includes rainbow, redtail, bala, apollo, silvertip and black shark species
The generic term "Shark" is applied to many unrelated fish with a similar body shape found all over the world. Freshwater Sharks are not true sharks, but are typically catfish or relatives of carp. Freshwater Sharks add personality and character to an aquarium.
Freshwater Shark Facts
average adult size:
5 to 13+ inches long, depending on species
average life span:
depends on species
minimum aquarium size:
20+ gallons, depending on species
A well-balanced Freshwater Shark diet consists of:
Flake, pellets or freeze dried foods.
Live or frozen brine shrimp.
Things to remember when feeding your Freshwater Shark:
Feed small amounts two to three times daily, no more than fish will eat in 3-5 minutes.
Thaw frozen food before feeding.
Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; provide plenty of space for swimming and hiding places.
Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of the aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, Petco provides free water testing.
Some species, such as rainbows and red-tails, are territorial and should be kept individually in a community tank.
Some species, such as balas, should be kept in schools of at least three Sharks of the same species.
Daily: check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
Weekly: check water quality at least once a week.
Monthly: change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.
Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.
Generally, Sharks are compatible with like sized fish of a similar temperament (community with community, semi-aggressive with semi-aggressive).
Signs of a Healthy Shark
Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.
loss of appetite
spots or fungus on
body or mouth
Common Health Issues
Symptoms or Causes
Health IssueFin rot
Symptoms or CausesFrayed or disintegrating fins; the base of the fins usually reddens.
Suggested ActionImprove water quality; consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment.
Symptoms or CausesWhite spots appear on fins and body; fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly.
Suggested ActionQuarantine fish immediately; use commercial ich remedy for at least two weeks.
Ask an associate about Petco's selection of books on Freshwater Sharks and the variety of Petco Brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All Petco Brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.
Because all aquatic life are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your aquatic life and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.
Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for aquatic life and should consider not having aquatic life as a pet.
Go to the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/healthypets for more information about aquatic life and disease.
This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.
Note:The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.
Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.
Free Standard Shipping automatically applies to your qualifying minimum online purchase subtotal of $49. No promotion code necessary. Subtotal refers to amount of order before taxes and shipping. All Free Shipping is based on Standard Shipping rates.
Free Shipping Exclusions: Cat litter, dog litter, ice melter, wild bird food, live fish & rock, aquatic gravel and accents; crickets, live food and frozen food; out-of-stock items, Donations, Petco or Unleashed by Petco Gift Cards and eGift Cards; items shipped through white glove delivery or LTL delivery; orders exceeding the maximum weight limit of 300 lbs.; and applicable taxes. Additional exclusions may apply and will be noted on the Product Detail page and/or Shopping Cart.
Cat litter, dog litter, wild bird food, live & frozen food and oversized items may incur an additional per-item shipping & handling fee or surcharge. Additional fees may apply and will be noted on the Product Detail page and/or Shopping Cart.
Did you know? Repeat Delivery orders always ship free. Learn More