Animal Stories - Iridescent Shark
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Iridescent Shark Catfish are very graceful, elegant swimmers and beautiful fish to watch!
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My wife & I have 2 Iridescent sharks, Bonnie & Clyde, & have had them for almost 3 years now. They've been in a 10 gallon tank & have done really well. They have grown a lot but still had room to swim in the tank. When we got them they were only about 1 1/2'' - 2'', but are now about 5 1/2'' each. We've always mixed up their diet a little bit, between flakes, bloodworms, freeze dried shrimps & live feeder guppies. They really devour the live feeder guppies though! Just last week we upgraded to a 55 gallon for them. They still kind of stick to one corner of the tank, but are exploring more & more. We really love these guys. We think they make a great addition to our living room, along with a great conversation piece. We are anxious to watch them get more comfortable in their new tank & enjoy their entertaining ways.
I have an asian shark catfish which is a pangasius catfish. He is still quite small (about 3 inches) but he loves to shoal with my silver shark (who is about 7 inches). He does freak out when we change the water and at feeding times. He bullies my red-tailed black shark (which is no bad thing as red is very territorial!) and he also loves to pick at the algae thats growing on my australian red-clawed crayfish (he's very big 9 inches long). I don't have a problem with him growing big as my tank is 4 foot long and approx 3 feet deep and 2 1/2 foot wide, so there's plenty of room for him for a while yet. If I'd known that he would be so entertaining I would have gotten more than one, but in south wales they seem quite hard to find.
I have had these beautiful sharks now for only two years, and love them desperately. Unfortunately my original two died when I asked a friend to fish sit for me, she over medicated them despite my many warnings on how to medicate. Nevertheless I was able to get two more and have had them just about 8 months now. They have grown from about 2 inches to now 6" and 8". If you are interested in these large beauties be sure to do your research ahead of time. I knew they got large but I never fully planned on this much growth this fast, so for the time being they must stay in their 55 gallon tank. They don't seem to mind, they do travel well. I am in college so they come home with me over the summer and Christmas. They don't seem to mind as long as they get the travel tank to themselves. I have 2 other Lace Catfish that they prefer not to ride with because they like to pester them. Manteo and Viet are always together. He does get quite upset and plays dead every time I clean the thank. She doesn't seem to mind, except for the fact that he's playing opossum and she has no one to swim with. She often pokes him until he comes back to. I have a 75 gallon tank waiting for them back home and can't wait to move them over. Hopefully that will last them another year or so until I can buy a house and give them a proper home. Some things to keep in mind about these guys if you are looking into buying one. They like to school, mine almost never leave each-other's sides. Also, they do not like light, they will bash around the thank until it's turned off. I only use my light as a sign that I am putting food in the tank. They do seem to love variety in their diet. They are very sensitive to changes in the tank, so change things over time. They get very large fast so beware. I have many people in the Marine Biology department who say they have had their sharks for 10 years and they never seem to get any bigger than 6". I'm not sure why because my old ones were about the size of these guys and the same age, and I had only had them 7 months. These guys just don't seem to stop growing, it might be that I only feed, medicate, and condition with natural or organic things. They also receive bottled water because I have well water. Don't worry when they play opossum they'll come back to its just a coping device. Its a hard first fish but really fun if you're ready to dive into the deep end. Remember with medications only to give them 1/2 doses. While the large ones might live thru it, the smaller ones will die. they are scaleless fish. If you are a first time fish owner, fish are amazing pets. They really do have personalities. Manteo, my largest shark is the big, lazy football player of the tank. He's shy, but if he's upset he will bowl everything and everyone over in the tank. Viet is somewhere between a girlfriend in tow and a herding sheep dog. She's always in tow and always prodding if he's too lazy or not giving the attention she wants. Guppy, one of my lace catfish is the nerdy little brother that hides, reading a book in the corner until its time for food or he's being pestered by Cleopatra, my other lace catfish. She is the blatant problem child. She's never happy unless she's bothering the others in the tank. Her days consist of chasing the others relentlessly. And lastly there's Cujo, my fish of the night. He is an upside down catfish. During the day he's such a boring fish, he sits attached to the bottom of one of the leaves in the tank, but as soon as night comes he sneaks off to pester the others. Every now and then I can catch him if I come in and turn the light on unexpectedly.
I have had my iridescent shark at least 7 years. I call him B.T. named for a school bus driver. He is approximately 7 inches. (He won't stay still long enough for me to measure him.) When I saw how large and how fast they grow, I got very concerned. I only have a 55 gallon tank and no options for getting a larger one. Somehow he still is more then comfortable in his tank. Unfortunatly, he lost one eye to "Pop-eye" and the other just fogged over and is useless. But this has not stopped him at all. B.T. will only eat algae tablets. He used to eat the flake food but does not seem interested any more. My experience with this fish has been very positive. My co-workers all love B.T. and are terrified that he will die while I am on vacation.
I constantly wonder how long he will continue to live and how large he may get. But as fish go, this has been a wonderful experience. Long live my Iridescent shark, B.T.
I have owned a Pangasius catfish for about 6 years and have now found another home for it. It has grown to 18 inches and eats cichlid staple pellets (7 handfuls a night. Giving it 1 handful then waiting for it to eat it all before giving it another). This fish will grow to maximum length and weight (between 5 and 10 foot, 96 to 300lb depending on type) it doesn't matter what tank you put it in, and needs plenty of room to swim. I would suggest a 5000 litre tank or larger. It is also likely that you will need plenty of money for food as these fish, when full grown, can eat anything up to the size of a small cat (In the wild a Pangasius Gigas will eat animals that fall into the water, such as dogs!). They eat mainly at night.
If you want the fish to be calm give it plenty of attention. It will be scared for a while but gets used to it. The only light you will need is the light of your room (no tank lights).
I would suggest looking at other types of fish as these should not be sold to the public under any circumstances and, unless you can fill your living room full of water or build an extremely large heated pond, you will only end up getting rid of it.
My shop, Environmental science and technology, just got two iridescent sharks and are studing them. They are so interesting.
I love my Pangasius. I've had her for about 2 months. She was underweight at the pet shop and that's why I picked her. She was a bit panicky the first day, but she settled right in. She doesn't hide or sleep in any wierd postitions. She likes one spot in the middle of the tank and stays there alot. She does swim around fine and will hide in the corner when I do a water change, but as soon as the lids back on, she's back out again. She eats anything I put in the tank food wise and sometimes has to fight the Pleco for it, but neither gets hurt. Not sure what I'll do with her when she grows, but for now at 3in, she's fine.
Last night my Iridescant shark freaked out really bad when my aquarium lights were off. he freaked out so bad and splashed so much he got my aquarium light wet and shorted it out. now im afraid to plug it back in. I got a shock from the light, saw the light flicker on a bit after he freaked, and went to see if he hit the switch with his tail somehow. I turned it on and it worked, but shut it off and i could feel the electricity zzzzzz through my fingers. bah ..
I've had my Pangasius for 7 yrs now. We have watched him grow from 3 inches long to 2 feet long. He has been a challenge!
We have gone thru many tanks because of his size and the amount of growth over the years. I can't begin to tell you how many times in the past I had wished we could find a different home for him. But I bought him and he is my responsibility. I wish that people would do more research on fish before they bring them home. Do a little homework and find out what you are getting yourself into. I know that that applies to me also.
We have the same problems. Tank getting totally trashed everytime he gets all worked up. All the sores on his mouth from beating his head on the glass. And of course all the mayhem when I clean his tank! He likes to attack my arm when I clean the tank!
But in the end, we bought him and we take the best care of him that we can.
He is comfortable in his 200 gallon custom tank. We keep the water VERY clean and he has a Pictus Cat for a buddy in there. He hates a well lit aqaurium and will thrash around constantly if the light is on.
My advice is to know what your getting yourself into before you buy one. It's a very long commitment.
We have 4 large aquariums and have our hands full with many types of fish. But we love them all.
I have two ID Shark and i love them very much. They always bring life to a 5 foot aquarium because they are always moving around. These fish can really eat, sometimes you think they'll explode. I want them to grow their full size so i put them in a 1200 gallon tank out doors, with about 20 koi and they are starting to grow fast. (Jamaica)