Types Of Freshwater Aquarium Sharks

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There are varying species or types of freshwater aquarium sharks, they are listed below as follows;

  1. Redtail shark or the bicolor shark
  2. Colombian shark
  3. Rainbow Shark
  4. Silver Apollo shark
  5. Giant Pangasius/paroon shark
  6. Mekong Giant Catfish
  7. Iridescent shark/Siamese shark
  8. Silver shark/Bala Shark

The freshwater sharks are of rare species. They are omnivores and are not particular about what they consume. Most times their diet consists of pellet, flakes and dried food.

Not all Types of freshwater aquarium shark are suitable to be kept as pets because some of them can be harmful and aggressive.

Here are some extensive descriptions of the various types of freshwater aquarium sharks, they are as follows;

Redtail sharks:

The red tail or bicolor sharks have very distinctive looks. The combination of a red tail and a sleek black body are perfect and unique. They are mostly found in an environment with plenty of hiding spots like amongst rocks, plants, driftwood.

The red tail sharks are usually very aggressive even to their own kinds. They do not like their territory to be shared with other sharks, and this explains why you can only have one red tail shark in an aquarium.

They keep to themselves and avoid other sharks and catfish, especially fishes with long fins.

These kinds of freshwater sharks consume all food virtually; they are not picky about food. They eat food like pellet, flakes, meat, brim shrimp.

Colombian Sharks:


The Colombian sharks are large catfish. They are kept in an aquarium that is at least 75-80 gallons because they possess high fin and long whiskers. They should be set up to blend with their environment with plenty of rocks and plants.

They are quite aggressive and tough to handle especially for beginners. They should be kept in somewhat salty water before being transferred to saltwater in adulthood.

Colombian sharks are predators. They feed on anything that fits in their mouth. Their dorsal fins contain poisonous venom so you might want to be careful when handling them, and they should also be placed in a different tank away from other sharks and fishes because they might pose a threat to them.

Rainbow shark:


The rainbow shark is also a catfish. Their color combinations are so beautiful that they complement their environment so well. They love to explore, the reason why they should be placed in a tank with plenty of dense plants. They can be territorial too.

They are troublesome and aggressive and should not be kept with other sharks or fishes, most especially the red tail shark. If they must have a tank mate, then it should be with a bigger and larger fish, one with the same level of temperament.

The rainbow sharks tend to stay at the bottom of the tank because they have a very sensitive barbell around their mouths that can easily be bruised, so they choose the right substrate away from large and rough rocks to avoid injuries. They are also excellent jumpers, so be sure to keep your tank tightly covered.

Silver Apollo Sharks:


These sharks are passive and are about six inches long. They are usually kept in groups because they appreciate the company of other sharks. They are kept in groups of six or more. These sharks are very peaceful in nature and quite easy to handle and also to feed.

But they are also good and fast swimmers, this is why they live near the surface of the tank to compete for food with the other fishes and prevent them from getting any food to eat.

Silver Apollo sharks love peace and quiet environment. This makes them very easy to live with just as long as the fishes around them are not small enough to be made preys. The tanks where they are being kept needs strong filters and a change of about 25% of water.

These type of freshwater sharks are usually hard to maintain because they are very sensitive to certain kinds of changes in the water like the PH changes in the water where they are kept and even to the small amount of nitrates and ammonia present in it. They are considered schooling fishes.

Iridescent Shark or Siamese Shark:


The Siamese sharks are omnivores and can become predators when large. They originate from Mekong river, a member of the Pangasiidae family, a type of a catfish.

By their nature, its shape, color, and mode of swimming tell that it is a good example of a freshwater shark. Having an iridescent shark in your aquarium requires you to have a huge tank of about 150-300 gallons because it grows rapidly.

It’s approximately 3-inches at the initial stage but grows to over 60 inches. They have a long lifespan they could live for up to 20 years or so if properly taken care of.

They are very fast and active, they eat anything that they come across and definitely do not feed from the bottom of the tank. They love to explore different levels of the tank, so they need a lot of space to achieve this.

Mekong Giant Catfish


The Mekong giant catfish is one of the biggest catfish sharks in the history of freshwater aquarium sharks. They grow so big and healthy, about 9.8ft and they look similar to the Iridescent shark. They are not aggressive and are kept in a very large tank to be able to move freely.

Silver Shark or Bala Sharks

These freshwater sharks are omnivores and eat food like tubifex, bloodworms, flakes. They are up to 20 inches or about 35cm. They originate from Thailand and belong to the Cyprinidae family. They are peaceful and likes to socialize with other sharks and swims in school.

The silver shark takes the resemblance of a shark by its color, its body shape and also its fins.

These sharks aren’t quite aggressive unlike the red tail sharks, and they are not territorial. But they tend to eat fishes that are smaller in size when they come across them. The Bala sharks should be kept in a tank of 150 gallons.

Giant Pangasius or Paroon sharks:


This shark is quite similar to the iredescent shark. It is also a catfish shark and originates from the Mekong and Chao Phraya basins. These sharks are wide, flat and have a whiskerless head. Its fins are dark gray, and the ray extended into the filament.

The adult shark reaches about 9.8ft in length and weighs up to 300kg. The giant pangasius feeds on crustaceans and other smaller fishes.


Important Articles:

Best Airstone For Aquarium

Best LED Light for Saltwater Aquarium

Best Lightning For Coral Reef Aquarium

Best Skimmer for 90 Gallon Reef

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