Care Level: Advanced
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Iridescent Shark is found widely throughout open rivers in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, however the majority of specimens available within the aquarium trade are commercially produced. Often sold as mere juveniles at approximately 4″ or less, this species is truly a river monster that is best left admired in the wild, public aquaria or to the few extremely dedicated aquarists that have the facilities to house an adult Iridescent shark. Given its unique appearance it’s tempting to purchase an Iridescent shark, but hobbyists should take into account the large adult size [up to 36″] and long lifespan [up to 20 years] of an Iridescent shark before considering one. For its large size however, the Iridescent shark is a relatively non-aggressive fish so long as it is not kept with small fishes that can become a meal. In fact, too often Iridescent sharks are kept with overly aggressive or territorial cichlid species that cause them harm. Iridescent sharks get their name from an iridescent sheen that can be observed in certain angles of lighting. Adults are overall gray in color. This species is truly a shoaling fish, however, a set-up of gargantuan proportions would only be able to adequately house several individuals.
Diet Requirements: Iridescent sharks are omnivores, however juveniles require a diet that has a greater proportion of protein for proper development and growth. A diet made up of various high quality frozen foods are ideal, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, mussels, chopped prawns, and pieces of krill or silverside fish. These food suggestions are dependent on the size of your Iridescent shark. As your Iridescent shark matures, incorporating vegetable matter is important. This can include spirulina enriched foods, sheets of algae, peas and spinach leaves. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. We discourage feeding live fish to Iridescent sharks because they are often of little nutritional value and increase the risk of introducing disease. Do not feed your Iridescent shark mammalian or avian meats from the store.
Care Requirements: A minimum 55 to 75 gallon aquarium is ideal for a juvenile Iridescent shark to allow it some room to grow. A several inch juvenile can grow up to 12″ in a single calendar year however, thus requiring an aquarium upgrade quickly. To house an adult Iridescent shark requires not only at least 1000 gallons, but the dimensions of the tank need to accomodate the activity level of this open riverine and migratory fish. In too small of an aquarium, juvenile and adult Iridescent sharks will frequently run into the glass of the aquarium and cause themselves injury. A tight fitting lid is needed to prevent an Iridescent shark from ending up on your floor. Iridescent sharks cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters in a good range (Nitrates < 30 ppm), as high nitrates and deteriorating water parameters could cause more stress to your Iridescent shark which makes them more susceptible to getting Ich. Equipping the aquarium with several canister filters, or a sump system, is also needed to maintain a healthier environment for this species and combat the amount of waste it produces. An Iridescent shark will be relatively indifferent to decor, especially as an adult, but some driftwood or bogwood may add some pizzazz to the aquarium. Aquarium decor should be chosen with care so that it does not pose as an object that a flighty Iridescent shark could injury themselves on. A lot of unobstructed and open swimming space should be of priority, and the aquarium needs to be well oxygenated. This species does prefer dimmer lighting. Choose tank mates accordingly, but other large to extra large fish species that are on the more docile side are preferred. Such fish could include, but are not limited to, Geophagus, Pacu, Clown Knife, Bala Shark, Silver Dollars, or Tinfoil Barbs. Recommended water conditions, 78-82° F, KH 3-30, pH 6.5-7.5.
Purchase Size: Small: 2-1/2” to 3”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.