Aquarium Sharks Information


First off - lots of good info on shark husbandary here.
But I will also add some available info of my own.
The smallest available requiem shark - is the Atlantic Sharpnose. They max out at just 4' long, but usually average about 3.5' in length. They are a very hardy species that can adapt well with captivity. They are known to school in groups, based most on size & ---. They are a fast, highly active species, and voracious feeders of fish, shrimp, & crabs. But are known to be basically harmless to humans. And they require a pool that is at least 2,500 gallons, although a pool that is 4-5,000 gallons is better. Also they are a warm water species that prefers water temps between 78-86F (average about 82F). Because of their adult size, hardiness, & docile nature toward humans, they make a good alternative to larger requiem sharks like Blacktips. They are general only available during the summer months, thru several online dealers. And generally the smaller pups sale for about $ 450. The cost of setup & upkeep for an Atlantic Sharpnose is between $8,000-$10,000.


Well - as you already know - the diet of aquarium sharks varies with each species.
For example -
The Bullhead Sharks (Horn & PJs) primarily diet is shrimp, crabs, clams, squid, octopi, anemones, urchins, and small fish.
Bamboos & Epaulettes - diet includes - small fish, clams, shrimp, crabs, & worms.
The Catsharks - diet is similar to Bamboos.
The Requiem - Their main diet is mostly fish. But also can include Mollusks(Squid & Octopi), Crustaceans (shrimp & crabs), and sea reptiles(sea snakes, & turtles), and even other elasmobranchs.
Smoothhounds - their main diet is also mostly fish. but also includes Crustaceans(shrimp & crabs), Mollusks(Squid, Octopi, and Clams), and worms.


"Catsharks (coral cat, marbled cat, swell shark, spotted cat, tiger cat, cloudy cat, leopard cat, shyshark, puffaddershark, etc)
There are more than 100 species of cat shark and all of them have their own unique coloring and beauty. They live over 20 years and many of them can be housed together. All catsharks are cold water sharks and need a tank 60 to 68 degrees."
Coral Cat sharks are tropical species (Indo-West Pacific).


Actually so are the Marbled Cat(same genus as the Coral cat), and also lives in the Indo-Pacific area.
And like the Coral Cat, they're tropical.


Originally Posted by krj-1168
Actually so are the Marbled Cat(same genus as the Coral cat), and also lives in the Indo-Pacific area.
And like the Coral Cat, they're tropical.

Yup, true..


DO NOT hatch a shark as your first shark. i cant even sucessfully hatch them and get them to eat and can catch,transport,and keep the sharks i catch alive. I have yet to kill any blacktips,sharpies and nursesthat i have caught but i cant hatch and get a shark to eat so i cant stress this enough just dont hatch your own sharks unless you realy realy know what your doing. I strongly recommend buying a shark that is eating and has a fat belly, i will post a pic of an healty eating shark at the end of this reply. if you decide to buy a shark get the store to feed them and if they feed you some crap about they have allready feed it than ask them when the next time they will feed it is and come back then. never buy a shark without seeing it eat.


Important Considerations Before Starting Your Shark Aquarium

Venturing into the world of shark aquariums is both fascinating and challenging. It requires a deep understanding of the specific needs of shark species and a commitment to providing them with an environment that mirrors their natural habitat. Before diving into the detailed guide on setting up and caring for your shark aquarium, it's crucial to highlight some critical considerations.

Expertise Required: Keeping sharks in home aquariums is not for beginners. The care, maintenance, and environment management of shark species demand specialized knowledge and experience in marine biology and aquarium keeping. Only those with a profound understanding of these areas should consider keeping sharks.

Size and Space Needs: Many species of sharks, including those commonly thought to be suitable for home aquariums, grow to significant sizes and require large, spacious tanks to thrive. For example, species like Nurse Sharks and Blind Sharks can grow to several feet in length, necessitating tanks of several hundred to thousands of gallons. It's imperative to consider the long-term space requirements of your shark species before making a decision.

Smaller Shark Species: For enthusiasts keen on maintaining a shark aquarium but limited by space, there are smaller species that are more manageable in a home setting. Bamboo Sharks and Catsharks, for example, are smaller in size and can adapt well to life in a properly managed home aquarium. However, even these smaller species require substantial care and should only be kept by those who can commit to their unique needs.

Conservation and Ethical Considerations: The decision to keep sharks should also be informed by conservation principles and ethical considerations. Some shark species are endangered or under threat in their natural habitats due to over-fishing and habitat destruction. Prospective shark keepers should ensure that their sharks are sourced from reputable dealers who follow sustainable practices.

Conclusion: Embarking on the journey of setting up a shark aquarium is a significant commitment that should not be taken lightly. It requires a dedicated, knowledgeable individual willing to invest time, resources, and heart into creating a suitable environment for these majestic creatures. By understanding the responsibilities and demands of shark keeping, enthusiasts can ensure they are contributing positively to the welfare of their aquatic charges and the broader goal of marine conservation.

With that said, here is a ....

Guide to Setting Up and Caring for Shark Aquariums

Setting up and caring for a shark aquarium involves creating a natural habitat with hiding spots and suitable water conditions. Monitor water quality for pH, salinity, and temperature to support shark health. Essential lighting is important for plant growth and the sharks' circadian rhythms. Choose a safe substrate and maintain it to prevent debris buildup. Tailor their diet to include shrimp, crabs, and small fish. Use efficient filtration systems to handle their waste. Select compatible tank-mates to maintain peace. Each step is crucial for the well-being of your sharks.

Main Points
  • Choose appropriate tank decorations to mimic natural habitats.
  • Maintain optimal water parameters for shark health.
  • Install proper lighting for circadian rhythms and plant growth.
  • Select suitable substrate for easy cleaning and debris prevention.
  • Implement efficient filtration systems to handle high bio-load.
Shark Species Information
Understanding the distinct characteristics and behaviors of various shark species is fundamental for successfully setting up and caring for shark aquariums.

Bamboo Sharks, with growth rates of about 6 to 7 inches a year, thrive in sandy or muddy habitats.

Bullhead Sharks, known to live for 20 or more years, prefer rocky areas.

Blind Sharks, growing up to 4 feet, are commonly found in shallow waters.

Catsharks, typically hiding in reef rock and crevices, have a similar diet to Bamboos and Epaulettes.

Nurse Sharks, growing about 12 inches a year, are bottom-dwellers.

Recognizing these growth rates, habitats, behaviors, and characteristics is critical for providing the best environment for these diverse shark species in aquarium settings.

Shark Tank Setup

What are the key considerations for setting up a proper shark tank to guarantee the well-being of these fascinating aquatic creatures?
  1. Tank Decoration: Provide ample hiding spots and open spaces for swimming to mimic the shark's natural habitat.
  2. Water Parameters: Maintain appropriate levels of salinity, pH, and temperature to ensure the health of the sharks.
  3. Proper Lighting: Install lighting that supports the growth of any live plants and provides a day-night cycle for the sharks.
  4. Substrate Selection: Choose a substrate that is safe for the sharks and easy to clean to prevent debris buildup.
Ensuring these key factors are in place will create a suitable environment for sharks in your aquarium.

Shark Aquarium Care

Maintaining ideal conditions and providing expert care are essential components of ensuring the well-being of sharks in aquarium environments.

Water quality is paramount for shark aquariums, with parameters such as pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels needing to be closely monitored and kept within appropriate ranges.

Sharks also have specific lighting requirements to mimic their natural habitat, with a balance of darkness and light needed for their well-being. Adequate lighting helps regulate their circadian rhythms and supports the growth of algae, which can serve as a natural food source for some shark species.

Ensuring pivotal water quality and providing suitable lighting are critical aspects of caring for sharks in aquariums.

Shark Diet and Filtration
To optimize the health and well-being of sharks in aquarium environments, a well-structured diet and effective filtration system are essential components of their care. Sharks have specific nutritional requirements that must be met to guarantee their vitality and longevity. Additionally, due to their size and waste production, sharks require superior filtration efficiency to maintain water quality within acceptable parameters.

When setting up a shark aquarium, consider the following:
  1. Provide a diet tailored to the species' needs, including shrimp, crabs, clams, squid, and small fish.
  2. Implement a filtration system capable of handling the high bio-load of sharks.
  3. Opt for wet/dry or trickle filters to ensure efficient removal of waste and toxins.
  4. Regularly monitor and maintain the filtration system to uphold prime water quality standards.
Shark Species and Tank-mates

Choosing suitable companions for sharks in your aquarium is critical for ensuring a balanced and healthy environment. While the individual characteristics of sharks and potential tank mates must be considered, many larger fish such as Tangs, Triggers, Puffers, and Eels can coexist peacefully with sharks. These species typically possess the size and temperament that allow them to thrive alongside sharks without instigating stress or aggression.

It's essential to account for the space and environmental needs of all species, ensuring that your tank is adequately sized to support a diverse ecosystem without overcrowding. Furthermore, all potential tank mates should be researched thoroughly to confirm their compatibility with the specific shark species you plan to keep, focusing on dietary needs, behavior, and environmental requirements.

Incorporating a mix of these compatible species can enrich the aquatic life in your shark aquarium, creating a more dynamic and engaging underwater world. Always source your aquatic life responsibly to support conservation efforts and maintain the health and well-being of your aquarium inhabitants.