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Iridescent Shark

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Iridescent Shark (Pangasius hypophthalmus)

Photo of: Iridescent Shark (Pangasius hypophthalmus)

Scientific Name(s): Pangasius hypophthalmus, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, Helicophagus hypophthalmus


Common Name(s): Iridescent Shark, Pangasius Catfish


Family: Pangasiidae


Species Type: Asian Loaches/Catfish


Maximum Size: 48 inches


Life Span: 20 years


Natural Habitat: Asian rivers


Minimum Tank Size: 2000 gallons


Tank Region: Bottom


Possible Tank Mates: This species is not suitable for aquariums of any size due to their adult size.


Description: They are difficult fish to care for, despite their being easy to acquire. They grow very large, and easily outgrow even large tanks. As they are fairly active swimmers, they need a lot of open space in their tank. Floating plants seem to reduce this fish's nervousness, as they provide shade. Bright lighting is unnecessary and even harmful, as it will make the fish skittish. The iridescent shark can be purchased in an albino form and an artificially dyed form. The dyeing process is very harmful to the fish and should not be supported. These fish can be quite nervous are easily spooked, and have very bad eyesight. Not recommended for home aquaria because of the large size they attain.


Temperature Range: 72°F - 80°F



pH Range: 6 - 7.6

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 1° - 30°



Breeding Information: Adults are too large to breed in a home aquarium setting.


Sexing Information: Males of this species have darker stripes and are more slender than the females.


Diet: Omnivorous - does well with sinking pellet foods.


Temperament: Peaceful schooling fish. Can be a bit skittish.


Common Diseases: None specific to species


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Asian Loaches/Catfish


Keith Pardee

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