank are some damsels just to add movement to the tank, but I am wondering if having the zero real tank mates and such is great moving to the larger tank and all as well. <Awkward sentence> I have a very large wet dry filtration system with a built in large skimmer and 2 HOB skimmers as well. <I would always add an additional skimmer as the built ins sometimes just are not up to par> My Scott Michael's book is on the way and I think I have everything covered, but I need to know if those food options are good <If you are talking anemones then definitely, if you are really asking if the food choice is proper for a shark, well that would depend on the shark, but those choices of foods are all good choices for most types of sharks.> What else I should do to help him be happier and healthier than ever. <This is covered in good detail here on our site. Please refer to the shark section here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm>  Thank you so much in advance, sincerely Joshua <Hope this helps. Not really sure what I helped with. ~Paul>

Bamboo Shark Biology 101 Report Could you please tell me how many eggs a brown banded bamboo shark normally lays in the ocean? And also, at what temperature do they normally hatch in the ocean? Is it the same as in captivity? Also, how often do they reproduce, and is it during a certain time throughout the year? What age do they normally grow to? I'm sorry for all of the questions. My sister is doing a project and I've searched and searched for the answers but these ones I just cannot find. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!! <Please see fishbase.org and on to the references posted there. Bob Fenner>

Sick Sand Shark... Goiter? Octopus in tiny system? Hi Crew My sand shark has a growth under the neck. What can I do for it ? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkdiseasefaqs.htm and the linked files above> Also I have the one 2.5 gallon tank which I used to have a mantis shrimp in  it. Can I put an octopus in it? <Don't know, can you? I would not... for reasons posted re Cephalopod Systems... on WWM> The top is closed. The water in it has been in for two months with one small damsel now. It has a filter and sand and  light. Thanks <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Public Aquarium shark collection Dear Bob, <Aamir> We are planning to build a public aquarium. Could you please guide us how can we get Sharks for the aquarium, from where we could purchase them, how much does it cost? Regards, Aamir Sajjad <Most public aquariums buy their sharks from either collectors directly or wholesale intermediaries... Some are fortunate to be located near areas where they are fished, and buy them from fishermen... the very wealthy mount collecting expeditions and go get their own... the last two means can net you some larger animals... Do study re sedation, transport of these animals... a specialized activity. Bob Fenner>

Sharks out-growing their homes 4/28/05 I am considering getting a bamboo shark. What I would like to know (that doesn't seem to be answered anywhere) is what to safely do with the shark when/if it out grows the tank? I know from experience that zoos will come to collect animals & transport them safely; do aquariums do this as well? I would rather do that then attempt to do it myself. Thanks so much! Kate  <The answer to this dilemma is to never keep any animal unless you have the facilities to maintain it at it's full adult size. This includes the size of it's home as well as the budget to feed it, purchase suitable equipment, etc. Animals that have been kept as pets should never be released back into the wild, especially outside of its native range. Zoos do come and collect animals from irresponsible owners, but only as a matter of public safety and at great expense to their institution and risk to their employees. Zoos and Public aquaria have strict policies against taking these animals in for many reasons - not the least of which is so that they don't encourage folks to keep animals that they shouldn't. Captive bred bamboo sharks are available and are among the better sharks for the home aquarist, but a 36" x 96" tank should be considered a minimum. If you have the budget and desire go for it! Otherwise, please leave them to live long happy lives in the ocean. I am sorry if my tone seems a bit harsh, but my hope is that others with the same idea might find this message in the WWM FAQs and learn from it too. Best Regards! AdamC.>

Carcharhinus galapagensis Photo Hey Folks, <Dale> That is a great daily photo. Here is the question, though: Do my eyes deceive me, or are those tangs swimming around that beast? Some kind of Acanthurus perhaps? Regards, Dale M. <Mmm, similarly shaped... likely the most common fish in those islands, the bass Paranthias colonus. Bob Fenner> 

Shark Info Needed 4/15/05 <****Bob or Marina, please verify that this is not a duplicate response (the other is incomplete) and remove this and the following editorial text. Thanks! Adam****><<It's all good, Adam.  Marina>> <Jovan, please excuse me if this is a duplicate response. I bumped a wrong key on my keyboard, and my incomplete answer to your questions disappeared!> Hello, I am currently having a custom home built and am having an aquarium put in the ground, with three cement walls and one very thick acrylic wall. The acrylic wall is butted up to the house and ends up being part of the wall of the entertainment room in the basement. Above the aquarium is a small room for access to the aquarium and plumbing, etc. The tank is 10 feet wide, 10 feet long and allows for water 4 feet deep. The total volume is about 3000 gallons.  <Wow! Every Aquarists Dream! When can I come visit? HA! Seriously though, let me stray from the topic and point out the concerns about humidity with such a large tank. Other aquarists have had to drain similar tanks in order to prevent severe moisture damage to their homes. Be sure to look into the Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) system. It allows large volumes of fresh air to be brought into your home without sacrificing heat or AC. Another VERY IMPORTANT consideration if you plan on keeping sharks in a concrete tank is rebar. It is standard practice to imbed steel "rebar" in poured concrete for strength. This imbedded steel can wreak havoc with sharks electrical sensory organs. Consult with your concrete contractor about using special grades of concrete that don't require rebar or possibly the use of non-metallic reinforcing materials.> My question is, can I ethically keep Requiem sharks in my tank? I was thinking one of the following: Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), Blacktip Shark (Carcharhinus limbatus), or Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)? Would I be able to keep maybe 2 or 3 if I got an Atlantic Sharpnose, which grows to a max of three feet? <The Atlantic Sharpnose are iffy at best. If you do choose these, you could keep more than one. Unfortunately the real issue is swimming space, not volume. Blacktips and Blacktip reef sharks are out of the question. At 10 and 6 feet adult length respectively and with free swimming behavior, it would be simply cruel to put them in the tank that you propose. I have seen Blacktip reef sharks in cylindrical tanks as small as about 15' in diameter, but the shape of the tank and swirling water movement allowed them to constantly cruise into the current.> I would suggest that you consider Epaulettes, Port Jackson/horn, and Bamboo sharks as well as a couple of the smaller rays for many reasons. They stay smaller, they are less active and IMO, far more attractive/interesting.  See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm.   In addition to being generally more suitable for aquarium life, these species are occasionally available as captive bred specimens from Tropicorium as well as some public aquaria (The latter will require some finesse to obtain, since AZA rules limit the practice of participating institutions releasing specimens to the commercial trade.)  On this note... if you keep a healthy pair of sharks, they WILL breed. There is a very limited market for young sharks, and public aquaria WILL NOT accept them. Also, please be aware that both tropical and temperate sharks enter the trade, and their lifespans will be greatly limited if they are kept at inappropriate temps. Maintaining the temperature of such a large volume of water can be a challenge, but if your tank is partially or mostly below grade, it might be easier to maintain temperate temperatures.> Another thing is, if I got sharks, what should I coat the cement with to make it smooth so they won't scratch their stomachs? And is the tank being square a problem? Should I have the construction crew round out the corners?  <I would suggest rounding all of the corners slightly (1-2 ft radius), even those between the walls and bottom. The bottom should be covered with a thin layer some kind of non abrasive calcareous substrate to prevent abrasions. (It should be easy and comfortable to plunge your hands into). The walls should be inspected for any protrusions, but should otherwise be sufficiently smooth. An appropriate coating will have to be applied to keep the water out of the concrete as well as alkalis from the concrete out of the water. (see more on this below)> As far as care, I have no problem in paying someone from the local aquarium to help me. I do have some aquarium knowledge however, and have an extensive organic and inorganic chemistry background. Thanks in advance for your advice. Sincerely, Jovan  <If you can get help from a professional aquarist, I would highly advise it. They will be better informed than us here at WWM when it comes to the commercial sized equipment (pumps, skimmer, filters, ozonizers, heater, chiller, etc.) that you will need as well as large system engineering (considerations like imbedding plumbing into the concrete). They will also be aware of the best/latest technology and local contractors for tank construction, concrete coatings, etc. They may also be of assistance in finding captive bred specimens. Having a good relationship with them will also come in handy in case of disease or illness. One last piece of advise: If you don't already have it, do get a copy of Scott Michael's "Sharks and Rays" book as well as the forthcoming "The Natural Marine Aquarium, Vol 2 Reef Fishes" by Anthony Calfo and Bob Fenner. Best Regards! AdamC.>

Shark info needed part 2 4/15/05 Thanks for your quick response. The aquarium is not actually part of the house, the foundation of the house has a 4 x 10 "slot" where the acrylic wall is. The aquarium room has its own foundation and is not accessible from the house. It has to be entered from the back yard. Should I still worry about humidity?  <I would be sure that your contractor clearly understands what you have in mind. There are special products for damp locations (think locker room shower), including cementous wall board, special paints, etc. If your contractor seems to dismiss your concerns or otherwise doesn't give you a lot of confidence on this issue, I would seek the advice of an architect or engineer.> If I got just one Atlantic Sharpnose, could I keep a bunch of small (2-6 inch) fish in there with it?  <Sure... if you want to feed your shark small (2-6 inch) fish! Even a well fed shark is likely to at least try to eat just about anything that will fit in it's mouth. If you provide some reef type structure, you could probably keep some very small fish that would be too small for the shark to be interested in, and that could quickly duck for cover if the shark did take interest. As I stated in the original response, the issue is swimming space, not the volume of the tank or number of specimens. I will take another opportunity to dissuade you from considering this particular shark. These sharks cruise open flats in distances measured in hundreds of yards if not miles. A 100 square foot aquarium would represent a very cruel existence. The other sharks I listed (Epaulettes, Bamboo, horn) are reef associated sharks that rarely travel more than a few tens of yards at a time and are accustomed to living in and around structure as opposed to open water. They really are the best choices!> One more thing, if I don't get a shark, I want to get a ray. I have read on one website that there is a max. 2 ft. devil ray in Australia called the Mobula diabolus, but I have not been able to find any more information on it. Does it exist? Of all the rays I like the manta/devil rays most, but they are all too big. If this one exists, it would be great. Also, when is the new book coming out approximately? Thanks Jovan  <I am not sure when the book is coming out, but you will hear about it here first! If you have questions about the validity or ID of a fish species, www.fishbase.org is the place to go. According to fishbase, Mobula diabolus does exist. However, it is not Australian and it grows to about 15 feet!. Also, all of the Mantas are pelagic (open ocean swimmers). You will have to settle for bottom dwellers in addition to small size. Do look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm for some advice on which skates and rays are reasonable choices. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Aquarium Sharks & Rays Book (4/12/05) Aquarium Sharks and Rays: <by Scott W. Michael> I accidentally bought the one published in 2001, not the newer one published in 2003. Are there any big differences? What are the updates? Worth getting the newer one?  <Unless it states "revised" or "updated" on the cover, it is unlikely that there have been any changes. Sometimes you can figure this out by checking the publishing history on the copyright page. Your best bet would be to contact the publisher via their website here: http://www.tfhpublications.com/default.aspx?pageid=6  I hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

A question about Spiny Pygmy Sharks - First, What are They? Dear Wet Web Media, I was wondering if I could order a Dwarf Shark, also know as the Spiny Pygmy Shark. If not, could you please tell me if there is a company that sells them.  <Mmm, never heard of them... nor has fishbase.org...> Since they only grow up to 6 inches, could I keep it in a 29-Gallon Tank? If not, what size? How much are they? What size tank should I keep two in? What kind of prey should I give them? Thank You, Chris Hon <Is this a freshwater species, a minnow-shark? Do you have a scientific name, a reference you can send? Bob Fenner>

New bamboo shark I hope I have not gotten in over my head but it is too late now. I have just taken possession of a 3 foot bamboo shark. My first shark experience. It is in a 1000 gal tank 6'x6'x4' tall. It spent the night on the airlines. I acclimated it and it seems to be doing fine 6 hrs later. My temp is 80.9 degrees and specific gravity 1.022. <I would raise this to NSW... 1.025> I turned my chiller down to 79.0. How soon should I feed it? <In a few days> There are not any spots for it to hide in my reef structure- how necessary is creating a cave for it? What is the best way to get food down to it? Thanks, Tim <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm  See the article and FAQs links? There is much more for you to know. Read my friend. Bob Fenner> 

Shark de Mac Hi all,  <Hi Mark, MacL here with you today.>  I am only 15 and I am new in sharks, but not in fish.  <I started very young as well Mark.>  I have 3 aquariums and I love them. My favorite one is a 55 gallon with freshwater barracuda. But anyways I was wondering about the blackbanded shark.  <Are you talking about the blackbanded bamboo shark Chiloscyllium griseum? If so before you buy this fish and or egg I hope you do a lot of research about them. They aren't a very exciting fish, they don't move around a lot and most people that get sharks tend to be disappointed.>  I am very interested in getting an egg. I am planning on making an aquarium, what do you think of that?  <I build tanks myself so I'm a big advocate of it.>  Is it easy and cost not as much money as to buy one?  <Truthfully I think you can get it just as cheaply by watching LFS specials and watching for people selling them used.>  I want to get an egg and watch it hatch, but I only want to have it until it gets about 10 inches then give to my LFS.  <Okay two things here, its great to watch them hatch and absolutely fascinating but you should be aware that a lot of LFS will not take sharks in and in fact will only do special orders on them. They take a lot of time and space to take care of and can be a major pain to work with. Before you get the shark make sure you have an adequate place for it to go. Check to make sure that your fish store will take it back.>  I want to do this because I don't have enough money to buy a 300 gallon tank!  <Perhaps it might be best to wait until you can afford a 200 gallon tank.>  Will this work in a 100 gallon tank?  <It will more than likely outgrow the 100 gallon tank.>  Can I put one other fish in with it like a grouper?  <In my experience it very well might outgrow a 100 gallon tank quickly. Groupers are very fast, voracious eaters and might out compete your shark. Good luck, MacL> 

Youngster seeking sharks 3/22/05 Hi I am a beginner at sharks, but not at fish. My biggest tank right now is a 55 gallon with fresh water barracuda. I have been doing research about sharks for about 3 months now and I am very interested in getting a black- banded shark.  <ah, good... the bamboo and epaulette sharks are some of the only suitable species for home aquariums> What do you think about building an aquarium? <it snot difficult to do after you've had some experience helping others build tanks. Go to Amazon.com and look up a book called the "Living Aquarium" by Crescent books. It gives illustrated instructions for how to build aquariums> I am only 15 but I have one other salt water tank with some clowns in it, so I do have experience in salt water too. Could I keep a black- banded shark egg in a 110 gallon tank? <yes... you can my friend> And when he gets to be about 10 inches I am planning on giving him to my LFS because the tank would be to small for him and I don't want him to be sad, I know they would take him. <I appreciate your empathy, but must advise you to not/ever keep fish this way. To be responsible aquarists, we need to be able to provide for the fishes whole lifespan. Relying on dumping the fish on someone else later is poor habit/husbandry> Give me all the info you know. <please do take the time to read through our extensive FAQs and other info in the archives here at WetWebMedia.Com... or... do a Google search from that same page> Thank you a lot <best regards, Anthony>

My shark story Hi guys, let me first say wonderful web site! If I had only seen it first! if you could please post this: <Gladly> Here is my story, I'm going into my third year at saltwater, many as six years in freshwater. but all tanks are saltwater now. my first year at saltwater I knew I needed the biggest tank possible I could afford 72x24x24, also pieces of live rock, then it hit me , I wanted to try a shark!!!!! A Brownbanded bamboo was it. Well all too often people are ILL advised to these wonderful animals. I went out and bought a egg case and put into my tank, over several months I did my homework, to make the best home for my shark. I had changed everything around, filters (BIGGER) protein skimmer (BIGGER), water changes more (every week), not to mention, the overtime I had to work for just one fish! it was worth it! and one day the egg hatched! it was a female. This little shark brought me more meaning into my life. and remember the only fish in this tank. As months went by, I kept a log on everything from test of the water to how she was growing, even the math to get her weight. All these tests that was the work. She was eating great, taking her vitamins as instructed by public aquariums, I invested my time off at these places to learn as much as I could about her. Well, what a shock I got when someone told me, they can get up to four feet sometimes! So now I had to think what to do next? I was so attached, I could not let her go. A bigger tank was the answer, well I could not afford a bigger tank last year so I started saving. I also went searching to see how long she could live alone in this size tank of 180 gallons. I was told about three years, then need a bigger home. she made her 11th month with no problems at about 15 inches. Then it went downhill! She stopped eating and I noticed things were changing, she was having what was identified as seizures, and started developing a large lump on the very top of her head. Growing from inside, well back to the public aquariums, web sites and books (sharks and rays) Scott Michael. now my bible, most said it was goiter, but I believed different, this bump was in the wrong spot. Well she never ate again and continued to have seizures, it was killing me, so I decided not to let her suffer anymore, as I prepared to end this , it was close to her one year birthday. All I did was cry, so I got a large (fish) transport bag, took her out of the tank, she was soo weak, there was not a single struggle from her. And into the freezer she went. It was like I had lost part of my life, but determined to find cause! After many Aquariums looking at her photos, we think it is a tumor (rare) but happens. I'm still waiting to have some expert look at her in person and not in photos. So she waits as do I for answers. My 180 gallon sits very empty, no water etc., and I had failed to do what I was set out to do, have her live a long and happy life. I thought about trying again with a different shark the coral cat or the marble cat from Australia. But I want to do thing right. I know one of these will fit my 180 gallon all by it self for a long time, if gotten small, but I will hold out for now. so folks PLEASE DO NOT EVEN BUY THE SMALLEST SHARKS unless you have the means to dedicate all of your time, and even though I did I still failed. I will not stop trying to figure out what went wrong, until then she (BOOBOO), will always be with me. I have started a 72 gallon reef to keep me busy and in good practice of great water parameters. Everything is growing and looking great. I still visit and talk with people who are in public aquariums, and spend time with the most wonderful small sharks. this is my story thank you  SUNDEE!  please email me at above address on you thoughts again thank you. <Thank you for relating your experiences... Am sure we are of very similar mind re the captive husbandry, use of marine sharks. Bob Fenner>

Response to shark story    Thank you for letting me know you have gotten my story. is there any way to send some photos to you, to see what your take is on this matter? I know this will take time, and I am willing to keep learning about these sharks . thanks for all you do. SUNDEE <Yes my friend. Attach, send them here. Bob Fenner>

Scaredy Sharks of Yellow Dear Sir, My 4-year-old daughter asked me why shark is afraid of yellow color. I even don't know if it is true. I wonder if you can help me to find the answer for her questions. Thanks. Kerri Yan <Hello Kerri,  I'm thinking sharks can't see colors, they see brightness of colors.  Divers wearing yellow have been attacked by sharks so I'm thinking color doesn't matter.  Sharks usually attack shapes.  Like someone in a wetsuit on a surfboard closely resembles a seal which are prime time food for great whites.  James (Salty Dog)>

Needing to sell or trade a 17 inch banded reef shark 12/31/04 It is eating smelt, krill and silversides and is beautiful, but it is in a 125.  I had planned on upgrading but am unable to do so.  Where can I go?  No pet store here in the Milwaukee area can handle one this size. <This is a difficult but all too common problem.  If you have a local aquarium society, they may be able to help.  You may also try one of the large discussion boards like www.reefcentral.com.  Dick Perrin at Tropicorium (see www.tropicorium.com) in Romulus Michigan has developed a soft spot for sharks and has appropriate quarters for them.  He may be willing to accept the animal and also has the expertise to suggest/arrange successful transportation techniques. Also, while I dread to even suggest this, you may want to check with any public aquariums or zoos with large aquariums that are within driving distance.  Most have very strict policies against accepting any animals from private individuals (with the very good reason of not wanting to encourage the keeping of inappropriate animals), but some will "bend the rules" for desirable specimens.  For future readers of this message in the FAQ's:  ZOOS AND PUBLIC AQUARIUMS SHOULD NOT BE DUMPING GROUNDS OR BACK-UP PLANS FOR ANIMALS THAT GROW TOO LARGE TO BE KEPT BY THE HOME HOBBYIST.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Shark link Hey, Bobster a nifty link chock full of info on Elasmobranchs (you know the publication) :) http://www.colszoo.org/internal/dru...pdf/2004SS2.pdf over 200 pages of info... tremendous bibliog./refs to run down. Ant :) <Mmm, their site opens but not this page for me. Will post to WWM. BobF>
Re: shark link
> <Mmm, their site opens but not this page for me. > Will post to WWM. BobF> strange... it does not open for me either form the e-mail, but does from the original one I got (same URL) there seems to be a redirect: http://www.colszoo.org/internal/drum_croaker/pdf/2004SS2.pdf does this link work for you? Ant- <Yes. Thanks. B>

Sharks in aquaria - 12/6/04 Hi there I have a large tank in my living room (I forget how many gallons, but its about 7x2x2ft) the tank is over 2 yrs old and has had many occupants in its time, I am experienced in shark/ray keeping also, I had a brown banded bamboo shark from and egg to a length of 14 inches, when it became ill and died after an illness (which I didn't take well). <this tank still seems too small for a single shark. 210 gallons or 792 liters is likely fine but it is not a very wide tank. I would be happier with 5 ft. long by 5 ft. wide by 2 feet high. Long and wide is much more suitable for shark and ray keeping. Even better would be a rounded interior. In any event you might possibly get away with one shark. There is a chance that it will be detrimental to its health to remain in a tank of this size as full term adult. Again, this is not a personal attack on you or your abilities. I just don't think the casual aquarist have the tools needed to successfully keep sharks long term. (I realize this is a generalized statement, no harm is meant by this)> My tank is specially designed for a shark, it was the reason I first started in terms of shelter, lighting and filtration it is very well suited for young sharks. <Maybe you can expand on my above comments as well as the ones you have just stated.> I have found it very hard to find another shark the same size as the one I lost, its a very unusual size to buy. So I have been thinking of buying 3 juvenile sharks (brown banded, white spot and marble cat sharks) I had the previous shark for 2 yrs and there was still way more space than it needed, so I don't see any problem with this, <Really? Do you think all there is to aquaria is that there is plenty of room (space) for movement? I am sure you don't, Scott. Now, to be honest outside of professional aquariums, I (and I believe most all of us here at WetWebMedia.Com) don't actually condone the keeping of sharks in aquaria because of the lack of expertise and needed knowledge the casual aquarium keeper has access to or the lack of real ability to provide these rather peculiar animals.> the ray is still alive and the sharks are unlikely to bother each other would you agree? <The shark choices you have made above may likely not have a problem with said ray, but you never know as each animal has a different personality based on many things. I just think you are going to be too cramped.> and in terms of size bearing the last sharks growth in mind I don't see a problem, the tank is 99% swimming space with just enough cover needed. <read my above statements. I just don't have all the needed info here to quantify the statement. Filtration will need to be awesome! Proper sand bed as these sharks tend to be less active and remain in a solitary state in one place for some time. The sharks will need the ability to easily turn themselves around (adult size) 2 feet wide just doesn't seem like enough. It will stress the animal out over time to not easily be able to turn around. Three animals will be even more stressful for their turning ability> I really want to get them but only if its a good idea. <I don't really think this is a great idea, personally. There is more to shark keeping than just swimming space. (although this is super important) There is more to shark keeping than just filtration. What about diet? What about disease control and treatment? Environment? Water chemistry stability? This is easy enough with one shark, but three? If you are to get one or God forbid three, please look into the above with vigor and detail, my friend. Also add vitamin supplementation to your diet. The most often overlooked detail in diet. Check with www.mazuri.com. The shark/ray tabs are excellent. For the record, I have never and will never keep a shark in captivity for personal use, but a certain place I work at does (see my bio) and that is where my knowledge originates> Please email me your opinion and publish the question on your sight if poss. <Will do>.... I was going to get the sharks on Monday so an email before then would be great! <I hope I am not too late! Despite my rant, I really want to thank you for coming to WetWebMedia and asking your question. It is a very important one and I appreciate your taking the time to ask it here. ~Paul Mansur> Many thanks in advance. Scott

Link trade with our shark site. Pagerank 7 Hello, <Hi there> We Noticed you have a site related to sharks or the keyword sharks.   <Yes> We Own A Domain that has a Page Rank of 7, most of our pages are PR 6 at this time. We would like to Know if you wanted to Trade links. <Uhh...> If your page has a Pagerank of 4-6 then we would add your link to one of our pages which is also pr 4-6 until our links page is at least a pr4 then we would move your link there. If your page has a Pagerank of 7-10 we would add your link to our sharks category on our Index of our domain. <Don't have a clue as to what Page Ranking device you're referring to, and we're not interested in being ranked...> All we ask is that you do the same in return. <Will gladly link your site if it has worthwhile, pertinent content> This will increase both of our sites ranking and cost nothing except a simple small link on our pages. Let us know if your interested in doing this. Also if you have other sites which are even non related to sharks with a Pagerank of at least 4 please list them in your reply as we are always looking for link trades. Thanks CG http://www.sharks.com/ <Will take a look, add your link tomorrow. Bob Fenner>

Monterey Bay Aquarium Great White Shark - 9/22/04 Hi Paul, <Helllooooooooo. Sorry for the lack of an immediate response. Been pretty hectic lately.>    How's the new female Great White Shark doing? <Excellent. She has been eating around 4% of her body weight a day and displaying what we feel is very normal behavior. She is also healing very well as well. We couldn't be happier!>> Heard she already ate three times! <Actually, more than that, but any Great White Sharking eating in captivity is good!!> What a Major milestone for keeping this Awesome shark in captivity. <Agreed. Manny Ezcurra and Scott Greenwald and all the management and support staff have done an absolute stellar job. Stars all of 'em, IMO> Bet the aquarium is packing them in to see her. <Actually, YES, we are. I have never seen lines all year like the ones we had Saturday an hour before opening. Incredible!> I'd love to hear any info you have on her keeping so far. <Well, she is about 4 ft 4 inches and she has the look of a great white. The tunas, molas, and barracuda all seem to keep a distance from her. Very interesting behavior to me. Here is our official info: http://www.mbayaq.org/news/Default.asp?bhcp=1> I work with a research group here in SoCal on near shore Sharks and Rays, check us out at sharkandraycount.com. <Will do> Thx to all the crew and Bob for such a Great website!~ <Agreed. A great and valuable resource for all.! Thanks for being part of it all!!! I am sure I will see you at the Aquarium at some point, eh? ~Paul> Mark C.

Keeping Big Sharks (9/13/04) Hi, <Hello. Steve Allen with you again Alex.> I have a few questions about a shark. I believe that my LFS has a Juv. "white tip reef shark" (not black tip) in an approx. 1000 gal aquarium. <Grrrr.> They are very fascinating, but I do not know of any that have been kept in a home aquarium, although public aquariums do. They aren't huge when full grown (around 5 feet), <Per Scott Michael around 8 feet.> so a tank around 2,000 - 5,000 gal. might be the size? <Per Scott Michael in "Aquarium Sharks and Rays," the minimum size is 8,400 gallons.> I am only 14 and only own a 12 gal. "mini-reef" <Fun, but definitely requires close attention to water quality.> (going strong, but I discovered bristle worms a few hours ago, gotta do some research on them), <Most are generally harmless and actually beneficial.> so a tank that size is not going to happen soon. <Unless you get really rich someday, I'd say never.> Anyways, I want to know if there is anyone currently keeping White Tips in the aquarium, as I can't find anyone by doing searches. <If I did, I'd give hem a piece of my mind, because it would be exceedingly rare to have a large enough tank in a home.> I would love to talk to them! Thanks for the great site, I have been reading it 3 - 4 hours a day for the past week :) <Don't forget to do your schoolwork and have a proper 14 y/o social life!> Alex, California <Where in CA? Perhaps you can go see sharks at one of the excellent public aquaria in the state--Monterey Bay is a great facility.> P.S. - It's too bad for the nurse shark in with the white tip, most definitely suffering. <I think that this is truly heinous abuse on the part of retailers. I gave my LFS an earful recently about selling Nurse Sharks. (For 500 gallon tanks!) These big sharks should not be sold to private individuals. Personally, I hope this becomes law someday.> I don't understand how people can purchase animals without a clue about them. <Ya got me. Go figure.> C'MON! I have never bought an animal without at LEAST a few HOURS a day of research for at least a WEEK! <Smart. This habit will serve you well through the years.> I almost SCREAMED when I read about a lady w/5 sharks in a 55 tank. Have you read that FAQ? <Hmm, I missed that one. Too bad she can't be locked in a closet for a couple of weeks to learn how it feels.> I feed terrible when animals have to suffer because they rely on an uneducated person to take care of them. <About any of us can do is to patiently try to educate folks. We sometime do need to be a bit harsh, but mostly not. Supporting sensible self-regulation of the hobby, with true legal regulation if that fails, is also right. Keep up the good work, and leave the sharks in the sea.>

Great news from the Wildlife Zoo on their "Sweetheart" the epaulette shark - 8/18/04 Thank you very much for your help; <It's what we do. Glad to be of service> I'm sorry I haven't been able to write you sooner!  My Internet was lost for a while, but now it's back in full force. <In all its glory!> Sweetheart is doing great, and thus far is up to three eggs in a span of three weeks. <Great to hear. Maybe you should start a little breeding program... Time to get a sexually mature male to help out in that endeavor> She's eating very well, taking her vitamins, and her tankmate, Eel, a moray eel who has been with her for several years, is also eating again (we know the threat of anthromorphism, but water parameters checked out fine) <Very well.> and seems to be doing great. <I can't tell you how happy I am to hear this type of follow up. Makes all the time spent in volunteering here worthwhile. Thanks for such a rewarding return!> Thanks again for your help! <My pleasure. ~Paul> Tara New Shark website, link to add Hello, <Howdy> Just launched a shark only website, I will be promoting your site as well as a direct link to your site. Is this ok with you? <Certainly... our content is public... we indeed want to do what we can to make it available to all> I believe very much in your site and would be proud to show a link to your site. Thanks, Darin.   www.sharkfreak.com <Will add your link to our marine links section. Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Banded Bamboo Shark <MikeD here> Well I am sad to say that the shark did not make it.<I'm so very sorry for both of you> In looking back it was totally my ignorance that brought its end. When I first put him in the tank the water was good, PH, nitrite, nitrate, etc, but I had crushed coral for the bottom. Because of this his belly was getting red. The guy at the pet shop said that crushed coral would be fine, well another lesson learned, "don't trust the pet store guy". Anyway I read that fine sand was the way to go, & did not want him to get an infection, so I replaced the crushed coral, forgetting all that I have learned about keeping fish, I replaced it all at once. I didn't think about this until after the fact but I had a nitrite & PH spike that you would not believe.<Oh yes I would. OUCH! One of the deadliest things in the hobby can be a panic reaction, with slow a key word leading to success.> Nevertheless I believe that I am not ready for such a pet.<Actually, I suspect that you are. This very hard lesson could well make you VERY ready if you don't let the depression get in your way. While the substrate IS important, particularly when they are very young, my 24 inched regularly dives headfirst into the LR in a quest for a particular tidbit it really wants and minor scraped heal up with no problem.> I hate that I had to learn this lesson at the expense of an amazing creature. Thank you so much for your response and you web site. I have been going through & learning so much from you and your team. Keep up the good work!!<Thank you. We try, but keep in mind that we also learn(ed) many things the hard way and whether you quit or not determines how well you've done in the end.>
Banded Shark (continued)
<Mike D again> Thank you. I will never believe what the LFS says! <Sometimes that's wise, but keep in mind that each clerk is different. You may find that stores that don't work on commission may be slightly better, but when in doubt, check first.>

Can a shark's growth be stunted - 4/28/04 To whom it may concern, <Paul at the helm tonight> I stumbled across your website and found some conflicting ideals. <OK> I myself am a biotechnology student, <Excellent. What school?> and being a shark enthusiast, have enquired to my Marine Biology faculty <from the school which you are going?> as to whether or not shark growth is inhibited by surroundings (i.e.: small enclosure = small shark). I have been told that such stunt growth is the case, even in sharks. <Well, I am of the opinion that there is little true science in reference to whether an animals growth is stunted based on its holding tank/environment. here is a direct response developed by the three shark caretakers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (where I volunteer weekly): Hmmm...differences between biologists that study sharks, but do not keep them in captivity and those that study sharks and actually keep them in captivity long term.  The whole story of fish being growth inhibited by the size of their container is not accurate.  They may develop stunted growth patterns, but they continue to grow.  An example of stunted growth patterns might include the bowing in of pectoral fins or hunch spine.  If sharks are limited by their enclosure, then why do public aquariums constantly get calls from people trying to donate sharks that have out grown their tank? Has/does happen frequently. I have seen sharks continue to grow until then cannot turn in their tank - that is when the owner usually calls a public aquarium.> Your websites opinion on the matter, it would seem, differs from that of the biologists. I would be interested to hear your response. <Well, you have mine. Likely others might feel differently here at WetWebMedia, and this posting might inspire more opinions, scientific findings etc. from our readers at large. Thanks for the question ~Paul>   Sincerely, M. Dare

Question on sharks  Hi Rob,  <Alban>  Just a really quick and simple question for you. My friend and I were discussing shark fin soup the other night. Although we both agreed that this this "delicacy" is wrong, my friend was convinced that if you cut off a sharks dorsal fin, it could still survive. I told him otherwise. Could you please confirm who was right?  <Of a certainty all such animals die... a horrible death... sinking into the depths, not being able to locomote...>  I know that this may sound like a stupid request but it would be a great help.  Keep up the good work mate  Alban Ford  Wellington  New Zealand  <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Banded Cat shark egg  I have recently purchased a banded cat shark egg could you please tell me what the approximate gestation period is for it to hatch, we have also noticed that it has stopped moving inside whereas when we first bought it you could clearly see it moving. Thanks for any help you can give. Mick  <Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkeggfaqs.htm  Bob Fenner>

Help save a shark in Illinois - 4/2/04 Greetings WWM Crew! For once, I don't have a problem with MY tank (well, I do but I am learning to handle them myself thanks to your site). <Great to hear> This is a problem with a local pet store and a shark that they have. <Hoboy!> It has been bugging me for over a month and I am tired of thinking about it.  It is a bit of a story, but bear with me because I think it is worth it. <Will do> There is a pet store here in central Illinois (I am withholding the name for now) that is...how can I say it..."below normal ethical standards". <Where in Illinois exactly.> For instance, they have a tank filled with Aiptasia.....FOR SALE!!! <Well, maybe it is for animals that feed on them. In which case it could be a responsible methodology> Knowing what they were, I asked about them and I was told that "they are a great, hardy anemone for a beginner to have in their reef system". <OH MY GAWD!> I also asked about QT tanks and was told that "they are a waste of time and money and they put unnecessary stress on your fish."  <Again, doesn't surprise me. I would give the name of this place. You will be helping a great many in the area> Needless to say, they do not have my business and I have found a better store to work with. <Excellent> Here is my dilemma, in this "bad" store, they have a 300 gal (approx) tank, with one big live rock in the center (about 20#) and a 3 foot nurse shark living in the tank! <Oh nooo!> From everything I have read on your site, this poor shark is in WAY too small a tank! <BINGO!> He has been there for well over a year as well, surviving on the daily goldfish that they feed him!!! <WHAT!!!!> This poor thing can barely turn around in the tank because he is far longer than the tank is wide! <Have heard of this many times over> It breaks my heart to see such a beautiful creature having a miserable existence. <I agree>   If I could, I would purchase it myself and release it into the wild. <No no if you don't know where it came (what part of the world ocean) then you could be doing more harm than good> Unfortunately, the nearest ocean is 1,000 miles away. <May not help even if you were closer if you read my above statement>  Also, I am a medical student and there is barely enough room in my budget to keep my 55-gal pride-and-joy minireef going so adding a tank that it can live in is absolutely out of the question (for another 5 or 6 years it least). Here is where I am hoping you can help. Do you know of anyone in the Midwest that has the resources and knowledge (and $$) to rescue this poor shark? <Give the location of the town it is in and I can see what I have> Either releasing it or keeping it in a proper system would be better than what it is in now. <I agree> I believe that they are such beautiful creatures and every one is worth trying to save. <YES!!> I have been going back to the store on occasion to look in on him (my only reason for going there) and he seems to be in good health, although I am far from an expert to be 100% sure.  If you don't know of anyone personally, could you post this plea on the FAQ's to see if any readers could help? <Done!> If they contact you offering to help, and you believe they are legit, you can give them my email address and they can contact me for more details. (please don't post my address) <OK> Thank you again for all your help in the past. You are a true credit to the hobby. <Thanks for being part of it all ~Paul> -Ray

Skimmer and shark questions - 3/8/04 Hey Crew! Got two quick questions for you.  One of them will settle a argument at a poker game and the other is to help clear things up for me. 1.  Can you ever have a tank large enough and stocked with a complete enough ecosystem (bacteria to sharks) that you never have to do partial water changes?  I'm talking 1,000gal, 10,000 gal, Sea World scale?  I say no but my friend (who also took all my poker chips) says yes. <No. I think the reasons are rather obvious. Sharks are messy messy animals to food as well as the bi-product of eating. Water quality deteriorates over time with no way of really charging it much again. Sure there are additives but dosing is not only expensive but not error proof. One mistake and your changing water. So many more reasons> 2.  In your opinion, what is the best hang-on protein skimmer on the market--money no problem--and why? <Not just one per se. Different tank configurations (size, bio-load, filtration level, feeding and many more) and space may require a different HOB skimmer. I can tell you I like the CPR skimmer products and the AquaC offerings best. Reliable, good support, great price point and sound design.> Thanks, you guys (and gals) rock!! <We do our best, mate. Thanks for doing your part. ~Paul> -Ray

Nurse shark and fish compatibility - 3/1/04 hi, I have a foot long nurse shark in a 5,000 gallon tank. I was wondering what other kinds of fish can I put in with him? is there any kind of cleaner fish that can help him get rid of parasites? can I put any other regular fish as long as they're big enough? please help. <Here is some gleaned info (from Scott Michael amongst many others) from various sources. "One of the most readily available shark species is the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirrhatum). This shark adapts well to captivity, its biggest drawback being the enormous size that it can attain, more than 14 feet in length! They usually commence feeding immediately, and are very tolerant of poor water quality. In the wild these sharks spend their days resting under ledges and in caves, and their nights are spent foraging for lobsters, crabs, sea urchins, octopus, snails, clams and fish. When they locate a prey item hiding in a reef crevice or cavity, they suck it out by suddenly expanding the mouth and gill cavities. They are apparently site specific, returning to the same coral head after each nocturnal foray. These sharks relish fresh table shrimp, scallops and fish in the aquarium, but feed them sparingly or you'll be looking for a new home for your shark before you know it. They will also make short work of any tankmate that can be swallowed. These sharks have been reported to mate in large oceanariums, but their large size at maturity precludes them being bred in the home aquarium." "The Ginglymostoma cirrhatum grows up to 168 inches. The Nurse Shark prefers a tank of at least 500 gallons to start with plenty of places to swim, but will eventually need an aquarium of at least 3,000 gallons. Because of this, this species should only be kept by experienced aquarists. The Nurse Shark is a carnivore and likes to eat variety of chopped crustaceans, fish pieces, shrimp, shellfish, squid. The Nurse Shark is a high maintenance fish and may act aggressively toward other fish. Not reef-safe." Here is a page with some compatibility information: http://lib1.store.vip.sc5.yahoo.com/lib/marinedepotlive/Compatibility.GIF Looks like there isn't much in the way of known compatibility. Good luck. ~Paul>

Shark report - 2/4/04  I'm doing a earth fair project. <Very admirable.> I was hoping if you could give me facts on sharks of any species that might be able to help me out. <Well......possibly. Being that it is a report, I would feel better if you were to look up the information yourself. The information is out there for the taking with a little research and gusto. So how bout running your questions through your favorite search engine i.e.. Google, Yahoo, Dogpile or something of that caliber? Also, take a look at the many shark sites to further your opportunity in finding answers. Also, I am sure the local library is full of books on the shark subject.> Here are a few questions How many species of sharks are there? Which is the most dangerous species? How many freshwater sharks are there? How do sharks breathe? What are activities in sharks? Thanks for your help. <Sorry Jacob, not to be too pretentious here, but I am to assume that these questions probably relate to an assignment and I just don't feel comfortable answering straight away, if you know what I mean? I will tell you what, I will give you a site that will answer a few questions for you, but the rest you need to do on your own, alright bub? Fair? Here ya go: http://www.sheddnet.org/ani_faqs_04.html  Good luck and send the report/project when it is done if you don't mind? ~Paul>  Jacob Stirrett

Sharks in small tanks - 1/27/04 I currently own a small salt water aquarium (75 gallons), <Not exactly small but I guess all things considered.....small> and I know how you talk about small aquariums and large sharks mixing. <Don't even get me started> I am looking for a small shark and I am going to get a 125 within the next year that he could be transferred into but, not any larger than that though. <Nah. Forget it. Some will say there are sharks that will fit in 125 but I am not going to bite. No sharks under 250 gallons for the smallest sharks.> Is there any types of sharks that you can think of that could do well in these tank sizes. <Not going there. I don't believe so, in my opinion> I have read of some types of sharks that stop at about 24" and then read of the same sharks on different web sites reaching 4'. <Exactly. It is better to plan for genetic differences by being open to getting the largest tank possible when dealing with small sharks let alone the largest of 'em> Am I wasting my time looking or is there a shark for me out there? <I would have to say to leave the sharks to the professional public aquarists or the ocean and go for something else. 'Neff said. You could look our site for info on sharks, though. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm  Sorry for the rant, but it just doesn't bode well for aquarist or shark in the long run. ~Paul> Thanks for any help, Brandon

Nurse shark in aquaria - 1/25/04 I wanted to ask you if you can feed nurse sharks gold fish, <NO!!! and I will be honest.... it scares the hell out of me to think you would ask a question of this caliber when keeping a shark. This is information you should ask before purchasing a shark or any marine animal or plant> or is it not good for them. <Too fatty and of little substance to most marine carnivorous fish> Also I wanted to know what is a good pH level for them cuz I heard that sharks put out a lot of ammonia, <????!!!!! pH and ammonia are two different things. Let me answer first: a "good" PH is one that is found where this shark habitats. Probably somewhere between 7.9 - 8.3 but this will do nothing for ammonia or ammonia output of the shark. You need to have top notch filtration to deal with fish waste ( in the form of excrement and waste by-product as well as uneaten foods) which is usually converted in the form of ammonia. This information is about the nitrogen cycle which is on our site for all to see. This line of questioning is not boding well for me or for your shark. Forgive the rant as I may be too pretentious and presumptuous here, but I suggest you donate this shark to a public display aquarium as soon as possible. Learn about the cycle and what it means to your inhabitants before acquisition. Here is some information about your shark: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/nurseshark/nurseshark.htm This is a very large shark to be sure, it will need LOTS OF SPACE, LOTS OF FOOD, and LOTS OF ATTENTION. This is one of the worst sharks to keep in the average aquarists charge. A very poor choice indeed. There is more to caring for sharks then the tank size, filtration, water chemistry, and food. There is vitamin issues, current issues, as well as climate controls and processes to be put into place. Again, I may be too presumptuous here, but I doubt you are capable to provide all of this if you haven't even thought of what to feed your shark and you question about PH, to be quite frank, scares the hell out of me! Please forgive me if my assumptions are out of place or misguided, but I am thinking of the shark only and know nothing of you personally or what you may or may not know about sharks. Enlighten me if I am misguided. I just worry about the well being of your animals.> so I wanted to know how do I keep the ammonia level under control. <Through an amazing filtration system and lots of diligence in water chemistry.> any answer from you would be appreciated. <Are you sure??>thanks a lot. <Please, my friend, let's talk seriously about your animal. Please email back you responses or rebuttal and if you need my personal info or phone number please let it be known. I want to help but I need some convincing! Your mate and conscientious marine aquarist, Paul>

Nurse shark in distress - 1/26/04 Paul, hey thanks for your fast reply. <No problem.> so what should I feed it cuz the guy at the fish store told me that goldfish was alright? <I am gonna say something I seldom do so as not to offend......your source at the fish store is wrong and ill-informed. Quality squid, clams, you could try smelts are a more quality product from a health standpoint. You can either buy from a local fresh fish store or maybe from a local grocery store's fish department. You will also need vitamins as well. Look at the links under sharks on our site as I think I have mentioned this before.> and right now the shark is about 1 1/2 ft. in length and the tank that it's in right now is a 55. <Not good my friend. It is already too big for this tank.> I am planning to move it to a bigger one, at least a 1,000 gallon or bigger tank, but that probably can't happen till about 5 months. <Not good! The tank will need to be custom with rounded corners instead of 90 degrees and more like 5000 gallons.> do you think I have a chance of keeping it alive till then. <I am always honest and that is the issue here. Robin, in the three emails I have sent you I have been telling you that based on the questions your asking, the lack of research you have done, your hastiness to take on such and animal tells me that this shark does not have a good long-term prognosis. I would implore you to find a more suitable home immediately> be honest. <Always!> the salinity is about 1.023 and the temp. is 77 F my pH meter just broke so I can't check that till tomorrow and I don't know how to check ammonia. <Well, this is what I am talking about. You don't know how to check ammonia?? You need to become more familiar with the processes of owning a tank. Test kits are a great way to check water chemistry and water health. You have a lot of reading to do my friend. Let me put it this way, I have been keeping marine animals of all types for about ten years and more focused on saltwater animalia for the past 3 years, add to that that I have been working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for about 7 months, and have the financial means to do just about whatever I want within reason....and I don't have any sharks!!! I help with the shark program a bit here at the aquarium and it is a lot of care even at a large scale exhibit. It pales in comparison to the small scale version kept by the passive home aquarist. Please reconsider your abilities to keep this animal alive long-term. My offer still stands, if you need help finding a home I will do my best to connect you with a public aquarium who can help to recover the animal and place it in a proper display.> I have a wet and dry filtration system with no protein skimmers at the moment. <Needs more than a wet-dry and protein skimmer for filtration, Robin.> so what you think man, does mano (the shark) have a chance for 5 months? <May live that long but may not. I am gonna say based on your skill set I have some doubts. Again, this is not a challenge to you to prove me wrong but to check your reality here. Let me know what else I can help with. Here is a great link on sharks in captivity with FAQ links. Read it like it were a bible, my friend. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm click the links as well. Knowledge is power!!!! ~Paul>

More ambivalence to the shark world - 1/25/04 I was just wondering if it's normal for a shark to swim upside-down and rub it's back on the sand. this might be a stupid question to you guys, but any response will be appreciated. thanks a lot.<No Robin, it is not. Usually means parasite or death close at hand. Especially for a nurse shark. Please respond ASAP! ~Paul>

More shark questions from The Shark Virgin - 1/25/04 Paul, The shark rubbed it's back on the sand twice, but it hasn't done it since like 2 hours ago. <Referred to as glancing. Could be an issue with parasites.> Does that still mean that it's gonna die? <No not at all but you kind of made it sound like the animal was floating on its back ass up. No worries, man, I really want to help and since you emailed us I want to follow through. Let me know your setup. Let me know what your long term plan is if you don't mind. What are your water parameters?> What are other symptoms of a shark close to death? <Being cheeky?? Skin coloration and lack of appetite, loss of swim control, things of that sort.> Please respond.  And you can say whatever you want man, it's cool. <Well, I don't want to say whatever, I want to help and make a difference. It is my job here. To help and inspire. I do want to help. Let me know what else I can do. There is a lot to learn and the more we learn, we learn the less we really know. Do search our site and the many other sites dedicated to shark care. Learn as much as you can. My offer still stands if you want to take it offline. ~Paul> Thanks a lot.

Sharks and rays Hello,    I have been reading a lot in the chat forums. I am interested in setting up a shark tank and don't want to pull the trigger half cocked. You all have been suggesting the book sharks and rays by Scott Michael. I have checked amazon.com and found a book called "Aquarium Sharks and Rays: An essential guide to their selection, keeping and natural history". Is this the book you are speaking of? <Yes> I was reading in your forum that the book you have suggested has been out for a while. The book I found has not been released yet and amazon.com said I can reserve a copy until it is released. My questions being: did I find the right book?, if so were can I get a copy now? <Is available... many folks carry it... maybe try Marine Depot, Custom Aquatic online. Bob Fenner> Thank you for your time and help. John Fries

- Shark Source - Hey guys, love the site and the information you dispense is invaluable. <Glad you find the site useful.> I have an 18000 gallon marine pool that currently houses a Bonnethead shark.  I have found a few sources for marine sharks but most are unable to help me, do you know of any suppliers that may be out there that deal with marine sharks? <I'd check with one of our site sponsors, http://www.themarinecenter.com - they specialize in rare and hard to find fish, and if they don't have what you're looking for in stock, they can probably get it for you.> Once again thanks for the information and the site.   Matt <Cheers, J -- >

A Marbled Cat Shark By Any Other Name.. >I was wondering if I could ask a question about my Marbled cat shark... >>Well Nathan, stop wondering and put your worries to rest.  That answer would be YES. >I heard that this is one of the smallest cat sharks and only grow to a size of 24". >>I'm concerned that you're using the phrase, "I heard".  I can only suppose from this that you have done no prior research on your shark or its needs. >So I'm keeping him in a 220 gallon aquarium 72Lx24Wx30H with very little rock work, just enough for my goldentail moray to swim in... Now knowing this guy is only going to get as big as the tank is wide I'll have no future problems with him will I? >>Well, you don't actually "know" this, do you?  However, I've gone to the trouble of looking up the common nomenclature of "Marbled Cat Shark" and have found information on two species;  Atelomycterus marmoratus, hailing from  South Africa is one, and Atelomycterus macleayi, from India and/or Myanmar is the other.. http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Atelomycterus&speciesname=marmoratus http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Atelomycterus&speciesname=macleayi  -  respectively.  Only YOU can ID the animal for certain here.  You will see that they hit 60cm & 70cm, which is well within the size limits you're hoping for.  In regards to its relation to tank size, it would seem to be alright.  However, space isn't the only issue here.  If it's a very young animal we need to be careful of the substrate, if it's anything other than smooth-edged oolitic sand it very well could abrade the animal so severely it would lead to its death.  Then there is also the issue of feeding, I have always handfed the babies I've cared for (bamboo).  I would be worried, if the animal IS that young, that the eel might find it tasty.  Of course, I'm making assumptions about this, but since you didn't mention I thought I'd cover a few extra bases.  What will always be pertinent is water quality, so please do as much research into this as possible, sharks, skates, and rays essentially need the same water quality considerations that invertebrates do--consider their requirements to be comparable to keeping reef (without all the additives).  I hope this helps.  Marina More about sharks 10/29/03 I want to try and breed bamboo sharks any advice? <two of the best places to start doing your homework would be the Breeders Registry (seek breeders reports of all relatives to the species you choose)... and you must read Scott Michaels authoritative book, "Sharks and Rays". <any public aquariums have successful breeding programs too that you can learn from... look around. Best of luck. Anthony>

- Keeping Sharks - Hi, <Hello, JasonC here...> I am interested in getting a saltwater tank but I also want sharks in it. <For your first saltwater system, I would recommend anything but sharks.> It doesn't matter what type to me just any kind of shark would do good. <It should matter to you.> What would be the smallest aquarium I could get to house a shark, so basically what shark would you be able to put in a smaller aquarium. <The smallest tank for a suitable shark is probably about 300 gallons, again depending on the shark. You should not undersize a tank to fit a juvenile shark... the shark will have a dismal, short life in these conditions.> Can you please tell me the name of the shark and the size of the Aquarium please? Thanks this is very important while I make my decision. <While you are making that decision, please do some research into what sharks are all about. In general, these fish need large [500 to 10,000 gallon] oval to round-shaped tanks and very brisk filtration. Many, many people ask similar questions to yours and ignoring advice, end up killing a lot of animals. Consider very carefully what you intend to get out of such a system and if you are up to the investment [add a dollar sign and a zero to the tank size and that should give you an idea] that would be required to keep such an animal. In doing your research, you should pick up a copy of Scott Michael's book, Aquarium Sharks & Rays... would be a great reference for you to have on hand. Cheers, J -- >

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

Sharks and School Dear Bob I was wondering if you know of any good colleges that have good aquatic programs (sharks and diving and stuff like that) since I will be needing to go to college in a few years. <Best to check with the various BB's here. Ours: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ re "where it's at"... Do look for and read Jay Hemdal's "Aquarium Careers" book as well... excellent> Also do you think I would be able to find a job at an aquarium like maybe the one in Baltimore and do stuff w/ the sharks there or something. <Yes. Best to ask about volunteering at a close-by institution (a very common "in" to later paying jobs)> And if you think it would be hard to get one there do you know anything that might help me to get one there.  I'm already thinking about getting a shark in a few months. <Have you perused Scott Michael's re-do of his "Aquarium Sharks and Rays" book? Please take a look at this (available through Seachallengers.com). Bob Fenner> thanks in advance Adam

Re: Aloha! Shark system at NELHA Aloha again, Bob! <Hello Jillian> Thanks for being so quick to respond to my emails, I appreciate it! To answer your question, yes, it is down at the NELHA property. I would be interested in finding out more about your place in Holualoa. By the way, it's Kailua-Kona :) Just a helpful hint. As for our shark pit project, I was wondering... <Thanks. Some info, including our address for the property can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/holualoaproperty.htm> Are there was a certain nutrition the sharks needed, or some specific food they need that I might not know about? <Quite possibly. What literature do you have on hand? Have you read through our "Shark FAQs" files on WWM? I would, maybe using the index: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm You'll see many references to Scott Michael's popular work on Aquarium Sharks and Rays... get and read this> Is it important for the sharks to have a shady area in the tank? <A very good idea> Is there a specific fish or invertebrate that should be in the tank to help maintain it? <None IMO. More trouble than they are worth, and/or likely to damage the captive sharks.> Do you have any suggestions for training the sharks? Past experience, etc? <They can be operant conditioned to "station" with a "clicker" and/or acoustic signal and "bridged" to other positive feedback (usually small food reward)... what is it you want them to do?> Do you know of any "shark experts" I can use as another source? (I need 8 sources altogether!) <Take a look at the above citations> That's all I can think of for now. Thanks for everything! Jillian <You're welcome. Aloha. Bob Fenner>

Horn Shark and a Brown Banded Cat Shark? - 8/22/03 hello I was just wonder if I could possibly keep a horn shark and a brown banded cat shark in the same tank??? thank you for your time <it not sensible if even possible- the horn shark is a coldwater species and the cat shark is tropical... one or both will suffer and perhaps die prematurely. They grow to 3 feet long each with the horn shark pushing 20 lbs! We are talking a 500 + gallon aquarium for just one. Anthony>

Pics of Shark Tanks - 8/20/03 hi,  <Hey!  Phil w/ ya today!>  I was interested in setting up a 300 gallon or so tank for a banded cat shark. <A good size for this shark, please note that a larger tank may be required depending on how larger the shark really gets.>   I was wondering if you guys had any pictures or links to pictures with such set ups. <Hmmm... have you tried a google search?  Also if you haven't already.  Pick up a copy of "Sharks & Rays" by Scott Michael.  A great book, w/ pics, and tank design ideas.>   I've been looking all over the internet and have not yet found a picture of a small shark tank. <Doesn't surprise me as sharks can't be kept in small tanks.. LOL.  Most people don't have the space/cash/time to setup a shark tank.  It will cost thousands, more likely tens of thousands for a complete tank.  Get that book though, it will help ya out a lot!  Phil>

Epaulette Shark - 8/13/03 I have been doing so much research lately that I can feel my eyes bulging from looking at the computer screen and reading books [Kinda like something out of a horror movie, hehe :) ].   <or like Goldie Hahn?... although I must admit her daughter Kate Hudson is amaaaaazing. No bug eyes... just poor eyesight I suspect judging by here Black Crows hubby> Anyways, I find sharks to be INCREDIBLY interesting, and I have been reading that the Epaulette Shark will get to about twenty-six inches maximum when kept in captivity.  If this is the case, could one be kept in a 6'long x 2'wide aquarium?   <it will be fine for medium term (2-4 years). Ultimately, you will need a 200 gallon tank minimum. A 26" long fish in a 24" wide aquarium still sounds cruel to me> Can I feed it ghost/grass shrimp?  How about squid?  Or sand shrimps?  Or what about those little shrimps that you buy at the grocery store that are frozen?  Thanks, Adam <all for the above and then some more: Mysid shrimp, superba krill, small live crayfish... and be sure to Selcon soak some of these foods and/or gut load the live prey with nutritious dry foods (Spirulina flakes/pellets, etc). Best regards, Anthony>

- Shark Tank Regulations? - Hi guys, <Hello, JasonC here...> First of all, your site is great! <Glad you find it useful.> A lot of really easy to understand information. Keep it up! I'm wondering if you know of any actual legal regulations for the size your tank has to be for the amount of fish you have, or which fish you have. <No... much like there are no regulations as to what size car you can buy. There are no laws in the US that govern anything to do with the consumer end of the hobby.> I'm asking because I just visited an Aquarium store that was holding a 5ft nurse shark, a 2 ft lemon shark, and a green moray in a brightly lit tank that couldn't have been more than 8 ft long. <Unfortunately, sounds typical.> Coming from working at The Florida Aquarium, I know those guys can't be happy. <Nope, sentenced to eventual death.> Do you know any way I could help 'em out? <Not really... most sharks that have been put into captivity cannot be released into the wild and similarly will only rarely be taken by public aquariums. You could try to educate the personnel at the fish store where you saw this, but will likely go in one ear and out the other. If you still have contacts at the Florida Aquarium, you could try to find placement for them there, but I'm not very optimistic about that...> Thanks for your time,  Laura <Good luck.  Cheers, J -- >

Banded Cat Shark >Hello again, thank you for the quick response last time, it was most helpful. >>You're welcome, glad it was of help. >My new cat shark is acting rather peculiar, it's  lifting its head up like it's sniffing for something a lot.  My local fish store told me to feed him right away, so I did, I fed him a little blood worms, but he did not eat them, is this normal?? What should I do? >>First, don't use the advice of that shop.  Second, DON'T feed your sharks bloodworms.  Third, address the issue of substrate.  The young sharks have very sensitive skin, and are best kept on fine sand -- NO gravel.  You have mentioned no testing of water, no parameters, and no test kit brand.  You must treat sharks as you would invertebrates, they require the BEST of water conditions.  As such, I would like to recommend, if you don't already, making good use of foam fractionation, copious and large water changes, and a refugium (more for the production of good quality water and natural nitrate reduction than for the "pods" most covet).  Back off on feeding -- a hungry fish is a healthy fish.  Use krill, squid, clam, shrimp, soak in Selcon.  Skip a day or two, and see if this helps boost the appetite.  Let's deal with these issues first, and move on from there.  Marina

Cat Shark Tank Size - 8/10/03 Hello- I was wondering how long I could keep a newborn banded cat shark in a 60 gallon tank by itself before I need to upgrade tank size. <not more than 18-24 months for your best chance at optimal health or growth to adulthood> Also how big of a tank should I keep it in if I'm considering getting another shark??? <200 gallons would be a minimum for keeping one adult cat shark at 30-36" adulthood. 300 gallons or larger for a pair would be nice> thank you for your time - Kyle <best of luck... do research more on this species... they are one of the few good ones for aquaria. Captive reproduction is very possible. Anthony>

Sharks For Small Tanks?  8/9/03 Hey guys, I've got a quick question for you.<Phil here to try and help.> I'm a new saltwater aquarium enthusiast and am planning on setting up a tank in about a month. I've been doing some research and have become interested in keeping a sharks.<I can see where this is already leading... ;)   > However, in all my research I have found that sharks get BIG and require tanks that are FAAAR larger than I can afford (starving college student income).<Big yes, costly yes, but woman love to hear.  "Wanta come to back to my place and see my shark?"   ;) > I'm planning on getting most likely a 50 gallon tank and was curious: are there any smaller saltwater sharks that can be housed in a tank this size, safely and happily?<I'm afraid not, a 250-300 gallon tank is needed at least.  A 400-600 is best.>  Or is my best bet to abandon the whole shark idea and look for other types of fish?<For now yes, maybe a few years down the road you can get a large tank and keep these amazing animals.> I might consider going as big as 80 gallons, but that's about it. Obviously a 14-foot nurse shark is out of the question here! Thanks for the input. --Robert<No problem, good luck on the current tank!  Let us know how it turns out etc.  Don't give up on a shark tank though.  Do what I do!  Keep a little spare change jar and use the money for a new tank down the road.  See where I'm going with this??  :)  Phil>

Large system, undertaking for captive sharks in Hawai'i Aloha WetWebMedia Crew! <Hello Jillian> I am a 12th grader at the West Hawaii Explorations Academy. Our school is a project based science high school, and I am currently focusing on our shark lagoon project and the arrival of our new sharks and sting rays. Several years ago we had a shark pit, however the shark outgrew its environment so we have rebuilt the tank. In the next couple of weeks we are expecting two sting rays and possible two hammerheads and also possible two white tips or black tips. We currently had several Yellow Tangs and Convict tangs. I would like any suggestions you can offer me about the care of these animals or any specific things we need to know about the quarantine process or the introduction of the sharks to their new environment, as well as any other information you feel we need to know. Your time and reply is greatly appreciated. I really enjoy your website, I use it as my main source for all my research assignments! I have included two photos of our Shark Lagoon, I thought you might be interested in seeing the environment we built for the sharks and rays. <Mmm, most everything of practical value that I know is posted on WWM re selachian in captivity. Do you have specific concerns? Is this project down at NELHA? We have a place in Holualoa, mauka of Kona/Kailua. Aloha, Bob Fenner> Mahalo, Jillian Davis

Catsharks...  8/1/03 Bob<Phil with ya today!  I'll do my best and act like Bob though.  ;)   > Long time no email.  Need some help choosing tank mates. I have 2 female and a male Atelomycterus marmoratus in a 265 gal tank.<Wow... that's a tight fit.  Each shark needs around 180-200 gallons of water.  In this tank each shark has 88 gallons.  Not enough!!>  The sharks are all between 20 and 29 inches. the largest female is laying eggs but the male is not sexually mature) I also had a 9" blue lined snapper in the tank but he was harassed to death by the sharks @ night.<He was probably in "their" space.>  I started noticing his fins were a bit frayed about a week ago but once he got hurt the sharks went on him. Prior to this taking place I was thinking of adding few other blue lined snappers for a small school effect or a large Passer Angel. Now I am not sure. I like Lionfish but don't want to risk the Sharks getting "poked" by the Lion. Any ideas would be most appreciated. I was thinking about a school of something fast and inexpensive. Maybe Blue Chromis?<To be honest Patrick I suggest a tank upgrade.  At least 500 gallons, probably more like 600 for 3 sharks.  The females will begin to fight over time.  They need space.  Scott Michael states that Coral Catsharks are "more voracious then bamboo sharks and will attempt to eat fishes kept with them..."  Mixing other fish with this type of shark isn't a really good idea.  IMO, upgrade the tank and enjoy the wonderful sharks.  One of my all-time favorite aquarium fish.> Patrick Hynes<Best of luck!  Phil>

Sharks & Rays- Scott V. Michaels Hi Mr. Fenner.... <Hello Michael> Just to let you know that work on the public aquarium here in Mauritius is progressing rapidly. The directors are hoping to open sometime in October if everything goes to plan. On reading the various FAQs posted in the past few months I note that you highly recommend the book by Scott V. Michaels on Sharks and Rays. As you are already aware we intend to set up a small shark tank and this leads me to my question. Well in fact it's more of a favour than a question......... I am hoping that you will still be visiting Mauritius sometime next month and, if so, would it be possible for you to bring over a copy? I will settle up with you ( whatever the cost ) when we meet up. Please excuse my impertinence.......it's just that I'm sure it will be far easier for you to obtain the book than for me to search the internet in vain. Please let me know of your date of arrival and where you will be staying. I'm very much looking forward to meeting you. Regards, Mick. <Am just back from Malaysia (and bushed!) and out next week to Hawaii then to Indonesia in August. NWA and SIA had deals on airfare we couldn't pass on, so no definite plans as to when to make it out to the Mascarenes. You might try SeaChallengers.com re a copy. Bob Fenner>

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