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FAQs about Shark Compatibility

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Related FAQs: Shark Behavior, Sharks 1, Sharks 2, Shark Identification, Selection, Systems for Sharks, Feeding, Diseases, Shark, Ray Eggs,  Coldwater SharksLeopard Sharks, Heterodontus, Blacktip Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, RemorasMoving Sharks

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

Compatibility. Volitans and small shark      10/25/14
I have a 5 inch black valotion lion fish and a banded cat shark egg that will be hatching. I've been told that these two are compatible and would like to make sure that when the shark hatches the lionfish will not eat him or sting him.
<Might try the first, accidentally do the latter>
Should these two be separated prior to the hatching or will they be fine.
They are currently in a 125 gallon tank.
Thank You for your time with this
<If practical; I'd be separating. Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatibility      10/25/14

Thank you

compatibility. Mis-mixing Elasmobranchs       11/14/13
I have a black tip reef shark about 30" long and I would like to add an 18"-24" Bonnett Head.  Are these two compatible?
<Given sufficient room... several thousands of gallons, yes>
currently have a leopard shark and they get along great
<Stegostoma maybe... not the cool-water Triakis. A mistake that won't last.
Bob Fenner>
Thank you for your help

Quick Question, Sharks, Urchins as tankmates     12/17/12
First off, thank you so much for the great info, I've been cruising the site for over straight six hours now!
<Ahh! About this long for me with the slow connection here in Cozumel>
After many months of research and planning I recently decided to down size my 180 mixed reef and use the existing setup and some rock to house a single Coral Catshark (*Atelomycterus marmoratus)*. I chose this shark because it stays relatively small and should live comfortably for at least two years in a 180 before needing a larger home.  Here's my question...
After re-homing my fish, corals and cleanup crew I  was recommended (by my LFS knowing my future plans) & purchased a Longspine Urchin (Diadema setosum)
<Mmm, I would not do this with a shark present in a system>
 to help keep the rocks and glass clean. My Catshark should be arriving this week, will I be able to leave this urchin in the tank or will  they harm each other?
<I would definitely remove it... use scrapers, nutrient limitation, water movement... macroalgal culture in a tied-in refugium on RDP... more gone over on WWM under "maintenance">
Thanks again,
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Need help with Shark care   10/28/10
Hello to the crew of WWM.
Let me start by saying I have always been a huge fan of ocean life....and especially sharks....I have wanted a shark since I was 13....20 years later I couldn't resist. I have an 18 month old who I took to a fish store with me one day and he decided
that he really wanted this bamboo shark they had and a snowflake eel by continually saying...."I want dat" his words. So....we have an eel, his name is Dah....yes dah. On with the reason for my message.
<Not good choices to house together>
I am new to shark keeping, not necessarily to saltwater. I have had saltwater tanks for almost 3 years and in a rush purchased a Banded Bamboo shark egg....then like the impatient person I am I ordered a
Marble Cat Shark. But now I am left with tons of questions. I have been reading through this site for a few days now (I know....should have done the research first) trying to obtain as much information as possible. I found the links to Mazuri and ordered the 5M24. I am curious if I need the gel too?
<Mmm, no; the tabs are fine alone>
The problems....when I ordered the egg and then the shark the guys told me that they wouldn't ship for over a month which was ideal because I am picking up a 240 (96x24x24). Problem is that they shipped the egg within 2 days. I only have a 60g cube (24x24x24) so now I am in a panic. I can see the shark in the egg and I can tell it's only about 3 inches or so and the yoke is a bit smaller than a ping pong ball.
<Plenty of time...>
I can see he is active, which is good, but I am concerned he is going to hatch before I get the new tank set up. As stated my current reef is almost 3 years old. Water parameters are in line (PH 8.0, Sal 1.025, Calcium 600,
<Too high... way>
Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, ammonia 0) I do know that even the 240 is small and plan on building a larger tank in the next year. This is probably impossible to answer but how long do I have before he hatches?
<More than a month, unless the temperature is also way high>
Are there any issues I should be aware of with the 2 different sharks in the same tank?
<Mmm, not these two... if kept fed>
Big question is, I found out after the fact that I was mislead....the guys told me the banded bamboo would only get 24 inches....now I am reading 40.
<Likely yours will not/ever exceed two feet>
Then, I got an email saying that my "Marble Bamboo shark" is being shipped. Well that makes me nervous too because I wanted a CAT shark that only gets 24 to 27 inches....not another 40 incher.....is there a difference between marble cat and marble bamboo?
<? Yes... one is Atelomycterus macleayi, the other Chiloscyllium plagiosum... some places have the common names confused>
I would imagine for the time being, with it only being an egg the 60 is ok for now. I just hope I can get the 240 up before it hatches.
On with the immediately relevant questions....first up....the egg. When I purchased the egg the guy told me to just place it in my sand.
<What? No>
But after reading I am hearing, or reading, that suspending it is a better idea. Do I suspend it close to the bottom or the surface?
<Nearer the surface is better... Use a "veggie" clip... a foot or so down from the water surface>
I ask because I have a 250w DE HQI that only sits about 4 inches off the water and I don't want to cook the baby. Also, I have a Melanurus Wrasse, Snowflake eel, Hippo tang, Lawnmower blenny, Niger trigger, serpent starfish, skunk cleaner shrimp, 2x tiger tail cucumbers, and various snails and hermits in that tank, I know that I need to pay close attention to the trigger when the shark is hatched but do I need to worry about the egg?
<Hopefully not>
Are any of those other fish going to pose a threat or become food?
<... you don't want to have a baby shark in here>
I keep seeing these video's with people cutting their shark out of the egg.....is this recommended?
<No... only if absolutely necessary>
Seems like a bad idea. How hard is it going to be to move them, I say them assuming they are going to send the marble early too, into the new tank? Do I acclimate the sharks just like fish?
<They are fishes>
Are there any corals I should avoid housing?
Why are lionfish discouraged with sharks?
<May eat them or get stung by them>
Thank you very much for your time and assistance. I have heard very good things, and read very helpful information here so I look forward to getting some guidance. I am an active member on several reef forums like Reef Central, Reef Frontiers and others, but shark information is kept to a minimum on those sites as they typically focus on corals.
P.S. Bob....from what I hear you are the MAN!
<We are the fish men! Bob F>
Re: Need help with Shark care Follow up Questions MikeV's go 10/31/2010
Thank you guys for your input thus far. I do have some more questions though....
<Hi Eric, MikeV here, Bob is in Fiji>
1. Why are the Bamboo Shark and the Snowflake eel not good choices for tank mates?
<For the same reason most of your other fish are not going to be compatible - eventually, one is going to injure or kill the other. In this case, eventually, the shark will kill the eel.>
2. Was my Calcium too high at 600?
<That is extremely high. Anything above 500 is considered dangerous. You run the risk of causing a 'snowstorm' and having all of the calcium precipitate out of the water. This drops the alkalinity to dangerously low levels, pH drops as a result, at best, it would stress your fish, and likely kill the shark. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm I would suggest getting the water tested using a different kit. If it is truly that high, you need to bring it down slowly.>
3. Why would mine not exceed 2 feet?
<They rarely grow to their full size in captivity, unless of course, you have thousands of gallons.>
4. I suspended the egg using one of my Mag float scrapers...is this ok?
<Should be fine.>
5. When I listed the fish I have, Bob had commented that I "don't want to have a baby shark in there" Can you please explain this a bit more? Which fish are the issue or is it the shark?
<It is very likely that the fish will pick on, and possibly kill the shark when it is a baby>
6. I know that sharks are fish, what I was referring to was the acclimation process....is it any different for sharks than your average tang or wrasse for acclimation? Should I do a slower acclimation or the typical process?
<Typical process, you just have to be VERY careful moving them. It is easy to cause internal injury to the shark by moving it.>
7. Why should I avoid all corals in the tank with the sharks?
<A 1' shark is going to weigh more than all of the other fish in your tank combined. Think 'Bulldozer' Sharp coral skeletons and the like can easily injure your shark, which frequently causes infection and ultimately death. Also, some corals and anemones are pretty noxious and can sting\poison...>
8. Why are Lionfish discouraged as tank mates?
<Lionfish sting. The danger is the lionfish stinging the shark when the shark is young, or the shark trying to eat the lionfish and getting stung.>
The reasons for all these questions is this. I planned on starting off the new tank with just the sharks....
<A very good idea. Get it up and running ASAP.>
Let them get settled and let me figure out what all I am up against as far as maintaining a healthy environment for them with water parameters and so on.
<The water parameters should be kept at 'reef' quality. Sharks do not tolerate nitrate. Keeping the water quality this high is made more difficult because sharks are very messy eaters\defecators A large sump or better yet, a refugium, a phosphate reactor, and a very good skimmer should be considered an absolute necessity. As the sharks get bigger, a nitrate reactor could be considered as well. Additionally, there should be nothing electrical or metallic in the tank. Sharks are very sensitive to stray voltage and will normally cause them to go off feeding http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkfeedingfaqs.htm. You also cannot discount the possibility of them chewing through the electrical cords.. The Vortech powerheads work very well for sharks, as all of the electrical components are kept out of the tank: http://ecotechmarine.com/ With a large enough sump\pump setup, you can dispense with powerheads completely>
After a few months I was going to start with adding a wall along the back that provides over hangs and caves....the rock "wall" would in no way reduce the amount of sand space available to the sharks. But it would allow me to have some corals and such.
<You should have some live rock in there at the start, it will help the tank cycle much quicker. Shark tanks are frequently done with an 'island' of live rock in the center. Sharks HATE square corners Since round tanks are very expensive, you can block off the corners with live rock to make caves and overhangs>
Is the potential chemicals released by the corals that is bad for the sharks?
<In a small tank yes. They are much more sensitive than 'normal' fish are. It can be done, but understand that the shark can plow through them, destroying them, likely injuring itself in the process (for stony corals). Soft corals would be a safer option, provided you have a good amount of carbon in the filtration system to soak up any toxins they release Most soft corals are less likely to sting as well..>
I started having my "Shark tank" built but wanted to run the dimensions by you guys to see what your thoughts are. I am thinking of going with 6 feet x 6 feet x 24 inches high....is that sufficient for happy, healthy sharks?
<That is a nice size to keep two sharks. If it isn't too late, I would make the tank 30" deep rather than 24" This will give you an additional 135 gallons of capacity, as well as a bit more stability with your water parameters. You will also want to look into some sort of covering. For a tank of this size, plastic screening works well - sharks can jump. What is troubling to me is the fact that you have made no mention of filtration. As I alluded to earlier in this letter, you will need a large filtration system to successfully keep these sharks long term You will want at least a 10x turnover in water, a large sump\refugium and a very robust protein skimmer to keep these sharks long term. If you need further help, write back, I have some experience with 'home shark tanks'>

puffer and shark compatibility 6/7/10
Hello crew! I recently noticed a small mappa puffer in a LFS and decided to research. I had a. Stars and stripes puffer before and had it with a med horn shark with no problems. After doing the research and watching the fish
for a few days I decided to get it. I was thrilled to bring it home and after acclimating it in to my 240g with my small male horn shark (the 720g is in the works) he swam around a bit but then almost immediately after swimming by my shark began to bite him and went for his eyes. I quickly removed the puffer with no damage done! However I was wondering if there was anything I could do to keep him or simply take him back? Any advice? He is currently in a 55g QT system and doing well. I really want to keep him but I can't if he means risking my sharks health. What should I do? Any puffers I could try? Again I had a stars and stripes before with no issues but I guess its hit and miss like with some triggers. Any advice would help. Thanks Andre
<I say return the puffer... The danger that the shark might go after it is too great IMO. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo Shark and Volitans Lion, comp.   5/18/10
I have a 7 day old Bamboo Shark and about a 6 inch long Volitans Lionfish together in a standard 120.
<Mmm, I do hope the Volitans Lion doesn't poke/sting the Shark, nor the Shark bite the Lion>
(I know I need bigger, but that's at least 6 months down the road.) So far everything is fine with the exception of
some bizarre behavior patterns. 3 times now I find them snuggled up together.
Oddest thing I've ever seen. The first time I thought was a fluke. I find the Lion on the bottom of the tank and the shark with his head propped up on the side of him just relaxing. The next day, I find the Lionfish actually on top of the shark with the sharks head sticking out from under the front of him. Then yesterday the shark had his head propped up in the corner of the tank and the lion was laying on his tail with his fins all spread. The Shark decided to move but couldn't get around the Lion so he went OVER him.
Right over the top of those poisonous dorsal fins.
So here's my question. Obviously the Lion isn't trying to kill him. He could have done that at any time with his anal fins and definitely when the shark crawled over him. But he never deployed them. So I'm assuming he wasn't angry. So, is there evidence of ANY kind of symbiotic bond between these 2 species? I can't find any. Should I be concerned? Should I separate them?
Could the Lionfish just be lonely?
<I don't think this is some form of symbiosis, but Lion species can be/are social to extents, and this one may "recognize" the shark as a conspecific.
I would be concerned, likely put in separate systems>
I'm very confused here. Thanks for your time,
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Banded Cat Shark Stung by Pink tube Anemone  6/28/09
We recently brought a Banded Cat Shark and a pink tube anemone.
<... not together, no!>
Whilst feeding the Shark it swam into the anemone which stung him quite badly, as the shark actually jumped out of the water! The shark is now covered in white mucus and has a few of the tube anemone's 'arms' attached to it, which are slowly falling off. Do these stay alive or do they die and fall off?
<You should rub them off; do this ASAP>
The Shark is breathing fine and is still hidden in his cave, the anemone has now been removed from the tank (which is a shame as its a beautiful anemone)
<?! Not compatible>
I can not find anything on the internet that will say what will happen to the shark or what we need to do to save our shark. Can you please give me some advice?? will he be ok? I really appreciate any help you guys can give me.
<Is there a full moon? Bob Fenner>

Re: Banded Cat Shark Stung by Pink tube Anemone  6/28/09
Thanks for your quick response Bob.
<Welcome Lou>
We brought them together and the shop knew that they were going in the same tank, got told that the Banded Cat Shark was 'reef safe' after reading this site it shows that they are not.
<Dang! Wish you'd read here first, am sure>
Hopefully if we get them all off will he survive??
<I hope so as well>
Most of them have fallen off there is only approximately two on him.
<I'd still stick my hands in the tank, hold the animal steady... and wipe these off... Really sting like bejeesus... and keep on stinging!>
We had a shark previously and had to do a 7 day treatment on him due to it having cuts which got infected, would it be worth doing the same course of treatment as a precaution? the treatment is called ' Melafix'.
<Nah... please see WWM re this hoax... Soon I believe to be taken off the market (See MUMS, NADA... on the Net re Fish Remedies)... as is totally inefficacious>
Thanks for all your help.
<Welcome. BobF>

Shark/reef tank, Cnid. incomp. 4/24/09
I have a 240g with 2 coral Catsharks. I know I will need at least a 500g in about a year. I was wondering what kind of corals I can put in with them.
<Mmm... depends... some "corals" are more tolerant of the sorts of waste issues associated with such large animals... none can take getting physically beat... so all will/would be at risk, even if placed/secured "higher up" on structure... and will damage the sharks if/when come in contact>
I already have some zoos, Rics and some sps.
<The latter are likely to greatly suffer>
Would it be safe to put hammers, torch, or anemones in there or would they sting the sharks?
<Not safe, and yes, would sting>
I have probably about 200 lbs of live rock with plenty of places for the sharks to hide out.
<Do look into making some (likely plastic pipe lined) "tunnels" for them... to get out of view, the light>
They pretty much only come out after the lights are out and the moonlights come on. I also have a big GSP rock I wanted to put in there, but someone told me this would also sting the shark. Is this true?
<To a lesser extent>
Thanks so
much for all the advice you've given over the years.
<I'd not place Cnidarians in the same system myself. Bob Fenner>

Catshark and imperator angel.... incomp.  – 03/03/09 Hello, I have consulted with you in the past on purchasing a Catshark and ended up purchasing a 280 gallon tank last September( 72x36x25). I currently have a Bird Wrasse, blonde Naso tang, and striped sohal tang. I would like to add an Imperator Angel and a banded Catshark. However, I've read through your site and saw that Large Angelfish aren't predators of Catsharks, but can hassle them. <Is so> So my question is if this particular angel will be compatible with it or do I need to forget the angel ( I would rather have the shark)...... <I would choose between these> Option B would be to scrap the idea of the shark and angel and go with a round ray, <Mmm, what species?> but if I understand it, the round ray needs cooler temperatures than my current population of fish, and the blue-spotted ones arrive in poor health and hardly-long lived. <A bit more look-seeing on your part here is warranted. See Fishbase.org re thermal needs... I would skip a ray here entirely... Not that exciting. Bob Fenner>

Humu Humu Triggerfish & Banded Cat Shark...  12/29/08 I Have a 10 inch banded cat shark in a tank with some Sgt major damsels. The question is I would like to purchase a Humu Humu triggerfish & was wondering if the shark & the trigger would get along. <Heeeee! And Orcinus orca?> I was told that this trigger is one of the least aggressive triggers on the market & shouldn't do any harm to the shark if the shark is already in the aquarium but cant add anything after the trigger. is this true or was I just being told a lie just for them to sell me the trigger? Any help would be great thanks, Robert <No my friend... back to go. BobF>

Shark Compatibility 11-8-08 Hello WWM Crew! <Lovely evening - Mike here tonight> I have a question about fish and shark compatibility. <Alrighty then> I'm doing a truckload(!) of research on keeping sharks. <Good job!> I have narrowed down by choices to four candidates: *Epaulette Shark* or *Marbled Bamboo Shark* or *Banded Cat Shark* or *Coral Cat Shark*. I have ruled the Epaulette Shark due to its relatively high price, so really I'm looking at the other three. Of those, the Banded or Marbled Cat Shark are my favorites. <All good choices for the large home aquarium> I have already picked out an appropriate sized aquarium (300 gallons) as well as filtration system and lights, (there will only be one shark). <Lots of bottom room, I hope?> If needed, I am prepared to purchase a larger aquarium in the future. <You should be ok, but obviously the bigger the better> I will use 5 gallons of bioballs for ammonia breakdown, (overkill?) and an oversize protein skimmer as well as a remote DSB to offset the excess nitrate generated by the bioballs. I also plan to do weekly 10% water changes @ 1.026 specific gravity. I will use fine sand and a bit of live rock, (more will occupy the oversize sump). For lighting I will be using three [square] panels of blue LED lights and one [long] panel of white LED lights to help keep the aquarium cool and algae growth to a minimum. <Sounds good - I like the lighting idea. I'm a big fan of LEDs> I have read that triggers and puffers are a no-no with sharks, but I have been told by other shark owners that more mild triggers such as Niger or Blue Throat Triggers are fine, as are Dogface Puffers. Is this true? <In my experience, the more docile species don't pick at sharks. I've never had my A. hispidus pick at my bamboo shark, but these fish do like to take bites out of things. Monitor them, and be prepared to remove anything that excessively antagonizes the shark> I do also plan on taking a medium sized Yellow Tang from my reef for the shark tank. Is this okay? <Yep - M. Maddox>
Re: Shark Compatibility 11-10-08
Thanks! I think that I have finalized my over-all plan. I have decided on the Marbled Cat Shark, a male Bluethroat Trigger and a Dog Faced Puffer, (and possibly the Yellow Tang). Again, I am willing to buy a larger aquarium as needed in the future as everyone grows. Any who, what order would you recommend the fish be stocked? I was thinking the shark first, and the trigger last. <Sounds good - puffer 2nd to last in my opinion> Also, do you know how long the puffer/ trigger can last in captivity (provided good husbandry)? <in excess of fifteen years, easily> I have searched this online, but I get too many forums (unreliable seeing as how anyone can post answers). Too many people out there exclusively feeding their full grown triggers brine shrimp in a 29 gallon aquarium offering their "expert" advice, lol. <Sounds like Reef Central...> Thanks for all your help! <Anytime> -Jay <M. Maddox>

Ready for a bamboo shark.... Mmm, no. Sys., comp.    9/6/08 Hello! Ok, I have paid my dues with my 125 gallon tank for the last 3 years and am ready to graduate to a 210 gallon (72x24x29) marine drilled tank. I have a 65 gallon tank to set up as a sump/refugium beneath it. Currently, I have a snowflake eel, bird wrasse, and Blond Naso Tang all still pretty much juveniles. I realize that the 210 is pushing it for a Bamboo shark, but hope it can work for a good 3 years. <Mmm, not really... even starting with a small individual, feeding it sparingly... and the Echidna will likely be killed...> I do have a couple of questions that I haven't seen answered yet. First, I am more interested in the White Spotted than the Brown/Black banded. If my information is correct, these will be about 3" shorter correct? <Mmm, in the wild...> If this is so, does this amount make much of a difference? <Well-worded. No> Also, will I have a better chance of raising one successfully if I purchase an egg, or a small specimen? <The latter> Thanks for your help!!! <I would still hold off here... this animal won't be "happy" in this size, shape system... Will kill the Eel... Bob Fenner>

500 Gallon stock list, SW FO, not mixing rays, sharks...    8/29/08 I'm looking into getting a 500 gallon tank Dims are 96"Lx 48"Wx 25"H, <Ahh, a very nice "shape" indeed> and I'm doing some pre-leg work. This is the fish list that I have in mind. The compatibility is based off of Blue zoo Aquatics quick facts chart <A worthwhile endeavour/project... though such charts/lists should not be considered/held as sacrosanct> and some of the FAQ's section from your site about Shark compatibility. Can you give me your opinion of what will and won't work together. I'm also going to try and get these fish in a smaller size. I already know filtration is going to be key, so what type of filtration or protein skimmer would you suggest for a system this size with a stock list of this level? 1 White spotted Bamboo Shark or a male and female pair 1 Blue spot stingray or Cortez which ever works better <Mmm... I would not place this ray here... nor really mix most any Batoid with Elasmobranchs... not really compatible... Sharks eat rays... they are their principal predators in the wild> A mix of about 20 Chromes: 10 Bicolor, 5 Green, 5 Blue <Food for the sharks> A mix of about 12 Altheas: 3 Square, 3 Lyre tail, 3 Disbar, 3 Resplendent <... Mmm, also food... And I would not mix such small numbers of any but the Pleurotaenia... see WWM re> 1 Bicolor Fox face Rabbit fish 2 Indigo Hamlet 1 Blue Tang 1 Blonde Nash 1 Spotted Unicorn 1 Horseshoe Filefish 4 Blue streak cleaner wrasse <Mmm, no... see WWM...> 1 Yellow head wrasse 1 Checkerboard wrasse 4 Pork fish 1 Zebra eel I know it may be a bit over crowded but that is why I came to the experts, thanks for all your answers. <Mmm, not really answers, but a request that you start over... what you list won't work. Either the sharks, and possibly some of the larger (start and finish size) fishes toward the end of your list... scratching off the Hypoplectrus, the Gymnomuraena... Take your time at this stage... I assure you, better time now than real troubles (induced) later. Bob Fenner>

Shark and ray tank 07/20/2008 Howdy, <Howsit?> I really hope that this does not sound ignorant! I have been searching the questions about rays, but I am not sure I have my answer. I have kept a 220g tank for the past two years rather successfully. I am thinking about building a bigger tank (8ftx4ftx2.5ft) I have successful kept a pair of small marbled cat sharks, because they are smaller species in my 220, thus the reason for the new tank. Would the pair of sharks and a small ray coexist in this next tank (about 600g)? <Mmm, possibly... The ray should be a tropical, stinger-less species or one that is "fixed"> Based on my research and LFS all signs point to yes, but I respect your opinion more than either of the above mentioned. I try to be the most responsible aquarist possible and I want to make sure that as the sharks grow they have the proper amount of space. Thanks for taking time to read my inquiry you guys and gals are fantastic! Jesse <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Sharks... comp., not   5/13/07 If given enough space to house a fully grown Nurse shark and Horn shark, <... not compatible... the first is tropical, the second sub-tropical... the Ginglymostomatid would consume the Heterodontid in time...> would this be an okay mix or would there still be a bit of a risk? A good detailed response is preferred, am entertaining the idea of this tank someday. Thank you! <Keep studying along with the dreaming. Bob Fenner>

Brown Banded Shark Questions... sys., fdg., comp.  - 02/21/07 Hello to the crew at WWM. <Steve> I recently stumbled across your web site, while researching Bamboo Sharks. I have since been hooked on the endless amounts of information posted. I've been reading for 3 weeks and learned as much as I could before purchasing my first Bamboo Shark. The shark is now housed in a custom 465 gallon tank, built by my brother and I.(9'x4'x25") <Nice!>   The tank has very little rock work optimize swimming room) with a 2 1/2" sand bed premium grade play sand). The water flow and filtration consists of a 100 gallon sump. The sump is fed by three 1" bulk head fittings, <Am surprised at this... seems like too small a diameter> and water is returned through two 1" bulk head fittings via 1800 gph Mag drive. I have two,  5 gallon, spring water bottles filled with bio-balls and  filter padding, protein skimmer, XP3 canister filter, and 2" of crushed coral all in the sump. I have attached photos and hope they are sized properly. I hope this set up is sufficient, any suggestions would be appreciated. <I see your images>          The shark's tank mates consist of 1 Niger Trigger extremely passive), <Keep your eye on...> 1 Pygmy Yellow Angel, Volitans Lionfish,1 Coral Catfish, 1 large Strawberry Hermit Crab, <These last two could be trouble if ingested> 1 Snowflake Eel, 1 Porcupine Puffer, and a few assorted Damsels probably will  be food soon). I now have some question I hope you cab help with. I purchased  a bottle of Vita-Chem, made by Boyd Enterprises any good)? <Not a bad product. I have used this> I know I can add directly to water, but what about injecting into food, if so how of a dosage/often? <Is a good idea... once a week or so... You know of Mazuri (.com)?... I would look/read on their site re...> I've read pros and cons on Silversides and Goldfish, probably more cons. <I would NOT feed goldfish> Would it be ok to feed Fresh Cleaned Calamari and Sea Scallops from local food store? <Yes> Will this along with Vita-Chem be enough of a healthy diet? <Not completely, no...> I've had the shark since Saturday and he has eaten three Silversides since then, but i want to switch him over to Squid/Scallops. Sorry for the long e-mail, just want to provide as much information as possible, and keep a happy, healthy shark. <Take your time... no need to shorten> One more question (sorry) is this tank big enough to add a Marbled Catshark to? <Mmm, yes... Do you intend to convert/amend the sump to make it into more of a refugium? with DSB, Macroalgae, lighting...? I would> Thank you in advance, Steve McCauley <Bob Fenner>
Re: Brown banded Shark, sys., comp.     2/23/07 Hello again Mr. Fenner, <Welcome Steve> I want to thank you for your quick reply. I took your advice and visited Mazuri.com and found Vita-Zu shark/rays with potassium iodate tablets. <Ahh! Good> I will order a batch Friday, since they come in tablets I will break them in half and try to stuff them inside the silver-sides mouths. <Good plan> Should the vitamins be added once a week, or with every feeding, and should I continue to add the Vita-Chem to the water weekly? <Mmm, I would add once a week at this stage...> The shark is now eating baby octopus fragments, frozen prawn, and silver-sides. I inject the food with a small dose of Vita-Chem for now. Since purchasing the shark on Saturday his appetite has increased greatly and he is becoming a very aggressive eater( healthy appetite= healthy shark)? <Yes> He will even locate and sift food buried in the sand. I also feed the Lionfish with the Vita-Chem. I think his color is darkening and he looks fantastic. <Very nice... and if you will, just a cautionary note here re stocking Lionfishes and sharks... can be, is done with no problems, but can be "the end" of both... should the shark venture to try and consume the Lion...>                   Regarding the sump, I plan on leaving it the way it is, however I did hook up a 30 gallon refugium just below the main tank, but above the sump. The refugium has a 6" mix of crushed coral and arrogate <aragonite?> sand. I will add a bunch of sand sifting snails/stars and hope to plant  Mangrove seedlings and Caulerpa is that a good idea or not? <Is worthwhile... Do use a simple assay of nitrate/s to ascertain your water quality picture here... I would endeavor to keep these under 40 ppm... You'll find this quite a task in a very short while...> I have done some research and found they will remove phosphates, nitrates, and will boost beneficial bacteria. I will have an overflow from the main tank to the refugium then from the refugium to the sump. Do  you think this will be sufficient or do I need to add more to the refugium. <Likely much more "help" will be needed... as suggested last time, I would consider illuminating the large present sump, adding a good deal of macroalgae there, on a RDP and a deep DSB...> I would also like to know, since I have all heater/pumps in the sump, will electrical run off still affect the shark in the main tank? <Mmm... a good question... not one easy, or even possible to determine from here... as some gear in the trade is not really well electrically insulated... I doubt though that this will become an issue... as it has not already> The question regarding 1" diameter bulk head fittings providing enough flow, I read each 1" fitting will return water to the sump at a rate of 600 gallons per hour. <Mmm... only in dreams... In actuality, something like about half this is practical in most settings/arrangements> I have three fittings so I figured 600 x 3 = 1800 gallon s per hour would be sufficient water flow. <I would up-size or add to these at your next convenience>               My local pet shop called and said the Marbled cat-shark has arrived. The owner said the shark is 18" long, looks great, and is very active. I will wait to see if the shark eats before I buy him. <Good> I sent you the dimensions of my tank and you agreed it would be big enough to house the two sharks together. <Yes. I recall> I  know the sharks habits/behavior are almost the same, but will  they be aggressive towards one another? <Not likely, no> Thank You for your time and effort in answering my questions, you are with out a doubt a wealth of knowledge. Steve McGauley.
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>


Re: Parrot Fish Vs. Shark ... refusing to read... still   1/30/07 So a Princess Parrotfish will not take to a sting ray as it was food? <Usually not....no.> the only reason I ask is  because I had a Lemon Peal Angel and it tried to eat the eyes of my shark and  sting ray... <A very common and well documented practice of many angels against/on Elasmobranchs, that could have been easily prevented with any prior research/readings on Elasmobranchs and predator/prey relations....AdamJ.>

Golden Dwarf Moray Eel and Sharks, incomp.   12/3/06 Hey Bob,    I am interested in keeping a relatively small eel in my 325 gallon aquarium. This is the same aquarium I will be housing my 2 Brown Banded Bamboo sharks. I was just wondering if you know of any places that sell Golden Dwarf Moray Eels? <None that do so steadily... just have to "put in your request and wait"... I'd try "That Fish Place", Marine Center, Marine Depot... (.coms)> How Expensive do they normally run? <Seventy to a hundred dollars or so FOB> And besides the Golden Dwarf Moray what other morays stay relatively small and docile? <Posted... on WWM> Please let me know. Thanks,              Brenden Hewko <I would not stock a Muraenid with sharks of any species... too likely to suffer from intentional and incidental damage from the chondrichthyans. Bob Fenner>

SHARK QUESTIONS!! Shark comp., Heterodontid sel.   10/1/06 Hey guys! First and foremost thank you for taking the time to read and answer my questions. I currently have a 240 gallon tank with a sandy bottom, one large piece of live rock and an 18 inch Brownbanded Bamboo shark. My questions are how should i build a cave for her and how big should it be? <Yes to the cave... big enough to easily fit/swim through and rest in... Maybe twice the diameter, plus, of the shark...> also my most important question is can it be housed with a 7 inch shark or will it bite or attack it? <Mmm, a possibility> i know keeping 2 sharks in a 240 is a problem due to the amount of waste they put out, this is a temporary thing while my other tank cycles and i am afraid the bigger shark will injure or kill the smaller less active one!! I feed them twice a week and they eat very well. am not sure if keeping them well fed (offering food no more than twice a week) would help me keep the bigger shark from biting the smaller one. <A good risk...> Can they be housed together or should i divide the tank so the little guy can be safe. <I'd separate if easy to do> Also on your page it says to avoid the California Horn sharks offered. Why is that? <Posted... mainly that the principal species offered, Heterodontus francisci is a cool/cold water species... that folks too often try to keep in tropical settings... Second that it's attempted almost always in too-small settings> please help me find an answer to my questions. This site is great i spent some serious time reading through these articles and it is very helpful. Thank you so much in advance!! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Reef Fishes and Sharks - 09/23/06 Hello Eric! Chad here. <<Hey there Chad!>> Was wondering if I could keep a few coral reef fish in a tank with a Brownbanded Bamboo Shark. <<Yes>> If I could, could you tell me what kind of fish? <<Hmm, what do "you" like?>> I think this would be an interesting tank if I could! <<Indeed...and more "natural" in my opinion>> But, if I can't I will just go with the idea that you gave me (a few different kinds of inactive sharks)! Thanks , Chad <<Adding fish to a shark tank is quite feasible...even desirable, as noted. (And as a reminder/clarification for other readers, the tank in question here is a 1200 gallon "oval" design being outfitted specifically for the smaller benthic sharks.)  When choosing which fishes to place with these sharks, I feel your emphasis should be on picking fish that won't pose a danger to these sharks (large angels, puffers, triggers, etc.) rather than vise-versa.  These sharks feed primarily on benthic invertebrates, though they are known to also feed on fishes.  I think the biggest danger would be to small benthic dwellers (e.g. - many of the goby species) but suitable fishes that spend most of their time in the upper water column would be viable candidates...in my opinion.  The fish will need suitable "structure" in which to hide/feel at home... a large mound or "bommie" of live rock constructed in the center of the tank (with its peak at/near the surface would be a nice look, still allow the sharks freedom of movement around the perimeter, provide hidey-holes/security to the fishes, and benefit filtration/water quality/et al as only live rock can.  As for fishes...a shoal of agile reef Chromis would be a nice effect (about 20)...along with a dozen or more Anthias (Lyretails and/or Bartlett's).  You could even add one of the Foxface species (a very good natured/gentle fish) for some diversity and a bit of algae control.  A few thoughts off the top of my head...Regards, Eric Russell>>
Re: Reef Fishes and Sharks - 09/23/06
Thank you very much.  I will make this tank the most diverse as possible! Chad <<I wish you much success...do let me know how things progress...maybe even send a few pics when you have the system up and running!  Cheers, EricR>>

Tang and Shark Problems 9/8/06 Hi Bob, <Hi, Chris with you tonight> I was hoping you could advise me on any steps I could take to prevent or dissuade my sailfin tang from nipping the fins of my Port Jackson shark. <Not compatible species for a variety of reasons, primarily that Port Jackson sharks are not from tropical temperate.> I have tried providing Nori for the tang to nibble on, although this only provides a temporary remedy. I would very much like to keep both animals. <Not possible more that short term.> The other inhabitants are a stingray and Flagtail cod which do not seem to get picked on by the tang. <Hope it is a big tank, those are some big fish.> Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Regards, Joe. <Chris>
Re: Tang and Shark Problems Part II   9/10/06
Thanks Chris, <Sure> although my specimen was caught in the tropical waters of Queensland, rather than the cooler waters of the south-east coast of Australia, so the temperature aspect of compatibility really isn't the main problem. <Unless it is a Heterodontus zebra, it was likely a visitor and not a resident of the area.  May be a problem in the future.> Maybe I just have a feisty tang.. <Either way most likely these fish will have to be separated.  Most likely the behavior will continue.> <Chris>

Epaulette sharks moving to new tank. Still too crowded... Moray incomp.   8/29/06 Ok, First I want to thank you for all your help. I am getting the new tank ready and I will be staining the stand this week to get it ready for the move. The new tank will be a 150 driven by an Eheim 1262 external pump. Return to be split so part goes through a Turbo Twist 15watt UV. No power heads in the tank except the RedSea Pump in the refugium to run the Red Sea Berlin Protein Skimmer. Titanium Grounding probe in the sump. None of the existing sand or live rock will be moved to the new tank. Lights that came with the tank are (6) 96W PC's. I may not light them all as it will heat the tank too much. Two 4" fans are installed in the hood. The liverock and sand that came with the new tank will be used. That tank was running for over 6 years and has great star polyp rocks in it. Some as big as 14 wide covered with polyps. I only plan enough liverock to make some caves on one end and have the rest open for swimming.   Other tank mates: 1 Golden Moray Eel, Miniatus Grouper, 1 Golden Dwarf Moray (not introduced yet, In an isolation container), Vlamingi Tang (Currently in Hospital Tank)    <The morays will likely be consumed... and... all need more room than this...>   My questions today are: What is the best way to move the sharks from one tank to another? <In large, clear "fish bags"... ask your LFS if they have some... scoop up each one at a time, moving slowly... lift edge of bag, dump most of the water back into the tank, lift (watch the strain on your back)...> I plan on using a drip line once I catch them. Should  a freshwater dip be used in the process somewhere since the sharks have been scratching a lot lately in the current setup. (Cause still unknown why.)    <... I'd use this opportunity to made a wet-slide mount (skin mucus) and look for Trematodes, other worm parasites...>   Secondly,   I had one other Golden Moray disappear from the tank with a different Banded Cat Shark who eventually ended up on the carpet. We never found a body anywhere. Is it likely that the shark actually ate the eel? <Yes> Will epaulette sharks eat eels? <Oh yes> They seem to do well with Krill and clams on the half shell so far.      I had a large 6"-7" sailfin blenny get loose into the current Epaulette shark tank. They seems to want to find out what this new fish was very badly. He was big enough to not fit in their mouths but I was not sure if they were trying to eat him or just check out the new fish. They were very persistent on finding him in the rocks. I luckily caught him before I knew what the end result might have been. I am assuming they would have tries to eat him if they had caught him.   -Mike <Will consume. Bob Fenner>

Shark is gone now. Killing fish livestock through mis-stocking, ignorance   8/20/06 Hey Crew,   Hope you had a lovely week cause I know I didn't. Friday morning around 10am my shark died. I don't think it was do to water qualities but due to my lion. <Should not be housed together...> The shark was perfectly fine the other day and the night before he died. I woke up found him laying on his side breathing hard with a some red spots, all in a clump, by his gills on the under side. Having a lion with a shark is very risky, please tell others <Is already posted... see Shark Compatibility> if they email you about lions and sharks. At least he is in peace now. <Exceedingly small consolation>        I have one more question for you. I think I'm going to get another fish sometime in the next month. I would really like a puffer, particularly a porcupine. <? What? No... please... read...> I do know that there's a chance of fin nipping. I have a Niger trigger also and it never picked at the sharks or lions fins. <...> I would really like a fish that has great personality and I know puffers do. Any suggestion would help. Thanks for your time.      Ben <Less money/spending, more reading Ben... See WWM re. Bob Fenner>   

Bamboo Shark/Compatibility   8/1/06 Hey Guys, <And gals.> I think your web site is great and I have learned a lot from you guys. <Thank you.> I live in Maryland and trying to get a newborn Chiloscyllium griseum no stores can get them in small.  One place called Roozens has shark eggs but I read that most of them fail or are born with a fungal disease. <I would not say most.> I would put this shark in 360 gallon tank with my baby miniatus grouper and catfish. I have my tank running for about 4 months the water is perfect, I started it off with assorted damsels but the grouper ate most of them. I want to get the shark small so it can grow with my grouper and catfish. What to do! <Do read here and related links above.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm> Thank you <You're welcome.> Joe  

Sharks and Corals  7/19/06 Hello. <Hi there> I have a 300 gallon shark tank with 2 young banded bamboo shark in it that hatched at my home. <Neat>   I have a very large cave structure that is cemented together in the center of the tank that they sleep in and prowl around. <Good layout> The rest of the tank is open water. I was wondering since my rock work is so stable and I can't even topple it over if that I could keep some SPS corals on the top of the cave close to the surface to dress the tank up a bit. <Mmm, maybe...> I would choose corals that don't sting of course. <Not really much of an issue...> Would this be a problem?   <Likely will have problems with water quality for the SPS (need high biomineral, alkalinity content), perhaps easily knocked off the rock at night...> In the wild they live around the stuff so I figured it would be ok. Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks. Justin. <Worth trying. Bob Fenner>

Port Jackson Shark 7/16/06 Hey guys great site. <Thanks, but next time please use proper capitalization/grammar, makes our job much easier.> First of all I have a custom corner tank 5x4x4 I built my self at the moment it has a big blue tang an a yellow one (3"), lionfish(4"), a small clown trigger (2"), 2 big tomato clown fish(3") , and a emperor angel(3"). All is good at the moment there are a couple pieces of coral and about 20kgs of live rock but there is a fair bit of open "lay about" area. I really want to get myself a baby port Jackson, 1st of all I have heard ports don't like power heads in the tank, this true? <The electrical current will wreak havoc with their ability to move around the tank.> Will it eat the other fish (even the clowns)? <Probably, if it can catch it and fit it in its mouth it will probably eat it.> Will the clown trigger once it gets big be my biggest problem, will it hurt the shark? <Has happened before.> Can the port and the other fish all live in the same temp. water? <No> What else should I know? <Lots, too much to list here.  Please read the listings on WetWeb and pick up Scott Michael’s "Sharks and Rays" for more.  Keeping sharks is not to be taken lightly.> Help please I really want this shark but I also want to keep my tank the way it is. <Not possible.> Thanks for your help keep up the good work. Regards Adam, Sydney Australia <Welcome> <Chris>

Bamboo Sharks/Compatibility   6/1/06 Hello. <Hello Justin> My name is Justin.  I have a 300 gallon tank with the dimensions of 8 feet long, 32" wide, and 24" tall.  I have been into the marine hobby for many years now and within this past year I got into large predators.  I have 2 banded bamboo sharks I hatched myself and with them I have a large marine Betta.  Everyone lives in harmony but the tank needs an eel.  I was looking into getting a zebra moray.  If I get this species I don't think I will have to change the food I'm feeding, I'm feeding fresh squid, scallops, shrimp, and mussels.  Everyone stick feeds including the marine Betta. Oh and by the way I have Scott Michaels book "Aquarium Sharks and Rays"   just in case you would have recommended it. Any info would be greatly appreciated. <Justin, as you know the bamboo sharks will attain a length of over three feet.  Along with the other shark and marine Betta, and the large waste load they produce, I wouldn't recommend adding any more livestock to the system.> Thanks. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Justin.

Sharks and rays ... incomp.  - 05/20/2006 Good day folks. <Noam> I have read through hours of your postings and although the information is invaluable I have not found the answers I seek. <Good> I am currently cycling a 250 gal tank. My goal is to house one bamboo shark, and one ray. I know the California ray is the right size and temperament however it requires colder water temps compared to the Shark. <Yes> Can you please suggest a Ray that is both small in size, and has the same water requirements as the Bamboo shark. Thanks from Chicago. <There are tropical species... not often offered in the trade... and I don't encourage mixing these groups... too much "dust", activity from the Ray... Bob Fenner>

TO Shark or not to shark?  5/11/06 Howdy Crew! <What’s up Jeff?> Was wondering what species to keep in a 220 gallon tank. <Of shark I would personally keep none…just because my personal belief is that shark quarters should be pond size or they should be left in the ocean, however there are a few which people commonly keep in tanks of this size.> If I did a shark, I would like it to be a brown banded bamboo shark. <Potential size of this animal is 40”+ so beware of that….may/will outgrow quarters.> And I would just have that one shark with possibly one ray (my LFS suggested I put a shark with a ray for the 220 gal.) <No tank is too small.> But I also like other fish such as triggers, <Not good to mix with sharks, will/can pick on sharks.> tangs, groupers, etc. <This is okay…but a heavy bio-load…messy, messy, messy.> I know it to be wise not to keep fish with sharks. <Well benthic sharks like the bamboo are actually not much of a threat to larger healthy fish, they couldn’t catch them if they wanted too.> So it's either one or the other: shark tank or fish only tank with the fish only tank hosting a Clown Trigger, Picasso Trigger, Blonde Naso Tang, Brown Powder Tang, Stars and stripes puffer, ghost ribbon eel. <I would say go for the fish only for the best long-term display but pick one trigger or the other and drop the ribbon eel from the list completely…these are to be left in the ocean….trust me it WILL perish in captivity, especially with the aggressive tank-mates you have mentioned.> Of course not all of them but the choices I would like to have. Anyway, what would be the best tank to have, shark/ray tank or fish only tank? <The fish only my friend, without a doubt.> Thanks <Sure.> Jeff <Adam Jackson.>

Bamboo Shark/Stocking  2/18/06 Is it ok to put a panther grouper with a bamboo shark (220gal)? <I wouldn't.  In short time the tank will be too small for the shark yet alone another inmate, not to mention the increased waste load on the system.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks

Banded Bamboo Shark   1/13/06 Hi, is their any Scavengers For Marine Systems that I can put with my Banded Bamboo shark without them being killed? <They are known to gobble up all crustaceans.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks <You're welcome>

Shark System Substrate Question - 01/04/2006 Hi thanks for your previous info... <Unfortunately, without the message attached I'm not sure what you're referring to.> OK I have decided to go with only the band bamboo shark, and I was wondering if the Home Depot play sand is adequate for the substrate? <The Southdown stuff? Should be fine. If not, make sure it is not silica based.> If yes, should I wash the sand prior to putting it into my tank? <Yes.> Thanks for the help <Sure. - Josh>

Brown banded bamboo shark and a lionfish 8/19/05 Hi there! I will be setting up a 180g fish only saltwater tank and would like to have 1 brown banded bamboo shark and 1 lionfish, that's it (no other fishes). Do you think the two would get along alright?? <Mmm, this tank is too small, and there is too much chance the shark will eat the lionfish> I have read all the Shark Compatibility FAQ's and some of the questions are similar but not exact. Thanks very much for your prompt response, Karen S. <This shark grows to twice the length that this tank is wide... Bob Fenner>

Queen Angel Attacking White Spotted bamboo shark 8/11/05 Hello WWM Crew, <Mark...> I need some advice. Help! I am having a problem now with my Queen  Angel attacking my White Spotted bamboo shark. <Happens...> They have been together for a  long time now and was getting along until two days ago my Queen Angel who  is about 7" suddenly thinks that the shark eyeball is edible. The queen angel  will constantly pick on the sharks eyeball every time he has a chance to get  to it. I watched it for few minutes, thinking that the queen might stop. <No... highly unlikely... these fishes must be separated... quickly> I looked at the sharks eye ball and I was alarmed due to its eyeball  is now all red. I took the necessary action, I fished out the queen angel (which   took me half a day to do) and put him to my quarantine tank. He is doing fine in   the quarantine tank and eating well. The queen angel has been in the quarantine  tank for 3 days now. My question, how long should I leave my queen angel to my quarantine  tank before I introduce him back again to my main tank with the white spotted  bamboo shark? <Forever... can't be kept together> I am thinking that If I separate the queen for few days and until  the shark heals, then introduce them together again, the aggression will stop   and they will get along again. Am I right? What is the best thing to do at this   point? I like both of them. I have them both for a long time now. Please help!  Once again, thanks for your time. Mark A. <Please read... don't write... on WWM... learn to/use the indices, search tool... re Shark Compatibility, Holacanthus ciliaris... Bob Fenner>

Monacle Bream / Shark Question 8/7/05 Hi Guys!! <Hayley> I have had a look on your website but haven't found all that much information on breams. <Some gorgeous species... a family not in much use in the West> I was wondering how difficult it is to keep Monacle Bream in particular Scolopsis bilineatus. I have an aggressive fish only tank with the following inhabitants: One Banded Catshark Chiloscyllium punctatum One Purple tang Zebrasoma xanthurum Two Fortesques Centropogon australis I currently have a 150gal (i think - not that familiar with imperial volumes) it is 5'x2'x2'. (I am aware that this tank is not ideal for my shark in the long term and have been upgrading tanks as necessary) <I see...> Do you think that the above mentioned bream would be a suitable inhabitant? <Should get along behaviorally... though it too really does better in a larger system> Or are there any other fish that you would suggest as suitable inhabitants with my shark? Rabbit fish possibly? I particularly like Siganus dolineatus but was worried the spines may cause trouble for the other inhabitants in the event of a tousle. <Yes> I have read that species tanks are ideal for sharks, however I have had no problems with my current inhabitants. Thanks heaps for your help. Hayley <Would "go along" about as well as a Bream... as long as the shark is well-fed, it should leave these fish/es be. Bob Fenner>  

Re: Monacle Bream / Shark Question  08/08/2005 Thanks for the prompt advice! I think I'll wait for a larger system before getting more inhabitants that aren't going to be fine in my current tank. Hayley <You are wise here Hayley. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Shark - sigh... another in a mixed community tank :( 6/22/05 hello, I have a question about my banded cat shark. I bought him about a month ago from a local pet store, and he is about 8 weeks old. My tank is 55 gallons with some liverock and I had a few fish. <Please take the time to research your creatures before buying them my friend. Two concerns here for starters: the lack of quarantine and need for quiet isolation to get this hatchling shark started soundly and safely (pathogens). And... the fact that it has inappropriately been placed in a community tank. Few if any sharks really fare well long term this way. Many simply fed die slowly of attrition from the stress of active community fishes in the tank. Some of which will nip or kill the shark in time. Do read more on these points in the archives here at wetwebmedia.com> I have tested the nitrites, ammonia, and the ph. All is in the good range. The other morning I woke up to find all 4 of my fish dead. The previous night, I noticed them swimming slowly at the bottom of the tank (2 tangs and 2 damsels). Now all that I have is my snow flake eel and my shark. I don't really know what happened. <The lack of quarantine for new fishes, snails, LR, etc could have brought in a disease. Were have some fab articles on quarantine in the archives, again. Do take the time... it will go a very long way towards your success in the hobby. And save fishes lives> All were eating well but not being over-fed. I am pumping about 650 gallons per hour with my filtration and I have good current. I am now noticing my shark breathing a bit quicker and taking shorter breaths. <Please do several large partial water changes in the next week and look closely for signs of disease (see disease pages and links)> Before, it had a deep, slow breathing pattern. It does eat well but I am noticing some scratching on the bottom of the tank. <Indeed... if not water quality, then parasites in the gills> I just don't understand what has happened. I'm not convinced that it is a water issue, as I do have one anemone in the tank, and it is doing really well. <Yikes! Another misstep... the shark and anemone long term are poorly suited.> No issues with it. Can you please give me some suggestions.  Thanks so much, Christie <It sounds to me like you need to pause on buying livestock and invest in some good books first my friend. I fear you have not been getting good advice, and you did not educate yourself well enough to take on live saltwater creatures. let me strongly suggest you read Paletta's "New Marine Aquarium" and Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist." Best regards, Anthony>

Not Using WWM, Mixing a Coldwater Shark With Incompatible Tropicals Hey, I purchased a Port Jackson shark a few days ago and I was told to lower the temp what temp should it be at? I also have some angels and triggers in the tank with the port Jackson. What is a safe temp for all the species. I do have a chiller. Thank you. Derrick <... these fishes and their environments are incompatible... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/portjacksons.htm and the Related files linked above, and separate these animals. Bob Fenner>

Epaulette Cat Shark I recently purchased a 240 gallon acrylic tank with built in overflows. The tank is 8ft x 2ft x 2ft. I want to put an Epaulette Cat Shark in this tank. Is this tank big enough for a shark  <Do you mean Hemiscyllium ocellatum? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm.  If so, no... a two foot long specimen needs a tank at least four feet wide, twelve feet long... Minimum> and what size should I purchase him. Could my other fish lionfish (7inches), spotted grouper (9 inches), yellow tang(4 inches), maroon clown (3 inches), banana wrasse (10 inches) and last but least a 6 inch orange roughy live happy with the Epaulette Shark in a 240 or do I need to get rid of a couple of my fish. By the way my Harlequin died on me I didn't even have a chance to separate him from the bully wrasse. Please respond soon, Thank you very much for all your help. <Back to the drawing board... a shark will not go with this fish list. Bob Fenner> 

Tankmates for Reef Sharks, Not Getting it.. 5/2/05 Thanks again for answering my questions. <Always welcome my friend> I do not like eels that much, could I put a tang in there, because it would not attack the shark, would it? <Actually... tangs are nippy, and many such reef fishes will pick at the skin or even eyes of sedentary sharks and rays. You really NEED to understand that a shark is not a community aquarium fish. Species tank means keeping only that species (of shark). There can be few exceptions if you want to succeed> And it eats a different kind of food, so it would not compete with the shark. If not can you tell me any fish I can put it with besides eels? Thanks <If you truly admire this animal... you will take heed. Anthony>

Shark Compatibility? To whom it may concern: <Heeee!> Could I put a one horn shark and some other fish in a 475 gallon tank that is 96"x36"x24"? <Yes... for a while... these sharks get too big for a two foot wide system> How about a black-banded cat shark and other fish in the same size tank? <Mmm, yes... see the above comment> Could you give me an idea of what fish could live with these sharks? Thanks for you help! <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ Go to the Shark articles and FAQs area... read... re compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Shark Compatibility How would an Epaulette and a Brownbanded Bamboo shark get along in a 300 gallon aquarium? And what all else do I need in the aquarium? Thanks. <Deborah, I wouldn't put two sharks in a 300 gallon tank. They will get large and the system will not support the load. You need to define "what all else do I need...". James (Salty Dog)>

Determined Youngster Seeking Sharks II 3/25/05 Thank you a lot for answering all of my questions, but I have a few more for you. Can I put a black banded shark in a tank with a grouper? If not what fish can I put him with? Thanks a lot <Most aquarium-suitable sharks really need species-specific tanks. That is to say, they should be kept alone in a special tank for them... or nearly so. A grouper would be too fast and too aggressive of an eater. Even if it did not harass the small reef shark (and it might!), it would still out- compete it for food. It would be better to keep another poor sighted, sniffing predator like a crustacean eating eel (the Zebra moray might work well here). Anthony> 

Leopard Shark and Lionfish - No Copper, Please, & No Goldfish Hi, <Hi Tim, MacL here with you today.> I just have a few questions that I have been wondering and you guys seem to be the best fitted to answer the question.  I currently have a leopard shark in a 125 gal tank. I have already read many post from your crew not to keep leopard sharks in captivity, but it's too late I already have one. I would not have purchased the shark if I had done more research on them. The shark is in a 125 and the shark is about 24". I was feeding it Shark Formula put out by Ocean Nutrition until I introduced him to prawn from the local grocery store. It has now been eating the prawn now for about 6 months. Out of no where the shark stopped eating. He has not eaten but a few glass shrimp from the local pet shop in the past 2 months. I have tried giving it flounder, scallops, shrimp, and the Shark Formula, but it doesn't seem to want it. It will pick the food up and spit it out. <Sounds to me like your tank conditions might be a bit off, in my experiences with Sharks when they stop eating like that they have high nitrates.>  I had thought that it may have been because I was running CopperSafe with it, but I have not had copper in the tank for some time now and still no progress.  <EEEK, Sharks do have adverse reactions to the copper so that might indeed be the root of the problem. I would do several changes of the water to try to get as much copper out as possible. Also you can run PolyFilters in the tank and see if it turns colors to indicate that copper is still there. Or an accurate test kit as well.>  <Editor's note: Sharks and their kin should be considered as invertebrates, no copper!> So my question is what should I be feeding my leopard shark and why might he be not eating. Could it be some sort of hibernation effect since it is winter months? I am currently in the process of purchasing a 300 gallon tank. to keep him for maybe another year until donating him to an aquarium.  <You should check now with the aquarium you plan on talking to a lot of times they need a lot of advance time before taking the shark and /or they might not want them.>  Another question about the leopard shark, is there anyway to sex them?  <Males have claspers.> I also have a 90 gal tank that I have two lionfish in. I purchased the tank with one lion and it was about 10" at the time and is now about 14", and the other I grew up from a little guy and it is about 10" now. The large lion has always had issues with his side fins growing, they curl as they grow and seem to break easily.  <Tank is too small for him I'm sorry to say. Also he probably has a vitamin deficiency if you are feeding freshwater fish to him.>  I was thinking that it may be from poor nutrition.  <Sounds like you are right on track, they need vitamin supplementation if you use freshwater fish like goldfish to feed them. You should try to get them converted over to things like prawn and smelt etc. Also they need a variety in their diet and not just one type of food. This is much easier to do with the younger fish.>  The smaller lion has beautiful side fins and I feed him all live also, but it is fairly young compared to the larger one. I have read recently that lions should not be fed freshwater fish due to some type of toxic chemical that can harm the fish over time. What should I be feeding my lions. Also, is there any way to sex a lion fish?  <Not that I am aware of, although a male and female tend to stay closer in a tank to each other. Also, there's an amazing article about lionfish in one of last years articles of Coral, great info there. Good luck, MacL> 

Sting Ray Companions for now? I have a 55 gal "long" aquarium - 48"x13"x20" with 2 reef Chromis in, that finished the cycle period and is now left over ( I am transferring them to my reef very soon) . I have a Round California Stingray (only 3" D baby) in Quarantine in my 20gal. I have Another reef tank so I am pretty experienced with the fish keeping hobby, so imp trying something new. I am upgrading to a 125 later this year and am hoping to put the stingray in there when he gets a little bigger. I am actually asking about what fish would be good partners for the ray? I am thinking of a small bamboo shark that can go into the 125 (later in about march I was thinking to get the new tank). However I want some actual fish in there too. I have seen rays and bamboos do pretty well with a small baby humu. I would just like to know what fish will be a good bet for now, that I might be able to upgrade when they get bigger to my large tank, since that is what I'm aiming for. So I was also thinking about maybe a small yellow tang (I have a LFS that gets in many baby fish, and are much smaller than the other LFS have). So please let me know what is a good addition , even if they do need a bigger tank when they get bigger, since I will provide them with one, no questions asked. Are, they're any good SMALL tangs, triggers (humu is the only "small" one I found) butterflies etc.... just as long as these fish will be good with the ray. Thank you very much Chris >>>Greetings Chris, First, some info on tank size. 125 gallons is a *small* tank. The minimum tank size for any of the cat or bamboo sharks is 6 feet in length, by 24 inches wide. This amounts to a 180 gallon tank. Again, this is the minimum size, not only for the sharks but for the ray as well. You should know that I'm not just quoting numbers from some book, but speaking form experience. I've kept these animals in the past for several years. Secondly, most triggers are very poor tank mates for cat sharks, bamboo sharks, and rays. I've seen them lose eyes to curious triggers on more than one occasion in store display tanks. Appropriate trigger species would be the niger, Bluejaw or crosshatched triggers. Tangs are fine, as are angels, larger damsels, groupers and lionfish. Again, a large tank is needed for some of these fish, larger than 125 gallons. I suggest you budget for at least a 180 gallon tank. Cheers Jim<<<

Blacktip Reef Shark Dear Bob, <Mike D here, filling in> I have read most of the articles on your web site and found it to be the most informative resource on keeping Blacktip Reef Sharks in a home aquarium. I have a 530 gallon saltwater aquarium in my house and so far I only have one Blacktip Reef Shark in it (18" long).<This would seem too small for a black tip, with their swimming habits and peculiarities making them only truly suitable for larger, round tanks in time.> The owner of the shop who built the aquarium for me suggested that I introduce some Picasso Triggerfish into the aquarium and assured me that the shark will not attack them.<I can't see why he would have told you that as nothing that I'm aware of would indicate that this is even mildly feasible.> Last night we put in four Picasso Triggerfish (4" long). I was horrified when I woke up this morning to see that the Shark had massacred the Triggers.<Blacktips normally hunt by night with finely tuned senses that enable them to detect sleeping fish and literally dig them out of the LR. Granted, the "trigger" fin of the Picassos is an evolutionary adaptation to allow them to "lock" themselves into crevices as a defense against just such a predator,  but to work, there has to be LOTS of LR piles in such a manner as to create mazes and nooks that the shark simply can't get into. Without LR arranged so, the triggers would be fillet on the half shell, as would almost any other fish, the Blacktips being the masters at this  type of hunting.> Was I wrong in introducing the Triggers into the aquarium?<I would appear so> What other species can I introduce into the aquarium with the Shark and how many?<This is dependent upon many things....the size and type of the other fish, the amount and arrangement of the LR and many, many others> Is there any type of shark proof fish?<Two that I know of, and neither of which are available or particularly appealing, the Hagfish, an eel-like shark relative that produces amounts of slime so copious as to be almost unswallowable by anything, and a flounder from the Mediterranean called the Moses sole that seems to have evolved the ultimate shark repellent, so complex that they still haven't been able to unlock the secret.   In my estimation, adding LR would help as long as it's not open and airy looking, with the requirement being fortification rather than aesthetics, while any fish attempted need to be at least as large as the Blacktip and/or able to worm into the LR and not be dug out. The final condition, of course, would be feeding.  If the shark is very well fed just before or as the lights go out, the odds of tankmates being gobbled in the night decrease dramatically. While sharks have unbelievable digestive capacity, it's not a particularly fast process, much like a snake. The kicker, of course, is that you have a small juvenile shark, meaning it has higher dietary needs to take into account the fact that it's trying to grow.> I would greatly appreciate your help on this.<Sorry I couldn't be more encouraging, but you've chosen an animal that specializes in eating fish and are keeping it under sub-optimal conditions, OK for now, but very temporary as it grows.> Amir Dajani

Possible Shark Addition? Hi Crew,<Hi, Mike D here> I just finished upgrading to my new 240 gallon tank. I transferred my puffer, black and white banded clown, yellow tang and damsels from the 75 gallon to the new tank.<After it completely cycled right? How long has this new tank been up and running?> Now the tank is looking sort of dead with so few fishes in a large tank.<Use care not to go overboard. Even if fully cycled, it takes a considerable time to balance and stabilize, with additions of large fish or large numbers of fish likely to cause ammonia and nitrite spikes> I have been planning on adding a large angel fish<personally, I'd suggest waiting before adding the angel. I've never had good success with any of the larger species in tanks that have been set up less than 12 months>, 2 dwarf angels<When adding more than one dwarf, even in larger tanks, it's best to add all of them at the same time to avoid territorial conflicts> and a zebra moray soon.<Zebras are magnificent animals and usually do well if provided fresh shrimp and crabs, usually from a seafood market or such. Very few shops carry the proper foods for many of the larger species> I was thinking about adding a bamboo shark to the tank, would this work with the current fish or the fish I plan to add?<I'd suggest against that one. I have one in my 300 gal tank and in just about a year even it's up to two feet long. Small fish, such as damsels and clownfish are at serious risk of becoming lunch. If you feed sparingly to protect water quality, as many people erroneously do, the likelihood of other fish being attacked increases dramatically.  Bamboos can and do reach a full 39", and they do it MUCH faster than many people realize. Pull out a tape measure and actually look at the 39". That's a BIG fish even for a 240, and these definitely are carnivorous. If you don't feed sufficiently heavy, being sharks, they are quite capable of adding to their diet by removing fish in with them> Thanks
Possible Shark Addition? continued)
Wow, thanks Mike for the quick reply.<You're welcome and you got me again>  For your question, I did add the fish after the tank had cycled and the tank was cycling for about 6 months until I added the fish to the tank. I realize that when adding the new fish to add them very slowly and not all at one time so the tank can stabilize with the large bioload that it will create.<Very good Grasshopper! **grin**> Though, in a couple more months when the tank is ready for me to add the large angel, I read that the angel should be added last to the aquarium, but should I add the large angel and the 2 dwarf angels at the same time so they wouldn't fight to avoid territorial conflicts or would this be too strenuous on the stability of the aquarium and detrimental to the other inhabitants?<I wouldn't be concerned about the large/dwarf angel problem, although you should make sure there is plenty of LR arranged so that the little ones can escape to areas where they can't be followed. Often large and dwarf species don't seem to recognize each other as even being related. I WOULD make sure to add all dwarf angels simultaneously, though!> Also for future reference, if I did upgrade to a bigger tank again and placed the damsels in my other 55 gallon, would I have to be worried about the angels and stars and stripes puffer who is very peaceful at 7" right now, picking on the shark?<This would be my concern, and in relation to the Angel only, because of territorial aggression, with the puffer likely not a problem in that respect> or would it be the other way around, the shark picking on the puffer and angel?<Only if the shark is starving, and if a shark ever attacks and kills a puffer it's usually fatal to AT LEAST the shark and puffer, occasionally to everything in the tank. Once it's shredded in the aquarium, any fish that so much as samples one tiny piece containing tetrodotoxin is doomed> Thanks again<You're welcome> and sorry for all the questions :-)<Why?  No questions=no reason for me to be here. As it was once said (Mark Twain?)" The only dumb question is the one never asked."

Bamboo shark and clownfish in the same tank - 8/4/04 Hello I have recently purchased a bamboo shark and a large clown fish Will they be ok in the same tank? <What size tank are we talking about here, Jason?> what other fish can I put in the tank? <Again, what size tank?> Kind regards, <A little more information would be helpful here. Overall, there aren't many recommendations for fish as a shark is a shark is a shark and an astute opportunist at minimum. The clownfish will be a test of the aggressiveness of the shark. Also if this tank is less than 100 gallons and this is an adult shark you might have trouble with the shark being able to turnaround in the tank without attaining rub wounds on its rostrum or tail (or even its sides). This is where the cost of owning a shark can skyrocket as it can be somewhat expensive to treat sharks for abrasions. So the advice here is to see if you can't get a tank that has greater width than height.             Also, don't forget to look at adding vitamin supplements for your shark. Check out www.mazuri.com This is the brand we use at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for vitamin supplementation. Vitamins are a very important addition for your shark and should never be under estimated. Hope this helps ~Paul> Jason Theuma
Bamboo and clownfish in the same aquarium part II - 8/4/04
Hello I have recently purchased a Bamboo Shark and put it in a 4ft x 2ft x 2ft tank with a large clown fish. <Hey, I just sent a response to Jason. This is a 55 gallon I believe. My recommendation is for a wider tank if possible. For sharks long and wide is better than long and tall.....are we still talking about shark tanks??......sheesh> I was told this would be OK but I have been noticing that the clown fish only stays in one corner of the tank and that the sharks has be circling around the tank below the clown fish? <Well, could be a problem. Again, a shark is an opportunist at minimum. Survival skills, adaptation, wild instincts, have made them the apex predator that they are. There is no hard and fast rule for compatibility. I personally have never seen a bamboo shark eat large aquarium fish, but that doesn't mean someone else hasn't. So my thing is this will be a 20-40 dollar lesson/experiment (depending on how much the clownfish cost you). Don't forget to supplement your shark's diet with vitamins. Check out www.mazuri.com. A great source of shark vitamin supplement. Go with a multi type vitamin.> Will the clown fish be OK? <Impossible for me to say. Some people may have had no problem keeping their fish and sharks together, yet others may have not been so lucky. Animals have personalities not unlike humans. So....well.....you get what I am saying.....> What other fish can I put in a tank with a Bamboo Shark? <the above statement says it all. Let's see how the clownfish does. Give it some time. ~Paul> Kind Regards Julia Griffin

Are Shark Eyes a Tasty Angel Treat? (5/26/04) Hello Crew <Steve Allen with you tonight.>, I recently purchased a Queen Angel and a Banded Cat Shark, both were in the same tank and the shark actually hatched in the tank with the Queen Angel. After I purchased them I noticed that the Queen Angel would try to nip at the Sharks eyes. I called the original owner and he said he had never seen this behavior before therefore I gave it some time, but now after a week I still see the same behavior, every time the shark is out and about the angel will slowly go up to it and then try to pick on his eyes which causes the shark to dart underneath a rock. <Very bad. If he gets them, your shark is a goner.> The Angel is 4" and the shark is about 10", they are currently in a 180 gallon tank until my 240 comes back from the shop. There are 4 tangs in the tank but they don't bother the shark at all. I'm afraid that the angel will end up eating his eyes therefore I've put him in my 92 gallon tank. <Yes, smart move.> Is it normal for Angels to do this or do you think the Angel will get over picking at the Shark and what fish would you recommend I keep with a banded cat shark? <Ah, just what is normal really? Sure it's normal. They pick at things that look edible. Most carnivorous animals eat eyes. Have you noticed that the first thing to go on a dead fish is its eyes? In fact, this behavior by large angels toward aquarium sharks is well-known. You should buy "Aquarium Sharks & Rays" by Scott W. Michael. There's a whole chapter about tankmates, including a warning about Queen & other large Angels.> I'm planning on putting a Golden Moray Eel with the Shark, do you think there will be problems? <Morays usually make good tankmates. Buy the book. No shark owner should be without it.>  Thanks. <You're welcome. I hope this helps.> 

Same question, same answer for shark and eel compatibility - 4/27/04  Hi I think I am finally going to give up my search for a marbled or coral Catshark. My question is do you think if I ordered a bamboo shark for liveaquaria.com it would be lunch for my snowflake eel that is about a foot? <Adam, here is the answer (right from our shark compatibility page) I gave you last time you asked this: 

Shark with Eel - 3/30/04  Hi crew I was just wondering if it would be ok to keep a bamboo shark egg with a snowflake moray eel? <Should be fine. There is always a chance for aggression but in most cases this combination should be fine> I'd say the eel is about a foot. <Should be OK> Also when it hatches would it be safe? <Likely, but there could be aggression. Will need to keep both eyes on the tank as much as you can spare to be sure. Is always a risk, though ~Paul>  Thanks for all of your help - Adam Siders>  The sharks at Live Aquaria say they will be either 3-5 inches which sounds really small according to Scott Michael's book. <Nah. It is very popular to hatch this shark from egg casing. I think this a perfect size to receive such a shark> So I was wondering if you think it would be safe with my eel, the eel is pretty aggressive. <Then likely not but please read above answer> Also my next question is on the name it says that it is a black banded bamboo shark. To my knowledge there aren't any of these but it has the Latin of a brown banded. <the color varies based on genetics. We have varying degrees of brown to black and so on at the Monterey Bay Aquarium> Do you think it will be a brown banded? <It is likely a brown banded just a different color variation>  Thanks for all of your guy's help in the past <No worries. Due to our current load of questions, I would again, like to ask our readers to at the very least, please read through our FAQs before asking their questions. Verify it has not been answered before. Thanks to all for your support ~Paul>
Re: sharks
Oh sorry, well I just called a LFS and they said that they will be getting some next week so I reserved one. <Very good> But do you really work at the Monterey Bay aquarium? <I do>  That would be awesome. <It is awesome>  There was recently an article in the newspaper that told about your guy's new shark exhibit. <Yes, I have put quite a bit of time into that exhibit. Worked on dither fish quarantine and moving animals about. Spent a few nights there until 3:30 am Worth it though. The exhibit is beautiful!>  It sounds awesome and it gave the link to the shark cam.  <Great idea, eh?> That's really cool too.  I might visit during the summer if I can save up enough money. <Sure, come on out. Be sure to let me know that you are coming and if I am around I might be able to show a few things from behind the scenes and maybe put you in touch with a few of our shark experts. See ya around.....~P>

Shark with Eel - 3/30/04  Hi crew I was just wondering if it would be ok to keep a bamboo shark egg with a snowflake moray eel? <Should be fine. There is always a chance for aggression but in most cases this combination should be fine> I'd say the eel is about a foot. <Should be OK> Also when it hatches would it be safe? <Likely, but there could be aggression. Will need to keep both eyes on the tank as much as you can spare to be sure. Is always a risk, though ~Paul>  Thanks for all of your help - Adam Siders

Sharks & Rays -- There Are Better Choices For 125 Gallons (3/23/04) <For future reference, please capitalize the proper noun "I" and the first letter of each sentence. We post all queries and replies on our site permanently an want them as readable as possible. Our volunteer crew will have a lot more time to answer queries if they don't have to proofread them. Thanks.>   Hello there, I have been reading your site for about 2 hours now and I have found some very interesting information about sharks and rays. I have a 125 gallon tank running now and my cycle is almost complete. I would like to put 1 banded Catshark, 1 snowflake eel (but if needed, I wouldn't mind getting rid of the snowflake), 1 blue spotted stingray and either 1 cuttlefish or a spotted snake eel together. Please give me some idea on what species I can put together. thank you very much!!!!!! <I question how thoroughly you read the shark & ray info on the site, for the answer is right there (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharkslvgrm.htm).   No shark should be put in any tank smaller than 220G. To do otherwise is cruel. Most sharks need even bigger (up to thousands of gallons) tanks. 200 is the absolute minimum for the ray as well. 300 is better, but Blue-Spotted Rays have a notoriously high mortality rate. All of this info was already on the site. As for cuttlefish, the shark would likely eat it. Cuttlefish should be kept solitary and need a chiller. Do be a conscientious/caring aquarist and forget the shark, the ray and the cuttlefish. Here's a better idea: The Snowflake Eel would be wonderful as the only Eel in your tank. I'm not certain what species you refer to as "Spotted Snake Eel," but you're better off with only one eel in this size tank. You might consider a Zebra Moray instead of the Snowflake. Start thinking of some other fairly aggressive, moderate-sized fish that would be OK with your Eel without being attacked by it. Look at Zebrasoma-species Tangs, Rhinecanthus-species Triggers, a Harlequin Tuskfish, among others. The point is that there are a lot of better, more responsible choices for your tank than sharks and rays. I doubt you like to hear all of this, but it's the truth. Hope it helps, Steve Allen.>

Nurse shark and fish compatibility - 3/1/04 hi, I have a foot long nurse shark in a 5,000 gallon tank. I was wondering what other kinds of fish can I put in with him? is there any kind of cleaner fish that can help him get rid of parasites? can I put any other regular fish as long as they're big enough? please help. <Here is some gleaned info (from Scott Michael amongst many others) from various sources. "One of the most readily available shark species is the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirrhatum). This shark adapts well to captivity, its biggest drawback being the enormous size that it can attain, more than 14 feet in length! They usually commence feeding immediately, and are very tolerant of poor water quality. In the wild these sharks spend their days resting under ledges and in caves, and their nights are spent foraging for lobsters, crabs, sea urchins, octopus, snails, clams and fish. When they locate a prey item hiding in a reef crevice or cavity, they suck it out by suddenly expanding the mouth and gill cavities. They are apparently site specific, returning to the same coral head after each nocturnal foray. These sharks relish fresh table shrimp, scallops and fish in the aquarium, but feed them sparingly or you'll be looking for a new home for your shark before you know it. They will also make short work of any tankmate that can be swallowed. These sharks have been reported to mate in large oceanariums, but their large size at maturity precludes them being bred in the home aquarium." "The Ginglymostoma cirrhatum grows up to 168 inches. The Nurse Shark prefers a tank of at least 500 gallons to start with plenty of places to swim, but will eventually need an aquarium of at least 3,000 gallons. Because of this, this species should only be kept by experienced aquarists. The Nurse Shark is a carnivore and likes to eat variety of chopped crustaceans, fish pieces, shrimp, shellfish, squid. The Nurse Shark is a high maintenance fish and may act aggressively toward other fish. Not reef-safe." Here is a page with some compatibility information: http://lib1.store.vip.sc5.yahoo.com/lib/marinedepotlive/Compatibility.GIF Looks like there isn't much in the way of known compatibility. Good luck. ~Paul>

Horn sharks I wanted to know what can a horn shark live with in an aquarium. <Other cool/coldwater organisms that it can't or won't eat... Please take a read through www.WetWebMedia.com using the search term "Horn Shark", and get your hands on Scott Michael's recently redone shark book... will save you a good deal of money and grief. Bob Fenner>

Bamboo Sharks and Snow Flake Eels - 12/27/03 I am in the process of setting up a 120 gallon tank and up grading within 12 months to (at a minimum) a 240 gallon tank. <Sounds like it will be nice quarters for the predators you wish to keep.> My question is, I am torn between getting a bamboo shark or snowflake eels and the potential for co-existence  with other fish within the tank. <Either animal has the potential to be aggressive with tankmates, particularly smaller ones, but even larger ones are at risk.  Keeping these animals well fed will help minimize the risk.> I know other fish can live in harmony with the snowflake (suggestions on the best types/species), however what about other fish with the bamboo shark? <As above.  Avoid slow moving fish and those that seem like obvious prey.  Tangs, large angels, other predators could probably hold their own just fine....  But there is always a risk.> I would like to think when the shark is still very young there may be a type or two that may co-exist together. <If you mean more than one shark...  I advise against it.  One shark and a couple of other tank mates will put you at the stocking limits of even the 240.> Any help and suggestions you can provide would be very helpful. <Do find and read Scott Michael's book on Sharks for the home aquarium.  It will give you lots of good info on suitable species, suitable tankmates and ideal tank conditions.> Greatly appreciated!  Todd       <happy to!  Adam>

Re: Sharks Dear Bob, My 700 gallon tank has just got done cycling.  Before I get sharks I was wondering if I got two coral Catsharks (male and male, male and female, or female and female) if they would fight because I read in Scott Michael's book that they have eaten puffers and moray eels tails.  Also try to eat other fish even bigger than their mouths!  So I was also wondering if I could have any other fish with them.  I really like Volitans Lionfish but I'm afraid they would eat it then get stung by their venom then DIE!  I don't want this to happen but do you think it would? THANKS!!!!!!! Bam Margera <I doubt these sharks will fight, bite each other, but I would not place a Lionfish species in with them. Bob Fenner>

Coral Catsharks Thanks for the quick reply ok well I was also wondering what fish I might be able to have that won't get eaten I heard goatfish were fast and would do ok do you know of any others?<large angelfish are definitely out of the question because they have a tendency to pluck an eye or two out of the shark :(, You could try large tangs...if your aquarium is large enough try a large Naso Vlamingi.. I would just go to different forums and try to speak with people who keep the species of sharks that you wish to keep and ask them what other fish are housed with them, Good luck, IanB> Thanks

Would like a Banded Catshark Quick question on sharks. I would like to have a Banded Cat shark and some triggers in the tank. (About 3 triggers) How big would that tank be. (Lowest Possible) Or would it not be a good idea to have the triggers in there? < I wouldn't put the Triggers and Shark together... almost without a doubt the Triggers will "sample" the Shark... to its detriment to its demise... and if not, starve the poor animal... Sharks are not really that "bright" or outgoing in reality. The Triggerfish family's members... are. Bob Fenner>

Nurse Shark Eating a Lion fish I have I 220g fish tank FOWLR. I have a 19" Nurse Shark, Naso Tang, and had a Volitans Lionfish. My question is the Nurse Shark ate the Lionfish, is there any cause for concern being the Lionfish is venomous. I didn't think anything ate the Lionfish. Thanks for any info. on this.          Seth <Does happen... and could be real trouble... physically, if the shark's stomach, alimentary canal has been perforated... not so much for ingestion of toxin. "Only time can/will tell"... Not a good idea to mix anything that can be inhaled... Bob Fenner>

Re: Nurse Shark Eating a Lion fish Thanks for the quick response. I read anything and everything I can on my new found love of saltwater life. Most of which is on your web site. This is the most informative site to date. And appreciate the time and dedication devoted by all members. I look forward to purchasing the books you have put out. Thanks again Seth <Do feed that Nurse Shark sparingly... it will grow virtually "right before your eyes" otherwise. Good luck, life. Bob Fenner>

Shark compatibility Dear Bob <Hello Adam> Hope all is well.  I'm planning on getting a 180 gal. tank and a brown-banded bamboo shark egg.  I was wondering if it would be ok to keep 1-2 yellow tangs and coral banded shrimp with it.  I already have Scott Michael's book and I was also wondering about how long would it be before I will need a new tank after the 180 gal. <The tangs and shrimp should be fine... though the shark will very likely consume the shrimp once it hatches out and grows a bit. Your 180 will likely be large enough for a year or two... do make sure and keep any holes large enough for the shark to exit closed over.> Thanks for your time Adam Siders
<Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

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

New Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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