Animal Stories - Silver-tipped Shark
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Though this is a very attractive fish and fun to observe, the Silver-tipped Shark or Shark Catfish gets rather large, up to 14 inches (36 cm) and needs several companions. This equates to a rather large aquarium!
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I have a silver tip "Charger" that is about 2 years old, He or she is about 10 inches long and is in a 55 gallon tank. This guy can eat! He is 90% shark and 10% Catfish. The rest of his tank mates started to disappear once he was about 6 inches long. Replacements were purchased only to find them missing the next day. This is when I knew that flakes and pellets were not enough. So I purchased 30 feeder about 1-2 inches, these were gone in about 2 days. Now I feed him 40-50 feeders every 2 weeks. These are medium size about 2+ inches and they are normally gone in a day. My son wanted tank mates, but the local pet store only had smaller fish other then a Koi about 4 inches long. He lasted about 3 days and then "Charger" ate him. Very expensive fish to feed. Once he is gone I will be going back to African Cichlids.
We have 3 6-inchers in a full marine tank with several guppies (yes, guppies can unfortunately survive in anything!) and saltwater hermit crabs. These fish like brackish water when they're young, but are apparently very hardy as they acclimated to the marine water very readily. I have read they are born in fresh water, move to brackish during the juvenile stages, then live in saltwater for the remainder of their adult life.
They are phenomenal creatures. They love to play in the tunnel they have, and they love a strong current. I agree with an earlier comment - although it says they are bottom dwellers, they are often at the top of their tank searching for something. But, they only do this after lights out! I have seen no aggression from the sharks, and I love them dearly.
One last word - another agreement: they do like a clean tank and good water although they really hate for you to mess with the tank.
I really love these fish! I have 2 that are about 4 inches long. I got them about 6 months ago when they were babies. they were maybe an inch long and thats it.
The most common mis-information is that these are really Sharks and that they are a fresh water fish. This is WRONG! They are Catfish for one, the reason they are called sharks is because for their dorsel fin. They are also a brackish water fish. Meaning they need low level salt to be healthy.
I have mine in a 20 gallon tank at this time but will be move them when they get bigger. The other fish in with them are 2 Green Spotted Puffers. Theses are great tank mates. with the 4 fish in the tank, i keep the tank at about 79 degrees, and a saltity level of 22 ppt.
both of these types of fish are meet eaters. I feed mine frozen mysis shrip in the morning and flake/pellets in the afternoon. Every now and then I give them small bits of real shrimp. Man they all LOVE that! I'm thinking about putting in a couple of live guppies in for some live food. The puffers and sharks both need meat to be healthy.
These fish are very fun to have and tend to be playful. They swim together and lay at the bottom together. Except when feeding, they tend to chase each other off. They love a varity of things to swim around and hide in. I have many plants and a driftwood tunnel at the bottom as well as sunken titanic. They love swiming through the tunnel and around the ship. Sometimes many times in minutes. They take some maintenance; partial water chages, filter changes, and you must use a vacumn pump to clean the wast at the bottom of the tank. They like a clean tank, though they don't like you to clean it. But you must. lol
Beautiful fish! When small, they will thrive in a freshwater tank, but as they age more than a couple of years, you will need to transfer them to a brackish tank, or convert your tank to brackish. Even if they seem healthy and happy as they age in your FW tank, they are likely suffering from skin irritations and certainly a shorter lifespan. Take a good look at the condition of their skin as they age. I am in the process of converting a FW tank to brackish for my 2 9-inchers.
They are not as aggressive as they are thorough. They won't bully or injure like-sized fish, but will inhale food right from the lips of slower feeders. Anything smaller than their mouths, however, will end up dinner after lights-out; don't expect to see your mollies or barbs ever again!
The biggest mistake is buying these guys thinking they will stay a cute 3 inches forever. Please take care of your catfish. :)!
I have a large silver tip shark in a 55 gallon tank with may other species of fish (3 tiger barbs, 3 red skirt tetras, 2 mod. plecos, 1 lg silver shark, 1 cory green cory cat), and they all live in peace with each other. I absolutely love my catfish. Active and energetic throughout the entire tank. I also have a 20 gal tank that is just a tropical community tank. no problems at all with either tank.
i find them very cheekie fish and always happy, very social fish. i was told when i bought him that he was a tropical fish and only lived in tropical tanks. well, i have my silver cat fish in a cold water tank with other fish like clown fish and gold fish and also a bubblebee cat fish. they all get on fine, a happy bunch of fish. he likes to play a lot.
We put 2 of these babies into our 55 gallon with a few other fish (2 platys and a molly). After a few months, and another inch on each we added a couple danios (which the sharks promtly ate one of) and then added 3 snails (the sharks ate all 3). They've recently been picking on the fish that were in there before them so badly that we had to take them all to a separate tank.
If you've got these guys with any community fish and you start to notice aggressive behavior, my suggestion is to separate them quickly, before you lose a fish. It's been suggested to me to put aggressive fish in with them if we wanted them to have ANY tankmates so we'll soon be adding a few cichlids. Keep your fingers crossed.
P.S. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE these guys. =)
I have three of these little guys along with four silver dollars in a 55 gallon tank. I was doing regular cleaning today and a partial water change when all of a sudden my lil sharks decided to get all shy and sick looking. They decided to take over the total opposite corner of the tank then they are normally on. (Where the silver dollars play) And they have been just cuddled up next to each other laying on the rocks with their fins tucked into them. I figured maybe for some reason they were just a lil mad at me for cleaning the tank up a little today. So after several hours I went to feed them (about normal feeding time) and only the silver dollars ate anything. Which is also weird because normally the Sharks are the first ones to eat anything. Since then I went out to the storage shed and got out an old 10 gallon tank. Cleaned it up and put 10 gallons of water from the 55 gallon tank and the 3 little sharks in there. After about 10 minutes they are swimming around a little and I decided to try and feed them again. They ate like it was going out of style. I hope this is just them being moody for some reason and that things are going to go back to normal so I can put them back in the bigger tank. But for now I think I am going to leave them in the smaller one for a few more days. So I guess if anyone else has experienced this or know what my little guys are up to can you post a comment on here saying so. I would deff. like to have the info. Thanks,
Very active fish and entertaining to watch. I have 3 of them in a 30 gallon tank with 3 Freshwater Flounders, 3 Silver Dollers, and about 10 Ghost Srimp with a variety of plans in high numbers. They mostly stay swiming in the current from the power head, but sometimes they will swim through the plants serching for food. They also will sometimes search for the flounders in the sand, but not to eat them.
I know it says this fish likes the bottom and middle of the tank but all of my 3 are prone to be caught swimming up at the surface. They love to be either at the top or the bottom, they stay away from the middle.