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Iridescent Shark 2

Iridescent Shark 2

Iridescent Sharks © Marissa Blaszko
Iridescent Sharks © Marissa Blaszko
By: Marissa Blaszko
Common Name: Iridescent Shark
Latin Name: Pangasium sutchi
Origin: Asia / Korea
Temperature: 75-80°F (24-27°C)
Ease Of Keeping: Hard!
Aggressivness: Very easy going
Adult Size: 1 to 4ft
Minimum Tank Size: 50 Gallon
Feeding: omnivore
Comments: If I had known more about these fish, I probably would have never gotten them!
Unknowing to how big they'd get, I bought a 10gallon tank--which is fine, for now. Apparently, they can grow up to 4ft when given enough space, but in captivity they get from 8-12inches, which is good news I guess. Also, it takes them a while to reach this size, so I'll have a while to get a much larger tank.
But I will say--for sharks, they get along excellently with the other fish! That said, they're actually afraid of the other fish, both whom are about 1/4 their size. Whenever I go to turn on / off the light, feed the fish, take something out of the water, clean the tank, or do most anything, they swim around in mindless fright! After the smaller one went as far as to try to burry his head between the wall / rocks / a plan, I decided to add a small glass to their tank, which I covered up with rocks. I'm going to be lucky if I ever see either fish again.
They're also very prone to physical damage. Since they're very shy fish with very poor eyesite, they've been known to ram into the tank in mindless fright. Although I've heard stories of the fish hitting the sides of the tank so hard they've hurt or even killed themselves, that thankfully hasn't happened to me yet. Instead, one has a small / shallow cut on his stomach, from trying to swim under a plant, and instead injured himself on a rock.
Although I heard the sharks are supposed to be very hungry fish, they're usually too afraid to leave their corner to go eat. They supposedly also have a good sense of smell--yet neither can find the food in front of them?
All in all, this is a warning--if you're a beginner or want a fish that will look good in your living room, these are NOT the fish for you. There isn't enough info on the internet for you to really be able to understand these fish, and I'm telling you now, although I love my little sharks, I wish I had gotten something easier!

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Comment : i have one for almost 2 days now and i never see him eat i tried flakes pelets alage wafers what should i do
Posted by ovechkin on 2009-08-27
Comment : This is not a shark, even though it's name implies it, they are a subclassification of a Pangasius catfish. They require a very large tank and will quickly outgrow a 10 gallon tank. They are not "active" in the way people are commenting, they frighten very easily and in an attempt to flee the situation will run into the glass and hurt themselves. I have had one of these Iridescent sharks for about 6 years and he is now 14 inches long. I am having to either buy a 300 gallon tank to make him happy or find him a new home. I feel very bad for him as the fish store did not tell us he could grow to 3 feet long, prefers to swim in a school with at least 5 other catfish, and is easily frightened. These fish do not pass out, they have rammed into the tank so hard they have hurt themselves. If you have this fish you will have to keep buying a bigger and bigger tank or as someone mentioned he will stunt (meaning his organs will keep growing but his body won't) and he will die. Also they can live past 20 years of age.
Posted by Christie on 2008-10-18
Comment : My boyfriend and I just got 2 iridescent sharks last night. We came home and looked up a ton of info on them, we learned alot and feel really bad for gettin the small tank. We are working on looking for a BIG tank so they can really live. They are very happy they chase eachother and pick on the other fish (in a playful way). They even like when we put our hands in the tank, they swim around them like it's nothin. I love them, they are fun! We named them Panda and Sharky !!!! I am so happy we got them!
Posted by Olivia on 2008-08-26
Comment : I have had my iridiscent shark for almost a year now. It is one of the calmest fish in my 20g tank, along with 7 gfish, 3 minnows, 2 glowfish, 2 catfish, chinese algae eater, and a silver dollar. I don't keep any real plants either. My shark doesn't ever really get excited, likes to feed on the bottom and minds its own business. It is almost 4 in. long and it is a good fish to have IMHO.
Posted by Al on 2008-07-17
Comment : It is my personal opinion that Iridescent Sharks should only be sold to people who are aware of their tank requirements. While they can survive in a 10 gallon tank, they cannot thrive! This fish needs a big big big tank or pond preferably. Anything less and you risk stunting its growth. Stunting doesn't mean they just stop growing. Stunting means their outside body stops growing due to lack of space but their internal organs never stop growing. Eventually they die too young and too small. Please stay away from this fish unless you can provide it with a properly sized aquarium of at least 200 gallons.
Posted by Groupiekilla4eva on 2008-07-09
Comment : We have a Iridescent Shark in a 10 gal tank with several snails and a tetra. It swims around alot and is fun to watch. It gets along well with the tetra, they seem to swim like a school would. It has been a very easy fish, easier then the goldfish I had as a kid.
Posted by Ali on 2008-06-22
Comment : I recently bought an iridescent shark (which is actually a catfish) and three glofish as well as an otocinclus (sp). I have never had an easier tank to care for. However with our iridescent shark, he/she is very active especially when I do water changes, or feed time. He/she has tried to jump out of the tank many times but only succeeded once and then I put him/her back in the tank and luckily the iridescent did not harm itself. I only wish that the iridescent wasn't such a hider/ground dweller. My favorite time is feeding time, my little iridescent reminds me of a puppy dog/ vacuum cleaner that anything that drops to the bottom just gets sucked in. I also agree with a prevous poster. These guys aren't the brightest sometimes food will drop right on its head and the iridescent still can't find the food. I do highly recommend iridescent's they are beautiful, and help balance out an established mixed community tank, by eating the excess food that falls to the bottom. However a word of suggestion - put a small piece of duct tape over the hatch of the tank or a small weighted item, these guys do jump (especially mine)
Posted by Laura on 2008-03-03
Comment : I have two sharks - they are my favorite of any fish ive ever bought - I have em in a 10g tank, one shark is about 8-9 inches and the other is about 5-6 inches - They are in there with no heater, and after a few years i finally put a filter in there, i dont know if its just my sharks, but i would say they are incredibly easy to take care of. When i first got them, the first thing they did was sink in straight to the bottom of the tank and just layed there lol i was so mad, but when i touched them, they went nuts!! And after goin nuts they layed down again lol so i left them in there and eventually they started swimming normally - years later they still go nuts and they still "pass out" im guessin this is completely normal for these sharks. And as for friendliness, i dont think they are friendly... lol i think they just dont care lol but generally they would be considered extremely friendly.
Posted by on 2008-02-29
Comment : Yeah my shark rams into the sides from time to time.... I did have two but the lighter coloured one committed suicide by jumping out of the inch wide gap between the hood and the filter hole... poor bugger i went home for the weekend and found him... he was a small peice of fish jerky....
Posted by ~Melinda~ on 2007-11-29
Comment : I have 1 iridescent shark I have had since 1990 or 1991. My son had a tank with different species of fish & this is the only one left. I find him easy to take care of. He is in a 28 gallon tank & is about 10 inches. I feed him shrimp pellets once a week & change the filter if necessary. He will eat with the light on but prefers it off. I rarely change the water & just add water to the tank when needed. He does freak out sometimes & slams into the glass & hood. I find it amazing he is still alive after all this time.
Posted by Tony Ladell on 2007-02-05
Comment : I wish I?ve red this article and many more before I bought my "sharks". I have two of them. The reason I bought them was because I wanted some fish that would actually move faster and be bigger than what I had so far. I have 32 gallon tank which is fine for them, I think even 10 gallon would be enough since these guys just hide anyway. They swim only when I give them food or at night, usually come out at around 1am from their "cave" where they spend most of the time. Apparently they hate direct light. They get scared and sometimes bang their heads against object in the aquarium like filter pipe, heater and I think sometimes even the top cover or lights. Once I heard a loud bang and when I came to the tank I found one of the sharks passed out. I decided to keep him in the tank until he dies completely so that I can flush him down the toilet, however, after about 30 minutes he came back to life :)... This happened twice already... So remember when you see your shark up side down at the surface or even the bottom of the thank give him some time before you say good bye and flush, he may be just trying to catch breath?
Posted by -=Tomas=- on 2007-02-01

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