Has Anyone Seen Cat Sharks Or Rays On Oahu, Hi?

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fish and Invertebrates' started by CHAMELEON_BREEZE, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. CHAMELEON_BREEZEValued MemberMember

    Not like I'm gonna get one, but do any stores here occasionally have cat sharks or rays? They seem like a cool pet to have when I'm an adult.
  2. candiedragonWell Known MemberMember

    Well hello neighbor lol.

    To my knowledge, no, or at least highly doubtful. I've definitely not seen anyone keep or sell rays, but I've honestly not kept an eye out for catsharks. You could try calling up Coral Fish HI in Aiea and ask them. They seem to have a good selection, though I've only seen them sell eels and puffers as far as predators go.
  3. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    They are definitely an "Expert" level for care. The problems are manifold with them:

    1) No clean up crew can be used on their tanks as they will become shark/ray food
    2) They are super sensitive to nitrates
    3) You will want to dedicate a tank to them as the only fish that won't become their food are likely to harass, injure or kill the shark or ray
    4) Live Rock can seriously injure them if they get startled
    5) They are super messy eaters so there is tons of waste with them, hence maximum filtration and skimming is required as are frequent large water changes
    6) Even the smallest shark or ray will need something in the neighborhood of 200-300 gallons to keep ONE long term.
    7) You will basically need a borderline commerical RODI system that is plumbed and automatied and salt mixing system to keep one and dedicate a room to it

    Of the Sharks or Rays, the following would be the best options if you ever have the experience or resources to try it (I would recommend a pond setup vs a tank as it would be MUCH CHEAPER AND EASIER:

    1) California Stingray (They get about 10 inches max and can go in a 150-200 gallon tank). There are even some that are occasionally brought in because they got injured in the wild and can no longer survive (because their stinger/tail are missing) and the advantage with those is that you are providing a home for something that can no longer survive in the wild and you have zero chance of getting stung by them.
    2) Australian Marbled Catshark, Maxes out at 2 feet in length and can go in a tank/pond as small as 250 gallons long term. They have a cool marbled/spotted pattern on them
    3) If you can find one (as they are now threatened, but they do come up in select captive breeding circles on occasion) a Coral Catshark would be my number 1 choice if I could attain a shark and had the means to keep one. They max out at about 28 inches and are slender and super flexible. Unlike the other 2 which are relatively sedentary (don't move around a ton) the coral catshark is pretty sedentary during the day but at night it comes out and stalks the tank like a requiem shark and will tear into food the way a much bigger shark would (they are voracious eaters). This way you get the compact size and relatively small tank requirements of a small sedentary shark, but at night at least you get the behavior that you want out of a much larger predatory shark.

    You can order them if you want (but none of them come with an "arrive alive guarantee" on sharks or rays:


  4. candiedragonWell Known MemberMember

    I just did some light research and found the lists of allowable, prohibited, and restricted imports into Hawaii from the US. It looks like rays on the prohibited list; however, it looks like Catsharks (Order: Carcharhiniformes) would probably be considered unlisted, the only ones in that Order on restricted and prohibited lists are generally reef sharks, bull shark, galapagos shark, nurse shark... nothing smaller.

    You can take a look at those lists here:  

    If you wanted to try your luck at getting a Catshark, it would be subject for approval by the Board of Agriculture. If approved, you'd have to pay $100 for a one-time shipping permit (on top of the costs of the shark itself and the shipping cost). Though I'm not sure how likely approval would be. If you go for it, best of luck!

    All import shipment permit information can be found here: