Fish and other aquatic creatures

Aquarium shark, or shark catfish


In aquarium conditions, breeding is a rarity because of the size of the fish and the requirements for the breeding ground. In nature, the pangasius migrates upstream to the spawning grounds; this happens in late spring or early summer. Such conditions cannot be reproduced in the home aquarium. As a rule, they are bred in huge ponds on Asian farms, or are caught in nature and grown in lakes, keeping them in floating containers.


Pangasius can be called a hardy fish, but for a beginner it is not recommended. All because of the fact that it requires very specific conditions:

  • Speaking about the pangasius, first of all, you should remember what size this fish grows. Young shark soma grows very rapidly, and the home aquarium soon outgrows. Speaking about the size of the container for the pangasius, we can say one thing: the more the better!
  • Unlike solitary sharks, these catfish are schooling fish, and without a collective they start to get lost, to stress and toss from side to side, making their already hectic behavior more nervous. It is recommended to start a flock of 2-3 fish. Aquarium for a group of adult Siamese Pangasius should exceed 600 liters and be wide and long. For a high-melting pangasius, a capacity of more than a ton is required.
  • The shark catfish is a very shy little fish, and when it starts to frighten, it starts hysterically tossing from side to side, flying at inventory and other fish. Such behavior is a source of stress for all, so the aquarium with pangasius should be in quiet places.
  • These fish are prone to jumping from the aquarium, so the tank should be equipped with a cover or cover glass.
  • Such large fish consume a lot of food, oxygen and produce a large amount of waste products, so the aquarium should be equipped with powerful filtration and aeration systems. The Pangasius also does not like dirty, old water, so do not forget about the massive weekly changes of up to 40%.
  • The interior for shark som should be equipped with the appropriate way. It is important to remember that a pangasius is an impulsive fish, and in fright can fly into inventory or become entangled in plants, thereby causing harm to itself. It is best to decorate the bottom, leaving the water column free for swimming. To decorate the aquarium use smooth stones and low-growing plants.

Recommended water parameters:

  • temperature: 22-26 ° C,
  • acidity: 6.5-7.5 pH,
  • hardness: 2-30 ° dH.

The albino form of the Siamese Pangasius.

Pangasiuses are predominantly predatory way of life and willingly swallow everything that falls into their mouths. We are especially happy to eat live and frozen feed, small fish, sliced ​​squid meat, shrimp and sea fish. Do not give up and floating pellets of dry food.

Although this fish was called shark catfish, one should not expect somaty behavior from it. Pangasius rarely sinks to the bottom and picks up food debris, as it prefers to eat afloat. When underfeeding can demonstrate aggressive behavior, attacking the neighbors in the aquarium.


Compatibility issues should be approached very carefully. As long as the pangasuses are small, it seems that they do not pose a threat to the rest of the fish. They can swim peacefully with a flock of barbs or tack between the scalar. But peaceful behavior lasts until the pangasius realizes that the neighbor is potentially very tasty and can fit in the mouth, which, by the way, is very large in shark catfish.

For this reason, it is recommended to keep Pangasius with large, fast fish, which will be frightened by the strange impulsive movements of the shark catfish.

Thus, large American cichlids will be good neighbors for a pangasius: a three-hybrid parrot, an astronotus, a citron cychlasoma, etc.

You can also consider the neighborhood with other large Asian fish, for example, with an Indian knife or shark ball.

The neighborhood with small and slow-moving fish is strongly not recommended - the pangasius will be happy to swallow the first, the second may accidentally kill during his hysterical fright.

General description of the fish

Such specimens are not found in our latitudes and depths. These are "foreigners", originally from Southeast Asia. Shark catfish have their own history there and this is commercial fish for the peoples of the east. In nature, it reaches sizes up to one and a half meters, it can weigh up to 100 kg. From it they prepare delicacies in sushi bars. Different nature of the existence of catfish in our surroundings. Here she is destined to the fate of the ornamental fish and life in aquariums.

Since the Pangasius is very similar to the sea predator, it is a pleasure for aquarists who love everything unusual and exotic. For fish, you need a special aquarium, so that the 50-70 centimeter inhabitant will have a place to turn around. After all, by the nature of shark catfish is a very mobile fish. Look at her photo or video, and you will understand that the restless shark catfish is in constant motion and that is characteristic in the pack. Yes, it is a schooling fish, and without relatives it will be very uncomfortable. Young catfish are painted in a silver-gray tint, with dark horizontal stripes on the sides.

How to keep a decorative shark

Those who are interested in an aquarium should be aware that shark catfish due to their fussiness and fearfulness must be kept in special conditions. Reaching a length of more than half a meter, the fish should live in spacious aquariums that are longer than wide and at least 400 liters in volume. Scenery - only for the audience, i.e. compact, not all over the aquarium. And for water pets as much space as possible, they need space and freedom of movement. Large adult individuals must be kept in public aquariums, which are placed in large rooms, and their length is much larger than a home aquarium, as well as the volume, which reaches several thousand liters. Young aquarium catfish can live in tanks longer than a meter, but the “dwarf shark” is growing rapidly and they will need a new “home” very soon.

Note to the holders of fish: shark catfish can make sudden movements and throws, and in order not to get hurt, you need to remove all sharp objects.

Shark catfish feeding

The freshwater shark, and the so-called Siamese catfish, responds to its name, because, like sea sharks, they are not picky in feed and are very voracious. Therefore, it is best to feed them:

  • bloodworm,
  • pipe worker,
  • chopped veal,
  • frozen and live fish,
  • beef heart

All food should have plenty of protein. Dry food is not very suitable for these fish, besides, it strongly pollutes the water in the aquarium. There is a peculiarity of Pangasius: they are omnivorous, but they can catch and eat only that food that is not on the surface or on the bottom of the aquarium, but in the water column, where they like to be. In this regard, it is worthwhile to ensure that the uneaten food does not accumulate at the bottom of the tank, and for this, breed the kind of fish that is able to pick up food residues from the bottom. Sometimes Pangasius refuse to eat because of the bright lighting of the container. It is appropriate to dim the lighting to normalize the behavior of fish and food intake. Old ornamental sharks lose their teeth and begin to eat plant food:

  • soft lettuce leaves
  • crushed zucchini,
  • grated cucumbers
  • porridges,
  • pounded boiled potatoes.

Content mode

A separate line is worth noting the temperature-salt regime in the aquarium. The optimum water temperature was determined - from room temperature to 27 ° C. It is necessary to monitor the rigidity and acidity, it is also determined. Weekly 1/3 of water must be updated. Be sure to saturate the water with oxygen. Without compliance with these conditions, shark catfish will not be able to feel comfortable in an aquarium.

How catfish behaves with congeners in the aquarium

Shark catfish live in flocks, young individuals especially like to frolic in flocks. The “dwarf shark” is quite peaceful, does not attack the neighbors of another species, unless of course they are not a small fish, which shark catfish easily take for food. He is shy, despite his size, and may for some reason, suddenly and abruptly turn around, while hitting the walls of the aquarium or trying to jump out, which is often accompanied by injury. For the neighborhood with the aquarium micro-shark, various large barbs, fish-knives, labo, cichlids, and proportional polyturs are quite suitable. With regular and nutritious meals to pangasius can be hooked iris, gourami, etc.

The behavior of soms is the most direct, and watching them brings a lot of pleasure. First, aquarium catfish really resemble sharks. And secondly, they are all the time fussing in the foreground, as if waiting for the owner. And when a person approaches, they are likely to react to it.

Is captive breeding possible?

Experienced aquarists notice a certain sentimentality behind aquarium catfish, because soma can depict a "swoon" when frightened. They freeze in place or in the corner of the aquarium. To avoid surprises, you should:

  1. Make discreet lighting.
  2. Maintain an ideal temperature-salt regime.

It should not be dramatized when aquarium catfish, when they fall into a new environment, will suddenly faint or pretend to be dead. It will last no more than half an hour. Then, having discovered that the soma is not in danger, they begin to settle down and will soon get used to their new "home."

At home, shark catfish do not breed. Pangasius is imported from its homeland. If you are breeding fish, then only in the corresponding aquariums, with a special mode. Caviar deposition is possible in very dense thickets. After 2 days, fry are fed to the light, which are fed with zooplankton. Adult aquarium fish at the same time must be fed very nourishing, so that they do not eat the young. Pangasius spawn from early summer to late fall. You should be attentive to the health of pets and not to overfeed, because this leads to obesity and disease - you can even introduce fasting for a couple of days a week. It is also necessary to monitor the composition of the water. Separately, it is worth noting that sores have ulcers and poisoning. Ulcers are treated with potassium permanganate or brilliant green, and in case of poisoning a protein diet or fasting is prescribed.

Aquarium fish - shark catfish: description

The body shape of the aquarium shark is most reminiscent of the killer whale. Pangasius has a flat head with two pairs of whiskers, big eyes and a big mouth. The dorsal fin, as in marine predators, is shark-shaped, the caudal fin is two-bladed, and the anal fin is very long.

The young representatives of this species of fish have a gray color with two silver stripes located along the sides, which begin near the gill covers and end near the tail. Abdomen and mouth silver color. As they mature, the shark catfish becomes darker in color, the stripes disappear, only the lower part remains silver. Plavnichki in "youth" is almost transparent with a gray tinge, in big fish they are gray with a silver rim.

In the natural environment, the pangasius grows to a length of 1.5 meters, in the home aquarium these fish do not grow more than half a meter, the size depends on the volume of the aquarium and the diet. It is almost impossible to distinguish a male from a female at a young age, adult individuals differ in size and color. “Boys” are smaller than “girls”, and their color is much brighter, females look brighter against the background of males.

Fish - shark catfish: content

Siamese Pangasium is primarily suitable for those aquarium lovers who like active, mobile fish. Shark catfish - very nimble fish, at the same time very shy. In the aquarium, she loves to swim along the side windows and along the front glass. When you bring home and first release a catfish with a shark's appearance in a glass house, then be prepared for the fact that he will behave, to put it mildly, inadequately. The aquarium shark falls into a panic, rushes in the water, not noticing and sweeping away everything in its path. To faint or stand still in an unnatural posture is also in the style of this alarmist.

It is recommended to contain shark catfish in a large closed aquarium with a volume of at least 350 liters. To cover the bottom, use sand, on which lay large stones, snags. Plant different aquatic plants, they must be well fixed in the sand. Aquarium must be aerated and filtered. Once every seven days it is necessary to make water changes up to 30% of the volume, since mini-sharks do not tolerate old water.

Acidity - (pH) 6.5 - 7.5,
Stiffness - (dH) 2-20,
Temperature 22-27С.

What to feed shark catfish

Shark catfish do not like to eat in daylight, so it is recommended to feed him in the evening, while reducing the room lighting, otherwise he may simply refuse to eat. This fish eats quite a lot. Food never picks up with stones or sand, eats only what is near it.

The aquarium shark is a predator, so the squirrel must be included in its menu. They feed on squid, live or thawed lean fish, small pieces of veal or beef heart. From the more usual fish menu, the archer, the shaker, the dry granulated feed will suit.


In the natural environment of shark som, spawning begins in June and lasts until November. Pangasius spawn in farms in small adapted ponds, and fry are grown in wooden barrels.

In the home aquarium breeding small sharks - a very difficult task, a positive result can be achieved very rarely. It is much easier and more profitable to purchase these beauties in the store, where they are brought from their native places. A very unusual fish is shark catfish, the price for such aquarium inhabitants is rather big. But they are worth it.

Fish shark catfish is prone to ulceration and poisoning. In the first case, it is necessary to burn the ulcers with manganese-acid potassium or a solution of malachite green, in addition to the treatment, it is necessary to place the sick fish in the “infirmary” with a salt solution (1 g of salt per 1 liter of water) for a period of seven days. In the second case, if the catfish is poisoned, then you must first treat it with starvation, after unloading the fish have a protein diet.

It is imperative to monitor the nitrates in the water, if the norm is above the allowable, then rash and redness of the near-wane fins may appear on the mini-shark. In this case, it is urgent to minimize the level of nitrates and to increase the aeration.

If poor quality water in an aquarium, the catfish loses its appetite, becomes sluggish, it can begin the destruction of the fins and antennae.

It is necessary to closely monitor the temperature of the water in the aquarium. If the temperature is below normal, the catfish become slow-moving, then completely fall to the bottom and stop eating. If time does not bring the temperature back to normal, then the fish may die.

A very dangerous disease of fish - semolina (ichthyophthyriosis), the disease is so named because of a rash similar to semolina. There are a lot of methods of treatment, but the best thing is to immediately drop off a sick catfish and apply a solution of malachite green. In severe form of the disease, antibiotic treatment is recommended.