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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

Smoothhound Shark bad nose... Coldwater, mis-placed... system       7/8/14
Hi , I own a Smoothhound shark approximately 18-20 inches on a 480 gallon rectangle tank with two tower live rock decorations on corners.
<... rectangular... the rock... this animal has damaged itself... You can read re other such incidents on WWM, in a book I've authored on captive shark husbandry (on Amazon.com)>

It looks like he hit his nose and it looks bad although he would eat everyday if i let him, i have been trying to feed every other day instead.(skid and or shrimp)
I had a bad spike in nitrates to what seemed over 160ppm at one time, Salt gravity is 1.021, Ammonia 0, Nitrites0 and nitrates close to 40, im vodka dosing on the 7th week @ 7.2ml
Do you think, more water changes would help him recover faster,
<Hard to say... using NO3 concentration as a guide to overall water quality... I'd keep under 20 ppm. Better by far to utilize RedOx... ozone... keep this at 350-400 mv/cm>
i was doing a monthly water change, i currently run a 7' long Sump/Refugium with live rock, DSB, (4) 7" Filter Socks
<Switch these out, wash daily>
2 40w UV Sterilizers with a MRC Orca pro II skimmer, 2 Carbon Media Chambers Water changes are done with RO/DI Water.
Also thinking about Mazuri Shark Vitamins, to try speed up his recovery.

I have noticed that at night he jumps and trashes over the bracing of the tank , he might have hit this with his nose, or maybe tank overflow it has some sharp corners.
<Did physically traumatize itself...>

His tankmates are a 3 Feet green Moray eel,
<What species? The congeners on either side of the C. American isthmus are very piscivorous... will eat all else you list fish-wise>

Show size Yellow tang, Small Desjardini, Purple tang, 2 red Big Eye Squirrel ,California stingray
<A coldwater organism, along w/ this Squalid>

and Show Size blond Naso tang.
Also thinking about adding more live rock on remote bins to lower nitrates as sump is full of Live rock and Chaetomorpha, with some coarse sand, i just discovered this is not as good as finer grade sand for Deep sand bed, so this will be changed soon.
<Sounds like worthwhile improvements>
Any help would be appreciated picture will be attached on a separate email.
<Thank you for these>
<Am named "Dogfish" in the Hash House Harrier run groups around the planet; so have an additional affinity for these shark species... Yous is likely doomed due to the physical trauma it has occasioned; along with this inappropriate setting.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Smoothhound Shark bad nose... explanation of cold vs. tropical mis-mix organisms    7/9/14
Thanks for your quick response. I quite did not understood what you meant about the water temp, I'm currently running 77 degrees
<... Yes; this IS a
subtropical/coldwater species... SEE WWM, FishBase.org... it really cannot be placed (nor the Ca. Ray; look this up as well) in a tropical setting. Part of the induced problem/s here>
I don't know if I could go colder with the Tangs, running a 1hp chiller on an APEX CONTROLLER.
<... the livestock you list NEED TWO very different systems. BobF>
Re: Smoothhound Shark bad nose

My ORP is currently 330 and I'm not running OZONE yet.
<Ahh! Glad to find that you are aware. B>

Re: Smoothhound Shark bad nose      7/13/14
What can i use to treat His wounds, im putting a kiddie pool together to treat him, I will have to go throughout a lot of water changes on it since it's not cycled.
<... Nothing to really treat... externally. Best to do what you can to bolster this fish's health nutritionally.
You mentioned Mazuri.com I believe. Have you read where I referred you?>
I just started putting it together it's 48"x48"x12 .
<Needs to be covered; lest this animal (easily) jump out>
Hope that I'm not too late.
<Me too. BobF>

Chrysurus angel sick... Actually sharks, med.s    8/8/07 Hello Mr. Fenner I have a very simple question to ask you and could not find a direct answer on your site. Can Metronidazole be used with leopard sharks? <Yes> I have a bad case of Ich and Hexamita and am currently using quinine sulfate which seems to be working well (ant thoughts?) <I would use the Quinine drug first... the Flagyl later if all did not appear cleared up> Would you combine these 2 drugs? <Serially, not simultaneously. BobF> thank you Kelly tank 400 gallon 60 gallon sump filled with crushed coral g4x skimmer ammonia 0-10 nitrite 0 nitrate 5-10 ph buffered at every water change to 8.3 salinity 1.024 temp 76 Kelly Craven
Re: chrysurus angel sick. Flagyl, Shark Dis. f's  8/10/07
Hello again Bob, I added the Metronidazole to the tank as directed by fish farmacy and noticed that my leopard sharks aren't eating....very unusual, they usually devour everything.....any thoughts. <The Metronidazole could be affecting them in/directly... making the fish anosmotic in terms of their sense of smell...> I just did a 25% water change before I added meds. Tank is 400 gallons, and tested within parameters. I have since moved them to quarantine tank in garage 200 gallon and haven't treated it with anything, still not eating. thank you Kelly <Shouldn't starve (to death) during the treatment interval... I would not be overly concerned here. BobF>

Shark Question, beh.... env. dis.   8/3/07 Hi (yes, again!!!), This is a question on shark behavior, and I'll give you the quick background, though you are probably all too familiar with me. The tank is a 200 gallon, with approximately 100lbs of live rock, sand substrate 2 to 3" deep, filtered by a Fluval FX5 with bio media only and filter pads (cleaned at worst every two weeks), a Magnum Canister hang on for water flow and carbon, a Penn Plax 300 power filter for mechanical, extra carbon and bio filtration, and a large protein skimmer rated for 200 gallon tanks (hang on variety). 0 ppm on both ammonia and nitrites, <10 nitrates. PH is at 8.2. Salinity is at 1.022 right now. <...> The occupants are a banded cat shark at 8", a passer angel at 5", a yellow tang at 4" and a dogface puffer at 5" (oh, and the cleaner wrasse, yes the original cleaner wrasse that I was fussed at for buying by you guys weeks ago, point well taken and won't occur again). We have just completed the Ich treatment of quinine sulfate, at which time I did a 25% water change and began running carbon again to remove it. The passer developed Lymphocystis (sp), I'm assuming from the treatment of quinine and the extra duration of no water change during that period. The shark, prior to treatment, acted wonderfully, eating well, usually a cube of shark formula soaked in Zoe, cut into pieces. During the quinine treatment, he did not have much of an appetite, though this may have been due to water quality during the treatment. Now, conditions have returned to above stated. The shark, during the day, spends his time in a cave under the rock, which he has always done. In the evening, he comes out when I feed the other fish, but his behavior is odd. He actively swims up and down the tank glass, often time pushing his head above the water. He eats ok, but not with the aggression he used to have. He will take a piece of the formula and eat it, then rest on the tank floor, then resume this frantic swimming. He will usually eat two pieces or so, then he will mouth the third but not eat it. After, say, ten minutes, we will go through the process again, and he will consume two more, mouth the third, etc. I'm more concerned with this erratic swimming behavior, as it seems frantic at times. It only occurs in the evenings after I've placed the food for the other fish in the tank. This has been going on for about a week now, I suppose. Monday I purchased about two dozen ghost shrimp and put them in the tank after rinsing them with fresh water. I've been doing this ever since the shark has hatched. They get consumed by something over the course of a couple of days, I'm thinking by the shark at night, as the puffer has a hard time catching them in the daytime. I only mention this because when I put them in, the shark came out and was slowly cruising around trying to eat them, and at that time his behavior seems normal. So, to summarize, he sleeps normal during the day, swims frantically up and down the tank walls in the evening when he seems hungry, but seems to eat less shark formula and in smaller pieces, like it's harder to mouth them. If you can make any guesses or have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them. Sincerely, Thomas Roach <Likely the treatment and disease condition, coupled with the present too-low spg and likely nitrogenous material is mal-affecting the shark's appetite/behavior... Correct this animal's world and hopefully its behavior will improve. RMF>

Bamboo Shark Not Eating... poor maint., English  7/8/07 Dear WWM crew, I have e-mailed you 1 time before about my bamboo shark and found your advise very help full. I have had my bamboo shark for about a year and it is about 13 or 14 inches. It is in a 125 gallon tank and has nitrate levels of about 80-90 ppm (I know this is way to much and I have planned a 75% water change in the next couple days). <... not useful in the long or ongoing term... YOU need to address this issue definitively... NOW> The nitrate levels in my tank have always been very high and my shark has only had a problem once before (he had a red rash on his belly which went away once I moved him into a larger tank, lowered the levels and started to feed him the shark formula food again -- Thanks for the help with that). I was out of town for about a week leaving my mom to watch my shark.?(She?is?very familiar with how to feed it) When? I got back,? she told me that? she could not get it to eat. I feed my shark the shark food formula cubes along with a few silver sides?(my local pet shop stopped carrying silver sides so I've been buying them from a bait shop, Is this ok?). I have never tried feeding it anything different, mainly because I don't know what is ok for it to eat. Tonight I tried force feeding it under water. I would be able to get? a silver side halfway in but it would just spit it back out. I tried this with the formula cubes also and it did the same thing. He also has barely been swimming around and just stays under a rock in the corner of the tank. I know most bamboo sharks are lazy but it is very concerning to see this because he is usually racing from one end of the tank to another almost 24/7. His breathing has also been different, he used to breath very fiercely (like throwing his gills out very fast, he did it to a point where the edges of every slit of his gill were white and looser than the skin around it), now his breathing is much softer. The salt level is perfect.?It is being kept with a Koran? Angle fish and a? Panther Grouper.?I? also tried to add a new? Bamboo shark to the tank, sadly it dug itself under one? of my live rock and got crushed.?Since that happened? I have noticed? The shark is allot less active and?about?3 weeks after the death the shark stopped eating.?What can? I do to help my shark? Start eating again? Thank you,? ?????????? Brendan ?? <Have just skipped down. Please... proofread what you send us, eliminate extraneous ? Question marks... And read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm scroll down to the yellow line, Nitrogenous wastes... Bob Fenner>
Re: Bamboo shark not eating... Still not reading  -- 07/08/07
Dear WWM crew, I have e-mailed you 1 time before about my bamboo shark and found your advise very help full. I have had my bamboo shark for about a year and it is about 13 or 14 inches. It is in a 125 gallon tank and has nitrate levels of about 80-90 ppm (I know this is way to much and I have planned a 75% water change in the next couple days). <... not useful in the long or ongoing term... YOU need to address this issue definitively... NOW>  - how?do?I do this? <<What? Please... learn to/use the search tool, indices... there are tens of thousands of folks using this site daily... we don't have time to do this for you... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm scroll down to the yellow line, tray...> The nitrate levels in my tank have always been very high and my shark has only had a problem once before (he had a red rash on his belly which went away once I moved him into a larger tank, lowered the levels and started to feed him the shark formula food again <... you have had, and have "this problem" continuously... Now evidenced in your shark ceasing feeding...> -- Thanks for the help with that). I was out of town for about a week leaving my mom to watch my shark. (She is very familiar with how to feed it) When I got back, she told me that she could not get it to eat. I usually feed my shark the shark food formula cubes along with a few silver sides (my local pet shop stopped carrying silver sides so I've been buying them from a bait shop, Is this ok?). <... and vitamins... see WWM re> I have never tried feeding it anything different, mainly because I don't know what is ok for it to eat. <...?! Then read!> Tonight I tried force feeding it under water. I would be able to get a silver side halfway in its mouth but it would just spit it back out. I tried this with the formula cubes also and it did the same thing. He also has barely been swimming around and just stays under a rock in the corner of the tank. I know most bamboo sharks are lazy but it is very concerning to see this because he is usually racing from one end of the tank to another almost 24/7. His breathing has also been different, he used to breath very fiercely (like throwing his gills out very fast, he did it to a point where the edges of every slit of his gill? turned white and looser than the skin around it), now his breathing is much softer. The salt level is perfect. It is being kept with a Koran Angle fish and a Panther Grouper. <...> I also tried to add a new bamboo shark to the tank, sadly it dug itself under one of my live rock and got crushed. >...< Since that happened I have noticed the shark is allot less active and about 3 weeks after the death the shark stopped eating. What can I do to help my shark start eating again? Thank you, Brendan <Have just skipped down. Please... proofread what you send us, eliminate extraneous ? Question marks... And read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm scroll down to the yellow line, Nitrogenous wastes... Bob Fenner> -- sorry about the question marks I have no idea how they got there. <<Please... don't write... Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm RMF, disgusted>>

2nd whale shark dies at Ga. Aquarium -- 06/13/07 © 2007 The Associated Press TOOLS Email Get section feed Print Subscribe NOW Comments Recommend ATLANTA -- Another whale shark died early Wednesday at the Georgia Aquarium, the second this year at the only facility outside Asia to display the huge, rare fish. Norton's death came just a few weeks after two new whale sharks arrived at the aquarium from Taiwan. At that time, Taiwan fishery officials had said they were satisfied the aquarium provided the quality care the young whale sharks would need. Aquarium officials said in a written statement Wednesday that Norton had stopped eating in recent months and showed erratic swimming behavior. They said the staff had noticed a decline in Norton's swimming behavior on Tuesday and blood work confirmed a decline in his health. Early Wednesday, the whale shark stopped swimming and settled to the bottom of his tank, aquarium officials said. Divers brought him to a stretcher, and "after every option had been exhausted to improve Norton's health, the team made the decision to humanely euthanize him," the aquarium said. In January, Ralph, another whale shark that was among the aquarium's first stars after it opened in 2005, also died there. Ralph had stomach problems that led to an inflammation of a membrane in his abdomen, according to aquarium officials. The aquarium has theorized that a chemical it no longer uses in the tank to treat parasites might have contributed to his loss of appetite and health problems. The two new whale sharks, Yushan and Taroko, join Alice and Trixie in the aquarium's 6-million-gallon tank. The sharks can grow up to 40 feet long. On the Net: Georgia Aquarium: http://www.georgiaaquarium.org <Mmm, somethings else going on here. RMF>

Banded bamboo shark   5/25/07 Hi Bob just wanted to say what a fantastic site you have. I have gained loads of info from it over the last year or two! My question is regarding my banded bamboo shark and a risk of white spot. <Can contract...> The risk is because my sailfin tang has a small number of white spots on him due to some stress or other (moving from quarantine?) <Maybe> The fish are in an 800l tank with heavy filtration and skimming. Do you think I should let things settle down and hope the spots go away or remove the shark to another tank and do a hyposalinity treatment on the other fish and hope the shark is clean. <If "only a few spots" and only expressed on the Tang, I'd hold off here... too likely to do more damage if you overreact> The thing is I don't want to overreact <Oh!> and just cause more stress. Also I see no point in trying to remove the sailfin as the parasites are already in the display tank now. Thanks for any help you can give, cheers, Andrew (England) <Let's hope this/these are not parasites, but simply some other manifestation of stress. Bob Fenner>

Growth on grey Bamboo shark    5/21/07 I have a grey Bamboo shark that is about 10 inches long.  I've had him about 3 1/2 months and he (actually she) has been doing great with a great appetite.  Recently I have noticed a growth on the first dorsal fin (on the leading edge) that looks like a wart.  I suspected a parasite but as I got a closer look it didn't seem to be a parasite but a growth of her own skin.  The area is not red and it doesn't seem to bother the shark at all, but it is slowly growing by my observation.  What should I do?  Couldn't find anything on this web site or in Michael's book. Thanks for any help, bill <Mmm... well, I would like to know a good deal more re your set-up, maintenance, water quality tests, routines, foods/feeding... Do you supplement this fish's foods? Have you read on WWM, visited Mazuri.com re? I would: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm the second tray... Bob Fenner>

Banded Cat Shark Stressed?  No useful info. 4/18/07 Hi, I own two banded cat sharks (one male one female).  Both are juveniles under 1 foot.  They both tackle any squid I offer them without hesitation which hints that their healthy from what I've read. <... Need more than this one food type...> To help them settle in and keep them from burrowing under rocks where they can get stuck I've built them a cave (good size completely covered two large openings and the sand cleared out down to the glass) (quick note on no sand they pushed it all out to begin with so I did this to make it the way they tried to make it, there's still sand everywhere outside of the cave). <What is the nature of this sand? You have read on WWM re Shark Systems?> The male is larger then the female but they both seemed to hang out together and he seemed to slow his breathing a lot sooner then the female did when she was added to the tank.  Recently the male has left the cave where they both resided for a good portion if not all of the day.  At times he'll swim around the tank and every now and then he gives himself a quick burst of speed usually into the sand but at times it's just in the direction he happens to be swimming.  He still eats and his gills aren't flapping open and closed extremely fast though its noticeably faster then the females.  So my main question is what could be causing this.   Is he just burning his energy and breathing harder as a result, is he stressed out and if so why is he stressed out but the female isn't?  Trouble at home? <... likely not a problem> If both sharks were exhibiting the same behavior I'd be more attentive to the tank situation but he's the only one that seems to be behaving different.  Also there were red markings on him when he first came to me but they have faded away, he has no signs of white or black specs on him though the black would be hard to find I mainly looked for bubbles.  Also I only feed them twice a week is he just hungry and annoyed he can't find food.  I could cut down the amount I feed and increase the frequency. <... Likely would feed every other day at this size... with other foods, vitamins...> As for his tank mates at one time or another they've all lounged on him or burrowed under him without him running even seen snails crawling up his tail so he's pretty at home with them.  Water parameters are good as well. <... what is good?> He pumps his gills about 6 or 7 times every 5 seconds as opposed to the females 3 or 4.  Please let me know if I'm the problem or if there really is something wrong.  Thank you for all past and hopefully future help. <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The second tray down... mainly on Shark Systems, Feeding... Bob Fenner>
(Im The one that just wrote in about the shark)... Still no useful info...
Hi again hope this gets there in time to get answered in conjunction with the other question I sent earlier today.  I just noticed the shark's dorsal fin.  The back edge of his dorsal fin is a little tattered not much but I can see a few tiny nicks here and there.  I'm not sure if this is normal or if it could be fin rot not that I know what that looks like especially in early stages.  Just figured I'd add this bit of info to my last email thanks for your help.   James <Add the Shark Disease FAQs to your reading list. BobF>
Re: Shark (Follow up question)... Still and not reading...   4/19/07
Sorry for all the questions at once it seems my emails at the end of a long line and I had a little time to think about the sharks condition. <...>   It turns out this is the female shark (the smaller of the two) and if it is fin rot <?... Environmental> its in its first stages and only the dorsal fin is affected.  If indeed this is Finrot how should I treat the shark. <... Please... READ re writing us... there are hundreds of emails per day that pass through this program... Without folks posting previous correspondence, there is no way (at least I) can keep tract of who has what... I.e., your system make-up, situation...> Thank you for your help sorry for all the emails this sharks my first one and as far as I'm concerned the most important fish in there. <BobF>
Re: Sharks dead fairly certain to fin rot... No... further introspection into the nature of the truth...    4/19/07
...She's dead was breathing when I ran out to buy a 20 gallon tank precycled salt water sand the works as well as medication. <... too small for this specimen... What is it that prevents you from reading ahead of your actions?> Walk in and dead...  I do read quite regularly. <What? Where?> I perform multiple searches on different search engines and read anything I can get my hands on.   <How do you discern fact from opinion? Really, am curious... the Net is indeed a great source of ready input... but is a HUGE source of mis- and useless information> Only problem is there are few answers to shark questions. <Books?> Even on your site half the stuff written in between the lines of the hundreds or thousands of questions is you need to read or requesting more information. <... how did you enter the site to ask us questions? Had you followed the stipulated protocol here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm you would have been called upon to use the search tool... which has cached versions, highlighting search terms... As a student, I am sure you are challenged with learning, using such tools...> I'm also a student and don't have the time to read 6 full web pages in a hope to find my answer. <Don't have to> In further reading about the disease called fin rot <... this is NOT a disease, but a symptom...> I read that it is contagious. <... dismal> I also noticed that almost all the sites were referring to fresh water fish.  Are all my fish in for this disease or does the rot stop with that corpse.  I still have the penicillin tablets and Maracyn <... ditto> and really don't want this to be the death of the rest of them.  So I do read alot <No such word> and right now I really just need an answer or a link to a page that contains an article that helps not a bundle of questions that may be related.   PS: I did try reading through the shark disease section but there are far to <too> many different species and no clear way to navigate to the one you want which may or may not be in there.   Thanks,   James <Learn before you burn... study what you're about before committing funds, lives to experimentation... Be the master of your destiny... "See your future... be your future"... Or, somethings like this... Realize that we/you are not perfect... there are twenty or so of us (WWM Crew) here, all volunteers... and tens of thousands of you (unique ISP sessions) per day... You provided NO information on your system, set-up, water quality tests, history of your husbandry... We, or at least I, cannot read your mind... My real advice is to give your system to someone who has the focus, determination to make it work... Wait till you have more time (perhaps post graduation) to dedicate your attention, focus to such an enterprise. Bob Fenner>

PJ HELP! Shark, not the Underoos... Fritzing, but not communicating     4/2/07 Hey guys! I just got back from a business trip and was  completely horrified as I walked in and saw my most prized shark swimming/floating around! He is a port Jackson and was a present to me. I love this little guy! <?> What should I do? the temp is currently 67 and he is used to this! I was told though that the temp was bouncing <?> because the chiller needs more Freon! What is the best solution? He is fed <What?> regularly and also takes vitamins? <Sort?> He does like to swallow air bubbles <Shouldn't be allowed in the system> and I have tried to stop him <?> but have had no success! I was just also told he missed his wed <...> feeding? So he probably has no food in his tummy as I feed wed. and sun.! Pls help? I was reading and am about to try administering Epsom salt in his water! Pls help! Thanks! <Your message makes little sense... No useful data presented... Please read on WWM re Heterodontids, Cold-water sharks, shark systems, Disease/health in general. Bob Fenner>
Re: PJ HELP!   4/3/07
Sorry about the last message! <I was concerned...> I just seemed to panic. I've had this port Jackson about half a year and when i walked in yesterday he was floating! He couldn't really stay down! I've controlled the bubbles and fed him so he is doing better. <Ah, good> He still has some trouble saying down and looks like he hovers a little. The temp is 67 degrees in his system and he seems to be good except for the fact that he has a hard time staying down. Water param.s are great but i will do a 25% water change just in case. <Good idea> What could this be? <Perhaps just the ingested bubbles> He still has a strong appetite and loving personality! I would like to enjoy it a minimum of 20 more years. What should i do? <Mmm... need to know more re what you have... a large/r system, more filtration...> There seems to be little chunks of LR everywhere by a big piece and am afraid he might have swallowed some. <Mmm> Could this be the cause? <Yes... though not common> I have other fish in there and they're fine. He seems to be the only one floating/hovering? Should i dose Epsom salt and see if it help him pass it. <I would not> I saw this in anther article you guys answered to. Sorry if there is any misunderstanding. If you feel the need to ask please contact me at (XXXX). Thanks so much. <Welcome my friend. Life to you. Bob Fenner>
Re: PJ HELP!   4/4/07
Hey Bob! I would like to let you know I have fixed the problem and my PJ is fine. <Great news Andre> He seemed to have ingested bubbles and has now expelled them. The problem was his feeding was not given and he searched for food all over the tank, at which time he must have ingested bubbles! He is doing fine and I will ensure he does not miss anymore feedings. He is currently in a 400 gallon chilled system. (8' L x 3 1/2' W x 2' T) <Ah, very nice. Friend Anthony Calfo's brother in law has a similarly sized, shaped system (in PA) with some Heterodontus francisci in it...> He will go into a larger system when he is older (my 2,000 gallon currently cycling) <Wowzah!> but at the moment he is only 12". His water is kept at 67 avg. No higher than 69 at any time and he just loves to eat. <Good and good> I thank you for your help and expertise. I run 2 500 gallon capacity wet/dry filters on this tank as well as a 900 gal. capacity fluidized bed filter on it. <I suspect you never have ammonia, nitrite issues... but would stay guarded, look to biological means (DSB, live algal, plant filtration) to deal with accumulated nitrate (keep under 20 ppm...)> There is strong current but no powerheads and he has his own securely fit together cave. I plan on getting him 2 female companions but have had no luck finding the darker PJs. <Darker? Am unfamiliar with this difference... is this the Ca. Horn Shark?> Any idea where I might be able to find them? Also are you really speaking at SaltwaterU? <Oh! Yes> If so I look forward to it. Thanks my friend and all of you at Wet Web Media. <And to you Andre. Bob Fenner>
Re: PJ HELP! - 04/04/2007
Hey! I was referring to a port Jackson shark. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/portjacksons.htm and the linked files above> I have seen darker colored ones and mine is pretty but just a little lighter. What causes the color variation? Also I feed him using garlic extract once a week <Not a fan> and use vita-chem <Proper nouns are capitalized> vitamins to enhance his color and overall health but what should I do to ensure he gets all the iodine he needs? <... posted> If you could please tell me of any places you know where I might be able to find the darker colored PJs I would highly appreciate it. <Hello? Did you read the last message?> Also what can you tell me about Mexican Bullhead sharks? <What in particular? BobF>
Re: PJ HELP! Garlic use, Mexican Horn Sharks - 04/04/2007
Hey Bob. Wondering why you where not a fan of garlic extract? <Posted... doesn't do much good... and can cause real trouble with coating the surface air/water interface...> Also wanted to know some care tips for a Mexican bullhead shark. <The Heterodontid? What re? Have you read on WWM re? B>

Shark Problem... hlth., no useful data   4/4/07 Hi, <Hello there>             I have  Bamboo Shark that I hatched 5 months ago. He was doing great until about 3  weeks ago. He came down with a Bacterial Infection. <Unusual... the presumed cause/s?> I used a hospital tank to  treat him with an antibiotic. He started doing better so I put him back into the  main tank. He continued to do well until about a week ago. He became sluggish  and the only way he would eat is if I put it in his face. <... This reads like a case of avitaminosis...> So I  put him back into the hospital tank yesterday and started treating him with  Instant Oceans Life Guard. <For?> Now he's sluggish and not eating. Should I stop  treatment and place him back into the main tank? <Yes, I would> I also had a California  Stingray <?! Lives in much colder water... should be housed in a separate system> that just all of a sudden died the day after I placed the Shark back  into the main tank. The water is perfect. <Non-informational... this is your subjective evaluation, not data> The phosphates where high a few months  ago. I added a Refugium and some Phos Ban to the sump, <Good> it fixed that problem.  The only thing I can think of is, I added a iron supplement made by Kent for the  macro algae. Could this have caused a problem? <Yes, but not likely solely... Problem is environmental/nutritional> I'm lost on what to do. Thanks, Mickey <Do you administer vitamins via this animal's foods? Iodine/ate? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkdiseasefaqs.htm and the linked files above... particularly re Mazuri.com... Bob Fenner> Hi,        I forgot to add, I used water  from my main tank for the hospital tank. <A good practice if this water "can be trusted". BobF> Thanks, Mickey
Re: Shark Problem - 04/04/2007
http://wetwebmedia.com/sharkdiseasefaqs.htm I soak krill in water with a few drops of Garlic Extreme <Not worthwhile> every time I <I> feed him. I did use a Iodine supplement a while back for the few corals I have in the tank. Avitaminosis, what is this? <... a lack of vitamins... You didn't read where you were referred to...> I started treating him again because he had a small white cotton like patch on his back, that is now gone. Thanks so much for you time and information. Please ask for more information if you need it to help me solve this problem. Thanks so much, Mickey <... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The second tray. BobF>
Re: Grey Bamboo shark disorder... make an effort... to read what is posted - 04/04/2007
Just as a follow up I wanted to report that the episodes seem to be getting more frequent as of late, and, as of today, both nostrils are swollen almost seeming blocked by the swelling. Concerned about my little shark, bill <...? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The second tray. BobF>
Re: Grey Bamboo shark disorder  4/5/07
Could this be a fluke or copepod parasite that is causing this condition in my shark.   <... unlikely> If so, I know that "Prazi" is very effective but need some help as to where to find for an oral application. Your thoughts are very appreciated, bill <B>

Please help, baby shark sick  3/28/07 Please please help me, my baby black banded shark is sick.  Water quality is normal for his system (a shared system of approx. 280 gallons) <Shared with?> which is ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 12, and ph 8.1.  He is only in a thirty gallon tank right now, <.... way too small...> perhaps it is time to move him up to a 55 <Also way too small> since he is maybe three months old (hatched in wholesaler's tanks, a miracle because the conditions were AWFUL!  It was one of those "poor baby, I will save you" deals, I know, I know, this is totally the wrong thing to do) I plan to graduate him to a 240 gallon, then probably close to a thousand gallons, maybe low and long. Anyway, this will not happen at all if I cannot diagnose his problem!  He would not eat today, although he has been eating very well. <?>   However, the only food I could get him to accept was silversides, <...> he will only nip at krill but will not eat.  I ordered some shark formula, but when I went to try to feed him some soaked in a little silverside juice, he was uninterested.  He wouldn't even eat the silversides, usually he gobbles the little shedded pieces up so fast his belly gets a little big.  (His belly appears wrinkled right now, I'm assuming this is why)  Then I noticed he appeared red and blotchy, and hurried to your forum right away to read up.  I saw you told someone to not feed silversides, <Not exclusively> but couldn't find where it said why or what you should feed, whole food wise. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm The tray on Sharks...> Upon closer inspection, he has a small deep red area under his chin, a few millimeters, very small.  His head appears pinkish, and he is swimming irregularly. <Very bad signs> His substrate is CaribSea Special Grade, and he has been on it for a few months with no problem. Please help me, why is my baby sick? <In an inappropriate environment, malnourished... Period>   How can I help him?  I am a LFS owner, yet I love my animals very much, <Mmm, no... or not at least by my definition... IF you did care, you would take the time, invest the resources to know what the animals in your care required, and provide them... As a painful example... Our U.S. president claims he is a Christian... but in actual fact he is a liar, thief and murderer... Any of which exclude his Christianity> they are not just money to me.....I am in tears about this, and I really, really, need your help.  I have cared for these sharks before, at other stores, and have never seen this reddening of the skin get this bad. <Move this animal to a better world... NOW> The water was changed a few days ago, the normal amount, maybe 15%.  Everything in his system has been kept quite consistent, although I did add a 80watt UV Sterilizer about a week ago. <This won't save this animal> He already has a skimmer, media, liverock in other tanks in his system, I just don't know what else to do for him.  Ground probe? <No> Dip of some kind?  I am not going to just throw him in something without knowing it is what he needs, so please please help me diagnose this problem! Grace <Move it, and READ... Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help, baby shark sick... a/the human experience   4/9/07
My goodness, I really didn't expect to be attacked like this.  I hope I can convince you that I do research as much as possible, and I actually spent a few hours researching the night I wrote that email. <Please do> I always have seen tank recommendations of three times the length of the body for the length of the tank, and two times length of the body for the width. <Yes... a good minimum... for the MAXIMUM size of the animal... What is this for this species? You stated you have this fish in a thirty, was going to move it into a 55 gallon?> Maybe this is wrong, or maybe you didn't realize how small my shark was, but please don't accuse me of being uncaring because I hadn't found the correct sites yet. <? Has naught to do with "finding" sites... there are print references...>   (Actually, checking your site, I see you recommend less.. "Many people don't understand that most sharks need the width of the tank to be at least 75% of their body length if not more."  My shark was barely eight inches long...) <How wide is a thirty?> At any rate, this harsh attitude may chase away people, <I am hopeful that it chases such behavior as keeping cartilaginous fishes in circumstances that bring about their early demise entirely away...> and not help the animals you are trying to help in the long run. <...> Bringing politics into it cannot help either. <Let me check... Yes, still a site of my/our ownership/design/content... Will use whatever example/s, key what we like, deem illustrative, accountable...> This is only my opinion, and I would also like to say that I respect yours, I have been reading more than you might think... As for the feeding, I had no idea that not having a variety would affect them that soon, <...> after all, he was a little more than two months old.  I thought that silversides and Vita-Chem would suffice until I could convince him to eat other things, but no matter what I tried he wasn't interested.  I wish I had urged different things on him even earlier. <....> Poor little thing was just too far gone. <.....>   Listen, I see and hear things that horrify me every day.  I talked to a guy just yesterday with a six inch maroon clown in a 12 gallon cube, been there for a few years. <... a different species... that lives in a very small volume in the wild... can be made to be confined, with good care/maintenance in captivity... NOT chondrichthyous fishes...> I wanted to kick him, but instead I just tried convincing him that his fish was suffering, even if it didn't look like it.  I tried to show him why, I took even more time with him than with others, because he needed it.  Bad advice and information are out there, and it may not be this guy's fault he thinks this is okay.  So no attack dogs, guys, please?  Not everyone necessarily deserves it.....I mean, have you never missed something, believed someone you shouldn't have? <Oh yes... thank you for this proffered example. Does occur to/with me... a few to several times daily> I apologize if this was offensive, it was meant to be constructive.  Funny how there is such a fine line there, isn't it? <Mmm, hopefully less time with experience, learning/sharing, reflection. Please, I implore you.... learn before you burn... Investigate the life you intend to keep BEFORE purchasing it. Bob Fenner>

Injured grey Bamboo shark  3/28/07 I have a grey bamboo shark (C. griseum) which has been doing well for the month that I've had him.  Water parameters are great with a 30 nitrate reading my only concern. <Is high... and a parameter that is hard to "fight" with cartilaginous fishes in captivity...>   This morning when I checked on him he had a red color on one side of his mouth and on closer look what looks like a bruise and a slight scratch to his right upper lip/jaw area.  Can't really tell what happened but it seems he either tried to get at something in the tank or else tried to ingest something that was hard or sharp and injured himself. <Yes... could be a "bump" in the night> He otherwise seems fine, but I'm concerned about this injury.  Do I need to do anything (medication, etc.) and if so what...or do I just need let him heal on his own? Any help would be great, bill <Mmm... other than providing optimized, stable, suitable environment? Likely nutritional/immune system boosting is your best route/advantage here... You do supplement this animal's foods (e.g. Mazuri (.com) vitamins? You have read on WWM re shark disease, nutrition, systems....? Bob Fenner>
Re: Grey Bamboo shark disorder   4/3/07 I wrote about two weeks ago concerning an apparent injury to my C. griseum, but have now concluded that it is something else.  This morning I checked on him and found him with yet another injury in the same place as before (left nasal passage and upper left jaw area) that was swollen and red with what looked like a bit of raw flesh semi-blocking the nasal passage.  Again, to me it looked like he had tangled with a hermit crab and lost.  He was somewhat listless and red faced and not responding to food in the water.   Ten minutes later, when I checked on him, he was absolutely fine with zero signs of injury whatsoever and very hungry/aggressive towards food!!!??? What gives?? bill <Bizarre! Perhaps this injury is more like a loose "flap" with it up and out of the way when this animal looks fine... Is this specimen okay behaviorally? Feeding? You've removed the physical material it might injure itself on/with? Bob Fenner>
Re: Grey Bamboo shark disorder   4/4/07
Thanks so much for your response and your site....very helpful. This shark is just fine otherwise with a healthy appetite and I'm feeding him a very varied diet with vitamin supplements.  The "flap" could be a possibility, but why would it swell the whole side of the upper jaw and redden his entire head past the gills both dorsally and ventrally?  He's the resurrection king with going from "injured" an listless to 100% improved and hunting prey within 10 minutes.  Maybe he needs counseling about his manic/depressive disorder!! Thanks for any help bill <Well Bill... is all-new to me... Haven't come across a similar "case". Let's hope this specimen "decides" to halt the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde routine on the positive side! BobF>  

Goiter on Elasmo.   2/11/07 About a month ago, our bamboo shark began to have a small lump form under his mouth.  It has continued to grow and is now about the size of a ping pong ball.  About a week ago, he quit eating (probably due to the size of the lump).  At first we thought it was a tumor, but after reading some of the entries we are thinking it might be a goiter. <Agreed.> We can't find many pictures of sharks with goiters to confirm our diagnosis, so we're sending you some pictures of our shark and maybe you can confirm if that is a goiter. <Appears to be so.> Thanks for all of your help and information, <Begin dosing iodine to the water, and soaking the animals food in such as well. To help diagnose, what size/age is the animal...what size tank? Water parameters and diet would be helpful as well, also search WWM re: elasmobranch care.> Katie
<Adam J.>

Shark help... env.    1/26/07 Hey there! I was away on a business trip and left my good friend in charge of my shark tank! He was told what to do and still messed up! He overfed my sharks <Mmm, best to pre-measure, date-label all feedings...> and then tried to do a 15% water change! well when I got home today I noticed the sharks breathing heavily and went into a complete worry stage! I am currently checking my water parameters and will am very worried! What should I do? <? Move them, more water changes, use of chemical filtrants...> Water seems normal but sharks don't seem too happy! there was a change in salinity though! It seems to have dropped! I kept it higher around strong sea conditions and the sharks loved it! but now it is about 1.023! Should I slowly get it back to what it was or let them adjust to what it is? <I'd not change presently... until the animals are "acting better"> Guess its always better to be safe than sorry so next time I will pay a professional to do the job! Also I will be getting a smaller 400 gallon tank for my baby port jackson(9-10 inches) should he be fine in there for a couple years or months? <You should read: http://wetwebmedia.com/portjacksons.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Parasite treatment of sharks ?  11/21/06 Hello I'm a veterinarian who like to help a new started shark aquarium keeper with his black tipped reef sharks. He got 1 male and 2 females a month ago. The male was eating very well for 2 weeks and did not eat one day and dead next morning. Bleeding in and on testes no obvious parasites. I'm waiting for pathology, bacteriology and parasitology . after this one of the females has started to swim in an different body position and is not resting during shimming. seems to be in a hurry. The question has come about parasites and then my question - How to treat parasites flukes, tapeworm and nematodes in shark I do hope you can help us Tomas Lundgren Veterinarian Dalagarden veterinary clinic Bastad, Sweden <Mmm... need to know at least what phylum this source problem may be from... skin scrapings, microscopic examination. I strongly suggest you get/read Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment by Edward Noga. You may well have another non-pathogenic issue here... environmental... The behavior you list could be due to poor water quality (metabolite accumulation), or electrical potential... Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasite treatment of black tipped reef shark  11/21/06
I wrote to yo a while ago about problem with a new started shark aquarium The sharks are black tipped reef sharks  Carcharhinus melanopterus Can you help us with advise about parasite treatment, water quality levels - what span of water quality measures we have to keep. and of course where to find more know how about keeping those sharks and about diseases and treatment . My best regards Tomas Lundgren Dalagarden veterinary clinic Bastad, Sweden <Yes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/blacktipshark.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasite treatment of sharks ?  11/21/06
Hello I wrote to you about a mail BT reef shark that died and a female that has a behavior that might show that she is in stress. The aquarium has  the following levels of the water. PH:8,2 Densitet (salthalt):1.022 <I would raise, keep the specific gravity near seawater strength here: 1.025> Nitrat:5-10mg/liter Is there anything more to check up and what levels are accepted for this kind of sharks. <Mmm, ammonia and alkalinity> If there is parasites - how do we medicate them to get rid of the parasites - we can manage to put them in a separate 1,5 m wide circular  plastic container with a accepted water level as a treatment container. What do you suggest My best regards Tomas Lundgren veterinarian Dalagarden veterinary clinic Bastad, Sweden <Again, this depends on the phylum of the parasite... protozoans, worms of various sorts, crustaceans and more... I would NOT simply administer a compound w/o microscopic examination/determination. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasite treatment of sharks ?  11/21/06
Thank you for your answer I will follow your hint and I will write more to you after I have got the post mortem exams Best regards Tomas Lundgren vet Bastad, Sweden <Very good. Bob Fenner>
Re: Blacktipped reef shark disease and treatment    11/29/06
Black tipped reef sharks in Sweden in a private owned public new started display tank of 75000 liter . The sharks 1 male and 2 females around 1 m each, arrived from Holland around 4 weeks ago. One female did not eat but the male did eat very well from start  after 2 weeks he stopped eating and the next day he was found dead. <Coupled with the stress of moving...> Autopsy did show bleeding in the sperm reservoir. <Perhaps artifactual> Bacteriology has shown pseudomonas <Almost always present in culture in these settings> and 2 more bacteria  sensitive to Tetracycline and Gentamycin. Histopathology has given diagnose Orchit with septicemia . as there were kidney damage and muscle damage in hart and body muscles. <Again, very common in moving cartilaginous fishes... Sharks, rays, skates take a beating in being handled, particularly if/when larger... Need to be anesthetized, carefully monitored in transit... perhaps treated (through injection) prophylactically> The female that did not eat is still not eating after 4 weeks More about those Blacktipped reef sharks food and environment Life-support system: Display tank 75 000 liter of water * Protein skimmer (70 000 l/h) * 4 biological sand filters (25 000 l/h each) * 3 UV sterilization units (10 000 l/h each) * Denitrification filter <... Nitrate concentration?> Above this * Extra pumps for circulation (100 000 l/h) Food we have tried -- al fresh food. Herring, mackerel, salmon, anchovies, pike, smelt, squid Saltwaterfish  and fresh fish live ,dead and...stressed Vi have tried  daytime and evenings  on daily basis and 3 times a week Water parameters:2006-11-26 Temp.: 25 C Salinity: 1.022 PH: 8,2 KH: 7,4 Nitrate: 10 mg/l <I see... a bit high> Nitrite: 0 Ammonia: 0 We are thinking know about starting the treatment of the female with antibiotics. <If so... oral or intramuscular...> But as we do not like to catch her more times then necessary we wonder if We could use Tetracycline  twice the ordinary dose and every other day instead. <You could, but I would not... especially not Tetracycline Hydrochloride... the HCl radical is too acidic... If available I would try "the silver bullet"... Chloromycetin/Chloramphenicol succinate... three injections/uses, once every three days...> Then we can minimize the stress and force feed her with a stomacktube and give her antibiotics as well in the same time. Best regards > Sweden <Bob Fenner>
Re: Blacktipped reef shark disease and treatment    11/29/06
Than you bob for your answer about the BT reef sharks After I wrote to you the female that have not been eating for 4 week after arriving to the aquarium she did start eating yesterday evening. I decided to start her treatment with doxycyklin tablets 100 mg each other day with food her weight is around 7-8 Kg. <This is a good choice and concentration>   I did this choose because I wanted to minimize the stress for her as she arrived from Holland 1000Km in a tank and one month without food and the male dieing in a tetracycline sensitive bacterial infection with sepsis after a longoing infection in the testickel?? ( sperm organ) . <Yes> 2006/11/29, FAQ Crew crew@mail.wetwebmedia.com: If she had not been eating I think that Gentamycin 5-6 mg/Kg each 5 day IM could be a good choice in keeping the stress down. <Agreed> If she is getting worse during the treatment period I will try to get a blood sample for antibiotic blood levels.  If so  where do I take blood from a shark to minimize the stress and maximize the goal to get the blood. Regards Tomas <The brachial artery if one is careful... 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>

Brown banded bamboo shark ... health/system   11/5/06 Hi I have a Brown Banded Bamboo shark. I've had it for about 1 year and hatched it my self. <Ahh, congratulations!> The nitrates in my tank have been about 40 - 80 ppm its whole life and are at 80 ppm now. <Yikes... too high> My shark has never had <apparent> problems before and has seemed happy and healthy. I have been trying to get my nitrates to zero but have never succeeded even after doing a full water change before the shark was born (that only brought it down to 20 ppm). I have plenty of live rock in my tank which is 30 gallons. <Way too small... one, if not the largest issue here> I know that is way to small for my shark (it is about 11 inches now) and I just purchased a 125 gallon tank and it will be up and running within 2 days. Tuesday I came home from my dad's house for the first time in 5 days and went up to check on my fish. My shark looked like it hasn't been fed in a while because it had red spots on its stomach. <A bad sign...> I fed it about 2 to 3 silver sides and it ate them right away the red spots disappeared in no more than 10 minutes. Later I asked my mom if she fed it while I was gone and she said she fed it the day before about the same amount I fed it. After reading about the red spots from questions asked by other people, I have decide to do a 1/2 tank water change. <Good move> I was wondering if I should do more or less next time. <Mmm... thought you were setting up a 125...> Also what should I do if the red spots come back? <Improve the environment, improve the health... "If you can dodge a wrench..."> What kind of test kit do you recommend (I'm starting to think my current test kit isn't accurate)? <Posted...> And what kind of vitamins would be best to make sure my shark stays healthy? Thank you Brendan <Also posted... Mazuri... see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Sick Shark/Stray Voltage in Tank - 10/17/06 Greetings crew, <<Hello>> I am in dire need right now.  I have a 3-month old banded bamboo shark that I raised from an egg.  She was eating well and acting normally until 2-3 days ago.  I hatched her in a fifty-five gallon tank and planned to move her in December when we move into her new tank, a 225 gallon tank that we have. <<Ah, good>> She started curling out in the open.  I didn't think anything of it because she does this when she goes under a rock.  She is now flipping over and swimming erratically. <<Not good...is there the possibility of stray voltage in this tank?>> I checked the water.  The ammonia, pH, nitrite, is OK but the nitrate is a little high. <<Need to bring this down...add some Poly-Filter to the filter path...perform a water change...>> Long story short, after checking this FAQ several times and removing the power-head and heater I found that the thermometer was giving off some kind of electric shock. <Yikes!>> I don't know how long it's been giving off this shock because it just shocked me yesterday and my wife today. <<Yikes again!>> It was removed as soon as we realized that it was that. <<Good>> Do you know if the shark can recover from this and does this sound like the culprit or should we be looking for something else also? <<This very well could be the issue...and the shark should recover.  In the meantime, keep reading on our site re this species/general "shark" care.  Regards, EricR>>

Marbled Cat Shark - 10/13/06 Hi my name is Jonathan, <<Hello Jonathan>> I was doing some research about these sharks because mine has been acting up.  I've had it for a couple of days, I've been keeping up with the feeding etc...I've been feeding it human consumable shrimps. <<Will need a more varied diet...squid, marine fish flesh, etc.  Along with vitamin supplementation>> It even ate a couple of our small fishes in my tank. <<Yes...a very predatory species>> The tank is a 55 gallon tank 4'x2'x2'. <<Much, much too small...a couple hundred gallons needed here...in the least>> We just got it but we will upgrade soon. <<Make it quick>> I take it these are bottom dwellers however this shark has been swimming around a lot. <<May be an environmental issue>> It is a rectangle tank and I fear it scratching against the corners when it swims around. <<A possibility in this "too small" environment>> This shark looks well about 1' long and the previous owner says he had it for a couple of years.  Any suggestions? <<Get this animal in to a suitably large and equipped system...and start reading here ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharksystems.htm) and continue reading among the associated links in blue at the top of the page>> Thanks in advance. <<Regards, EricR>>

Epaulette sharks Parasites  9/18/06 OK I have gotten the new tank up and running. It is run by an Eheim 1262, 9 watt UV filter, 1 Berlin Turbo Skimmer, 1 Prism Skimmer, <Need something much more serious> large refugium under the tank, Magnum canister filter with Reef Carbon and a PolyFilter pad in the overflow box. No powerheads in the tank and 1 red sea pump for the Skimmer with a grounding probe in the same chamber as the pump.       The Epaulette in question was isolated in a large container for 3 days. 2 days treated with PraziPro (from Hikari) and formalin. The third day the water was replaced with new water and treated with Erythromycin. He is still rolling over and scratching on the substrate. A close examination of the skin looks like small bumps under the skin. Almost like warts. http://www.poseidonsrealm.com/stuff%20238.jpg. <Good pic> Since what is bothering him is internal, how do I treat him? <... am not so sure there is "something" internal going on here that is "treatable"...> Tonight I soaked some krill in vitamins and erythromycin and let it soak for a while. <Need much more volume than soaking can/will provide... to "sneak" such materials in capsule form inside foods... Have you investigated Mazuri's site? www.mazuri.com> He then ate all 8-10 pieces or krill without issue. I have Scott Michael's and the Noga disease books but have found nothing that looks the same so far. How are internal parasites in sharks treated?   Thank you for your assistance,   Mike <I would go the immune system bolstering route here... No more formalin and vermifuges... vitamins, HUFAs, Iodine/ide in capsules in the foods. Bob Fenner>

Re: Epaulette sharks Parasites   9/19/06 Thanks for the info. I have been to that site and was afraid of the tablets being to <too> big. These are baby sharks and it is hard to get a pill inserted into a small piece of krill. <Like other (human) pills, can be broken, cut up into pieces...> How big are these shark tabs? Are they small enough that I can feed to babies in krill? I have no comprehension on how big a .19g or 1.5g tab is. <Look up metric conversion table on the Net, texts... how many grams in an ounce? How many ounces in a pound? Bob Fenner>

Bamboo shark won't eat... Nutritional deficiency most likely  9/18/06 Crew at WWM, <HC> I have a Bamboo shark I hatched from an egg about 2 years ago. The shark is about 23" in length which most of the growth occurred over the past year. I do water changes every week to every other week no less than 10% of the tank which is a 125 gal. The water is from tap which goes through a R.O. filtration unit plus a D.I. unit. Where I live the city water is pretty bad with copper and other minerals. Up to about a week to 10 days ago my shark had been eating every day (silversides) and some Brine shrimp which falls to the bottom that is fed to the fellow tank mates. The tank mates include: 1-Regal tang, 1- Niger Trigger, 4-small yellow tail blue Damsel, 2-large black Damsel, 2-Pencil Urchins a few small hermit crabs & sand sifter stars. When I feed and allow the Silversides to fall to the bottom my shark is not interested nor acknowledges the food. I have tried Mysid shrimp which was the sharks staple up to about a length of 12" along with Krill. I had noticed about 4 days ago the shark had twitched and rubbed on some of the live rocks in the tank. (no ich is present) when I cleaned a pre-filter to the wet/dry filter  there was a lot of Amphipods and the sump filters have a lot of very small Feather duster babies, not sure if these critters larva are causing the eating problem. <Highly unlikely> The water condition in the tank is as follows: Temp. 78 degrees Ammonia- 0.1 Nitrate-30 <A bit high... would keep under ten ppm> Nitrite-0 Calcium-540 <Way too high... would keep under 450 ppm> Phosphate-4.5 <Again... should be less than 1.0 ppm> Iron-0 Alkalinity-70 P.H.-7.9-8.0 <A bit low...> Salinity-1.023-1.024 I have attached a couple of photo's of the shark, I have not noticed any weight loss but the not eating is concerning me. If you have some advise please help. <I do... you don't mention the use of vitamins, supplementation including iodine/ide... This is likely the primary problem here... Deficiency syndrome. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm and the linked files above... At this point, you may have to force feed this specimen, or have someone inject it... to have it resume feeding behavior on its own. Bob Fenner>

Blotchy skin on shark, no useful info.  - 8/9/2006 Hello, I have a 2 foot banded cat shark in a 300 gallon tank for 7 months now.  Also in the tank are porc puffer, panther grouper, annularis angel, lion fish, and a Naso tang all around 7-8 inches. <... the puffer and/or angel may be working the shark woe here>   The water levels are all stable. <Non-informational> I have a pro clear 400 wet dry <Nitrates?> and a nautilus EX skimmer.  I have someone come and change the water twice a month, changing 60 gallons each time.  Recently I saw that the shark had blotchy skin coloration, and a little reddish mark by his tail. <Likely environmental> I read that blotchy skin could be a sign of bacteria or parasites or sign of bad health.   <Is definitely the latter...> The shark about three weeks ago had a cut above his eye, but it healed up with MelaFix. <Worthless> He's acting fine, breathing normal, and eating as usual.  If you could give any advice it would be grateful.   Thank you --omar26 <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharksystems.htm and the linked files above. You likely have a "water quality" problem at root here... along with incompatibility, perhaps nutrition... Can't tell from the paucity of information provided. Bob Fenner>

Heterodontid on the skids, no useful data   7/29/06 Hi Bob Fenner I have a juv port Jackson shark with the same problem like Victoria brims of Sydney NSW Australia posted on the 7/27/05. Am wondering if the Epson <Epsom, not the printer company> salts help or not. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/portjacksons.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: PJ Shark like Victoria brims Sydney NSW ... Much more useful info.   7/31/06
Hi I have the heterodontid on the skids, no useful data My name's Nev I'm from highlands pets & produce Emerald QLD Australia. I'm sorry for the lack of information. I've had the shark two weeks tomorrow, sent to my shop by mistake with my last order. He is 22cm in length so I've put him in to a 6x2x2 tank, red sea coral sand, two Eheim power heads, no rock, four Fluval 405 canisters and a red sea Prizm skimmer xl. I now know I know very little about sharks after reading on this site. His problem is  raped in a circle to the left now on the floor, <?... this is the position, posture this animal has taken I take it> still eats well but when he tries to swim he rolls on to his back. <Not good... but may be "just young"... This is a Heterodontus zebra? Is it in a chilled system?> I'm using the Epsom salts & I've removed all the sand & the two power heads from the tank in case it is one of them. I've all so change all of his water today. He's been like this from Friday. He looks to be a little better now, my supplier thinks he may have had a stroke would this be true. <Mmm, stress likely, but a stroke? Not> Sorry his water is good at 8.3ph, amm 0,nitrite 0, nitrate 0,temp 19/20 deg/chiller will be here today. <Good... this will likely put this fish aright> Food is krill & squid once a day. If you can shine some light on my problem would be great, will keep reading more on your site. thanks Nev <This little shark's troubles are likely stress and cumulative effects from a too-warm environment. Chilling the water will likely cure all here in time. I would provide an adequate size "plastic pipe" or such for it to get out of view, the light... Bob Fenner>
Re: PJ Shark like Victoria brims Sydney NSW  7/31/06 Hi bob <Nev> Just writing to say thanks for the advise. He is a port Jackson so I'm told (but they said he'd had a stroke to). I have kept him cold should I keep him colder. <Do see fishbase.org for species identification and natural temperature range for this individual... You can view the nominal species by looking up the whole family: Heterodontidae Here's the Port Jackson: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=743&genusname=Heterodontus&speciesname=portusjacksoni> Anyway will write soon to tell how he is thanks. Nev Highlands Pets & Produce Emerald QLD Australia <Wishing you and this shark the best, Bob Fenner>

Baby Shark Questions ... system toxicity   7/26/06 Bob,    <Michael>   I have been trying to keep bottom dwelling sharks for a few years now. I have had a number of baby banded cat sharks that all seem to die with the same symptoms. Whether I hatch them from eggs or bought them as small juveniles they all seem to suddenly start to swim in erratic circles and end up dying. <Something unsuitable in the environment...> That all have had reddish/pink bellies once they died. <Chemical, physical...> They all were eating well and I usually feed Silversides, krill, squid and clams.
<... poor. Thiaminase>
 I had 1 12" cat shark living in the tank for about 2 years but he recently jumped out and though I found him on the carpet still alive, he died about 24 hours later. I got him beyond the baby stage I have had my others. Is there something specific to the babies I am missing? <Mmm, no... not likely... perhaps just more toxic to young/er... Likely a source of metal... could be a shaft on a pump or powerhead... a heater...> I have them in a 150G tank, with some live rock <Could be metal contamination, part of the LR> and a refugium under them tank. A protein skimmer is on the tank but it does not put out much waste.   I am receiving 2 epaulette sharks today and want to make sure I am caring for them correctly. I have lost 2 or 3 of these in the past too with the same symptoms as the banded cat sharks. What is the pink bellies an indication of <General irritation, poisoning, septicemia/petecchia...> and how to I prevent it so the babies can mature?   Thank you,   Michael Koenig <Perhaps a review of what is posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharksystems.htm and the linked files above... Chemical tests... data from same? I'd run Polyfilter in your filter flow path... have a QA lab do a run on your water... something toxic, amiss here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby Shark Questions
- 07/26/06 I use a Kold Ster-il water filter so I am pretty sure my water is not the issue. I have never used Copper or anything like that in the tank. I have 2 small maxi-jet powerheads and 1 RIO 1100 powerhead <Likely culprit...> and a Mag 5 or 7 for a main pump. so I am not sure metal contamination is this issue. I respect your response and will review the setup. Tested for Nitrate last night as the new sharks were acclimating and got no/very low reading on Nitrate.      The live rock has been in the tank for 3+ years. I am not sure I understand how the rock could be an issue. <I still suspect some source of ferrous/magnetic contamination. I have necropsied many sharks that have perished from such in public and other institutional settings... Not easy for a home hobbyist to check for such stray electro-magnetic issues... but I'd remove the powerheads... Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby Shark Questions   8/1/06
Ok I have pulled the 2 powerheads that were in the tank out and did a 30 gallon water change on Friday night. I am now concerned with the water movement and surface aeration though which is why they were in there to begin with. There is still the main Mag drive pump and 1 powerhead that pumps water into my TurboTwist UV filter in the refugium.       Can you expand on why/how this could be the problem? <The Ampullae of Lorenzini... look this up> How could a little piece of magnetic impellor be poisoning the sharks? Is it safe to put in brand new powerheads? <Ones with non-ferrous drive shafts, yes> Maybe the old ones were to old?  1 cat shark already has a pink belly and I removed him to a separate tank for now. <Good> I have added a poly filter in the refugium and added a bag of Seachem Purigen in the overflow box. I have 5 more Poly filters on the way so I have them in supply. I plan on added my canister filter with Reef Carbon as soon as it arrives.      -Michael <Good moves. Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby Shark Questions... system on the loose  - 08/15/06
Bob,   Since my last email I have lost a personifer, an emperor and a banded  cat shark from this tank. The epaulette sharks are showing a little  pink on the bellies and are scratching on the sand on rocks. i have no  idea what to do now. The only powerhead left is the main pump which is  either a Mag 5 or 7. Could something in the liverock be doing this? <Is possible, but not very likely>   Something in the refugium? <Ditto> I have a livesand bed of 2-3" <Mmm, see WWM re... in general should be much thinner... or deeper...> and about 5 lbs of miracle mud in the refugium which has not been changed for 3+  years. The vlamingi tang in the tang is also infected with something. <... there is something "amiss" with the environment here...> I  have resorted to starting a Stop parasites treatment from Chem-Marin <These folks products are shams...> which required me to stop the charcoal filter, UV, PolyFilter and  remove the absorption pads. <I would return to gear that is known to work...> The canary, dwarf moray and miniatus  grouper are not affected. The sharks are still eating well but need to come up with a way to get this problem under control. <Correction... need to define, characterize, actually find the problem first...> I tested for  Nitrate and had no reading, no ammonia, ph was about 8.2. a 30 gallon  water change was done a week ago. There is now a grounding probe in the  tank as well.   Anything else you could possibly recommend on why they are scratching and showing the pink on the bellies?     -Michael K. <... a long list of possibilities... For what you have invested, I strongly suggest getting hold of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment" and reading it front to back... I recently have... This will likely serve as a/the best general survey, reminder of what might be "going wrong" here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Epaulette sharks/Pink Bellies/New tank on the way   8/22/06
  Bob,   I bought a larger tank yesterday and am in the process of getting it set up.  It too has a large glass refugium and a larger protein skimmer. Got this reef tank setup for $500 used. Bargain of the year! It had a one live rock among the others that weighed 80lbs plus 2,  6" maxima clams, hard corals and tons of star polyps and serpent stars. Only some of the rock that came with it will got back in. That large rock will not, just enough to make some hiding places for the sharks. This tank had 2 pumps running it. One internal Mag 12 and 1 external pump from Pentair that they don't make anymore (quiet one). <Keep the cooling port clean on this> I want to get a new pump on this tank. You told me that metal from the pumps/powerheads could be causing the pink bellies on the sharks. <Yes> What would be a good brand of pump to put on the tank that would not have very much metal internally to the pump but also run quiet. <Posted on WWM... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar.htm and the linked files...> I need to get the transfer done fairly quickly as they still have pink bellies and I can't figure why. <Substrate type?> The ph was at 8.44 this morning with salinity of about 1.024. There is not a recommended specific gravity listed in the epaulette sharks section of the Scott Michaels book. Are those parameters ok for these Epaulette sharks? <NSW is best... about 1.025> The reef tank had 4 serpent/brittle stars and an urchin. I assume they would not be safe with he sharks. <Not indefinitely> I had them isolated with the fish that came with the new tank last night and the sharks were trying to bite though the screen mesh separator I built.      Oh, lastly. I was doing some reading on your site and saw topics about silver sides and sharks. some of the articles said silversides for sharks was a no, no but did not say why. Can you explain? <A little fatty> They seem to like them.  Are silversides ok for eels? <Not exclusively> If the sharks are not supposed to eat them I would at least like to use them up with my eel and grouper. My epaulette sharks have been eating small clams and krill as well as some silversides.      - Michael <Bob Fenner>
Re: Epaulette sharks moving to new tank   8/30/06
- "I'd use this opportunity to made a wet-slide mount (skin mucus) ?????(huh?) and look for trematodes and other worms"      Best way to gather? shark out of the water? what should I collect it with? what do Trematodes look like and how do I treat if they do exist?    <Please see Ed Noga, "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment"... a very large, involved topic. Too much for here>   Is freshwater dip bad for sharks? <Generally not. Bob Fenner>

Re: Epaulette sharks has died  9/1/06
Bob,   sorry to say that shortly after the last email I sent to you one of the  Epaulette sharks died after the freshwater dip. <Sorry for this loss> He was already looking  bad and it was a last chance effort to save him. Maybe the stress of  being caught and put in freshwater put him over the edge. I have kept  the body in a bag with salt water in case you can instruct me to look  for anything further. I really don't want to loose the other one I  have. They were happy together and one was laying on top of the dead  one when I noticed it.     :(     I have taken a few more scrapes of the dead one and I see a bunch of  round objects but again none of them are moving. <Mmm... might not appear so... were these stained... to show/contrast?> I see another one the  is oval and appears to have a tail. I think it is safe to assume they  have some kind of parasite but now that we know that, how do I get rid  of them?? <... w/o knowing what they/these are... Again, the investment of your time, focus/attention (narrowed perception)... the Noga book... Bob Fenner>
Re: Epaulette sharks Parasites   9/2/06
They are only mentioned once in that book on page 43 in a single  paragraph. <... other books>   I am not a marine biologist and don't understand half  the things in that book. That is why I am asking for help. <It might server y/our interests to have you review our ongoing correspondence; mostly here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SharkSysFAQs5.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shkdisfaq2.htm. What do you see as a consistent theme? On my part that you're not ready to keep these animals... your system is too small, obviously has defects... and you lack requisite knowledge> The sharks  are getting worse and I need an action plan to save them. <...> They are  swimming erratically and flipping over to scratch their top side on the  sand. I did a very short freshwater dip on them but it seemed to stress  them out to much so I put them back after a few minutes. No method of  treatment of trematodes in the book that I have seen. I took a scrape  with a spatula and am looking at it under the microscope but I  honestly have not idea what I'm seeing. I see lots of things but none  that are moving. Are they supposed  to be moving? I see a lot of  small round objects and some other weird shaped items too. Not sure if  they came off the damp towel the shark was put on or not. <What reference have I made? http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Disease-Treatment-Edward-Noga/dp/081382558X/sr=1-1/qid=1157207560/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-6795543-2131144?ie=UTF8&s=books>   From searching the internet <...> I understand they are small fluke like  parasites but most sites say freshwater dips with formalin or copper  and I know sharks can not be exposed to copper. Any time I have used  Formalin in a dip in the past the fish always died so I am not real  keen on that product.     I see some masses that look similar to some of the images on the  internet but I can not be sure. I have very limited knowledge of  microscopes and what I'm looking for. This is just a cheep National  geographic microscope from Target that goes up to 1200x. <Mine only goes to 400 X> Lets  assume I do have external parasites on the Epaulette sharks. what do I  do to get rid of them? Please, please advise for the sake of the  sharks. Time is of essence at this point.   Thank you,   Mike <Read... don't write. Bob Fenner><RMF! Praziquantel!!!>

Problem with nurse sharks Cyprus  7/19/06 Mr. Fenner <Nikos> I am a very huts fun of you and your side. <Ah, good> Daily I am visiting the wetwebmedia but this is the first time that I am contact with You. I have a problem and I think you cine help me. I have two Nurse sharks and I think they have thyroids, both of them have golf ball under their mouth. <Yes... likely an iodine/iodide deficiency> The first shark is 60 cm total length and the second is 30 cm total length. I feed them daily fresh fish or crabs because I am a fisherman. I hope you can help me. Nikos Koutsoloukas Cyprus <I have visited your island (in 1996 with the Hash House Harriers). Please look into supplementing these sharks diets with Iodine (the best, most likely available to you is Lugol's Solution). Please read here re: http://www.google.com/custom?domains=www.WetWebMedia.com&q=shark+goiter&sitesearch=www.WetWebMedia.com&client=pub-4522959445250520&forid=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3BVLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3A99C9FF%3BLBGC%3A336699%3BALC%3A0000FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000%3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BFORID%3A1%3B&hl=en Bob Fenner>

Coral Catshark red spots  - 06/07/06 It's me again. <?... Where is previous corr.?> My male shark is eating great, but now he has a few red spots on his belly. He was real red, by his mouth and most of his underside, and I became very nervous. I re-read Scott Michael's book and did a 20% water change, and cleaned and changed the filter cartridges and media. He looked a whole lot better the next day. I also left one of the three lids open to get more oxygen in the water, <Mmm, might "jump" out> and removed one of his tank mates for the same reason. He is breathing better, the redness has gone down significantly, but he still has some red spots. I think it started from a scrape he had from the rocks in the tank, which are gone now. I have only had him for about two months and he didn't eat for the first three weeks, I emailed you regularly, but since then eats like a champ. I feed him pieces of a whole squid, which I purchase from Tropicorium, and put Mazuri vitamins in the squid. Both male and female accept it readily. Should I treat him for a bacterial disease or a parasite? <... I wouldn't add "chemicals" here unless you knew what you were doing. You don't> I feel the scrape has proven to be an opening for bacteria to attack, but I'm not sure. It doesn't appear to be getting worse, but it's not getting better either. I was thinking about putting some "Fish Cillin" in the water, as in Michael's book it calls for Ampicillin for bacterial infections. What should I do? Thanks again. <... keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Shark and Hot tank 5/28/06 My Chiloscyllium punctatum has recently started to swim upside down. I noticed that my tanks temperature jumped from 79 to 86 degrees because of the hot weather we've been having. I took him out and put him in a sick tank with a airstone and heater. My LFS said he might of got deprived of oxygen. WHAT SHOULD I DO?????? <Does sound like oxygen deprivation along with temperature shock.  All that can be done is to slowly lower the temp along with good circulation to increase the oxygen in the water.  Also be especially observant of water quality.> <Chris>
Hot Tank Part II 5/29/06
It is too late, he died last night. My water quality was good just the temperature raised. <Sorry to hear that.  The shock was probably too much for it.>

Open Sore on Horn Shark   3/4/06 Hello I have a 1 yr old Horn Shark and just last week i noticed an open sore on his front right fin.  I figured one of the other sharks might have bit him, but then today i saw an it was bleeding a little bit, he's breathing normally and swimming only when some walks by to feed him.  Could you please tell me what it is and how could i treat this.      Thank You <... Mmm, depends on the cause... if "just a bite", it will likely heal... Given the system is fine (large enough, filtered, chilled...). If it has progressed to an infection... See WWM re: The sections on Shark Disease, Port Jackson and Coldwater Sharks. Bob Fenner>
Re: Open Sore on Horn Shark... Non-native speaker?  - 03/05/06
thank you, the tank i have is a 300 gallon, and i have a wet dry and a UV and a protein skimmer rated for 600 gallons, i don't have a chiller but my water is at 69 degrees, i believe that's ok right cause in scott Michaels book it says horn shark can stay in temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees. <Should be fine>   i contacted the natl aquarium in Baltimore and one person said to put iodine on the fin, idont know if i should or not. <I would not... unless you have cause to otherwise restrict, handle this animal. The further stress, possible physical trauma is not worth it. Please fix your English before sending correspondence... Bob Fenner>

Vacation Question ... feeding a shark in a too-small system- 2/28/2006 Hi Bob, <Amanda & Chris> My husband and I have a 125 gallon salt water tank, and in it is a Bamboo Shark (don't worry we are getting a 300+ gal within the next few months for him) He is 10 months old and doing great. We are leaving Friday for a trip and will not be returning until Wednesday. We want him to be fed while we are gone and I am not sure if we will have someone to come here this time. Do you have any suggestions? We normally feed him Raw Shrimp, Scallops, or Live Ghost Shrimp. He refuses any of the Frozen Shark Cubes that you get from a pet store. <Mmmm. I would elect to not feed this animal myself... but if you're adamant AND have someone who knows what to do, will do it, I would pre-make the food allotment, hide all other foods... leave explicit instructions...> I was also wondering, Bandit (the shark) has a white eye, and I am thinking that he bumped into a piece of rock. <Very common with sharks, small systems> It kind of looks like a cataract. It doesn't seem like he bothered at all by it. Do you know if it could be something serious or if it is not really anything to worry about? <I am concerned, would move to the larger, new system ASAPractical> Sorry but one last thing, my husband wants to know if you have ever heard of and know where we can get Garden Eels (type of Goby)? <Perhaps Pholodichthys? Look on the Net re... are available. Actual Garden Eels (Ophichthyids) are very difficult to keep in home settings> Thank you for your time!! Amanda & Chris     <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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