Aquarium Fish

Iridescent Shark

The Iridescent Shark is also known as the Pangasius Catfish, the Sutchi Catfish and the Striped Catfish. There is also an albino iridescent shark. As you may have guessed from some of the other common names, this really isn't a shark, it's a catfish. They originate from Asia and this is one of the species that is completely unsuitable for most hobbyists in our opinion. This fish can grow to be almost 4 feet in length (120 cm) and sometimes larger in the wild. They are very active swimmers as well. Who out there has the tank big enough to adequately keep this monster?

The Iridescent Shark is quite skittish and can be easily frightened by sudden movements in front of the tank. Their nervous behaviors can lead to damage of themselves and for their tank mates. Keeping them in a school of 5 or more may help calm them down. Floating plants may help make them feel secure too. They have been known to jump from tanks, so a good tight fitting hood is a necessity for this fish.

They are omnivorous and should go after all fish food that you place in the aquarium. Some feel that the irridescent shark should be given more carnivorous type rations as juveniles and to mix more greens into their diet as the get bigger. Aim for a varied diet of flake foods, frozen foods, algae wafers and catfish pellets.

Seriously, this is a tank buster. They are very active swimmers, may eat smaller fish and will outgrow most tanks. If you've already purchased this fish and it is in a smaller tank, please consider returning it to the petstore and getting something smaller.

Picture

Pangasius hypophthalmus Iridescent Shark
Photo Credit: Roxann

Fish Care Details

Scientific Name : Pangasius hypophthalmus

Common Names : Pangasius Catfish, Sutchi Catfish, Striped Catfish, Thailand Catfish

Care Level : Moderate, needs a huge tank

Size : Adults can grow to 47 inches (120 cm) - almost 4 feet in total length!

pH : 6.5 - 7.5

Temperature : 72°F - 79°F (22°C - 26°C)

Water Hardness : 2° to 20° dH,

Life span : 10 years, maybe much longer

Origin / Habitat : Asia, Thailand

Temperament / Behavior : Can be quite skittish, nervous and may not bother tank mates as juveniles. May eat smaller fish as it starts to reach adult size.

Breeding : Not common in the home aquairum. Breeding has taken place at aquaculture farms and ponds.

Aquarium Size : 300 gallon, preferably much larger

Tank Mates : Not many, similar sized species perhaps.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Food : Omnivorous, meaning that the Iridescent Shark should go after whatever you place in the tank. Give them a well balanced healthy diet consisting of both meaty and green foods. When they are smaller you should feed them flakes and occasionally Algae Wafers that sink to the bottom of the tank. Catfish pellets can be fed as they start to grow into adults.

Tank Region : All over, mostly middle of the tank though.

Gender : Females are larger or more full bodied than males.

Site References :
Fishbase
Wikipedia

Fish Lore Forum : Iridescent Shark Forum

Comments and Tips

From: Jolinda
I have a 14 inch Iridescent shark together with 2 tinfoil barbs and a parrot fish. Unfortunately anything that is streamline enough to fit down his throat will go down. But I must say that it is a joy watching him and will not trade him for anything else. A very lively fish and they do tend to panic for sudden movements, but you learn to approach the tank and not just walk up to it. He loves his parrot buddy. Just watch out for ich as they are very susceptible to it and takes long to cure. I do agree, keeping them is not for the faint hearted and will not easily recommend it as a pet but once you've gotten to know all the fine tricks of keeping one it is purely a pleasure.

From: Tina
I was just given an Iridescent Shark as a gift a few weeks ago. I am a beginner when it comes to home aquariums and received the entire tank as a gift. I started with an Iridescent shark, a Columbian Shark as well as a Rainbow Shark. I just added a Tinfoil Barb, a Bala Shark as well as 2 Platy fish. I have to say that my Iridescent is very laid back and likes to hide on the bottom of the tank most of the time. I almost feel he/she is depressed because it doesn't really like to swim around. I'm very nervous because my tank (being a beginner) is only 20 gallons. I do however plan to increase my tank size within the next few months. I really enjoy my Iridescent but after reading about them I'm nervous that I won't be able to keep it because it will get too big!
Oh man, I'm sorry to hear this. Ugh. The ID shark, Columbian Shark, Tinfoil Barb and Bala Shark gets way too big for your tank. You need to return these fish to the store for a store credit or refund. The rainbow shark and Platy should do ok in a 20 gallon. Although the rainbow sharks really need to be in even bigger tanks too because they are very active swimmers. Please, please, please RESEARCH your fish before you buy them. Stores shouldn't even be selling these larger species, at least until they've grilled the aquarist on what size tank they plan on keeping them in. This is irresponsible, short sighted, inhumane and foolish. Sorry to rant.


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