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FAQs about Shark Selection 3

Related Articles: Sharks, Sharks In My Living Room?, Cartilaginous Fishes, Blacktip Reef Shark, Nurse Sharks, Coldwater SharksLeopard Sharks, Port Jackson Sharks, Moving Sharks

Related FAQs: Shark Selection 1, Shark Selection 2, Shark Compatibility, Shark Behavior, Sharks in General, Systems for Sharks, Feeding, Diseases, Shark, Ray Eggs, Coldwater Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Heterodontus, Blacktip Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Moving Sharks

Fast, smart tankmates only, please... or food items. Caranx ruber (Bloch 1793), the Bar Jack.

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

Building new Shark tank       3/20/16
I have about 20 years in the saltwater hobby and just designed a house that wraps around a "wet" room where I am going to build a shark tank, if possible.
I live in Texas and fish a lot so bonnets, Atlantic Sharpnose and a few rays like Cownose and southern are easy to obtain. I would love a Blacktip (not the reef variety),
but size will prohibit that. My wet room was designed to easily handle 100k#s of weight, upstairs, LOL. I am a contractor so no problem there.
The tank will be oval, 5' tall, 20' long and 10' wide. That's in the 5k+- gallon range.
<Closer to 7,500>
(the size has been changed 10 times so I'm guessing on the gallons right now).
<There's approx. 7.5 per cubic foot>
Two 4'x4' windows and 1 10'x4' window. The rest is fiberglass/steel/plywood.
Question, how many of the sharks/rays I mentioned, will do well inside this tank?
<Five-ten, depending on size>
Any others that I should consider? or not consider?
<What's there that's compatible... maybe a moray, some jacks, snappers>
Water temp will be mid to high 70s, depending on my demands. But not any colder than 75*, that would be hard to do in Texas, on that scale. I can talk for months/years on this subject, but I am restraining myself so as not to scare you off. Thanks for any advice, Kyle Ligon
<I have a book in print re sharks, rays in captivity (on Amazon); and would encourage you carefully read the similar title by Scott Michael>
The largest I could possibly make the tank would be 18' diameter round x 5' tall, but that's out of my budget as of now. But business is great and that could change in just a year, the way things are going. It's my own company.
The wet room(s) are 350 sqft on top of 350 sqft. Some people told me to just remove the floor and fill the whole thing with water, making it 20' tall, LOL. Thanks for any help, Kyle Ligon
<Glad to consort w/ you on your dream project. Bob Fenner>

Banded cat shark/coral shark; stkg. in a 120 reef...      7/11/14
Hello, I have been reading a lot on your website about sharks. I will soon have a 120 gallon system with a large sump too. I live 4 miles from a local aquarium that has a shark/ray tank and a seal hospital as it is literally metres from the sea, this means they have marine biologists on hand every
day and they accept livestock donations subject to health.
I would love to have the experience of hatching a mermaids purse in my lifetime and hope this could be a possibility with my tank.
I currently have:
1x bicolour blenny
1x green mandarin dragonet
1x foxface lo
1x ocellaris clownfish
1x green Chromis
Several inverts
lots of LPS coral
<... Mmm, a 120 gallon... with all this other life in it... the corals will be knocked over, covered with gravel... most all the fishes will be eaten in time...>

I would be moving these into the new tank. Basically I'm asking, could I hatch the mermaids purse and keep the coral/bamboo shark for a few months until around 12-15" then donate it to the aquarium.
<Not a good gamble; sorry>
I would like to do this whilst retaining my current livestock.
Any insight on this would be great as I can't find many stocking limits/options with this selection of fish.
Other things need to be considered e.g. total inches of fish including the shark fitting into my limit. I understand the possibility of the shark eating the smaller fish but I've read in reviews that their sharks are
generally placid when they have been hatched amongst other fish.
Thanks, Matt
<Perhaps you could approach the folks at the local aquarium regarding volunteering... Bob Fenner>

Shark Tank   9/28/12
Good afternoon, hope all are well. Shawn here.
I am considering a predator tank including cat sharks. My question is can different members of the family be kept together.
<If there's room (hundreds of gallons), yes>
Thanks for your help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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

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

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

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

Most suitable shark for a 135G?   11/15/11
Hello, I've been looking to upgrade my tank to a bigger one and kept thinking if there was anything really cool with personality.
<Mmm, okay>
I've come to the decision of a shark or an octopus, but due to octopi/octopuses/octopus being short lived, cold water,
<Not all... there are tropical species galore. Just not often offered in the trade>
and masters at escape I think I'll be trying for a shark.
<Mmm, why I was Mmm'ing above... most sharks have vanishing little "personality"... the sharky ones are too active, get too big for hobbyist size, shaped systems, the not-so-sharky ones sit on the bottom 98-99% of the time. I urge you (even strongly) to keep looking, reading... select more appropriate and interesting livestock>
I've researched for awhile and have read up that even the smaller sharks need 3x body length long. So would the Hasselt's Bamboo Shark (2' max) should be able to live in a 72 x 18 x 25 Tall tank for a decent amount of time (1 year?) if I buy it at about 5-7"?
<Mmm... IF not fed too much... but... would not be happy, of much interesting behavior...>
I would like one however I am perfectly fine not getting one if it would not be happy in the tank for awhile.
The exact tank specs would be 72 x 18 x 25T (135G main tank), 36 x 18 x 16T (40B Seahorse + Pipefish macro tank), 36 x 12 x 16T (35G sump), 2 500GPH power heads (thinking I'll need about 3 more 750GPH power heads), and a PM Bullet II skimmer. I will also have about 100lbs of LR in an island setup in the main tank.
<Better to remove some, maybe half... Needs to be carefully arranged>
Is all that OK to house a smaller shark for awhile? Thanks.
<Again, not really. Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
scroll down to the tray on sharks... Esp. re stocking/selection... I REALLY want to see both you and your livestock be happy... Rare, exceedingly, for people and sharks kept in small confines. Bob Fenner>

epaulette shark, stkg./sel.  11/13/11
What do you guys think about epaulette sharks?
<More suitable for aquarium use than many...>
I am interested in them but not a whole lot of material on them. obviously I would have to do a lot of research first but just curious as to your thoughts on them. As far as my bamboo, that little guy has consumed my life. I love every minute of it.
<Search on WWM re the common name. Bob Fenner>

Thinking about a shark 11/3/11
Hello crew! I have been thinking about adding a shark to my 220 gallon aquarium. I have it narrowed down to a Black Banded Cat Shark or a Hasselt's Bamboo Shark.
<Mmm, both "better" choices than most sharks...>
Leaning more towards the latter due to it's more manageable size. I currently have a Harlequin Tusk, an Emperor Angel, a Picasso Trigger, a Sohal Tang, and a Volitans Lionfish. So I'm just wondering if this set up would work.
Thanks for your time and input,
<Mmm, well, the Angel or Trigger might well nip at a shark... and getting food to it w/ these other fishes may prove problematical... Things to think about, consider... Plus I should (because I want to, feel compelled) mention that these sharks really don't "do much" other than sit on the bottom. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Fabulous set-down for pretentious, homicidal idiots who want to own sharks (By Bob Fenner) 6/1/2011
Good Afternoon WWM Team!
<Hey Miranda>
I just wanted to thank you for posting Bob Fenner's informative article on home shark ownership. I maintain several aquariums: one with three violet gobies (species tank), one with a school of five Columbian catfish (species tank), and one with all of the fabulous brackish water fish that were small enough for my cat sharks to eat once they got above a foot. *(Before you ask, YES the gobies are in brackish 1.010, YES the cats are in high brackish 1.016 for now, YES I am buying a bigger tank for the cats - looking at 500G at least. They look crowded in the 200g when they get active...)*.
<Heeeee! I'll bet>
Every time I have friends over, I get the same questions - *"Wow, are those cats or sharks?" "Have you thought about owning a shark?" "I had a shark but it died, I bet that wouldn't happen to you, would you get one?"*
Thanks to Bob's article, I have terrific answers to those insane questions.
These are people who can't even keep Bettas alive, for goodness sakes. I love being able to point to that article and say, *"Why, yes, I would love to be the coolest fish owner on my block. What will make it really special is being able to point to all of my gorgeous, exotic pet sharks w- oh, wait. I probably WON'T be able to point to them because I'll probably be MISSING FINGERS." *I especially love the line from Bob's article, *"You are not faster than even the tiniest, youngest shark."* Amen!
The best part of Bob's article, though, is not its use in formulating creative set downs for under-informed idiots. Today, that article saved me from my own idiot impulse - upon seeing the "Coral Cat shark Needs A Good Home" ad on Craigslist, I admit to a momentary temptation to rescue the poor critter (God only knows how it's being kept). I valiantly resisted and returned to Bob's article to remind myself that occasionally hand-feeding my venomous catfish is challenge enough for one lifetime.
Thanks again, team!
- Miranda
<Thank you... BobF, enjoying putting away new pix (from Costa Rica) even more now!>

Best Shark for 8'x2.5'x2.5' Setup?  12/31/10
<Hi there>
I have read everything I can find regarding sharks on your site. There is a wealth of information and I want to thank you for making it available.
I have a 8' x 2.5' x 2.5' tank with a 125 gallon refugium packed with live rock, a large wet/dry and a very large protein skimmer powered by a 1 hp Iwaki pump. I also have a UV sterilizer. The tank has been established for a couple of years. Base on my research, I feel that this system is sufficient to house a single small shark species by itself. I am trying to decide between Atelomycterus marmoratus and Chiloscyllium punctatum. Can you please tell me which one you feel would be better and why?
<Mmm, likely the spotted>
Also, is it necessary to have any live rock in the tank itself for sharks?
<Not in their system, no; too likely to get badly scratched... though I might be tempted to pile some up in the middle, allowing a clear path all the way about the edges...>
Thanks in advance.
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Best Shark for 8'x2.5'x2.5' Setup?
Thank you for that quick reply. I was leaning towards the spotted cat as well. I have a clarification question - sorry I wasn't clearer before.
Can I leave the shark's portion of the system completely bare except for sand?
<Yes you can>
I would prefer that for viewing and maximizing swimming space. Do they require/prefer somewhere to hide during the day?
<Some sharks do appreciate a ledge, even large PVC part, section of pipe...
Easy to provide the last and take out if you don't like it. BobF>
Thanks again.

Finding the Speckled epaulette and Northern Wobbegong   12/12/10
Dear WWM Crew,
I am searching for a Northern or Wards Wobbegong (Orectolobus wardi). I was fortunate enough to find a female pup, and would really like to add a male. I have looked everywhere in the USA, from special order at the LFS to every online retailer I can find. I have even contacted LFS in AU with the hopes that someone could direct me to a source or specimen. The most promising leads have all run dry. Do you have any ideas?
<Really, just to keep trying through the larger etailers (Dr.s Foster and Smith in particular... vis a vis through association w/ Quality Marine), as these sharks "just" get caught as they occur in the wild AND there is a stated demand>
The same goes for the speckled epaulette (Hemiscyllium trispeculare), I have two mature females and want to acquire a male. Both are listed as common in Australian waters, is anyone one collecting them?
<I know of a couple of collectors who will "pick them up" if there is a demand... Again, these communications occur through the trade from the penultimate end-user/consumer through their outlets through larger import/wholesalers>
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks, Carmen
<Keep communicating... Dr.s/Kevin Kohen to QM/Chris Buerner... Bob Fenner>

Turtle question. SW avail.... Oh, and shark sel. f' as well   2/28/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I just bought a new tank for my living room/game room (pool table, bar, darts, etc.). The tank is 8'x3'x3', 538 gal.
<VERY cool '¦ and a lot of us here are now officially jealous of you>
I have a 100 gal. sump, and I am currently in the process of replumbing it. I need a new, bigger pump than the one that came with it. It's going to be a saltwater tank, FOWLR. I already have a 90 gal reef tank, a 45 gal. FOWLR, and a 35 gal tank that I will probably turn into a quarantine tank (all saltwater of course).
<At that size, please also give serious consideration to water changes. Permanent plumbing to a drain, a safe, warm place to have a minimum of  75 gallons of new water ready for changing (538 gal + 100 gal sump plus 35 gal quarantine tank) plus a method to get to the various tanks. It seems obvious but you'd be surprised how many people don't think of that until after '¦ those 5 gallon jugs from the local fish store just don't cut it when you need 15 of them per week><<Excellent. B>>
My question is this. I am very interested in getting a turtle for it. Is there anywhere that I can buy one?
Is it even legal?
I've been looking over the internet, and I can't find anything so far. I am trying to make a list of what I can stock this tank with, and I think a turtle, among other rare exotic fish would be so cool.
<A turtle would be cool. So would a Marine Iguana from the Galapagos. So would a dinosaur '¦ but the first two are illegal and the last one is impossible><<But, I seen it on TeeBee>>
<Seriously '¦ even if virtually every species of sea turtle in the world was not listed as CITES protected species '¦ it simply isn't possible to provide a health environment for them -- and even if you could (which you can't) you can't provide the proper diet.>
I am open to any suggestions if you have any.
<On the off chance that I haven't made myself crystal clear -- there is no legal way to acquire one and even if you could, the cost of care would be astronomical and the end result would be a dead sea turtle. You'd be better off AND happier to amass a laundry basket full of $20 bills and toss them down a storm sewer. The net effect will be the same and it would be over sooner.><<& less frustrating and time-consuming>>
I am looking into a couple of sharks as well, if it is legal.
<Certain sharks are legal, yes.>
I'm not sure.
<For many years, not more than 45 miles from where you live, I raised and housed 4 alligators. When friends and neighbors would look at me and ask "why Alligators???" I' reply, perfectly honestly '¦ "because sharks are too darned delicate!">
<The problem, as I see it, is that the thing that comes to mind when someone wants to keep a shark is Bruce (the shark from "Jaws") also known as Carcharodon carcharias, The Great White Shark - right? Or a Bull shark or at least even a Hammer Head? All the really GOOD sharks are the pelagics - the open-ocean types or else their in-shore cousins the White Tip, Gray Reef, etc. '¦ but without exception those can't be kept in a closed system, even as sophisticated as yours. They need, at best - tens of thousands of gallons per foot of shark, constant keeper and veterinarian attention and all the attendant expense that go with that. So what we're left with are Bamboo sharks, Horned Sharks and a few other members of the family I call "The Boring, lazy, non-menacing Sharks">
<Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm>
[Editors Note: On behalf of WWM we would like to apologize to any and all Bamboo sharks, Horned sharks, their families, relatives and dependents as well as their faithful fans, keepers, breeders, resellers and importers for that unwarranted insult. Moreover, having met Mr. Barton on several occasions '¦ he has no room to be calling anyone else Boring, Lazy or Non-menacing '¦ that was the quintessential case of the pot calling the kettle.]
As you can imagine, with a tank of this size, I want to have some of the best
livestock in it.
<I have an opinion that my colleagues may not share, so take it with a grain of salt (that may be been a pun - grain of salt!): Consider resisting the urge to put as many different species in that tank as possible and instead see how many of the SAME species you can accommodate. What I mean is this, the behavior and appearance of the Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) is absolutely AWESOME in large groups/schools to the point of almost taking your breath away. Unfortunately, most of us mortals simply don't have enough "tank" to be able to house more than one or two. You do. If you apply some different logic (think outside the tank, to make a pun) you could end up with something unique. "The most impressive collection of {something} west of the Mississippi" or something like that.>
I plan on documenting the whole process, and as I go I will send pics if your interested.
<We are very interested -- along with a narrative of the process and the decisions that went into it!>
Right now its empty. but just the size of it alone sitting in my room is pretty awesome. I always come to WWM, and you guys have really helped me over the years.
<Yeah, but that was before *I* joined the staff. I've brought the team average down a few points since then>
This is the first time I've actually asked a question,
<And maybe learned your lesson?>
and I am sure you can give me some great advice like always.
<A lot of the team give good advice. Most give GREAT advice. Unfortunately, this time '¦ you got ME!>
Thank you in advance.
Rudy, Chino Ca.
<Seriously Rudy -- take lots and lots of pictures and send them to us periodically.>

Estimate of shark ownership in US  12/3/08 Hi,? I am writing an article for a veterinary journal regarding the medical care of small sharks in the home aquaria.?? I am able to get figures from the AVMA regarding the numbers of fish owners, but I was wondering if you have an idea as to the percentage of fish owners who also own sharks? Thank you, Sharmie Johnson, DVM <Mmm, there are no hard/fast data re... but can give a qualitative guess based on figures for how many Selachians of small species are imported through the major wholesalers in the U.S.... and some sort of further guess-timate re how many of these animals are alive after a given period of time. My best guess is the numbers are in the low thousands... including small individuals of larger species (e.g. the Blacktip, Carcharhinus melanopterus, the Nurse, Ginglymostoma cirrhatum) and coldwater species... the most popular being Heterodontus francisci... collected along the two Californias mostly. The remaining species that are more appropriate for home aquarist keeping are principally Epaulette and Bamboo shark species, with a smaller percentage of some Catsharks... After chatting with Elasmobranch studying friends, and authors of popular shark writing, I have mild confidence that most individuals kept last something less than three months of capture/purchase... The percentage of marine aquarium keepers of sharks I'd put at 0.1 percent... about one out of a thousand. Bob Fenner>

Re: estimate of shark ownership in US 12/16/08 Hi Bob, <Sharmie> Thank you for getting back to me regarding the estimated number of sharks in private hands.? Would it be okay if I quote you in my article as a "pers comm?" Thanks, Sharmie <Yes. Bob Fenner, who last attended a AVMA, IAAAM get tog. back in 83 along with the Baltimore Aquarium opening>

Triakis scyllium, shark sel.  11/20/2008 Hello Crew! I saw a very small pair of Triakis scyllium at a LFS. I couldn't find any info on them. I was wondering what you knew? <Have seen this species intermittently offered in the trade...> I am guessing they are pretty much like a smoothhound shark. I would like to get them but want to research first. My current tank is a 220 that is 6 foot long, 30 inches wide and 24 tall. <Mmm, too small> I run a Deltec Ap851 skimmer, 300 gallon wet/dry, <Inappropriate for shark systems> 3/4 HP chiller (keeps my temp at 70), 36 watt Coralife UV and a barracuda pump as a return. Water param.s are PH-8.4, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-40, Ammonia-0, Sal 1.023. Tank has a 5" Lunare wrasse, 5" Naso tang, 5" Yellow tang, 6 "Hippo tang, smaller hermits and a conch. <All food> 40 LBS of LR stacked onto left side of tank to optimize swimming room (rock wall like and stable). Overflow is on the outside as well and tank has 150-200 LBS of very fine almost oolite sand. I have kept sharks before and have a lot of experience with them I just cleared my tank out and am waiting for a Port Jackson. However I want info on the Triakis scyllium. I know they will outgrow this tank and I am in the process of paying for a larger tank since I plan on keeping all my fish for their full life terms. Please let me know what you know. Thanks, Andre <This fish/species grows to about this systems length, is subtropical... I would not try them here. Bob Fenner>

Shark Compatibility  011/04/08 Would an epaulette shark be compatible with a couple of California Horn Sharks? I have never read about any incompatibilities, but thought I'd check with you guys. I have a 480gal tank, dimensions are 8' long, 2' deep, and 4' front-to-back. I use oolitic sand, because it's the smallest grain available and I know shark bellies are sensitive. The water is chilled to 72 degrees with a 1 hp chiller (necessary because I live in West Texas). <Yes, the California Horn Shark Heterodontus francisci is a subtropical to temperate species. Slightly lower temperatures 65-70 F (18-21°C) would even be better in the long run, especially when the animals grow. Also see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/heterodontusfaqs.htm and the linked articles.> I have a minimum of rock work, and what I do have is somewhat centered in the middle of the tank, so that the sharks can make a full circle even on the bottom. My male Horn is 25" long and I've had him over a year now. The female is about 15" and I've had her about 5 months. I've been very careful in choosing my tankmates so far...mostly tangs, eels, and some bar gobies. <Hopefully no tropical tankmates.> No angels, triggers, puffers as I know they have a tendency to nip at sharks. Would a 7"-10" epaulette be OK or do you think I should pass on it? <The problem here is that one species (California Horn Sharks) comes from subtropical waters while the other one (Epaulette shark Hemiscyllium ocellatum) comes from the tropical waters (74-80 F, 23-27°C) of Northern Australia and New Guinea. Therefore, they need different temperatures and should not be kept in the same system. Too low or too high temperatures will likely result in a declining immune system and shortened life span. Enforcing a compromise with intermediate temperatures will make none of them happy or keep them healthy long term.> Thanks in advance. Robert. <Welcome. Marco.>

Another nail in the coffin????   Ginglymostoma, shark sel.   10/20/08 Ladies and gentlemen, Please take a look....  http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/448350 Sincere regards, Frank A. <Sad and sickening. Bob Fenner>

Shark Species Advice - 8-13-08 Hello- <Lovely morning? Mike here today> I maintain a 5600 gallon saltwater aquarium that is cylindrical in shape (9' in diameter and 6' in height) with an artificial reef in the center. <Nice - I want one!> The salinity is 30ppt and the temperature is a constant 75°F. In addition, I have UV sterilizers, a protein fractionator, fluid sand filters, sump with heater, a chiller, and a huge generator. The system has been circulating for 1 year and currently houses 2 gray triggerfish, 2 mangrove snapper, 2 jack crevalle, 1 Atlantic spade fish, and 3 grunts; all of which are 12+ inches except the grunts which are 6 inches. I wish to add a shark (preferably, one native to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico) and respectfully request your suggestion. Although my degree is in marine biology and I have an experienced aquarist on hand, my concern lies with the shark and maintaining a healthy environment for it. I look forward to your reply. <Well, unlike most who wish to house a shark in the home aquarium, you're well equipped to do so - that is a very nice potential shark setup. Due to the volume and size, there are a handful species available for you to (potentially) house successfully. Are you looking for a benthic shark or a more active shark? See here for an overview of possibilities: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm. With the temperature of your aquarium, you're going to need a tropical shark, and even with a large aquarium like you have, you're probably still better off with a benthic shark. Have a look at the bamboo sharks, the epaulette sharks, and swell sharks and see if anything catches your eye. A perusal of our database will tell you all you need to know regarding husbandry> Thank you, <Anytime> Lisa <M. Maddox>

Peppered Catshark, sel.     7/26/08 I was wondering if you knew any thing about the peppered Catshark "Galeus piperatus". I know there only suppose to get about a foot which would make it ideal for the home aquarists. However I can't find anyone that sells them. <Mmm, have never seen this fish in the trade... according to FishBase: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=810&genusname=Galeus&speciesname=piperatus it's found in the upper Sea of Cortez... one can collect from this area now-a-years, but... don't know anyone who does. Bob Fenner>

Clown Behavior, Shark Keeping, 6/26/08 Hello, I have a couple of questions to ask. <Ok> First, a purchased 2 Clarkii Clownfish about 2 weeks ago and ever since I put them in my 120 gallon tank, they have gotten along without any problems. One is larger, about 2.5 inches, and one is smaller about 1.5 inches. Just a few days ago I purchased a Bulb Anemone and ever since, the larger clown fish has literally taken the anemone for himself. Now the two clownfish fight over the anemone (obviously the bigger one wins), and the smaller clown fish is left to himself while the bigger clown fish lives in the anemone. Is this normal? <Can be, it may straighten itself out over time, although if this pairing does not work out the fish may need to be separated.> I'm afraid the smaller clown fish will wade away over time without his partner. <If the larger fish does not except the smaller over time then it may cause problems, but clowns do fine solo, so a lack of a mate would not cause its demise.> Secondly, I was thinking about upgrading to a large tank to house sharks. Either Smoothhounds, leopards, bonnet heads, or possibly black or white tip reef sharks. <Big, expensive, custom made tank then.> I have been getting mixed messages reading all the information on shark tanks and wondered how big of a tank, and for how long I could keep each shark until they outgrew the tank. <Would need a tank of a few thousand gallons, of a circular design, to keep these types of sharks for any length of time. I feel that these are not appropriate of 99% of fishkeepers, they are just too demanding.> I know Smoothhounds and leopards are cold water sharks, and the reef sharks and bonnet heads are tropical. I purchased the Aquarium Sharks and Rays to help me with my choice but in some ways the book complicated the whole matter. <Good book.> Keeping the Smoothhounds would be reasonable, but if I kept juvenile reef sharks, or bonnet heads what size tank would I be able to get away with, and for how long could I keep them until I give them to my local public aquarium (they already agreed to keep my sharks once they got too big). <I would get this in writing, especially with the way the economy is going and the inevitable shrinkage of their budgets as less public and private money becomes available.> Thanks, Justin M. <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: Reef Shark Advice, sel.  6/26/08 Chris, <Hello> I have just read a response to a question asked by Justin M about tank size for Bonnethead, black tip and white tip reef sharks. While you may have been trying to help, I have to totally disagree with your advice. <Ok> There are few private hobbyists that are capable of housing bonnets and really none capable of keeping white tip reef sharks for any length of time. <Actually I think we are in agreement here.> It would take a tank of tens of thousands of gallons or more to properly house the smallest of black tip reef shark and much, much larger for white tips. It is most unfortunate that anybody can get a hold of these sharks but it is made worst when advice such as yours is given that as long as he gets a written promise from the public aquarium, he could get the sharks. <That is not what I intended to get across, and stated earlier in the query that 99% of hobbyist should not attempt to keep them.> While you may not have directly stated such it is easily inferred from your comments. <I think you misinterpreted what I was trying to get across, hopefully the writer did not as well.> I was a biologist at a public aquarium for a number of years and I can assure you that most do not accept sharks from private individuals. <Agreed> I would respectfully request that in the future you perhaps provide better worded and researched advice before making a few off handed comments. Matthew Hall <I think you misinterpreted what I was trying to say there, and if you look over the WWM queries I think that you will find I have the same stance as you do. No hobbyist except for the most wealthy among us who can afford swimming pool sized tanks and exceedingly expensive equipment should attempt to keep these fish.> <Chris>

New question about an old issue, shark hlth., sys.    4/26/08 Crew, <Tom> Perhaps you remember (and perhaps you don't) me writing a ton about a pet Banded Cat Shark that I owned, my display tank having ick with the shark, and my treating the tank with Quinine Sulfate in an attempt to eradicate the ick with the shark present. And you might remember how the Quinine was very effective in ridding the tank of the ick, but that the shark began a steady decline over the course of a month and a half and finally passing away after being unable to eat (this after feeding wonderfully on shark formula and vitamins for 6 months, and doing quite well.) <I do recall> Months have passed, and though I have added a few additions to the tank, we have been nearly 4 months with absolutely no issues. But, my mind still wanders back to that time and while I have no intentions or desire to have another shark, I still think about what caused his demise. I don't really run carbon continuously in my tank. It's 200 gallons with probably 150lb of live rock, filtered by a Fluval FX5 (which I clean and rinse sponges every two weeks) used mainly for water flow and biological filtration, a wet/dry trickle filter, and a large hang on protein skimmer which is actually rated for 180 gallons. I do a 25% water change every two weeks. But I do have a small canister filter that I put carbon in and run on occasion. Obviously during the treatment with the Quinine, I did not run the skimmer or the carbon. but after the treatment duration I did appropriate water changes, turned on the skimmer and put carbon back on the tank. Now, I wonder, how long is fresh carbon actually viable? <Mostly gets "used up" within minutes, hours... rapidly drops off past then> Some information outlets say change it every couple of weeks. but some say the most effective use of new carbon is in the first couple of days. being that this canister filter isn't large to begin with, do you think that it was not effective at removing all of this quinine, and the lingering presence of this medicine caused the shark's demise? <I do not> Water parameters were the same then as now, salinity was 1.025, PH was 8.2, 0ppm of both ammonia and nitrites, nitrates less than 10 - 20 ppm at all times. Again, no problems to resolve now, but something that bugs me and as I think about it often, I might have new questions about it. The tank now houses a 5" Passer angel, a 6" Lunare wrasse, a 5" yellow tang, a Maroon Clown, and a Snowflake Moray. All have been problem free nearly all of 2008. Thanks so much. Thomas Roach <Sharks are not, by and large, little aquarium fish... and most tanks to them... are little. BobF>

shark selection -04/11/08 hello. i am currently thinking about getting a shark. i have decided on 3 different sharks. then white spotted bamboo, gray bamboo, and my fave. the swell shark. so my question is what size tank will the swell shark need? i would be getting a 240 most likely. would that be able to home a swell shark? i have read that is enough for a white and gray bamboo. thanks for your help! <240g is probably the bare minimum. There's lots of reading to do. Please start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkselfaqs.htm Best, Sara M.>

Swell Shark Home 4/12/08 Hey just wondering which size will best suit a swell shark. 60x36x25 240g 72x30x25 240g 48x48x25 240g 280 - Wide 72 x 36 x 25 Tall 300 Wide 96 x 30 x 25 Tall Obviously I want to save money to the 240s are cheaper but when talking for the shark should I just go with the 280/300 ? I want him to be happy. <None of these tanks are big enough for a swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum), which reaches 3 feet in length. To be honest, if cost is a consideration you should skip owning a shark.> <Chris><<Really... no shark for you! BobF, the shark Nazi perhaps>>

Re: Swell Shark Housing 4/12/08 Read and heed: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm <Please use proper grammar and punctuation in future comments, as this was most likely why it was deleted, although I can't comment for sure since I did not delete it. See my comments below on your situation since I believe it is of some value to our readers (and please note that I took extra time to correct your grammar and punctuation.> <Chris> -------- Original Message -------- From: Andrew XXXX <XXXX@XX.com> Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2008 2:37 PM To: crew@wetwebmedia.com Subject: RE: Why did it get deleted? <See above? I'm asking a question I thought you guys are supposed to help? <We try to help, but this is all volunteer work.> My question is, is a 240 gallon tank big enough for a swell shark or not? <Not for its full life span in my opinion/? One of you said yes one said no. <Opinions differ.> And which of those dimensions would be best for my shark. <In my opinion none of them.> > Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 17:27:47 -0400 > Subject: re: RE: > From: crew@wetwebmedia.com > To: XXXX@XXXX.com > CC: > Deleted < > From: Andrew XXXX <XXXX@XXXX.com> > Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2008 2:26 PM > To: crew@wetwebmedia.com > Subject: RE: Chris one of your workers said 240 or ever 300 is not big enough for a swell shark. <I would agree with this.> While I believe it was Sara said 240gallon would be the bare minimum...so which is it???? <A 240 would work for a while, but not even close to the entire lifespan of this shark, and good luck getting rid of an 18 inch shark when it needs a good home. I believe this is what Sara was trying to say when she said bare minimum.> Also I had a list of different dimensions that I was wondering which ones would be best. which I have posted below thanks. 60x36x25 240g 72x30x25 240g 48x48x25 240g 72x36x25 280g 96x36x25 300g I obviously want to save money yet I want my shark to be happy so which would be best? <The shark may survive in any of these for a while but not thrive. That's all a bare minimum system will allow it to do. Also sharks are very expensive to keep, it the price difference between a 240 and 300 is enough to make a difference you should probably try keeping less demanding animals.> <Chris>

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

Shark pond... sys., and stock sel., reading  -- 10/30/2007 Hello, <Hi there> Long time reader, 1st time I've written. Thanks in advance for your time / advice. <Welcome> I've argued, reasoned and walked away from people who wanted me to help them setup a 200 gallon shark tank, but for the first time have a customer that presents a possibility that just might work. I have a great deal of reef and FOWLR experience but I've never owned, sold, or cared for a shark. The pond was to have been for Koi, now he is thinking saltwater and sharks / rays. The system will be just under 1600 gallons, 24 ft long, 3.5 ft wide and 2.5 ft deep. It is best described as a cement "tray" which will be tiled on the sides and have a substrate of our choosing on the bottom. This "pond" will be indoors, we could include a very large chiller, but I would rather stick with animals that will do well in the area of 75 degrees. <There are many> Filtration will be a skimmer, something big, though we will have some kind of height limit. Something like this: http://www.championlighting.com/product.php?productid=21017 <http://www.championlighting.com/product.php?productid=21017&cat=646&pag e=1> &cat=646&page=1 or bigger / better if possible. <Okay... though I would write RK2, EuroReef... look into something "larger" in terms of function here> Everything I read simply suggests a "large" tank and at least 3 * the animals length. I would like to keep everyone as small as possible. Under 30, maybe 36 inches have a bit of variety in the animals and stick with hardy, easy inhabitants. I am worried about the width of the pond and larger fish being able to make the turn. What combo of sharks, rays, eels and anything else would you suggest? <Epaulettes, Bamboos... all posted... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The second tray... FAQs files on Shark Sel., Ray Sel.... Bob Fenner> Thanks again! Phil Wind Reef eScape

Brown Banded Bamboo Shark Adoption 7/17/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Hello> I have had a brown banded bamboo shark for about 2 years now (hatched him myself). He is at, about 15 inches and is in a 125 gallon tank. A couple weeks ago he stopped eating but I emailed you guys and after changing his diet and lowering the nitrates, I got him to eat again. <Good> I have an empty 75 gallon tank that I'm going to turn into a reef tank but I cannot afford to have two tanks running at the same time so I was going to sell my 125 and bring most of my fish back where I bought them, but I would not like to do that with my shark unless I have no other options. <If they will take it most likely your only option.> I think I read somewhere on your web sight that you are a public aquarium and I was wondering if I could donate my shark to it. <Unfortunately not, Bob is working on something in Hawaii, but it is just in its preliminary stages.> I live in Florida but could find a way to get it to San Francisco (correct me if that's not the right place). Please email me back when you get the chance. Thank You, Brendan Crosby <Your best bet here is either the LFS or posting on the major aquarium forums and see if an individual is interested.> <Chris>

Coral Catshark and Soapfish   6/24/07 Hi again Crew! <Katie> I have been hearing some mixed information when it comes to this topic. Recently I purchased a sixline Soapfish, a fish I have loved for a long time. I was aware that they produced a toxin in their mucus coating but I was under the impression that it was a defense mechanism, so of like with cowfish. How risky is it to keep these guys with other tankmates? <Mmm, not much... in a "large-enough", well-maintained system, minimal> Is it fairly rare to have them kill a tank full? <Yes... would have to be small, die, dissolve unseen...> He is currently in a 55 gallon but will make a move to a 150 gallon within the next month or so. <Good> Also, I plan on keeping a coral Catshark in the 150 gallon (until it outgrows it). I have heard that coral Catsharks mainly eat crustaceans and will not bother most fish, but I have also been reading lately that its not uncommon for them to attack tankmates while feeding....? <Mmm, yes, at feeding times at times... or most anything... bite rocks, what have you in a sort of "frenzy"> Does this mean its probably not wise to keep a coral Catshark and a sixline Soapfish in the same tank, because of the toxins in the soapfish's skin? Thanks in advance for the help! -Katie <Not likely... most Grammistids are rather shy, secretive... and seem to be aware of such predation. I give you good odds of not having problems here... and if the G. sexlineatus should be consumed in this 150, I doubt if this would created a toxic situation. Bob Fenner>

Public Aquarium Fish, Collecting, moving sharks, rays   5/30/07 I am currently building a public aquarium in Chiang Mai, <Oh! Was just (back) there a few months ago... Has this town grown!> Thailand with a main salt water tank of 4,000 cubic meters. Do you know of any reliable, humane and responsible suppliers of sharks and rays which it is intended to display here. <Mmm, quite a few... I would contact the Director and Curator at the new Bangkok Aquarium for their help here> The aquarium is part of Chiang Mai zoo and I am afraid that it may end up in a call going out to local fishermen to supply part of their catch. <Mmm... it is NOT easy to transport cartilaginous fishes caught this way generally... I would also contact the folks at Monterey Bay Aquarium for help here re techniques, gear...> Although they can catch them they cannot transport them nor be guaranteed to behave in a responsible manner. <Bingo... YOU need to have a boat near, or catch these fishes yourself... WITH the tank, pumps for recirculating water through the fishes mouths... likely anesthetic (MS-222...)... and a ready-to-go live-hauling truck to move all to your town... stat!> Unfortunately, I know a lot about acrylic, life support systems and theming but not much about fish (at least commercially). <Delegate my friend... Hire, find some folks with experience, or travel, send someone to visit other institutions re these areas of expertise. Bob Fenner>

Overseas Purchasing of Marine Sharks   4/3/07 Hello all and thank you in advance.  I have a 18,000 gallon shark pool and am considering purchasing some black tip reef sharks from an overseas supplier.  I am writing to inquire if this would be wise for an individual to do. Is there any type of directory or method to verify the legitimacy of wholesale suppliers out side of the US? <Unfortunately no... there is not such a list of "legitimate players"... and/or not... And indeed there are outright crooks in our trade... Internationally, including within the U.S.... FWIW (which is a great deal here), I STRONGLY encourage you to deal with/through a U.S. based wholesaler... Likely Quality Marine or Sea Dwelling Creatures, Underwater World on the west coast... Or All Seas in L.A. or Miami... Perhaps best done with the cooperation of a LFS you're friendly with... for a nominal pass-through fee... Your "net landed cost" for these Carcharhinids will very likely be less... perhaps very much so... due to the economies of scale of shipping, CITEs, Customs, moving boxes about... There is much we might discuss here... but suffice it for here/now, that I encourage you to ask you local fish store re this possibility, and have them in turn contact one of the "A" players listed above. All will have to be arranged to have you notified re their ETA, close pick-up, processing locally. Bob Fenner> Matt

Ongoing Shark Ignorance, Apathy... and the cheese which is so much of the BBs... with an apology to cheese  - 03/02/07 Please check out this link and tell me what you think? I for ne am truly >disgusted and when i called was treated like a total dumb a$$ and was even >made fun of for being concerned! Spread the word and help us help these > poor >sharks! ><Received no link on this end, what are you referring to? Adam J.> SORRY MUST HAVE FORGOT TO PASTE IT! <That's okay but don't shout.> HERE IT GOES THOUGH: <Got it.> http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1015485&perpage=25&pagenumber=1 LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS <Tis unfortunate, though not uncommon, fight this ignorance with knowledge my friend. Adam J.>

I Want A Dwarf Lantern Shark (Don't Get Your Hopes Up) - 02/15/07 Hi Bob, <<Hello Eddie...Eric here>> My name is Edward Andrews and I'm interested in getting a dwarf shark for my living room.  I did some research on them and saw that they're only about the size of my hand. <<Hmm, I can only imagine you are referring to the Dwarf Lantern Shark (Etmopterus perryi)...or possibly the Spined Pygmy Shark (Squaliolus laticaudus>> I live in central Florida so it may be easier to find one living down here. <<From what I can determine about these sharks, I don't think it likely you will be able to obtain one "wherever" you are located>> What would I need to do to make sure it lives the happiest of lives? <<Ah yes, the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question...(sigh)>> I realize that they're the smallest sharks and that's what I want. I don't need a nurse shark or any of the bigger species. <<Indeed>> I just want a good fish.  Please send me any info u have in making this happen. Thanks. Eddie <<Honestly Eddie, I don't think pursuing this shark for aquarium keeping is a practical exercise.  These sharks are bottom dwellers found only in very deep waters (more than 600 feet)...couple this with their small size and low fecundity it's likely they don't often show up as by-catch by the commercial fisheries, and almost certainly never as "aquarium" specimens...and as such, any information on husbandry will be non-existent.  Regards, EricR>>

Re: I Want A Dwarf Lantern Shark (Don't Get Your Hopes Up) - 02/15/07 Hey thank you so much for your help. <<Quite welcome>> I'm kind of new to this, however I want to get a shark for a pet. <<Mmm, not the best choice to cut your saltwater-fish-keeping teeth upon>> One that won't get to big, however I do have a lot of space. <<"a lot" is a very subjective value 'hopefully, several hundred gallons>> I also heard nurse sharks would be good pets. <<You heard wrong my friend...get much too large for home aquaria.  Might I suggest before you "jump in" that you spend some time reading and researching shark systems/aquarium species/husbandry/et al...you and your future pets both will be much happier for it.  If sharks are to be your thing, get a copy of the book 'Aquarium Sharks and Rays' by Scott Michael.  And in the meantime there is much info re on our site...do start reading here, and be sure to follow/read among the associated links in blue at the tops of the pages: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm Regards, Eric Russell>>

CA leopard sharks    1/5/07 Mr. Fenner, I'm not sure how often you are asked about Leopard sharks, <Too often my friend... almost never are these animals kept in appropriate circumstances by hobbyists> or the areas your readers frequent, but someone had forwarded me a link to your page, and I saw a few articles about leopard sharks.  I'd be happy to answer any questions regarding the legality of different things kept as pets in California. <Would you mind us... am inferring this here... positing your email address?> Specifically, fish that are native to California, although I could attempt to help if there was a question about exotics, as we do restrict some species. <Thank you> I do not want my email address made public/posted, however you may contact me if you have any questions.   <.... what? By smoke signals?> Leopard sharks must be 36 inches in total length to possess in California, regardless of their source. <Wow, I was unaware of this... is this a new advent? The trade sells these at much smaller sizes... perhaps they're originating outside the State>> The only exception is if someone can show that they have had it as a pet since 1994, and received written permission from the Department to keep it.  Thank you,  LT Hartman <Again, thank you for this input. If there is a further referent, some place to send folks to re... Please send this address, URL along. Bob Fenner>

Re: CA leopard sharks    1/5/07 Mr. Fenner, If persons have questions or want more information they can go to the Department's website at www.dfg.ca.gov Most of the information they would be seeking would be under the Marine Resources area. <Thank you for this>   They can also email the Department at askmarine@dfg.ca.gov  Feel free to make that email address available to your readers. <Will do so>   As for the regulations on leopard sharks, the size limit was established in 1994/95.  The illegal trade of undersize leopard sharks is a Black market of sorts, <Ahhh! As you will realize, I am not a fan of keeping Triakis, most any other Selachians in home-size systems... They don't live in such very long or well> and resulted in numerous arrests last year by the Department of Fish and Game and NOAA.  There is no exception to the size limit, even if the sharks are brought in from Mexico of Portland. <Really? Good to know>   Possession of a leopard shark under 36 inches in California is a Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 and or 6 months in jail.  The section is Fish and Game Code 8388.5, available on our website.  Hopefully this will help keep some of them out of those little tanks.  Thanks, and feel free to contact me our askmarine@dfg.ca.gov if you have any questions,   LT Hartman <Again, thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Shark sel. Question  11/21/06 Bob,        I am going to be having a custom 325 gallon aquarium built. It is going to be a flat back hexagon shape with the dimensions 84"x24"x10"x64" at a 30" height. Besides the Brown Banded Bamboo shark are there any other species that tend to be more active <Mmmm> I could house in this size tank ? Thanks,              Brenden Hewko <Yep. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkselfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Shark Question/s... sel., health, fdg., sys.   11/14/06 Hey Bob,        I am located in Toronto, Canada and was browsing your website and was fascinated by all the useful information I found. For the past 1 and a half months I have been doing a lot of research on the Brown Banded Bamboo sharks. I have read and gone threw <through> multiple websites, joined multiple forums, and bought many books including Scott Michaels " Aquarium Sharks and Rays" which was very informative. I will be purchasing a 250-300 gallon aquarium soon which will be the home for 2 Brown Banded Bamboo sharks. It will be a flat back hexagon shape with the dimensions 84x24x10x64 with a 30" height. Do these dimensions sound good for Brown Banded Bamboo sharks? <For a short while, for small specimens> For feeding would you recommend live food? <No... fresh/or defrosted meaty foods> Or frozen food. Most people I have talked to recommended frozen would, on a feeding stick to ensure I give both an equal share. But some say its easier to get them acclimated with live food? <Unnecessary> Is this correct or no? As well when I first introduce them into the aquarium how do I go about acclimating them? <See WWM re... marine fishes period> When I purchase them they will either be in eggs still or newly hatched. Should I leave them in the bags and place those bags in the aquarium like most fish are acclimated. Or should I place them in bucket with the same water as in the aquarium and then half of the water from the bag they came in? <This latter> Please let me know as I want to offer these sharks the best living conditions I possible can, and want to make the transition from the store to my aquarium as stress free as possible. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks,              Brenden Hewko <Will need more room in time. Bob Fenner>

Active Sharks for a 1250? -- 10/25/06 Greetings WWM crew. <<Hello James>> I'm having a custom made shark tank built for a client.  The tank will be oval, 8' long, 6' wide, and 3.5' high. <<Neat!>> My client wants an active swimming shark, so bamboos are out. <<Mmm, but therein lies the problem.  'Active' sharks require much more space/care than this tank can provide; not for a mature animal...and your client shouldn't consider keeping anything that can't be cared for long-term >> I've been looking into spiny dogfish, smooth-hounds, and as of tonight Bonnetheads, but I have a few questions that I haven't been able to find answers to yet. <<Temperate to sub-tropical sharks, will probably require a chilled system...and even the smallest will likely grow to about 4-feet>> Firstly, which shark do you think would have the best long-term success in this tank, and what numbers (single, pair, three)? <<Um, not what you want to hear but...two, maybe three Bamboo or Coral Catsharks>> Lighting - I was thinking of three 150 watt metal halide pendants.  Do you think they would be a good choice, or too bright? <<Should be fine if they can be raised as bit (will provide nice 'glimmer lines') and rockscaping is such the sharks can reach/rest in shadow if they wish>> On a setup like this, are a UV sterilizer and ozonizer necessary components, or a waste? <<Both can be of benefit if sized/utilized properly>> Water flow - Being an oval tank, should I try to create a circular current, or would sharks prefer a more reef like/random water flow? <<I think a 'circular' current would work well...especially if it can be periodically reduced/reversed (six-hour durations)>> I was planning on using either 3600 or 2500 GPH pumps to create two closed-loop systems, and I can run them through a wave maker if needed. <<Sounds good...do have a look at 'eductors' ( http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/listings.categories/ssid/460) for multiplying/spreading flow>> The tank will be filtered with a very large wet/dry filter and protein skimmer. <<Might I suggest a large fluidized-bed filter in place of/in addition too the wet/dry as these are able to react very quickly to shifting bio-loads associated with these big, messy feeders>> Lastly, (for now) I've read on here several times about adding vitamins to their food, and have followed links you've given to where the answers are supposed to be, but I have yet to be able to find what kind of vitamins they should be given, or the amount. <<Mazuri "¢ Shark and Ray tabs ( http:// www.mazuri.com/Home.asp?Products=2&Opening=2) >> Thanks in advance for your help. <<Happy to assist.  Eric Russell>> Regards, James Foley Thunder Bay Aquascapes www.tbaquascapes.com
Re: Active Sharks for a 1250? -- 10/30/06
Thanks for the reply Eric. <<Quite welcome James>> I realize bamboos are the best bet, but these (spiny dogfish, smooth-hound, and Bonnethead) are about the best compromise I can come up with (unless you know of a <3' active shark?) to prevent a Blacktip reef shark from going into the tank.  Other stores in town would gladly bring in a Blacktip just for the profit. <<Then educate your client otherwise.  As important as size is in this 8' x 6' oval display, the fact your client wants an 'active' shark compounds the problem.  Active sharks require MUCH more room than bottom-dwelling or 'sedentary' sharks of the same size.  I just don't feel this tank is large enough to house an 'active' species, and that doing so will only result in a greatly foreshortened lifespan>> I'm hoping the shape and water flow will enable the shark to keep a fairly normal swimming routine (would a stronger current help with this?). <<The oval shape is definitely a bonus, and water flow should be about 2x the tank volume or so>> I did read on your site about a 15' cylinder tank with strong flow that had a Blacktip I believe, that allowed it to swim fairly comfortably. <<Mmm, but the diameter of the cylinder is nearly twice the length of the long-side on your system...big difference>> It was also mentioned on here that Bonnetheads often max out at around 3' in an aquarium, which will hopefully be the case.  I intend to try to get in a male to keep it even smaller. <<Though this species may well be the best choice of the three mentioned, the issue here is the 'activeness' of the shark in this system.  Even at three-feet, an active species is going to prove 'too big' I think>> I've taken a look at the eductors, and will probably try them out.  I'll also look into a fluidized filter.  Any recommendations on manufacturers for them? <<Hmm...finding one 'large enough' may prove difficult.  Look at the Pentair Rainbow Lifegard FB-900.  The design of this filter should allow several to be easily plumbed in tandem to create a filter large enough to support the system>> Another question I have is regarding substrate.  I prefer deep sand beds for my reef aquariums, but am unsure of which way to go on a shark tank.  Deep or shallow? <<Many sharks are diggers, a shallow substrate of crushed coral (1mm-3mm) may be better than a DSB in the display.  Perhaps you can locate a DSB of sugar-fine aragonite in a separate vessel plumbed to the system?>> Regards, James Foley Thunder Bay Aquascapes www.tbaquascapes.com <<Cheers, Eric Russell>>

Black tip Reef Shark 10/16/06 Hi. How long could I keep a Black tip Reef Shark in a 265 gallon aquarium that measures 7ft L x 2ft W x 2ft H? Thanks <For the 4 to 6 week quarantine period, and that's about it.> <Chris>
Shark Purchase 10/12/06
Thanks for such a quick reply! Do you know where I could purchase one of these Elasmobranchs. Thanks, Chad <Most likely need to be special ordered from LFS as they are fairly rare in the trade.  I encourage you to also think twice about keeping these creatures unless you are very experienced with marine fish.> <Chris>

Suitable Shark(s) for the Home Aquarium? 10/10/2006 Hello again. I have been doing research on the Speckled Epaulette and the Freycinet's Epaulette Sharks and have found that they reach a maximum length slightly smaller than the other choices of sharks that I have questioned (besides the Catsharks). What size tank would you recommend for these shark species and where could I buy them (if the right specimen for a tank of this capacity)? Many thanks, <Chad, I have no direct experience in this realm, but have a very high regard for Mr. Scott W. Michael - do see here for more information: http://www.reeftectonics.com/shark_keeping.htm Chad <Jorie>
Suitable Shark(s) for the Home Aquarium? Follow-up - 10/10/06
I have purchased Scott W. Michael's book on Aquarium: Sharks and Rays and have found it quite informative. That is where I receive all of my knowledge on sharks , and also , I have found that this website is just as informative as the book! My question is what size aquarium could I comfortably contain one of the mentioned sharks. Thanks, Chad <Most reputable info. says *at least* 250 gal.  Please also see here for more info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkslvgrm.htm Jorie>

Shark Tank...How Many?  How Big? -- 10/09/06 Eric, <<Chad>> What shark species could I keep in a 265 gallon tank?  Possibly a few Cat Shark species? <<Mmm, not a 'few' but possibly a single specimen of one of the smaller species...and then probably not long-term. Atelomycterus marmoratus, the Coral Cat Shark is likely your best option here (a true tropical species), obtain as a juvenile or better yet as a developing egg case>> And also, what size tank could I keep an adult Brownbanded Bamboo Shark or an adult Epaulette Shark? <<Hmm...ideally, one in which the smallest dimension (length/width) is at least three-times the adult length of the shark>> Thanks, Chad <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: SHARK QUESTIONS!! Sys., Heterodontid   10/2/06 Ah yes. Thanks! I have another question though!! I have a powerhead on this system to add a little movement. Should i remove it? <Possibly> Also I have a titanium ground probe to remove stray voltage from my aquarium but before I added it on i tried it on a tank with no fish (the tank am cycling) and when i touched the water it sort or gave me a little feeling of electricity!! <What? I would have this water/system tested... Make sure all electrified gear goes through a GFCI. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gfcimarines.htm> Is that supposed to happen or am i not supposed to be able to feel it? <Assuredly not... Deadly dangerous> I removed it immediately and haven't used it since then!! would this harm my shark or help it? <Harm> i don't want to add any voltage or electricity to my water for good reason and concern of my beautiful prized shark!! Also I have a friend who is interested in a Port Jackson! He has a very large tank and can house it!! What information or tips can you give me so I can correctly advise him? Thanks again!! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/portjacksons.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Info about the Atlantic Sharpnose Shark   9/19/06   The Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) is my dream shark that I would like to keep - if I ever had to money & space to do so). <Here on FishBase: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=905&genusname=Rhizoprionodon&speciesname=terraenovae>   The Atlantic Sharpnose is a small coastal requiem shark, that is native year round) to the southeastern (From the Carolinas to Florida) & entire gulf coast of the U.S. And has been found in New England waters during the summer months.   It also grows to between 3-4 ft. And is a highly active species.   I've also heard that it adapts fairly well to captivity (similar to a Blacktip reef) at least according to the people I talked emailed) who have kept both sharks. They also say that it's about as hardy as a Blacktip reef. A few keepers - even go as far as to say that it's a better alternative to the Blacktip reef - due to it's smaller adult size.       Any thoughts?    <Is better than C. melanopterus... though still has about the same space, environmental needs>   While I done some research on this shark - I still have a few questions.      Due to it home range I would tend to classify it as a warm water shark. Because I know from personal experience that this shark appears to very common off the NC & SC coasts) From early May - mid September when the water temps are between 75-84F.   So do you think that it fair to call it a warm water shark, or that just wishful thinking on my part?    <I'd say tropical to sub-tropical... can live in warm water for sure>   The confusing part sort of), comes from when I was talking to an online dealer who cares sharks) -just to inquire (no actual plans to buy) about this shark. I emailed him, because I wanted to get a feel of this guy as I was considering buying other more "aquarium friendly" sharks - like Catsharks, bamboos or horns.      Here's a few things that he told me about the Sharpnose.   - They required water temps of less than 76F. <Interesting. The water is assuredly warmer in this fish's distribution range... though lower captive temperature is advised certainly... to allow for enhanced gas solubility, depressed metabolism>   - They are only as hardy as Bonnetheads. <Agreed>   - That they require a pool at least 16ft in diameter(4500-6000 gallons) - which I consider a good idea. <Me too>   - They should be watched daily - since they don't adapt to captivity well.   <Okay>   Also I got the feeling he was down playing the Sharpnose, because he wanted to sale me a couple of smooth hounds.    <Mmm, doubtful... The industry is made up (as is the larger human population) of makers, takers and fakers... these last two categories are not folks who last long... I suspect this dealer is "the real thing"... a maker. As am I>   Saying things like talking about the smooth hounds) -   -they are warm water sharks,   -require smaller tanks,   -and get to be about the same size,   -and a hardier shark.      What's your thoughts on this. <They are, I agree. 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>>

Which Shark(s) for a 1,200 Gallon System? - 09/08/06 Hello! <<Hey Chad!>> My name is Chad and I find your website ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! <<Many thanks>> I just recently purchased Scott W. Michael's book on "Aquarium Sharks and Rays" and it is great! <<Indeed>> I was wondering what kind of shark I could keep in a 1,200 gallon aquarium with rounded corners? <<Well Chad, admittedly sharks are not my forte, but even at 1,200 gallons you're still best off keeping the smaller sharks commonly known as "Cat" sharks and "Bamboo" sharks.  A trio would make an interesting display here I think>> I will look forward to talking to you guys in the future. Thank you very much, Chad <<Be chatting,  EricR>>
Re: Which Shark(s) for a 1,200 Gallon System? - 09/10/06
Thank you for the quick reply! <<Quite welcome>> I have read Scott's book up to "A Catalog of Sharks and Rays" so far and it says that I could house a Brown Smooth-hound Shark comfortably in a 1,200 gallon. <<Mmm, possibly yes.  Attains a maximum length of about 45" which "might" be fine depending on the dimensions of your system, but I also believe this is a "cool water" species.  Are you prepared to provide water cooling for such a large system?>> I am not trying to argue with you (please don't think that!) <<No worries mate...we encourage hobbyists to research/think on their own>> but the ONLY reason I do not want to keep a Cat, Bamboo, or Epaulette shark is the fact that they lay or "walk" on the substrate all day and I love to see them swimming around. <<I see>> I wish I didn't think so but I just cannot help it.  But, if I did get a Brown-banded Bamboo Shark, could I turn the light off during the day and turn the light on at night so I could watch them swim around, or would that be a bad thing to do? <<Not "bad" at all.  It is quite OK to set the lighting schedule to suit you/your schedule.  Just be sure to put the lights on timers so a regular routine is established>> P.S. A trio would be awesome!!! Thank you Eric, Chad <<Quite welcome my friend.  Eric Russell>>
Re: Which Shark(s) for a 1,200 Gallon System?   9/11/06
Just so you know, the dimensions of the tank are going to be 12ft L x 4ft W x 2.5ft H.  I would be prepared to provide the proper needs for any shark that I get!!! <<Ah good...I think a few Cat, Bamboo, or Epaulette sharks would all be fine inhabitants...or a single Brown Smooth-hound if you decide.  EricR>> Thank you, Chad
Re: Which Shark(s) for a 1,200 Gallon System? - 09/12/06
Just one final question. How much does a Brown-banded Bamboo Shark swim around at night?  Just as much as an active shark would during the day maybe? <<Hmm, don't rightly know...would think much of their "hunting" would be done at night.  Take a look here (http://whozoo.org/Anlife2001/callmatt/CMM_Bandedcatshark2_JES.html) for some more info on these sharks>> Hope I didn't take up too much of your time, I know you're busy with all of the questions that you guys....and girls receive! <<Mmm, and even more so when the 'Bobster' is away.  But no worries my friend...is what we do>> Thank you very, very much, Chad <<You're very much welcome.  EricR>>

Sharks, sel.   9/2/06 Hello crew! This is Chad Howell again. I was writing to say I'm sorry about the last time we talked , I don't think we got off on the right foot, SORRY!!!!!! Anyway , I am planning on getting a 280-300 gallon saltwater aquarium. I am extremely fascinated by sharks and was planning on getting one , but I'm not exactly sure what kind of shark to get. <Then keep investigating> I was thinking maybe a Great White.....NOT REALLY!!!! Thought I would try to be funny. ANYWAY , I'm seriously thinking about a Brownbanded Bamboo Shark or a Hooded Epaulette Shark. Would these sharks be able to live there entire lives in this tank? <Depends... on the shape of the tank of this gallonage...> Would you recommend me put a pair of whatever shark I choose in the tank so they can mate? <Is this what you intend?> P.S. Sorry so many questions! Hope I didn't take up too much of your time!! P.S.S. Hope we can become friends! Thanks , Chad Howell <Ignorance is acceptable, rudeness not... If you would like our help, respect yourself, our services. Bob Fenner>
Re: shark sel  - 09/03/06
No , I didn't mean that I was going to make them mate, I was just asking if that is what they recommend. <"If" you intend to try them... can be placed as separate sexes...> The shape of this tank is probably going to be rectangular but I have heard that they like circular or oval shaped best. Is this true? Chad Howell <Yes. BobF>

Bonnethead sharks... sys., sel.,   8/11/06 Hi there I just found out about the Bonnetheads and so far they seem okay as pets (size) but I need some more info on them. First of all what is the minimum size for their tank? <About three times their adult length, twice in width...> Also, what is an average price for them? <A few hundred dollars> And last of all where could I get them for <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkselfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Leopard Shark, "Professionals", Morality - 06/14/2006 Hello, I visit your site from time to time but have never posted.  At the moment I am in Las Vegas for a business trip and noticed that there was a Leopard shark swimming around in the big tropical tank behind the check in desk at the Mirage hotel.   <Arrrrrgh....> There were a bunch of tangs, puffers, the usual tropical home aquarium fish.  My question is, why would they have a cold water specimen in warmer waters if the care takers are suppose to be pro's at this?   <A very, very good question, my friend....  and one to which I have no happy answer.> <<I do... Just as you get "fair odds" in gambling there, this Triakis is getting "fair odds" at living a long, healthy life. Id est, none. RMF>> Is it possible for the shark to be fine and not have a problem living like this <Not long-term.> or will it die because of the conditions?   <Ultimately, yes.  This animal, like all too many others, should be left to the oceans and large public aquaria that can properly house them.> Thanks,  -Mike <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

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.>

Looking for a N.E. Atlantic dogfish   - 03/26/2006 Bob, <Craig> I am struggling to obtain a lesser spotted dogfish for my native marine aquarium. any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. <Is sold in the trade occasionally... in Western Europe... see fishbase.org: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=845&genusname=Scyliorhinus&speciesname=canicula re distribution. Have not seen sold in the U.S.... I see from your email address suffix that you are from the U.K.; you should try the larger stockists about or try contacting Tropical Marine Centre re> I have 4 weeks to do so, because my 3rd year dissertation is 'olfactory behaviour of Scyliorhinus canicula' thanks Craig <Bob Fenner>

Overseas Suppliers of Sharks    3/24/06 Hello all and thank you for taking time to help those who so need it.  I am in the process of acquiring marine sharks for my large (35000 gallon) shark lagoon and was contacted by several overseas collectors.  My question is if there is any way to verify that these companies are legitimate and if they have solid track records?   <Mmm, only by referral really> Even taking into account freight costs, many times it is far more affordable to buy direct then from local suppliers. <Oh yes... do make your needs known of Public Aquariums "within driving distance"... as they are offered such animals by donation and enforcement agencies periodically... and don't have the facilities to handle all> Thank you again. Matt <Send along individual company or folks names and if I know of them, or others in their field/geography I will send your note along or offer input. Bob Fenner>

Chained Dogfish (deep water chained "Catshark")    3/24/06 Greetings, Wet Web Crew.  First of all, thank you for your prompt answer to a previous question that I had on shark egg care.  I am interested in acquiring a Chained Dogfish or an egg.  I have read that these are very hardy animals to keep, and that they stay around a foot in length.  I have also heard that the only disadvantage is finding a captive source, because they are a deep-water Atlantic fish that is rare in the aquarium business. <I have never encountered this species in the trade> I am friends with the guys down at Wet Pets, and we weren't able to find a source for these mislabeled "dogfish".  I did find one petting zoo / aquarium in Maine that had several specimens on display, but they weren't sure where to acquire more.  I have experience with adult Catsharks and coral sharks, and have a sincere professional interest in the chained "dogfish".  Any further information whatsoever would be thoroughly appreciated.  Thanks, crew. -Peter Sewchok <Mmm, you might try to follow-up with the Public Aquarium... if they have theirs reproduce there may be a way to acquire these. Bob Fenner>

Cat Shark...Other Stocking Question - 03/16/06 Crew, <<Eric>> I appreciate your input. <<My pleasure>> I am going to leave the shark out of the mix. <<You will both likely be happier for this.>> It will get a little too big for my tank I think. <<Me too>> Now I think I will plan on a few tangs, a queen angel (my wife loves this fish), a couple of pygmy angels, 5 to 7 green Chromis, and a harlequin tusk.  My new question is on the harlequin tusk.  I am not very familiar with this fish and I have read differing opinions on compatibility, with some material indicating the tusk will eat small fish and others saying it's safe.  Can green Chromis and other small fish (clowns) be safely kept with a tusk? <<In my experience/estimation, yes.>> Thanks again!!! Eric Skikiewicz <<Quite welcome, EricR>>

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>

Saltwater questions.. Shark sel., systems   3/4/06 Hi Bob, <Joe> I have a few more queries which I'd like your help for. <Will do my best> Firstly, I have a chance to purchase a Colclough's Shark, and knowing how rare these are, would like your opinion on whether these sharks might live well in my tank. <The genus does about as well as any captive shark species. Have never seen this fish in the trade in the U.S., but sometimes sold in areas closer to its Australian origin: http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=5893> My area of concern is the temperature range to which they are accustomed. Scott Michael's book states this range as being between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius. We have just come out of Summer in Australia and I have noted that the tank maintains an average temperature of about 28 -30 degrees Celsius. <Mmm, yes... I would employ a chilling mechanism here for sure> While I am certain that this will drop a few degrees during the winter, I do not want to purchase this shark only to let it suffer next summer. Do you think the shark will be comfortable given this temperature? <Not likely. We have a similar "challenge" here in S. California with folks trying to keep Leopard (Triakis semifasciata, now banned I'm given to understand), and our local Port Jackson (Heterodontus francisci)... some success during the winter months, almost none w/o chilled systems during the summer> If not, I would prefer getting an Epaulette which has a warmer range. <A better choice w/o the chiller...> Secondly, I am aware of a certain product on the market ("Deniballs T by AquaMedic) which claim to reduce nitrate by slowly dissolving over a period of a year or so. Is this product essential to a successful marine aquarium or is it simply a money burner? <Mmm... a worthwhile expedient for some... Nitrates can be a "menace"... but given other means, not necessary. You do want to keep these at a minimum in shark systems... less than 10 ppm.> Are water changes enough to control nitrate? <Well... not unless you're super-wealthy, to afford bunches of salt mix, or have a hose pipe from the sea to maintain an open system... Other means are detailed on WWM... Should be reviewed> Since I will be keeping a shark and ray, among other fish, do they have a specific low-tolerance to nitrate?? <Yes! Any is of trouble really...> Finally, are cooked shrimp better/worse than raw shrimp to feed to my fish? (In regards to nutrient value and disease carrying potential). <Worse nutritionally> Thank you very much for your time and effort, Joe <Thank you for helping us all by asking, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Looking to buy sharks  - 02/20/06 Hello Bob <Aviv> I'm interested in buying many different  kinds of sharks. The sharks must be from the Red Sea !!. Can you help me? Best Regards Aviv Levy Curator The Underwater Observatory Marine Park Eilat, Israel <Mmm, have been to your facility... I would look to training some of the local fisherman there to down to Taba re how to transport suitable small specimens... maybe provide them with large Styro boxes... instructions on how to pass water over the fish's gills through their mouths... or set aside monies to go catch them yourself. Bob Fenner>

Seeking Sphyrna tiburo - 2/11/2006 Thanks a lot for your help. Other questions I looking for 4 tiburo sharks small for a big museum .I ask to dynasty marine without result .Normally the season for this is June have you a contact for these fishes . Best regards David <Dynasty would be my first choice for Bonnetheads as well. Did you talk with Forrest Young himself? You might try ORA in Ft. Pierce or Proquatics... for a lead to a local collector. Bob Fenner>

Shark sel. and ray system    2/3/06 Hello, I have done tons of research on sharks and from many websites, including yours, the best shark for a smaller home aquarium, would probably be the marbled cat shark or also known as Indonesian speckled carpet shark, Hemiscylliidae freycineti, closely related to the Epaulette shark.  This shark, not the epaulette, reaches a maximum size of 28 inches, but some sites say 22 to 24 is maximum.  I have recently discovered another type of shark that is not advertised for sale on the internet but was at my LFS, it was the Gulf Cat shark, Asymbolus vicenti, <You've misspelled the name: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=789&genusname=Asymbolus&speciesname=vincenti> maximum length at 23 inches.  Do you have any info on this particular species? <Mmm, nope. Have never seen it in the trade or captivity> Can I keep it with live rock or is the risk of infection to much.  I thought it should be ok do to its natural habitat is in rocky areas.  One more question, can I keep a blue spotted ribbon tail ray, Taeniura lymna, in a tank that is 4 ft long, and 18 inches wide? <... possibly. Though very few live in captivity in any size system for long. Not a good gamble> The only reason I ask this question which may sound crazy is because some sites say a 75 is minimum, <Get longer than this sized box> people I know say this would be a fine size, and that my local fish store says that it will be ok. These rays in particular mostly lay in the sand unless agitated or frightened, or in times of feeding.   I know they are not the hardiest and don't have the greatest survival rate but in my experience, I have been told that there was no way I could keep a blue ribbon eel or banded snake eel alive, and that the minimum size tank for a banded snake eel was 180 gallons according to Scott Michael's book and I have been successfully keeping both specimens in a 55 gallon tank for over 2 years.  This makes me question recommendations. I know this is a lot to digest, just looking for more info and input. Thank you and your site for continuous help,                                                               Chris <In good hands, care, animals can be kept in smaller confines... are they happy, long-lived? Bob Fenner>

Carcharhinids not in captivity - 01/24/06 Hi, I was wondering if you had any black tipped reef sharks for sale? If you do, how much are they? Can you ship one to Seattle, Washington? Thank you very much. <We don't sell livestock... read on WWM re this species use in captivity... and save yourself time, money and heartache... oh, and the sharks lives. Bob Fenner>

Coral Catshark... selection, systems   1/17/06 Hello, <Greetings> I was interested in getting a coral Catshark, and was wondering if you  could recommend any vendors that can ship or are located near  Philadelphia.  That Fish Place in Lancaster stocks banded  cat sharks and they currently have a Wobby (nothing I have any desire to keep  really).  The little Orectolobus they have is maybe 12 inches long,  hopefully it won't end up jammed into a 55 gallon tank!  In any event that  is a species that grows far too large for my keeping. <Mmm, TFP would be my first choice... they can order if they're available at the time... as the folks know what they're doing there, and this would be the shortest (further distance) for the specimen to travel. Marine Center, Marine Depot can likewise order/receive/re-ship such an animal to you> The two species I had interest in were Atelomycterus marmoratus, and   Atelomycterus macleayi.  I have not been able to find them very easily for  sale though.  Do you know the basic differences between the species? <We've been over this. I encourage you to buy Scott Michael's excellent work on the captive husbandry of these animals... and read it thoroughly>   I was leaning towards getting the marmoratus if possible, but the macleayi is  the only species I could find in the trade. <Both are offered from time to time... they are wild-collected... and folks "get around" to them if/when they can...> The enclosure I have setup for the shark has been running for a while now   and is cycled, currently the tank is empty of fish.  The tank is a 125 with  a sand substrate and that's it.  There is no rock, and a hiding spot would  more than likely just end up being a chunk of large PVC pipe. <Mmm, I do advise you to make some sort of larger, heavier structure, with space behind it... to allow your shark to get out of view...>   I would like  to add a large tang to the tank to go with the shark, but that will come  later.  I do have a spare 200 gallon tank in the basement, and if need  be I will eventually set that one up for the shark and any companions (currently  I can't justify such a large tank when the shark I am buying may come to me  at under 10 inches in length! 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>
Re: Coral Catshark    1/19/06
Thanks for the input.  I will contact TFP and see what they can  do.  I checked online and found a few books on aquarium shark keeping (one  is in stock at the local book store), and I am going to pick that up as  well.   -Steve <A good investment. Good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>

Nurse shark spitting water out of the tank  12/21/05 Ok here isn't something I have seen before but the shark is doing it most nights. Once it become night and he becomes active, he will swim along the top of the tank. He will then go up to the top of the tank and spit water. There is one section that is not covered and he send the water flying out. any reason for this particular behavior? <First off Peter, no home aquarium is large enough to keep a nurse shark in conditions to its liking.  Why do pet shops sell these, they need to be banned.  Are you aware these sharks attain lengths of 16 feet?  They will NOT adapt to aquarium conditions and don't listen to anyone who tells you their growth can be controlled by smaller feedings or by the size of tank they are in.  His behavior is largely due to the negative conditions he is living in. Stress, my friend. It won't be too long before he will be attempting to jump out.  I'd try to find a home for him such as a public aquarium.  Sharks are best left in the sea where they will do the most good.  James (Salty Dog)>

'Cat' Shark Care  12/17/05 Hi, <Hello.> thanks for all your info it is very useful... <Quite welcome.> I am purchasing a 250 gallon tank to house a baby band cat shark, hope to be an adult cat shark some day...  That is the only fish I plan on having...   <Good sharks should be kept in species only tanks.> What kind of filtration system do you recommend? <A VERY large protein skimmer, perhaps some type of bio-media (since you won't be able to keep copious amounts of Live Rock in the display) or better yet a live rock/macro-algae refugium and of course LOTS of water flow.>   Is this size tank big enough?   <It's hard to say there are a few sharks labeled with the common name cat-shark (Including Atelomycterus marmoratus and Chiloscyllium punctatum, the first stays under 30' while the second grows to over 40' -- big difference), and while the volume of the tank (250-gallons) sounds good on paper, it would help to know the exact dimensions of the tank. Surface area is very important with these animals.> How is the maintenance for this fish? <Sharks are not for casual aquarists, be sure to research the needs thoroughly, re: disease, diet and so on., read the FAQ's here on WWM and check out Scott Michael's, 'Sharks and Rays.'>   Thanks for your help...  I have also donated to Amazon Honor System... <Thank you for this, Adam J.>

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

Shark Selection  11/9/05 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Maria> We are Polish company which is doing marine aquariums for private people as well as other institutions in our country. We also plan to open Oceanarium in Gdansk. <How nice!> We consider you as an expert and we appreciate you for your knowledge about sharks and therefore I would to kindly request you for your opinion and help. <Okay> One of our customers asked us to order for him a Blacktip shark to be settled in a tank with capacity 6000 l. Our knowledge is not sufficient to decide wither it is big enough to prevent it from hurting itself. <Mmm, about 1,600 gallons... should work out only when this fish is small... for a few years (2,3...), though not for its entire lifetime> Therefore I would like to kindly ask you for your opinion concerning this issue. If you consider that it is not big enough that what other species could be suitable for such a aquarium.  <The Epaulette, Bamboo and Hornshark families have some suitable species... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkselfaqs.htm and the linked files above> The second thing is, that in the mentioned oceanarium we would like to create a tank with capacity 40 000l, where we would like to settle as many different species of sharks as it is possible taking into consideration their safety of course. We would be grateful for your suggestion and list of sharks that in your opinion could safely inhabit one tank. <Mmm, some species can be mixed... likely you, your customer/s want more "sharky" sharks... ones that swim about, hover off the bottom (unlike the families suggested above)... there are some smaller species here... I would take the time to search through Fishbase.org, get/use a copy of Scott Michael's shark and ray book...> <<I also suggest they try to contact the good people at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.  Marina>> Thank you in advance. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Yours faithfully, Maria Chodorowska Siren Group www.siren.pl  <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hunting for eels! 11/6/05 Hi, my name is William; I live on an island in the Caribbean. I live on the shore and lately have been chasing after what I believe to be chain-link morays. <Most common species in shallow water there...> It seems to be tougher than I expected. I was wondering if there are anyways of attracting these magnificent eels to a certain area. Just the other night I went to look for them since they are nocturnal, but I believe they went out to sea for feeding. The area I usually find them in is a small cove covered in spiny lobster, parrotfish, sea urchins, and green morays. Recently I have seen three of them in the span of two days. Two of them were large averaging about one and a half feet long. The third though was quite skinny and was about eight inches long. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you. <Can be caught in "minnow traps" incorporating a fyke on one/both end/s... with bait inside. Or with a barbless hook and line, with something meaty for bait... or via a small fence and hand net... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/collmarsdvg.htm and the linked files above, and the accounts on moray eels archived on WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Domestic Lantern Shark?!? 8/18/05 Hi I was Just curious about a few details in domestic Shark keeping (if that's a word). Since most Sharks seem to be too large to keep in a normal sized tank, so I was wondering If I could keep a Lantern Shark as a pet. If I could, I was wondering if you could tell me a few things about them, such as temp., diet and tank size. Thanks <Have never seen members of the Family Dalatiidae, Sleeper sharks, kept in captivity, nor read of others accounts... You still will need to provide a system of at least three times the adult length and twice the width of whichever species you'd like to husband. Bob Fenner>

Domestic Lantern Shark?!? part 2 8/19/05 Are there any other sharks almost that small? <See here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm Bamboos and Epaulettes are about the best tropical species and horn/port Jacksons are about the best temperate species.  As Bob stated, systems of at least a few hundred gallons are still necessary with indoor "ponds" working best.  See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/pondDIYCalfo/diy-pond.htm  Best Regards! AdamC.>  

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
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