Albino Iridescent Shark (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) 4-5 inch

The word ‘shark’ on its own is enough to send chills down peoples’ spine. The fear for this large predatory fish is somewhat lost on the iridescent shark, just like the red tail sharks.Iridescent sharks, also known as the siamese shark or sutchi catfish, are a species of catfish native to Southeast Asia and Thailand.In the aquarium, they provide a lot of schooling activity. They are favored for their behavior and appearance.If you are thinking about keeping this fish, you should read our complete care guide below to learn everything you need to know.CategoryRatingCare Level:AdvancedTemperament:PeacefulColor Form:Silver with Darker Dorsal SideLifespan:Up to 20 YearsSize:Up to Four FootDiet:OmnivoresFamily:PangasiidaeMinimum Tank Size:300 GallonsTank Set-Up:Pond or Huge AquariumCompatibility:Other Larger FishTable of Contents [hide]OverviewTypical BehaviorAppearanceHabitat and Aquarium SetupTank ConditionsWhat Size Aquarium Do Iridescent Sharks Need?Tank Mates for Iridescent SharksKeeping Iridescent Sharks TogetherWhat To Feed Iridescent SharksIridescent Shark Care GuideHow To Breed Iridescent SharkAre Iridescent Sharks Suitable for your Aquarium? (Summary)Everything there is to know about keeping fish.OverviewScientifically they are known as Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, and they share a family with the Mekong Giant Catfish (one of the largest freshwater fish in the world).As a matured adult the iridescent shark can grow up to four foot. Many people will buy them as small juveniles and not realize how big they can get.The biggest challenge when keeping these fish is having the right size aquarium. While a 100 gallon for juveniles will be ok, 300 gallons will be needed as they begin to grow.Their bright flashy colors have made them popular in the aquarium trade. They are hardy fish and eat a wide variety of food. Like most catfish or even goldfish, these sharks will eat anything they can find and as often as possible; this is what allows them to grow to such enormous sizes.Typical BehaviorIridescent sharks are fairly timid and can be easily scared. When this happens, they may hit their head on the glass or decor.You can help keep them calm by placing the tank in a fairly quiet area, somewhere they aren’t likely to be scared by loud noises or people passing by the tank.They are also likely to get harassed from more aggressive fish. Therefore, keeping them with large peaceful fish is important. There is an emphasis on large because any fish that can fit into the shark’s mouth will likely become food.As juveniles they school together and separate as adults. This schooling, combined with the flashing skin, is yet another reason why they were brought into the aquarium trade.AppearanceAs the name states, these fish are iridescent. They have shiny skin on their sides as juveniles. They also have two black stripes on and below their lateral line. This line is a sensory organ that is filled with nervous tissue used to detect changes in the water.Once they reach adulthood however, they start to become uniformly gray. Another trait for adults you must have noticed by now is their size.Females are usually larger and ‘plumper’ than males.One unique thing about these fish is the fact they are “naked catfish”, meaning they do not have bony plates over their body. They do however have skin and choose to live in the middle of the water column.They have long, whisker like barbels, that help them to sense the environment.There are a lot of sensory organs in fish like this and the reason stems from the water quality they are used to in the wild. Waters may be murky so they are not able to use their eyes all the time.Habitat and Aquarium SetupNative to Thailand, these fish thrive in deep rivers. These deep waters allow for large groups of adults to form. They stay in the middle of the water column and search for food.They come from an incredibly diverse area (the Mekong River) which has direct effects on both fish and human populations.The barbels on their head help them to search for food. This adaptation allows them to feel their way around in low visibility and water where a lot of sediment or low light is present.Speaking of light, these fish are not like most catfish who are active at night; they are active during the day.They are also migratory fish. During rainy season, they swim upstream to spawn, only to return to lower waters to rear their young.Tank ConditionsUsing this information, a fish tank that is modeled on a river is best for these fish. This means having an open swimming space with rocks and driftwood around the floor of the tank.The important part of the tank setup is the open middle water column. This is where your fish will spend most of their time and they will need a lot of room.To keep these fish stress free, make sure the water parameters do not fluctuate so much. As with most fish, they do not respond well to changes in these conditions even though they are hardy.Iridescent Catfish require the following conditions:Temperature: 72-79°FpH: 6.5-7.5Hardness: 2-20 dGHWater Movement: ModerateLight Levels: ModerateThese fish have sensitive barbels so a soft substrate is needed. This will also replicate the river conditions they are used to in the wild, which usually have a soft muddy bed.It is important to think about this fish’s large size and their nature. When they get scared, they can bash into equipment such as heaters and break them. To stop this, make sure you keep the tank in a quiet area of your home.Also consider hiding heaters where they cannot be broken, either using an external in-line or an under gravel heater.You’ll need a powerful filter to help keep the tank water clean because these fish are very messy!Plants can be eaten by these fish and should generally be avoided unless you’re happy for them to be eaten. If you choose to include plants, choose fast growing species such as hornwort and anacharis.What Size Aquarium Do Iridescent Sharks Need?A juveniles iridescent shark will need at least a 100 gallon aquarium. As adults they will need a 300 gallon tank.As juveniles they will thrive within groups of around 4 or 5. This schooling will allow them to swim in the water column with less fear. After 300 gallons for the first fish, you should allow another 150 gallons for each iridescent shark that you add.Tank Mates for Iridescent SharksThe biggest thing to remember when putting these fish with others is their size. Any fish that can fit in their mouth are likely to end up being enjoyed as a meal.This means fish like Tetras, Danios and Barbs are not good companions.The good things are that these fish can be housed with lots of large peaceful fish such as:PlecostomusSynodontis catfishPearseiSilver dollarsKissing gouramiLeptobotia elongata loachOscarTexas cichlidSalvin’s cichlidBichirFire eelAny crustaceans will not do well with these fish and will likely end up being dinner.As always, when adding more aggressive fish make sure to watch them interact. You never want to have your fish bullying one another.If you ever have problems, then remove the aggressor from the tank. Most stores will take fish back for credit. This will keep your tank healthy as well as make sure you are not just wasting money trying new fish out.Keeping Iridescent Sharks TogetherJuveniles work best in groups and should be kept together. Having around 4 or 5 will make sure they thrive in your tank.What To Feed Iridescent SharksThe iridescent shark is an omnivore; they eat anything they can find.As juveniles, they tend to eat more and more live and meaty foods; however as adults they tend to become more vegetarian and even lose their teeth. This behavior is also shared in other fish like the Pacu.In the aquarium, this means your job is a bit easier. They require a balanced diet but will eat


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