Iridescent Shark – The Complete Care Guide of This Shinning Pet Fish
- Origin of Iridescent Shark
- Appearance of Iridescent Shark
- Diet Plan for Iridescent Shark
- Tank Requirements of Iridescent Shark
- Water Type for Iridescent Shark
- Temperament of Iridescent Shark
- Suitable Tankmates for Iridescent Shark
- Breeding of Iridescent Shark
- Diseases of Iridescent Shark with Interventions
- Difficulties in Keeping Iridescent Shark
When we hear the name ‘Shark’, we are scared of its huge size, sharp teeth, and predator nature. However, many sharks are non-aggressive in nature and friendly in a community tank like Iridescent Shark. Its size is like Redtail Shark, but its temperament is not like that Shark.
Iridescent Shark is also known as Sutchi Catfish or Siamese Shark. If you are interested in keeping this fish in your aquarium, then you may get knowledge about its care guide for upbringing it.
As we have discussed above, Iridescent Shark is different than other fish breeds. It is a popular pet fish because of its peaceful nature. You can have a quick look at its details on this table.
|Scientific Name||Pangasianodon hypophthalmus|
|Origin||Chao Phraya, Mekong (Asia)|
|Life-Span||Up to 20 Years|
|Colors||Silver with Dark Dorsal Fins|
|Size||48” (121.92 cm)|
|Compatibility||With Large Fish|
|Tank Size||300 Gallons|
Iridescent Shark belongs to the family of Mekong Giant Catfish, one of the largest tropical water fish in the world. If you want to keep this fish in your aquarium, then you need to arrange a large aquarium because at the juvenile stage it is small, but it can grow up to 4 feet or 48” (121.92 cm).
Fishkeepers admire this Shark because of its shinning and vibrant colors. Iridescent Shark is not a picky eater. It can eat anything you feed it. So, you have to be careful about its diet and nutrition. This fish is less affected by diseases because it is a hardy species of freshwater.
Some people eat Iridescent Sharks and others like petting them.
Origin of Iridescent Shark
Native to Southeast Asia, Iridescent Shark fish is found in the Chao Phraya River and Mekong River Basin. This fish is introduced to other rivers for aquaculture. Some of them are found in Magdalena River of Colombia and others are found in Kone Falls.
Appearance of Iridescent Shark
The name of this fish starts with the word ‘Iridescent’ which means shiny. The shimmering body of this fish brings electrical shine in the water of the fish tank. This Shark has two black stripes on the body, which is below the lateral line. This line is a vital part of its body because it is a sensory organ filled with nerve tissues. These tissues help the fish detect the changes in water.
The skeletons of this fish are made of cartilage, so people call them Cartilaginous fish. The black spots near the eyes, nose, and mouth of Sharks act as an electromagnetic receptor. Moreover, the skin of Iridescent Shark is like sandpaper.
When it becomes adult, its color turns uniformly gray from light gray or white. The females are plumper and larger than the males. This fish also has long whisker-like barbels which help in sense its environment.
Diet Plan for Iridescent Shark
This fish is not a picky eater, so it can consume anything it finds. In the juvenile stage, this fish prefers eating live meaty foods. When it grows up, it starts eating vegetation alongside meat. This fish will eat anything you give it, so you have to maintain a balanced diet for this fish. If you have no idea about its nutrition and diet, take suggestions from an expert veterinary nutritionist about the diet schedule of the fish.
You can feed high nutritional live foods to this fish 2-3 times a day because live foods have protein which helps the Shark in growing strength and color. Do not overfeed the fish because it may pretend to be hungry all the time. Some favorite foods of Iridescent Shark are:
- Brine Shrimps
There are some readymade foods that you can feed your pet fish such as:
Tank Requirements for Iridescent Shark
This fish prefers living in deep rivers near Thailand, especially in the Mekong River. This migratory fish swims upstream to spawn. It prefers living in the middle part of the aquarium. Take a look at more information for the tank setting of Iridescent Shark:
The tank size of this Shark should be 3000 gallons because this fish prefers living in a spacious aquarium. If you want to keep this fish in your aquarium, then buy a 1000-gallon tank for one Shark and purchase a 3000-gallon tank for 3-4 Iridescent Sharks.
Iridescent Shark is different than other fish breeds. It does not need many plants or rocks in its aquarium. Keep some fast-growing plants like Anacharis and Hornwort in the tank. Also, keep a sandy substrate at the bottom of its tank. Rocks and pebbles are not needed for its aquarium.
This shark is a nocturnal species, meaning it is active at night, so you need to mount a moderate light on the topmost part of the aquarium of this fish because it does not like harsh light.
You should keep a powerful filter in the aquarium of Shark because this fish is a messy breed, which leaves uneaten foods in the tank. Moreover, the poops of the fish contaminate the water of the aquarium, which can be refined by a good filter.
Water Type for Iridescent Shark
Iridescent Shark prefers living in warm water, so arrange a heater for its tank. Moreover, maintain the parameter of the water of this fish by checking the temperature, hardness and pH level.
The temperature of the water in the tank of Iridescent Shark should be 72-79 °F (22.22-26.11°C). This fish can’t live in cold water, so it is necessary to keep a heater in its tank.
The pH level of the water of the tank of Iridescent Shark must be 6.5-7.5.
The hardness of the water in the tank of this fish should be 2-20 dGH, and the water movement should be moderate.
You should clean the tank of this fish twice in a month because Shark is a messy fish. If its home is not clean, then it may get affected by various diseases. So, collect a brush, liquid soap, and cotton cloth to clean the tank. After brushing and washing out the dirt, wipe out the walls and decorations of the tank with a clean cotton cloth.
Change 20% the tank water of this fish every week to maintain the quality of the water, as we have discussed that this fish is messy in nature and pollute the water with uneaten food and its poops.
Temperament of Iridescent Shark
Although it is a peaceful fish, its large size is scary. It does not like loud noise and prefers living in a silent place. If its tank is overcrowded and loud noise passes around its tank, it becomes aggressive and starts hitting its head on the glass or decorations of the aquarium.
When these fish are at a juvenile stage, they school together, but when they become adults, they live separately.
Suitable Tankmates for Iridescent Shark
You can keep Iridescent Shark with large peaceful fish but avoid keeping them with aggressive and small fish. Aggressive fish can fight with them and small fish should be avoided in a Shark’s tank because they may eat up the small fish. It will be better if you keep the same sized fish breeds in the tank of Shark. The best companions of Iridescent Shark are:
- Synodontis Catfish
- Silver Dollars
- Leptobotia Elongata Loach
- Kissing Gourami
- Fire Eel
- Texas Cichlid
- Salvin’s Cichlid
Don’t keep small fish and crustaceans in the tank of Iridescent Shark because it can eat up the small species. Also, keep this fish away from rageful and large fish breeds that can attack or fight with this fish. Have a look at a few unsuitable tankmates of this fish:
- Molly Fish
- Redtail Shark
- Silver Arowana
- Crustaceans or Invertebrates
You can keep a maximum of four Iridescent Sharks in a 3000-gallon fish tank so that they can dwell peacefully. Iridescent Shark does not prefer an overcrowded tank.
Breeding of Iridescent Shark
It is hard for this fish to lay eggs in captivity. The mating and breeding season of Shark is late spring or early summer when the water level rises upward. Most of the Sharks are comfortable in laying eggs in the middle level of the ponds and streams.
You need to provide a separate large tank for the breeding process of Iridescent Shark because it feels challenging to spawn and breed in captivity. After breeding, separate the eggs from their parents. Keep the parents in the existing tank and let the eggs fertilize and grow themselves Feed small Brine Shrimps and newborn Bloodworms to the baby fries and keep floating plants in its tank, so that it feels comfortable.
Diseases of Iridescent Shark with Intervention
Iridescent Shark is a nervous fish that gets scared easily by hearing any noise. So, don’t stress them or disturb them by knocking the glass of the fish tank, which may lead to the panic attack of the fish.
Usually Sharks have good eyesight, but this fish has poor eyesight, so try to give high protein meaty foods like Brine Shrimp, Bloodworms and other crustaceans to this fish from an early age. If the water of the tank of this fish is not clean, and the parameter is not maintained, then it may get affected with various diseases such as:
- Fungal Infection
- Loss of Scales
- Fin Rot
Try to know the root of the infections and get suggestions from a veterinary doctor. Without a valid prescription from a doctor, don’t give any medicine to your pet fish because many medicines have side effects that may harm the fish.
Difficulties in Keeping Iridescent Shark
Although Iridescent Shark is a hardy and peaceful fish, the breeding process of this fish is tough for beginners. This fish feels uncomfortable to reproduce in captivity. So, an expert aquarist can help you know its exact breeding process in an aquarium. Therefore, beginners are suggested not to encourage the breeding process of this Shark.
Neither it is too tough, nor is it too easy to keep this fish in your aquarium. Follow our complete care guide to keep this pet fish comfortably in your tank.
- Iridescent Shark does not have bony plates over its body, so it is known as ‘Naked Catfish’.
- Most of the Sharks, including Iridescent Shark, has cold blood in their bodies.
- The embryos of some Sharks attack each other.
- Shark’s bite is poisonous like a jungle cat.
- Multiple male partners can impregnate a female Shark.
- Shark never sleeps.
More Information about Other Sharks of your Aquarium
Not only Iridescent Shark, but there are also many other Sharks that you can keep in your aquarium. Just take a look at its complete care guide if you are planning to add these fish in your aquatic home.
- Red Tail Shark: Red Tail Shark’s appearance is most probably similar to Rainbow Shark. It is also a semi-aggressive fish that is usually seen in the tank of expert aquarists. If you are a novice fish hobbyist, and you want to keep this fish in your aquarium, then you can acquire ideas on taking care of this fish.
- Rainbow Shark: This bicolored Shark is semi-aggressive, and its care level is moderate. Like this Shark, this fish is also found near the rivers and streams of Thailand. Reading its complete care guide may help you in petting this fish.
- Cat Shark: Native to Western Indian Ocean, this territorial Shark is rageful and suggested to be kept in a tank of an intermediate fishkeeper. To know about its care guide, you can have a look at the entire article.