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FAQs about Shark Systems 7

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Related FAQs: Shark Tanks, Shark System Lighting, Shark Habitat (Substrates, Decor), Shark System Circulation & Aeration, Shark System Filtration, Shark System Maintenance, & Shark Systems 1, Shark Systems 2, Shark Systems 3, Shark Systems 4, Shark Systems 5, Shark Systems 6, & Sharks in General, Shark Compatibility, Shark Behavior, Selection, Feeding, Diseases, Shark, Ray Eggs, Coldwater Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Heterodontus, Blacktip Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Moving Sharks


Don't place anything in a shark system that you don't want disturbed.

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

Copper edta in a shark tank       4/11/17
First let me start by saying I love this site. I have used it many times now. My question is I have a coral cat shark that I would like to put into my 375 gallon reef tank. I use Kent's essential elements and a couple other products for dosing my corals. After reading all the ingredients to make sure none contain copper, I found that the Kent's essential elements
contains copper edta. My question is can I still use this and put my shark in the bigger tank?
<The use of this product, the little bit of copper and preservative is likely of little consequence here. I would not be concerned. "Some" copper is an "essential nutrient"... and the Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) chelate is of little activity>
I know you can't use copper based medicine for sharks, but I have not found anything on using Kent's essential elements in a shark tank. Thank you for your time and knowledge.
-Joe
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Copper edta in a shark tank       4/11/17

Thank you for the quick reply. I will be adding him to my 375 real soon then. Thanks again.
-Joe
<Cheers Joe, BobF>

High nitrates. Using WWM
Good afternoon,
<Yawnnnn; AM here in Madagascar now. Howsit?>
I have a 500 gallon salt water tank with live rock in the tank as well as the sump. I also have a protein skimmer running with a uv. I have two sharks
<Foods? Amount, interval?>

that are about a year old with about 8 medium sized fish. I constantly have high nitrates no matter if I do atleast 100 gallon water change a month. I have changed salt mixes from instant ocean to red sea and have added more live sand to the aquarium. In the sump
<How big, how deep and size, and make up of the sand... for denitrification?>
I have live rock in there also where I run the lights on the live rock approximately 10 hours opposite the main tank. I do not know what else I can do to lower the nitrates. Not sure if I need to do more water changes each month or add more sand to the tank since I read pros and cons or add something to remove nitrates.Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
<All gone over and over on WWM. Start reading here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm
and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>
Re: High nitrates      11/28/16

Mr. Fenner,
I feed my sharks twice a week giving them several silversides each .
<Mmm; I'd definitely expand this diet... see WWM Re; bagged/frozen "seafood mix" for humans is a good choice... and read re the use of (Mazuri .com) vitamins... Dangers of B vitamin deficiency are eminent>
My sump is 4 feet long by 24 wide. I have live rock in an area in the sump approximately 17 long by 24 wide and 10 tall. I do not have sand in the sump under the live rock
<I would definitely add the fine sand... at least four inches... six is better>
no just have a light over the live rock approximately 10 hours. I have several inches of sand in the tank with the live rock but should I add some in the sump under the live rock.
<Yes>
I read the article and I am moving my intake of my water for my skimmer from the end of the sump to the beginning of the sumo before the filter socks and live rock.
<Good>
Thanks for the help
<Welcome. 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.
<Neato!>
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),
<Ok>
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.
<Good>
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>

50,000g Shark Pool Questions      2/1/16
Hello
<Melissa>
I had a quick feasibility question. I have a custom 50'x25' oval indoor pool just sitting empty right now. It's roughly 50-60,000g (as best I can calculate); shallow end is 5', but most of the pool is 8' deep. It was built 5 years ago and was used for 3 years as saltwater only (no chlorine), and empty for two years since. I have over a decade of experience with saltwater systems up to 2500g, and have worked professionally with large fish such as white sturgeon and several species of skates and rays in tanks up to 25,000g. I would like to see if I could retrofit this indoor pool into a shark tank. I have spoken to a crew about retro-ing the fixtures to remove all metal and electrical, and they are very certain it's doable.
<Should be; as long as the plumbing is accessible or currently non-metal>
I have an eye on building a custom sump/fuge/fluidized filtration bed with skimmer and uv sterilizer with automated water change (15% net volume weekly seems reasonable to me if I stock carefully)
<Mmm; or less can be done... using ozone; which is common in commercial, institutional shark systems
>
all controlled via touch screen, with manual option for redundancy. There is already a separate equipment/filtration room and adequate ventilation to keep the humidity down. As for stocking, I'm more interested in the active swimming sharks- white tips, Bonnetheads (not BTR; they seem extra skittish, even when diving with them in the wild). I was also offered a 1:1
pair of near-adult bowheaded guitarfish, but I feel they mature too large.
If this pool would not be adequate for a free swimming shark or two, I will likely retro it into a dive-able community reef system instead.
Catsharks and such just don't interest me as much, and if I'm going to spend mega dollars on this project I'd rather it be something I am excited about. I'd rather use my scuba gear to watch fish than just swim laps back and forth! Thankfully, cost is not a hurdle I have to overcome. I'm in no hurry; I'd rather do it right than have dead or suffering animals in my
care. Is this a reasonable size for a white tip reef shark, or a Bonnethead shark?
<Yes>
It would be wonderful to have both, but I'd worry about competition for swimming space and the overall bioload: I'd rather have one happy thriving shark than two unhappy "just surviving" sharks. I was thinking of adding a few small snackable ditherfish as well- larger damsels, maybe- for interest sake and to allow the shark(s?) to hunt "naturally" if it desires. What are your opinions?
<Many and diverse... these sharks could co-habit here. I'd stock other fishes, perhaps a turtle or two>
I'm used to housing rays and skates in species-only aquaria, but a single large fish in 60,000g does seem a little empty to me. A school of damsels would not add much to the bioload, and would give the shark something to do. In my experience, skates and rays at least are quite intelligent: we gave them fish-safe "toys" to investigate, as well as occasional live prey items and I would like to offer something similar. Brutal honestly on these ideas would be greatly appreciated: I'm just in the research-and-planning stage, and have no plans to start anything until I am absolutely sure this will work for the animals (even if my construction crew is chomping at the bit!).
Melissa M
<Would like to see schematics, gear and controllers... and be assured that the rebar reinforcing steel will not be an issue here (can be tested for).
Bob Fenner>

Shark Compatibility, sys.  8/14/10
Hello WWM,
I have a 120 gallon with a zebra moray, I have had for almost 6 years. He is a great specimen and I want to keep him happy. I have done much research on your site as well as many books. My question is, if I were to purchase a marbled cat shark, or a coral cat shark would they harass each other?
<Both these species get too large to be successful in such a shape/size/volume system>
Many credible sources say the two will be fine together, however, I want to be sure they will coexist "stress free."
Thank you for your time
<Other choices, not sharks here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Shark/reef tank... ABS use   06/09/09
Ok, I took the sharks out of the 240 and put them in 5'x5' bin for now until I get a bigger tank. I have some live rock in there, but was wondering if I could us the black abs pvc to make some hiding places for them. I would use the white stuff, bit it only goes up to 2" (at least what I could find)
I've heard the abs can leak chemicals into the water. Is this true?
<Mmm, as far as I'm aware, minimally... ABS pipe is used in human potable (usually just drainage) settings... Is not "very" toxic, is very inert... do avoid solvent use... I would run some activated carbon with/in your shark systems in any case. Bob Fenner>

Caves for coral cat shark   4/22/09
Hello All,
<Howdy>
I love your website, it has truly help me in everything that i am trying to figure out. I do however have one question about caves or ledges for a coral cat shark to use. I was wondering if at all possible to put
together 4-6in diameter PVC pipe in a way to artificially create a cave, then put rock on top of it and cover it so it will look natural versus buying large amounts of rock and trying to piece them together?
<Sure>
I have a 240 gal aquarium, I was looking to build this on one side and have the other open for him to swim. I am still merely in the research stage and just trying to plan everything out.
Thank you for all of your help.
Chris
<What are you looking for specifically? Rock can be simply stacked (carefully, and starting on the bottom, sans sand) about such piping... or drilled/coupled with inert doweling, cemented together with epoxy or
other... See WWM re "Rock Placement" using the search tool. Bob Fenner>

Shark Keeping, Sys., filtr., Triakis...    4/11/09
Hi All
<Anthony>
Firstly I'd like to start by praising your efforts in maintaining the WWM website with its vast library of information. It has proved a priceless commodity in my research efforts.
<Very glad>
The reason for my email is to try and get some further detailed info specific to our climate in the UK.
I am keen on setting up a shark system, and I would like to build and maintain the best possible system to do this. To do this, I am currently exploring the avenue of building a shark 'pond' outdoors.
<Can be done...>
I am a great fan of the Leopard Shark (Triakis semifasciata). And being a shark from the temperate region, I was hoping that the climate in the UK would be sufficient to support this shark? I know that during the winter months it will require heating, but my initial thoughts are as follows:
I will be building an 1800 imperial gallon pool which will be used for the first couple of years, until a 5000-6000gal pool is built. The pool will be housed within a polytunnel/greenhouse type structure to protect from the elements. The water will be thermostatically controlled to ensure water temps stay stable and above 55 degrees. As well as a heavy duty cover to prevent jumping out...
I was also hoping you could provide some detailed info on the filtration requirements of the system. I know that it will be an extensive system due to their mess... but specifics I am yet to determine.
<Mmm, what little I know re is posted on WWM:
http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkfiltr.html
and the linked files above... Need high circulation (at least ten times turn-over per hour), no ammonia, nitrite presence... minimal nitrates (under 10 ppm)>
I was thinking of developing a multi stage DIY system, with a huge protein skimmer. Probably consisting of several drums house a variety of media, such as live rock and Caulerpa.
<... I'd be looking to other algal use:
http://wetwebmedia.com/refugalgfaqs.htm>
As well as a fluid bed filter?
<A good choice of gear here>
Regards
Anthony Payne
<Do keep reading, taking good notes... You have perused Scott Michael's Aquarium Sharks book? Bob Fenner>

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 cirratum) 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>

Equipment sourcing in South Africa  11/07/08 Hi Bob and WWM crew may I start by commending you and your team for an amazing resource which I have drawn upon for a number of years for both specific information and purely for interest and pleasure. I also read your Sharks in the aquarium article in Ultramarine magazine with interest and have taken note of your advice and recommendations. <Sorry Bob is out for the time being... but he'll be back on Nov. 13th, then out again.> I am acting as an advisor to SAMPLA (South African Marine Predator Lab) - read Great White Shark researchers, who in partnership, run the Mossel Bay Shark & Ray Aquarium in South Africa. A small public aquarium with 10 displays containing 20, 000 litres in total. The remit of the project is rather than being profit driven the aquarium should focus on behavioral research, education, public lectures and conservation, with a goal of engaging the public, improving awareness and promoting the protection of endemic marine species, including Great White sharks (but not housing them obviously). <cool> I was carrying out research with SAMPLA over the summer and became heavily involved in the project. I have worked in the aquarium industry for many years hope to return to aquariums once I have completed my marine biology degree. <congrats> I have included a diagram of the main display aquarium filtration set up.  At present the main display consists of a 16, 000 litre aquarium plus 4, 500 litre sump. It is filtered using two sand filters and two 0.75 kW (rated at 20, 000 l p/hr) pumps. The first is in a closed loop system and the second passes through a sump system (see attached). <I will leave this for Bob to look at when he returns.> The location of the aquarium is very close to the ocean and a reliable (quality) source of seawater for water changes. As all the animals housed are endemic this system works reasonably well.  At the present time I think the filtration media requires upgrading. The media in the sump consists of : A Plastic (similar to Biobale) B Floss C Bricks (poor not very porous) D Empty It is proposed that the display will house Poroderma pantherinum, P. africanum, Haplobelpharus edwadsii and H. pictus. Though not necessarily simultaneously.  My questions are related to sourcing a suitable (commercial?) protein skimmer and media up grade for the sump. I am based in the UK and so my experience is largely UK based also.  I think that more (higher grade) biological filtration media is required in the sump i.e. volcanic rock, sintered glass or other synthetic substitutes but I am unable to practically source them in the volume we require.  Would you be able to recommend a suitable South African supplier/ outlet, or alternatively, a contact with South African or suitable experience that I could correspond with further? Do you believe it will be necessary to import the equipment? <I'm sorry Bob isn't here to answer all these great questions. I will make sure he gets this next week. In the meantime you might want to check out  http://www.marineaquariumsa.com > Thank you in advance. Adam <Best, Sara M.>
Equipment sourcing in South Africa, for Catsharks  11/13/08 Hi Bob and WWM crew may I start by commending you and your team for an amazing resource which I have drawn upon for a number of years for both specific information and purely for interest and pleasure. I also read your Sharks in the aquarium article in Ultramarine magazine with interest and have taken note of your advice and recommendations. <Ahh! Please accept my humble apology re the tardiness of this reply. Have been out on Net range for a few weeks, diving in Indo> I am acting as an advisor to SAMPLA (South African Marine Predator Lab) - read Great White Shark researchers, who in partnership, run the Mossel Bay Shark & Ray Aquarium in South Africa. A small public aquarium with 10 displays containing 20,000 litres in total. The remit of the project is rather than being profit driven the aquarium should focus on behavioural research, education, public lectures and conservation, with a goal of engaging the public, improving awareness and promoting the protection of endemic marine species, including Great White sharks (but not housing them obviously). <A relief to me with this small volume> I was carrying out research with SAMPLA over the summer and became heavily involved in the project. I have worked in the aquarium industry for many years hope to return to aquariums once I have completed my marine biology degree. <Ahh! A good "cross over" for you, the folks, program you're associated with> I have included a diagram of the main display aquarium filtration set up. At present the main display consists of a 16, 000 litre aquarium plus 4, 500 litre sump. It is filtered using two sand filters and two 0.75 kW (rated at 20, 000 l p/hr) pumps. The first is in a closed loop system and the second passes through a sump system (see attached). <I see> The location of the aquarium is very close to the ocean and a reliable (quality) source of seawater for water changes. As all the animals housed are endemic this system works reasonably well. At the present time I think the filtration media requires upgrading. The media in the sump consists of : A Plastic (similar to Biobale) B Floss C Bricks (poor not very porous) D Empty It is proposed that the display will house Poroderma pantherinum, P. africanum, Haplobelpharus edwadsii and H. pictus. Though not necessarily simultaneously. <For casual browsers, these are some Scyliorhinids, Catsharks> My questions are related to sourcing a suitable (commercial?) protein skimmer and media up grade for the sump. I am based in the UK and so my experience is largely UK based also. <Mmm, well, there are excellent sources there... TMC (Tropic Marine Centre) and SeaClear/CASCO most notably... D & D also make good-sized skimmers... but I'd also look into the poss. of importing/procuring larger RK2 units...> I think that more (higher grade) biological filtration media is required in the sump i.e. volcanic rock, sintered glass or other synthetic substitutes but I am unable to practically source them in the volume we require. <Mmm, possibly. Do look into what you can source there in the way of Fluidized Bed units... these can be great for housing/having such large animals that have variable nitrogenous output, and low tolerance for metabolites... and are very easy (the easiest) to maintain, utilize for the function. I myself would avoid any "heavy", as in dense, compressible vitreous or carbonaceous material in your pressurized filters period> Would you be able to recommend a suitable South African supplier/ outlet, or alternatively, a contact with South African or suitable experience that I could correspond with further? Do you believe it will be necessary to import the equipment? <I do wish I were more familiar with S. Africa... Have never visited there, only have a few acquaintances that are in the trade, hobby... I have BCC'd and CC'd a few here in the hope that they will chime in> Thank you in advance. Adam
<Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Mossel Bay Aquarium Sump (Plan)

Ready for a bamboo shark.... Mmm, no. Sys., comp.    9/6/08 Hello! Ok, I have paid my dues with my 125 gallon tank for the last 3 years and am ready to graduate to a 210 gallon (72x24x29) marine drilled tank. I have a 65 gallon tank to set up as a sump/refugium beneath it. Currently, I have a snowflake eel, bird wrasse, and Blond Naso Tang all still pretty much juveniles. I realize that the 210 is pushing it for a Bamboo shark, but hope it can work for a good 3 years. <Mmm, not really... even starting with a small individual, feeding it sparingly... and the Echidna will likely be killed...> I do have a couple of questions that I haven't seen answered yet. First, I am more interested in the White Spotted than the Brown/Black banded. If my information is correct, these will be about 3" shorter correct? <Mmm, in the wild...> If this is so, does this amount make much of a difference? <Well-worded. No> Also, will I have a better chance of raising one successfully if I purchase an egg, or a small specimen? <The latter> Thanks for your help!!! <I would still hold off here... this animal won't be "happy" in this size, shape system... Will kill the Eel... Bob Fenner>
Re: Ready for a bamboo shark.... 9/9/08
Ok, Ok, I've been convinced. No Shark :( I have drained my 125 gallon tank and my fish are scattered among a few 10/29 gallon tanks. I've placed the water, rock and sand from the old tank into the new one and am wondering will the new tank go through a cycling process? <Perhaps an abbreviated one... I'd keep testing (daily) and feed sparingly...> Needless to say I had to add quite a bit of new water and wanted to make sure it was ok to move the fish on over..... <Understood. BobF>

Use of aragonite in fluidized sand filter, shark set -up f' as well  9/1/08 Hello Guys, <Brian> I have a question regarding the use of aragonite sand in a fluidized sand filter for a marine Elasmobranchs pond setup. <Mmmm> Are there any drawbacks to the use of aragonite sand in fluidized sand filters as opposed to the sand that comes with the units (ie silica sand)? <Yes... mainly the pumping action (energy) it takes to keep this asymmetrical, different size media in suspension, turning... otherwise issues from channeling... from insufficient water movement> Is it a good idea to use aragonite as opposed to the supplied sand? <IMO/E, no> I greatly appreciate your time in reading and/or answering my question. Your website is a tremendous asset. Thank you, Brian <It would be a good idea to have a "monster size" DSB composed of aragonite, for buffering and anaerobic activity... but the FB is an area/processor of the forward reactions of nitrification. Bob Fenner>

Grey banded bamboo sharks, Sys.   8/26/08 Hi Guys, <Jim> I had a question about Grey banded bamboo sharks hopefully to be answered buy Bob or Anthony. <BobF here> I just wondered if I could keep a male Grey banded bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium griseum) comfortably into adulthood in a 300 gallon (6 feet by 3feet footprint) tank? <Mmm, not well or likely... a smallish specimen might live for a few years... but "would it be happy?"... An eight by four (wide) foot system would likely work for a "life time"> The rocks I would have in the tank would be in the form of some over hangs with for extra swimming space and one or two caves for a moray eel as well. Scotts Michaels book says they can be kept in a 110 gallon tank <... Scott and I have few "differences", but his statements re suitable volumes for many captive Elasmobranchs are among them> but that seems far to small to me but hoping the 300 would be comfortable for a male (males obviously being somewhat smaller than the girls) Thanks for any help you can give me! <Again, in an attempt to be clear/er... this footprint would not likely allow a natural lifespan... but is far better than anything smaller. Bob Fenner>

Horn Shark and Smooth Hound Compatibility... no reading, mixing tropicals with coldwater sharks that need non-hobbyist settings    8/20/08 Good Afternoon, fellow fish lovers! <Good morrow to you> My boyfriend and I have recently upgraded my shark tank from a 180 to a 240 inset through a wall in my dining room, it has a central overflow and whirlpool current to promote circular swimming. Sadly, in the process we lost our second leopard shark, <Dismal... why haven't you read my posts, articles ahead of writing us here?> the first committing suicide one night. <Inappropriate species for such a small, squarish, likely non-chilled setting> We came across a deal for a 17" California Horn Shark and have a couple of questions. First, how compatible is a Horn Shark with a 16" grey Smooth hound shark? <Mmm, very> Secondly, I have a 5.5" Koran Angel, a 6.5" Vlamingi Tang, a 5" Yellow-bellied Hippo Tang and a 4" hog fish in there as well. <... not compatible with these tropicals. Again, what are you doing writing here? You should be reading, ahead of such purchases> I am very worried about the first three fish, especially the Koran Angel (he was an anniversary present a few years ago) and the Hippo Tang (have had her for almost 5 years). How strong of a possibility is it that they could become shark food? <Not very hard> My Hippo Tang likes to lay in the rocks a lot and I am worried that one day she will choose the wrong cave. We will be setting up a shelf to give the horn shark a "home" to retreat to during the day, any tips on helping her find and settle in that area? <Let's just stop here. Is this Heterodontus francisci? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/portjacksons.htm and the linked files above.> Finally, she has been at this store for over two months and I have been told that she is eating well. <Leave this animal where it is> It will take me two hours to get her to my house from the shop and am a little worried about the acclimation process (the shop provides almost coffin size boxes for ease of transportation). Do you have any tips on the least stressful way to acclimate her and getting her to eat? How long does it typically take to get a shark like that to eat? I know with my smooth hound it was a couple days, one of my leopards a day and the second took 4 to 5 days ( I was stressing). I love my fish like they are my children <... Not per my definition. IF you love something, you endeavour to know what is good for that/those things... and provide them. You have done neither> and I don't want to do anything to hurt them. As you can tell my boyfriend is the aquarium expert in this relationship, I am no novice but I am nowhere near his expertise. Thank you so much for your time and consideration in this matter, you have no idea what it means to me. Sincerely, Katie S. Samarin <Read Katie... Know, act, this is love. Bob Fenner>

Reef Pond/Shark Pond Question- Lighting in Winter and Heating 07/28/2008 Hi Bob, I sought help and got some good advice from your site when I was building my 240 gallon marine reef tank, sump, fuge, big frag tank etc some years ago. I enjoy the living room tank but living in So Cal (by San Marcos/Escondido) I enjoy living outdoors more than in. <Mmm, yes... have found that many parts there are more mild than down south where I live half the year or so in Mira Mesa> About 5 mo.s ago I built a 30 foot by 25 foot Koi pond that is thriving, the big Koi I got have lots of growing babies. I got to thinking that an outdoor pond for my reef may be good to give them more space and cut down on halide light costs- also my Sailfin tang will get really big and my 240 may be a bit small for it. I have an area that is 8 foot by 20 foot in the yard that is available and I could build a concrete frame with pond liner over it. I was thinking that I could divide that into two parts for a small outdoor pond so each part would be 8 by 10 feet and 3 feet or so deep. With one part reef and the other part small tropical shark like cat or bamboo and plumb both together- do you see any issues with them being in separate ponds but the ponds plumbed together? If both are tropical I thought it'd be all right. Plumbing/flow is okay because I can use some big external pumps and I can use a bigger skimmer than I have now. Sunlight could light the reef but Im not sure if it would need supplemental sun like some halides in winter- <Mmm, no need for extra light... perhaps other than some for you to enjoy, work on the systems when it's not light enough outside> thoughts on that because halides would be expensive to run with whatever heating Id have to do? Heating is also what I am trying to figure out for the colder months. <Yes... a major expense here> Ive read about solar heaters and pool heaters etc but dont have concrete thoughts on how to heat it. <Yes... an important note to utilize some form of rust/rot-proof "exchanger" whatever method is employed... I'd have SDGE (San Diego Graft and Extortion amongst the hapless Enron By The Sea types in S. Cal.) come on out, give you their ideas re comparative (install and operational) costs... but gas heaters with a "secondary loop" (the exchange mechanism) have proven to be (in the past) the more economical means... vs. novel heat pumps, any electrical device...> I live on top of a mountain so it doesnt get too hot here with a breeze flowing over nearly all the time in summer. Im really thinking this would be nice, but cannot quite figure out the heating and supplemental halide in winter questions. Many Thanks (for all the great info you provide), Flo <I'd also look into some means of conserving heat here... perhaps some type of simple to automated "cover"... greenhouse overhang... Bob Fenner>

Epaulette, Shark, sys.    7/23/08 Hello Mr. Fenner, I have spent quite a bit of time reading up and really dedicating time to researching them. Next month I will finally have the financial means to do an Epaulette tank project, and I would really like to do this right. <No sense otherwise> Anyways, I'll cut to the chase, I'm going to purchase, with your approval and advice first, a 275 gal aquarium, custom made, 60X48X22, with rounded edges, and a nice heavy canopy. I have researched into it quite a bit, but still far from being a shark expert. Although, I have been an aquarium hobbyist for 7 years and I have worked in two aquarium stores, and hopefully will put in some volunteer time at the Denver Aquarium. This aquarium, with all the essentials in filtration and etc., backed by a substantial budget, I think, will be adequate, in the slightest sense of the word, for 1 Epaulette, Hemiscyllium ocellatum, shark. Hopefully to house it happily for a number of years. If not, I know it is suitable for at least one, if not, a pair of Brownbanded Bamboo Sharks Chiloscyllium punctatum. If this is not acceptable, please, sir, let me know. <Mmm, will be "adequate"... though I'd much rather the long-running side/length were more like eight feet instead of five> I have all the figures worked and this will be a huge project for me and possibly the best one, as far as aquariums go, for me yet. Thanks for all the great information on your website, and brutal honesty, which hopefully keeps some beautiful sharks out of ugly aquariums. Thanks again. Sincerely, Russ Crenshaw P.S. I have such an appreciation for these animals, and I would bet the farm you have a greater appreciation and a vast knowledge, which is why I respect and value your opinion so greatly. <Thank you for sharing Russ. Bob Fenner>

Re: Epaulette shark sys.   7/23/08 Thank you so much Mr. Fenner for your speedy reply. Ok, so I got a new quote on an 84X42X20 305 gallon aquarium with rounded corners, (only two pieces of glass obviously). Anyways, it will cost quite a bit more considering the unusual shape, however, I am ordering through a private distributer, plus, I absolutely do not mind forking out the cash to accommodate this animal. That will be one of the necessities is to have an "emergency" bank account, you know, just in case. So, my question now, is do you feel that along with all the other aspects of this project, the Epaulette can live happily for a number of years within this tank. <Yes... likely for more than a natural life span in the wild> I would just absolutely love to have one, this way I don't have to go far to study this animal up close, and I won't have to spend 35 dollars just to see it eat and do what it does naturally. The task, however, will be to get this specimen to do "what it does naturally" in captivity. Well, thank you for your time, and I do hope to hear from you soon. Thanks again, sir. Russ Crenshaw <Ahh! I do hope we meet, get to dive, observe this and other life underwater someday together. Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Re: Epaulette shark sys.   7/23/08 Well Mr. Fenner, meet at the Denver Aquarium sometime next Spring. I will keep you up to date and send you some pictures when I have everything set up in about 6 months or so. Thanks a million. Russ Crenshaw <Ahh! Real good. Thank you. BobF>

Thinking about changing my filter methods... Shark sys., ATS...   7/12/08 I have searched your web site and have done numerous goggle searches only to be more confused. I have a 180 gallon tank with a wet-dry filter and a euro-reef protein skimmer that has been running a little over two years. My skimmer goes through cycles where it produces lots of skimmate and times when it produces none. <Not atypical> My ammonia and nitrite levels are at zero almost constantly however my nitrates are constantly out of control. <Numbers please> I have a fish only tank with large predator fish, a bamboo shark, <...!> lion fish, two damsels, and a wrasse. I have about a 120 lbs. of live rock which recently has lost lots of its coralline algae. I am considering adding either a algae turf scrubber, or a refugium or both to possibly add to or total replace my wet-dry. <Good idea> I like the idea of not have to do water changes all the time. But I have also read some negative things about the algae turf scrubber system. <Some makes, models have inherent flaws, difficulties... Do give Morgan Lidster/Inland Aquatics a call, email...> I would just like your opinion of how to provide the best filtration for my tank. My shark is very important to me and I have dedicated a large amount of my time and wallet to ensure that he gets the best so far he seems unaffected by the high nitrates but I do not want to wait till be shows signs of stress. <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharksystems.htm and the series of FAQs above in this cat.> I do perform water changes but I think that a tank should be able to remain somewhat more stable then mine tends to be. Any help would be appreciated. I also have been reading about the Ecosystem refugium what is your opinion on these. <Very nice units, method...> Thank-you for your time. A-Garrett Arnold <Bob Fenner>
Re: Thinking about changing my filter methods.... Shark sys., ATS...    7/12/08
My nitrates tend to be around 100ppm in between water changes. <Mmm, too much> I am not against doing regular maintenance on any means, actually tends to be some of the fun for me, however I am worried about the fluctuations in the nitrates on my fish. <Not so much the fluctuations, but getting back, staying at a lower concentration> My finance and I are going to be getting married in about 6 months and we would like to put a bigger tank in our new house. We are looking at a 400-600 gallon. However, I'm just worried that If I can't keep a 180 in near pristine conditions how will I fair with more water volume. <Incongruous comparisons... In so much that you are apparently aware of sources, consequences, means to control> I already struggle to make enough water to do adequate water changes. <Not the water changes that are at fault or salvation here> I will give the Inland Aquatic guy a call. Do you think I would benefit from using both a ATS and a refugium? <Very likely so> Thanks for your response -Garrett <Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Shark Tank 7/9/08 Hello, quick possible shark tank question. Would a 12' diameter x 2.5' height cylindrical tank be able to suit either black tip reef sharks or bonnetheads? <Not in my opinion, all get too big. Sphyrna tiburo documented up to 6 feet, Sphyrna corona up to 3 feet, and Carcharhinus melanopterus up to 6.5 feet. All are active swimmers and need lots of room.> <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 wanna 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. Thats 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>

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

Shark tank... maybe not  1/04/08 Hi Bob, <Max> I have loved the ocean and fish my whole life and kept many marine tanks and small Elasmobranchs (brown banded bamboo and epaulette) and now I am going to build a home large enough for a mini-mega ?shark tank? in my living room. The tank that would be built is an 8945 gallon custom aquarium with an FRP shell, the dimensions are 20? x 10? x 5? w/ a bullnose on one end bringing the total length to 25?. I'm thinking about acquiring leopard sharks and/or grey Smoothhounds (I would chill the water and keep only cool water fish in the tank), or black tip reef(s) and bonnetheads or white tip(s). I would love to have a zebra shark but the tank would simply be too small. Any other good specimens (sharks or rays) you can recommend for a tank like this? <Mmm, do you mind if we "step back" a bit here? Might I ask if you've calculated the cost of operation of this system? How much electricity to run the pumps, chillers? What sort of chilling mechanism do you intend to employ? Am hoping to help you understand, or you to help me understand that you know what's entailed here... Triakis and Stegostomas are going to spend most of the time setting on the bottom...> Does this sound good, or sound ethical (by aquarium standards, nothing compares with the ocean)? <Don't see enough data to make such a judgment call> -Max P.S., I have been doing a lot of research on the zebra sharks and made a discovery that in captivity they rarely exceed 8? in length. True? <Stegostoma fasciatum? I guess this is correct...> If true I was wondering if I instead increased the width to 14? (total of 13343 gallons) if it would be sufficient enough to house one? <For several years, likely so> If false then I will just completely scratch the idea of keeping one and instead visit them at an Aquarium. <FWIW, I would take up diving... put the money it's going to take to build out and maintain this system into dive/adventure travel... and go see these Chondrichthyans in the wild... Yes... I AM encouraging you to come dive-traveling... with me/us! Bob Fenner>

Re: shark tank  1/5/08 Hey again, <Max> I also love to snorkel. I cant dive due to ear problems though :(. I usually go to Hawaii and right here off the La Jolla coast. <Ahh! I/we live in "East La Jolla" (okay... Mira Mesa) here in San Diego as well> Anyways to the point, the cost of the tank installation would be around $250,000 - $300,000. this includes all the filtration. For the chiller I would be going with an AquaLogic 18000 BTU chiller (seems kind of small) <This is... there is much better technology... look to a company to help you with a heat exchanger, diffusion mechanism... of size> or possibly an AquaLogic heat pump (heats and chills). And for the monthly costs am figuring around $2000 - $4000, <Likely about this> but am taking into consideration to use wind power (or something similar) to help cut down on the monthly costs. Am also going to get generators incase of a power outage so I can run the filters to ensure their safety (if I do indeed get the tank). Also, I have decided to not make the tank bigger and not to get a zebra shark. -Max <Nice dreams. BobF>

Re: shark tank  1/5/08 Thank you for all of the good advice and thoughts. And I'll definitely be sure to do some more research on the chillers/heat pumps. -Max <And pumps period, the mechanicals involved here Max... One can drive themselves into the proverbial poor-house w/o sufficient investigation... You WANT multiple phase pumps, skimmer/s of size... Are you familiar with RK2 products? Of all the luck, they're located here in San Diego! See their new website: http://www.rk2.com/ Robert and Chris Krechter have VAST experience in fabrication, installation of mechanicals and controllers for projects as yours. Call them. Bob Fenner>

Re: shark tank  1/5/08 Hey Bob sorry to bother you again, <Not a bother> I did some more research on the chillers. I have found a 120000 BTU chiller by AquaLogic and a 180000 BTU by AquaLogic. Do you think one these would fit the bill? Or would you step up to the 240000 BTU? <Neither... do call the Krechters...> Thanks again, Max <Welcome. BobF>

Sharks in my living room? Sys...   12/16/07 Hello, I am only writing you because I have found an error in the article Sharks in My Living Room? located at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkslvgrm.htm. I would like to point out first off, that I have on the second floor in my house in my room a 75 gallon saltwater reef tank, and a 220 gallon shark tank housing one brown banded bamboo shark. So if we used the 8lbs per gallon calculation that would put 2360lbs worth of water in my bedroom on the second floor. They've been setup for a year with no problems. <Unfortunately, there are many marine animals which can take over a year to die. And even if the sad creature doesn't die, as Steven Pro is quoted as saying "I could stuff you in your closet; if I fed you and provided you with air and light you would live. But would you be happy?> Also the article says, "One other thing to consider, even if you have no basement; is that even with only water, the weight of the tank is equivalent to putting a Dodge Ram 1500 in your living room." Right before that in the article it says that a 220 gallon tank only water would weigh 1760lbs. A Dodge Ram 1500 weighs in with a curb weight of roughly 6600lbs. <Really? I thought it was closer to 6400lbs... hmmm, maybe that's with only half a tank of gas?> That would be the equivalent of a 825 gallon tank, <...which would be a more appropriate housing for a shark.> not a 220 gallon. So it can definitely be done, <It can be done, but done well? I could build a house out of popsicle sticks, but would you want to live in it?> if your house is structurally sound, to have a shark tank in your second floor bedroom. By the way the shark is doing great and appears to be very healthy for about a year now! Thanks <Thank you for pointing out the flaw in Mr. Bozek's analogy. Perhaps he was thinking of the weight of a closer-to-ideal tank set-up rather than just the bare minimum to keep the animals just short of death.> Greg <Best, Sara M.>
Re: Sharks in my living room? Militant stupidity, insults in general... unexpurgated -12/16/2007
I'm so sorry, thanks for being a total bitch. <I do regret that you were hurt/offended by my candidness.> I forgot no matter what you all are always right and know more than god. <?!> I will go return all of my fish and aquatic creatures to the ocean where they can THRIVE in the correct amount of water for them. <Please don't do that. Returning pet animals to the wild (after they've been living in an uncontrolled captive environment) is quite irresponsible.> I also will return my German shepard to the wild, because I am sure she is not happy with the amount of land I have to let her run around. <Hmmm... this is not an appropriate or intelligent analogy. Domesticated dogs have evolved (been bred) to a life in the company of human beings. However, still Steven Pro's words might be applied here... would you keep your German Shepard in a closet?> I also will let my cat go free so she can run and get the exercise that she REALLY NEEDS. <See above... domesticated cats have also been bred to a life in our company. However, I do hope she is getting some exercise and mental stimulation running around your house and/or playing with you and yours.> Oh almost forgot I'll let my 2 rabbits out into the forest so they can make a suitable home for themselves and can eat the proper food and be in their PROPER HABITAT. <Hmm... rabbits are pretty low maintenance animals. You probably could keep them in a closet (though I wouldn't recommend it).> If you all want to get so incredibly technical <Incredibly technical? ...seriously?> about what species of fish needs what size tank to live correctly your all wrong. EVERY fish needs the OCEAN to thrive, <There's a HUGE different between the ocean and a ~200g tank! Sharks can and are kept well in many large public aquariums (and even some exceptionally large home aquariums). Sure, it's not the ocean, but sharks can be kept well in captivity (just not so well by hobby aquarists in 200g tanks).> so I guess we are all just assholes that take living creatures from their homes and lock them up in our glass jail houses, feeding them only enough to live and providing them with only enough water so they can swim in circles. <It is/would be cruel to do this. And this is why I/we recommend better accommodations. True, we can't provide them with the whole ocean in our living rooms, but we can try to give them enough that they are at least "content" if we can't give them enough to thrive (which is even better).> So after I am done sending this, I will take a trip and put everything back into the wild so now <Please, please don't do this! It's quite irresponsible and likely illegal.> you and the entire crew at WWM can be incredibly happy and can sleep soundly knowing that all of the precious fish are happy, because I forgot I don't know when they are healthy, only you do. <::sigh:: My dear fellow aquarist and human being, please do take a moment to reconsider your attitude/tone here. Intelligent people can disagree and still be civil. I'll leave you with these words from William Shakespeare: "Do as adversaries in law, strive mightily; but eat and drink as friends." Best, Sara M.> <<Sara... don't try to teach "pigs" to speak French... it only annoys them. RMF>>

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

I also have a question on keeping sharks, sys. Hello again Bob <Todd> I also have a question on keeping sharks. I have always wanted to have a shark tank since I purchased my first marine book (one of yours of course), but have never had a aquarium large enough for even the smallest ones. I have a 120 now and never wanted to get a fish and give it away after I became attached just because it outgrew the aquarium. I would like to set up another aquarium for 2 brown banded bamboo sharks and two other larger fish. I have read a million times you need to have like a 12' L x 4' W x 2' T aquarium minimum for them to be ok and happy as adults. Is a tank that size needed more for room to swim then water volume? <Mmm, space to move, provide gas exchange, dilution of wastes... stability chemically, physically> I also have read that a cylinder aquarium is the best kind of aquarium you can get for sharks because there's no corners. <Well, one with rounded corners for "sharky" sharks... but ones that laze about the bottom most the time, like the Epaulettes, Bamboos... not really> Would a 4' to 5' W x 2' T cylinder be ok for the two bamboos and the two others or would I need to go larger for adult bamboos, if so how wide? <Would be better if more oval shaped... a good eight feet long... three or more feet wide...> I will have a 150 gallon sump with excellent filtration, water quality and water movement for which ever tank I end up setting up. Would the sharks be better off in the huge rectangle or the smaller cylinder? <The former> I can get a 48" X 24" cylinder now for a really good deal, and have heard that's big enough, but I think at least 60" or even 72" would be needed. <I agree> Or should I stick to Sea World, Shedd aquarium, Blue Planet and Shark Week!?!? <Oh! Was watching a segment of the Blue Planet last night... Spectacular footage.> Thanks again for the info!!!! Todd <Welcome. BobF>

My new Wobbegong shark, fdg., sys., reading   9/27/07 G'Day, I purchased a Wobbegong shark 4 days ago and he is not eating I am offering him shrimp and whitebait every night and am getting no where can you please give me some advice on how to get him eating. <Don't generally feed for a while when moved... Is this system new, cycled? Water quality tests?> He is about 30cm long and it is a 150gallon tank with plenty of room <Uh, no... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The second tray... On sharks in captivity, systems, feeding... Bob Fenner> thanks Aaron

Banded Cat Shark - Some Questions... too small sys., BGA control, using WWM    8/30/07 Mr. Fenner (and crew), <Etay> first I would like to say that I accidentally stumbled on you're site while searching for some background info on the banded cat shark and found it loaded with important and viral <Heee!> information. I since then read other FAQ's and marked this site as I feel I will return to it often !! <Okay!> ill start with some background info before the questions :) I have a 100 gallon reef tank, currently housing: lg. coral banded shrimp ( separated due to super friken aggressive dude and killing all my fish all the time!! ) <CBS can be this way> Copperband butterfly (med) tomato clown (lg) blue devil damsel ( only one left because of the damn shrimp ) yellow damsel various cleaning inverts. filtration: 3 inch high live sand bed <Mmm, should be more or less... see WWM re> red sea Berlin turbo skimmer 12W UV unit 10Gal sump containing everything w/ some bioballs under skimmer return Magnum Canister ( broke a leak 2 weeks ago, need to replace with a red sea OceanClear ) latest tests (yesterday): SPG: 1.023 pH: 8.2 NH3: 0.0 HO2: 0.0 NO3: < 0.2 Cu: < 0.5 mg/L <I hope so... should be zip, zero, nada> Alk: 3.5 mEq/L ( 175 ppm CaCO3 ) tank conditions are usually stable, I perform monthly 25% changes and rarely check water for anything more the spg and pH unless there are visible issues. I have had a banded cat shark long ago (~6years), when I was still in Israel, unfortunately at the time I was totally unaware of the sharks sensitivity to electrical currents and I guess that caused it to get really unwell and eventually die :( it exhibited symptoms of sporadic twitching and laying on its back on the bottom of the tank... Israeli electricity runs 220VAC and not 110VAC, which may have increased the problem even more... <May be...> After that I figured I should not try again, I have been diving since age 15 and have seen other sharks in nature, I feel these beautiful animals should not be captured for display by those who are incapable of caring for them, I certainly was not. <We are in agreement> That said, last week when visiting the fish store I saw he had a newly hatched banded cat shark and he mentioned the egg was there for 4 weeks now and no one got it.. I was hesitating for a while because I feel my tank is much more suitable than the store and the animal will die there eventually... Eventually I decided to get the shark <Not to go in the 100 detailed above I hope> and with it all that I could think I need; - I got the grounding probe which I so needed last time! (and good that I did, before installing I checked the water against ground - 35VAC!! ) <Mmm, where is this stray voltage coming from? I would systematically unplug all items... check their polarity, assure that they are all wired through a GFCI... before running the tank another day> - I got fresh squid and shrimp but have not yet made feeding attempt - the animal hatched 3 days ago, I figured ill give it till end of week to acclimate... - after reading your FAQ I will be ordering the supplement tablets you use. <Mazuri likely> I am aware of the fact this tank is way to <too> small for this shark, <So... what are you going to do?> I have little rock arranged in a center island form so at this size it can still circle it on the sand and have several caves to go under. Me and my wife are planning to buy a house this year and I am planning to install an in-wall 300-400gallon aquarium, which should be more than sufficient. if this does not happen and the shark gets too big to start getting abrasions by rock I will have to donate it to the NY aquarium or anywhere else it can be cared for... <... will likely be too late... all too common circular "logic"> so, as to my questions: 1. I have never medicated my tank at any circumstance, I feel if a fish gets ick, lack of stress and good environment is the best I can do, if it does not survive I feel bad but I do not want copper traces or any other thing that can hit my corals ( mushrooms only really ) to be in the tank. I have recently got some red slime growing in my tank and was wondering if the UltraLife red slime remover is a reef safe as claimed <No...> and more important shark safe and if I can safely use it to remove the red slime. <No... and what happened to your laissez-faire attitude re disease above? I would investigate causes and fix them...> the seller argued it is antibiotics mostly and should not harm any reef animals but I am not convinced. <... Please read both: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgcidefaqs.htm and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm and the linked files above... The chemical trtmt. is very likely to result in the loss of all livestock> 2. I have not been testing my tank as extensively as yesterday unless something shows signs of trouble, should I be keeping more close tabs at readings with this animal? <Oh yes> 3. how do you know if its a boy or girl? :) <Posted... the presence/absence of claspers...> 4. how after to feed? last time I was offering every day, the shark would eat but not everyday, but always by morning it was gone somewhere... wondering if this is not too much? <posted and posted and...> 5. any additions/changes to the filtration systems I should be thinking of? any special concerns when planning the filtration system for the new planned tank? mainly I wanted to know about the red slime remover... tanks for all the helpful info!! regards, Etay <Have just skipped down. These answers and much more useful/important related material is already posted on our site. Please don't abuse our trust... Learn to/use the indices, search tool... You have much to take in... and quickly. Bob Fenner>

Re: Banded Cat Shark - Some Questions 08/31/07 I apologize for not writing the most perfect English, I >I< am not a native US resident and English is not my first language... >I see< I run the Google spell checker before sending this email... I don't think it was too unreadable, let me try again...I will mark all spelling corrections and comments from original email in *green* <Doesn't come through as such> I have run the spell check again, the only item that comes up is "Fenner"<Fenner@WetWebMedia>and "Etay" ... I hope its understandable now... regards, Etay Mr. Fenner, some comments below... Subject: Fwd: Banded Cat Shark - Some Questions... too small sys., BGA control, using WWM Mr. Fenner (and crew), <Etay> first I would like to say that I *accidentally* stumbled on your site while searching for some background info on the banded cat shark and found it loaded with important and viral <Heee!> information. I since then read other FAQ's and marked this site as I feel I will return to it often !! <Okay!> ill start with some background info before the questions :) I have a 100 gallon reef tank, currently housing: lg. coral banded shrimp ( *separated* due to super friken *aggressive* dude and killing all my fish all the time!! ) <CBS can be this way> Copperband butterfly (med) tomato clown (lg) blue devil damsel ( only one left because of the damn shrimp ) yellow damsel various cleaning inverts. *filtration*: 3 inch high live sand bed <Mmm, should be more or less... see WWM re> red sea Berlin turbo skimmer 12W UV unit 10Gal sump containing everything w/ some *bio balls* under skimmer return Magnum Canister ( broke a leak 2 weeks ago, need to replace with a red sea OceanClear ) latest tests (yesterday): SPG: 1.023 pH: 8.2 NH3: 0.0 HO2: 0.0 NO3: < 0.2 Cu: < 0.5 mg/L <I hope so... should be zip, zero, nada> *>>> 0.5 is the lowers the OceanClear test can show, water tested totally clear so it should be 0.0.... never added copper to the tank * >Ah, good< Alk: 3.5 mEq/L ( 175 ppm CaCO3 ) tank conditions are usually stable, I perform monthly 25% changes and rarely check water for anything more the spg and pH unless there are visible issues. I have had a banded cat shark long ago (~6years), when I was still in Israel, unfortunately at the time I was totally unaware of the sharks sensitivity to electrical currents and I guess that caused it to get really unwell and eventually die :( it exhibited symptoms of *sporadic* twitching and laying on its back on the bottom of the tank... Israeli electricity runs 220VAC and not 110VAC, which may have increased the problem even more... <May be...> After that I figured I should not try again, I have been diving since age 15 and have seen other sharks in nature, I feel these beautiful animals should not be captured for display by those who are incapable of caring for them, I certainly was not. <We are in agreement> That said, last week when visiting the fish store I saw he had a newly hatched banded cat shark and he mentioned the egg was there for 4 weeks now and no one got it.. I was hesitating for a while because I feel my tank is much more suitable than the store and the animal will die there eventually... Eventually I decided to get the shark <Not to go in the 100 detailed above I hope> *>>> as I mentioned above ( or didn't ) it was kept in the store in a much smaller tank with no sand and who knows what filtration, I think even the 100 gal small tank I can offer will be a better state until I can setup a system that can support the animal or find someone who has it... * and with it all that I could think I need; - I got the grounding probe which I so needed last time! (and good that I did, before installing I checked the water against ground - 35VAC!! ) <Mmm, where is this stray voltage coming from? I would systematically unplug all items... check their polarity, assure that they are all wired through a GFCI... before running the tank another day> *>>> I disconnected all power supplies, each contributes several voltages with the 2 power heads and sump MagDrive being the highest contributors...* >Do look into at least a plug in, extension cord type GFCI... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gfcimarines.htm< - I got *fresh* squid and shrimp but have not yet made feeding attempt - the animal hatched 3 days ago, I figured ill give it till end of week to acclimate... - after reading your FAQ I will be ordering the supplement tablets you use. <Mazuri likely> *>>> yes* I am aware of the fact this tank is way to*o* <too> small for this shark, <So... what are you going to do?> I have little rock arranged in a center island form so at this size it can still *circle* it on the sand and have several caves to go under. Me and my wife are planning to buy a house this year and I am planning to install an in-wall 300-400gallon aquarium, which should be more than sufficient. if this does not happen and the shark gets too big to start getting abrasions by rock I will have to donate it to the NY aquarium or anywhere else it can be cared for... <... will likely be too late... all too common circular "logic"> *>>> I will gladly remove most of the rock that exists today if that's what u meant by "circular", otherwise I did not understand the comment... why will it not be a good idea to either work on a bigger system or relocate the animal where it can grow? * >Sorry for the lack of clarity, communication... I mean that this animal will likely perish first... the statement that "when" "then"... is what I am referring to as circular... brings folks, the situation back to the beginning... of no livestock< so, as to my questions: 1. I have never medicated my tank at any circumstance, I feel if a fish gets ick, lack of stress and good environment is the best I can do, if it does not survive I feel bad but I do not want copper traces or any other thing that can hit my corals ( mushrooms only really ) to be in the tank. I have recently got some red slime growing in my tank and was wondering if the ultra life red slime remover is a reef safe as claimed <No...> and more important shark safe and if I can safely use it to remove the red slime. <No... and what happened to your laissez-faire attitude re ich/disease above? I would investigate causes and fix them...> the seller *>>> my no medicine attitude stays strong, this product was claimed to not work like "normal medicine" which I the reason I posted this question BEFORE considering it... I will read the below articles, thanks for the points... * argued it is antibiotics mostly and should not harm any reef animals but I am not convinced. <... Please read both: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgcidefaqs.htm and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm and the linked files above... The chemical trtmt. is very likely to result in the loss of all livestock> 2. I have not been testing my tank as extensively as yesterday unless something shows signs of trouble, should I be keeping more close tabs at readings with this animal? <Oh yes> *>>> will indeed!!* 3. how do you know if its a boy or girl? :) <Posted... the presence/absence of claspers...> 4. how often to feed? last time I was offering every day, the shark would eat but not everyday, but always by morning it was gone somewhere... wondering if this is not too much? <posted and posted and...> 5. any additions/changes to the *filtration* systems I should be thinking of? any special concerns when planning the *filtration* system for the new planned tank? mainly I wanted to know about the red slime remover... tanks for all the helpful info!! regards, Etay <Have just skipped down. These answers and much more useful/important related material is already posted on our site. Please don't abuse our trust... Learn to/use the indices, search tool... You have much to take in... and quickly. Bob Fenner> *>>> I am not sure if the last comment was put in anger or not, I have never visited your site before and have no intention of "abusing your trust" whatever that means, I am well aware of searches but I must say that it took me several hours just to find this email address and even then I only found it by mistake since all the actual email addresses in the site (BobFenner@wetwebmedia.com and others) don't work and I was struggling to send this email... I intent to read as much as I can but wanted to get immediate answers to some of what I thought are important questions... I read 3 Banded Cat Shark FAQ pages before I sent this email and I had at least 20 more questions I did not need to ask because I already found answers.... >I see... we have recently changed ISPs and the personal addresses with the WWM suffix no longer are active... I am trying to fix all on the site... to not direct folks to email addresses that don't exist... but is taking time< not sure what you mean by "much to take in" but your response makes it sound like I am immature, and that I don't know what I'm doing and while I am not a marine biologist I do everything I can to care for my animals and never underspend what needs to be spent to get the correct system and equipments... as you mentioned yourself, "I try to design my system around the animal and not around the budget" and while I cannot put a 400 gallon tank in the apartment I rent right now, I fully intend to do so when I get a house, regardless of weather I had this shark or not, it was in the plans for a while, I just got a reason to do it faster... I am hoping it will be able to be kept in the 100Gallon tank in the next 4-5 months, if you don't think that's the case I will start looking for good places for it now... will still get the 400Gal anyways though... >Mmm... my comments are value neutral. I am neither angry nor consider you immature or otherwise... Just have enough understanding re this field to urge your diligence in reading, caring for this shark...< all in all I really like your site and you guys offer a lot of good info but I feel like I was just "washed" for attempting to do a good thing.. I think the chances of it surviving in store are much smaller and felt really bad for it.. *regards, Etay <Mmm... Shalom, BobF>

Re: Banded Cat Shark - Some Questions 08/31/07 Bob, <Etay> Again, I must thank you for all the information and help. I started reading the article you directed me to, about BGA. It is fascinating and will take me a while to go over. I will definitely continue to visit WWM, until now I did not know any site that offered so much advice and information. I'll take some time to go over more of the posted info before I bug u guys with too many questions... <No worries> thanks for the help! e <A pleasure to share. BobF>

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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