Taking care of a pet shark fish can be a strenuous task.
After all, they are natural predators and hence have a few significantly different traits as compared to community fish.
If you too are at your wit’s end and are looking for the steps that’ll enable you to take care of your pet shark fish in an aquarium, you’ve come to the right place.
How to Take Care of Your Pet Shark Fish in an Aquarium
Since the fish are confined to a tank, you need to provide them with a suitable atmosphere so they can thrive.
There are a few factors you need to take care of as they will play an important role in helping you take care of your pet.
So let’s get started!
Aquarium Size for Pet Shark Fish
The aquarium size is something you need to decide on before you get your pet shark and it’s always better to opt for a bigger one. Tanks under 55 gallons come under the heading of smaller tanks and pose a problem.
Once your pet shark fish is comfortable with the surroundings, they will lay a claim to their territory. So in order to take care of them and give them a comfortable space, you need to get a large tank.
Take the freshwater rainbow shark for example. They can measure a maximum of 6 cm and a single adult requires at least 55 gallons of water to thrive happily.
So if you have a few of these, just do the math. Most adult freshwater shark fish measure 5 – 13+ inches long, depending on their species, and because of their territorial issues, it’s better to keep them in a big tank.
If you can’t change the tank, then you’ll have to take on another approach. Shark fish in small tanks quickly become aggressive and can hurt the other occupants.
At the very least, they start to nip fins of other fishes. The best way to take care of your shark fish is to keep them in a separate tank, away from other fishes.
However, if you do wish to add other fish in the same tank, make sure you opt for fast swimming fish. Another option you can go for is short-finned fish that wouldn’t be threatened by the aggressive nature of your shark fish.
Temperature Requirement for Pet Shark
Most varieties of the species prefer a temperature of 74o – 80o F.
However, there are some exceptions. Take the Chinese banded shark for example. They need a temperature of 60o F to survive. If you want to take care of your pet shark fish, you can use an aquarium heater to maintain a healthy temperature.
Likewise, the water needs good filtration. So it’s important to change 10% of the water every two weeks.
pH Level for Pet Shark Fish
The pH level that most freshwater fish require a range from 6.5 – 8. The hardness of the water must be between 2 – 10dKH.
If you have hi-fin or Colombian sharks, they require a slightly higher pH level.
The best way to achieve that is to add a tablespoon of salt. Before adding it, make sure the ratio is 1 tablespoon per gallon.
Keeping a Check on Pet Shark Health
Being a pet parent, you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders.
You need to keep an eye on your pet sharks to ensure they are in perfect health. There are a few signs that will help you determine the physical health of your pets. Here are some signs of a healthy shark:
- Good color
- Clear eyes
- Healthy appetite
- Active swimming
As long as your pet shark fish show these signs, you can be sure of their health. In case any of your pet demonstrates a lack of appetite or seems sluggish, there is a high chance that it is sick.
There are a few red flags that you need to look out for. Here are a few of them;
- Frayed fins
- Clouded eyes
- The appearance of fungus or spots on the body
It’s recommended that you take them to the vet as soon as possible instead of searching for their symptoms on Google. Your quick actions can make all the difference.
Sharks, like any other common pet, can fall ill and succumb to a number of diseases if the issues are not taken care of at the right time.
Some of the common health issues that can arise in sharks are the fin rot and ich. If you notice considerable redness at the base of the fins or they look frayed, it might be because of fin rot.
The first thing you need to do in such a case is to improve the water quality of the tank. Before using any other remedy, make sure you consult your aquatic veterinarian.
Ich can be recognized by the appearance of white spots on the body. If you notice your pet sharks swimming awkwardly or constantly rubbing against hard objects, it’s highly likely that they suffer from ich.
Aquatic veterinarians recommend that such fish be quarantined immediately. It’s always better to get a professional opinion, but in the meantime, use common ich remedies to offer your pet some relief.
Diet for Your Aquarium Pet Shark
In order to take care of your pet shark fish, you need to provide them with a healthy diet. By taking care of what they eat and offering them a well-balanced option, you can make sure your pet shark fish stay as comfortable as possible.
Flake, pellets and freeze-dried foods are some of the delicious options you can offer your pets. Live or frozen brine shrimps, aquatic invertebrates, small fish and worms are also included in the list.
Shark fish that thrive in captivity are mostly omnivorous and can happily survive on a combination diet. If you want to keep your fish healthy, it’s best to change their diet daily.
There are a few things you need to remember when feeding your pet sharks. If you are feeding them frozen food, make sure you thaw it beforehand. It’s important that you feed the fish small amounts of food two to three times a day.
You need to maintain a healthy atmosphere for your pet shark fish.
There are several milestones that you need to set if you wish to take care of your pets. It’s important that you check the filter and other things, like temperature and pH level of water, every day.
For your weekly goals, make sure you check the water quality and the pH levels inside the tank. Every month, you need to change 10-25% of the total volume of water.
Tank Mates for Pet Shark
Many people add tank mates for their pet sharks. Before you do so, there are a few factors that you need to consider. Rainbow sharks and red tail sharks are extremely territorial, so if you want them to live peacefully, it’s best to keep them separated.
They can be kept together when they are young, but as they grow older, they’re happier when kept individually.
If you are planning to add other fish in your aquarium, you need to make sure they belong to an active species.
Pet sharks are likely to chase away any fish that come near their lair, so it’s important you opt for some robust tank partners who’ll be able to keep up with their pace.
If you are a pet parent to Thai flying foxes, they’re a considerably calmer species. You can add some community fish to the tank. Just make sure all the fish are similar in size.
We would recommend consulting an aquarium expert or an aquatic veterinarian before adding any new fish to the tank.
Now that you have all the information at your fingertips, it’ll be easier for you to take care of your pet shark fish in an aquarium.
As long as you keep the things mentioned above in mind, your shark fish will remain healthy and happy. Make sure you keep an eye on your pet and their physical surroundings.
Even a small change can disturb them, and you don’t want that to happen.
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