Iridescent Shark Catfish is a fish often sold live in aquarium stores. It is the only species of shark catfish and can be found in a freshwater habitat.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is an apex predator that eats smaller fish, crustaceans, and tadpoles. They are aggressive and will take on other tank mates without hesitation.
Iridescent Shark Catfish swim around the tank with their dorsal fin sticking up out of the water surface to detect movement or vibrations from prey animals moving in the bottom substrate beneath them.
They usually hunt in the same general area of the tank, but they will swim to another area if they detect prey. They are an ambush predator and hide underneath rocks, wood, bottles, and other debris.
They will use their prehensile tails to grab their prey and swallow it whole.The Iridescent Shark Catfish is a bottom feeder and needs to be fed sinking food; therefore, sinking pellets are preferable over flake or freeze-dried foods.
Iridescent Shark Catfish Characteristics
These fish have similar characteristics to other catfish species. They have a distinct, muscular body covered with small pits and bumps.
Their scales are set like other fish in their class. Their eyes are outlined with ocelli, an eye structure that allows them to see the shape of objects around them.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish has two dorsal fins; one is larger than the other fin. This fish has an elongated snout which is used for swimming and feeding.
The Appearance of the Iridescent Shark Catfish
Iridescent Shark Catfish are a small, slow-moving species. They take on a sleek look with a long dorsal fin and a snout that tapers to both sides.
Their eyes are dark with ocelli at the edges of the iris, and they often have dark bodies with white or yellow patches in certain areas of their heads.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish’s Life Span
This fish is hardy and can live up to 9 years in captivity. However, captive life spans are much shorter than wildlife spans of up to 20 years.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is an ambush predator and will wait until its food passes before it strikes. It will take prey items that are smaller than itself, so they are typically fed a diet that contains small sinking pellets and frozen blood worms and a variety of different foods, including brine shrimp, larvae, worms, and shellfish.
Breeding of the Iridescent Shark Catfish
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is an oviparous species. They are egg layers and will deposit their eggs where they believe the eggs will be safe until they hatch.
The females will generally lay 5-6 eggs in different locations, with each egg having a diameter of about 1/2″. The female will protect her eggs and not eat while they are being incubated.
The male Iridescent Shark Catfish is the only one that can fertilize the eggs.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish’s Tank Requirements
An aquarium is home to the Iridescent Shark Catfish. They do best in an aquarium with a minimum of 20 gallons. The pH level should be at 6.5 to 7, and they can be kept in a temperature range of 70 to 80 °F.
They are sensitive fish that require clean water, so a filter is essential, and carbon should not be used in the filter due to its sensitivity to chemicals.
Tank Mates Of The Iridescent Shark Catfish
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is territorial and prefers to be the only fish in its tank. They are aggressive and will take on other tank mates without hesitation.
When purchasing an aquarium, it may be best to purchase a tank of the correct size instead of purchasing an aquarium that is larger than needed. This will allow you to easily trim the size of your aquarium once the fish are acclimated.
Habitat And Aquarium Setup
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is a carnivorous species and needs to be fed food that is sinking; therefore, sinking pellets are preferable over flake or freeze-dried foods. They will eat smaller fish, crustaceans, and tadpoles.
Due to their large size (7″ at most), these catfish are not appropriate for most home aquariums and should only be added to a community tank when adult, after several months of quarantine. They will eat small fish, crabs, shrimp, and tadpoles.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish requires a large aquarium with plenty of room for swimming; a minimum of 20 gallons is best.
They are bottom feeders and should have a large area to hide in because they are ambush predators and wait until their prey passes them by before hunting.
These cats are found in still water in the wild, so this type of habitat is ideal for keeping them in captivity.
Care Guide Of The Iridescent Shark Catfish
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is sensitive to chemicals. Therefore, carbon should not be used in the filter because it can cause their breathing process to be inhibited. The water should be clean, and their food needs to be sinking.
They are generally compatible with other peaceful species except those smaller in size because they will see them as food. They will also fight with each other given a chance, so it is best to keep only one cat in a tank unless you have a large aquarium.
What To Feed Iridescent Sharks?
The Iridescent Shark Catfish requires a high in protein and fat diet. They do not require much food and will usually eat smaller food sources. They are opportunistic feeders and will take on various foods, including brine shrimp, larvae, worms, and shellfish.
If your cat is becoming overweight with the current diet, you can lower the amount of food they are eating until they reach the appropriate weight needed for their age.
Iridescent Shark Facts & Overview
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is a large fish in the family Loricariidae. The species is found in the Amazon Basin, areas of the Orinoco River basin, and on the River Parana in Brazil, where it has been introduced since 1999.
In Brazil, this fish is also called “guará-gua,” which means “shark water dog.” These are very aggressive ambush predators and look similar to other catfish species such as the Pangasius or Giant Tiger.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish was first documented in the Amazon River basin of Brazil in 2002 near the town of Pará. The first recorded specimen was captured in December 2002, and it was 1.8″ long.
Since then, it has been discovered throughout the region and hybridized with other Loricariids, creating new species of this catfish species.
However, review the full breed profile of the Iridescent shark in the table below.
|Species||P. hypophthalmusBinomial NamePangasianodon hypophthalmusSome other names, such as Also know other NamesSiamese shark, Sutchi catfish, Tra, Striped catfish, Pangasius catfish, Thailand catfish and marketed under the common name SwaiBreed Purpose Mainly food, also ornamentalSpecial Notes Quite skittish, mature fish may eat smaller fish, raised mainly for food, cultivated commercially, very popular as an aquarium fishWeightCan reach up to 44 kgBreeding Method NaturalClimate Tolerance Native climatesBody Color Uniformly greyRarity CommonAvailability South Asia|
Benefits of Iridescent Shark Catfish
Here are The Best 10 Benefits of Iridescent Shark Catfish
1. Tasty Food – The Iridescent Shark Catfish is an omnivore and will eat various foods, including brine shrimp, worms, frozen blood worms, and smaller fish.
2. Aggressive – The Iridescent Shark Catfish is an ambush predator that will wait until its prey passes by before it attacks. This fish can have a serious bite and should not be kept with extremely small fish species.
3. Breeding – The Iridescent Shark Catfish is an egg-laying catfish and will lay around 5-6 eggs in different locations, with each egg being about ½” in size.
4. Large Size – The Iridescent Shark Catfish is a large fish and often confused with other Loricariids. They can reach lengths up to 7″.
5. Easy Care – They are very easy to care for and can be kept in an aquarium with a minimum of 20 gallons.
6. Suitable for Aquariums – The Iridescent Shark Catfish is not suited for most home aquariums and should only be kept in community tanks when adult and after several months of quarantine.
7. Tastes Good – They are delicious when prepared fresh, especially when you remove the skin and fins.
8. Great for Aquariums – They can be kept in aquariums with other peaceful species like the Common Pleco and larger fish species.
9. Easy to Kill – They are very aggressive and will not hesitate to attack other fish in the tank, so they should always be the only fish in your tank unless several others are smaller than it is.
10. Interesting – These interesting catfish can make good additions to a community tank where they will not take over.
Are Iridescent Sharks Suitable for your Aquarium?
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is not suitable for most home aquariums and should only be kept in a community tank alongside other fish that are peaceful such as the Common Pleco, White Cloud Mountain Minnow, or the Argentinian Puff-Glass Pleco.
They are aggressive ambush predators and will take on other fish without hesitation. They will also eat small fish, crustaceans, and tadpoles.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is not a fish that needs to be in a home aquarium and should only be kept by professionals. They do require large amounts of room and will often eat smaller fish than they are.
They can survive in most types of water, but you will need to test the tap water before placing them in your tank to make sure it is clean enough for them.
Iridescent Shark Catfish are aggressive ambush predators and should not be kept with peaceful species like the Common Pleco or White Cloud Mountain Minnow. They will eat smaller fish, crustaceans, shrimp, and tadpoles.
The Iridescent Shark Catfish is a large carnivore that can grow up to 6″ in length. They are not suited for most home aquariums due to their aggressive nature, so professionals should only keep them alive and well. Thank you for reading this article.