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Iridescent Sharks

[Catfish, Bottom Feeder]

Pangasius hypophthalmus


The Basic Data on Species

ORIGIN Southeast Asia: Known from the Mekong, Chao Phraya, and perhaps Meklong basins (Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, and Viet Nam). Introduced into additional river basins for aquaculture.
POTENTIAL ADULT SIZE 51. 1 Inches....No, it is not a typo. These are very big fish if they reach adulthood
TEMPERAMENT Peaceful, Active and Very Nervous. Skittish Jumpers again like the Bala 6 ft. DIET Please view the bottom of this page for feeding recommendations
WATER TEMPERATURE 76.6 F - 82.6 F WATER QUALITY This fish requires "Excellent" water quality
pH LEVELS 6.5 to 7.5 SPECIES Catfish
LIFE SPAN Up to 10 years dependent on water quality, food and stress levels. Grows slowly but will eventually need at least a 100 Gallon tank. Can jump up to 6 ft. Needs Tank cover.


COMPATIBILITY Large active fish, the bigger barbs, Labeo "sharks", Loricariids, Pacu, can be housed with smaller fish as well. They will create a nervous tank with smaller fish, when the "flip out by dashing here and there" they make everyone in the tank dance around.


GROUPING Groups of 6 or more



My Freshwater Iridescent Sharks

My 20 Gallon Glass Tank hold 3 medium Bala's and 6 Iridescent Sharks (this is not large enough and I am working on a 50 gallon to transfer them into). These are an unusual aquarium fish at best. Will more than likely expire shortly after a beginning hobbyist brings them home from the Fish Store. They are sensitive to noise, room movements, tank movements and just about anything. When startled they will dart blindly around the tank to the point of serious injury to themselves. Short story about my tank, I put a new fluorescent light on the tank that had a small hum. While I was getting my husband to come fix it one of the catfish jumped up against the hood of the tank so hard he knocked himself out. I left him in the tank for awhile to see if he would regain consciousness but after a day I decided he wasn't playing dead and actually was. This is how they are. Not a good aquarium fish for two reasons: They get REAL BIG in adulthood so if you do accomplish the feat of raising them you will need an and area like indoor pool to continue to provide adequate care for them and they are too nervous for a home aquarium.

A point of interest about these fish are that they are cousins to the Peron Shark that is located in the waters around the Peron Islands. They are considered a quite a delicacy.

If you do want to brave the risks, they are funny and very active swimmers. They love to swim against the current and are big eaters. If you leave some open area between the water and the hood they will jump like dolphins out of the water. I had to lower the water levels in my tank after Mr. TKO passed away and the others started hopping in and out. They have to have places to hide and do not like light. Lots of plants, but don't expect to keep your foliage pretty for long. They will chomp it down. When in a state of distress ...cuz you might look at them...or something, they flip out and demolish anything not bolted down.

Recommended Reading

Catfish in the Aquarium

Click on picture of book to view more information

Recommended Feeding

San Francisco Bay Brands Betta Food Freeze Dried Bloodworms

1 gram. Bettas and Freshwater Sharks's love this protein rich, all natural food. Freeze drying locks in nutrients and preserves the natural shape, making it more appetizing for finicky eaters. Never clouds the water.

Hikari Bio-Pure FD Tubifex Worms

 0.78 oz. Tubifex worms specially freeze-dried to maintain the nutrition and flavor of live. Enriched with multi-vitamins. Promotes extraordinary health and color. All the benefits of live tubifex worms, free of parasites or harmful bacteria.


Ocean Nutrition Formula One Flake Food

2.5 oz. Significantly improves coloration and vitality in your fish while boosting their immune system to aid in disease resistance. Fresh seafood and algae make this a gourmet natural food for all marine and freshwater tropical fish.

Hikari Tropical Algae Wafers for Plecostomus & Algae Eaters

2.89 oz. Complete daily diet, fortified with vitamin supplements, for the hard to feed plecostomus, algae eaters and other bottom feeders. Formulated with mostly vegetable materials. Sinking wafers will not cloud the water.