You can fulfill your dream of keeping sharks as pets by introducing an Apollo shark to your community tanks.
We have compiled this guide on the care and upkeep of Luciosoma setigerum to enable you to do just that.
|Common Name:||Apollo Shark|
|Size:||10 in (25 cm)|
|Habitat:||S.E. ASIA ISLANDS: Malay Peninsula, Indochina, Indonesia.|
|Min Tank Size:||At least 125 gallons for a school of six.|
|Diet:||Omnivorous, flake, Frozen, live food and pellets.|
|Behavior:||Peaceful and active schooling fish.|
|Water:||Temperature 68°F to 77°F (20-25°C), pH: 6.0 to 6.5, Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 5.0 – 8.0|
|Care:||Easy, is a jumper. Happiest in a school.|
|Communities:||Ok with similar size and temperament species.|
Description: Silver-Finned Apollo Shark
Three words describe Apollo sharks: fast, beautiful, and cunning. Shaped like a torpedo, Apollo sharks have a sublime cylindrical body with an easily distinguishable pointed snout. Their caudal fin is forked, and the dorsal fin is placed towards the end of their body.
A dark line runs vertically across their figure, dividing it into two distinct shades. The upper half is slightly green, while the lower half is solid silver. It is this silver tinge to their body that has earned them the title of Silver Apollo sharks. All of its fins are also silver. The silver-white color of these fish is more pronounced in young ones and a few degrees more subtle in adult sharks.
In terms of sexing the Apollo sharks, there is little difference between males and females. The only reliable indicator is the form of their bellies. Female Apollo sharks boast a significantly rounder belly and are generally plumper. Apart from this, it can be tricky to differentiate between the two sexes.
– Origins: Where Are They Found?
Apollo sharks are native to fast-flowing freshwater bodies in Southeast Asia. They are most popularly found in the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.
Although a source of fascination for tropical fish hobbyists, Apollo sharks are hard to find. It is improbable that you would find them at just any fish shop, so we recommend you check out specialty tropical fish stores for this species.
– How Big Can an Apollo Shark Get?
Apollo sharks are small to medium-sized fish that can grow up to a maximum of 10 inches. Under usual circumstances, Apollo sharks grow between 8 and 9 inches in captivity.
Because of their similar appearances, Silver Apollo sharks (Luciosoma setigerum) are often confused with the long-finned Apollo sharks (Luciosoma spilopleura). However, size is a crucial difference between the two. Silver Apollo sharks do not grow more than 10 inches in captivity, while long-finned Apollo sharks can easily go up 12 inches in length.
The maximum size your Apollo shark grows depends on various factors, out of which diet and living conditions are the most important. An inadequate diet and an uncomfortable environment can stunt the growth of your Silver Apollo shark while also taking a toll on its well-being.
You can ensure Apollo sharks grow up to their maximum potential by providing them with optimum living conditions and a good diet. Because Apollo sharks are active fish, it is also important for them to have plenty of space to swim around to grow to the fullest.
Silver Apollo sharks have a lifespan of up to 14 years in captivity but tend to live longer in their natural habitat.
Similar to their growth rate, the lifespan of Apollo sharks depends on the quality of their living conditions and the kind of care they receive. With the right care and diet, Apollo sharks can live quite long.
Silver Apollo Shark Compatibility: Social Behavior & Tank Mates
Silver Apollo sharks are used to fast life. They are peaceful but very active fish. Hence, tank mates that meet the Apollo shark compatibility criteria have the same social nature but are not so small that they can be easily eaten. As a general rule of thumb, you should not house any fish less than 8 inches long in the same tank as Apollo sharks.
Since they are schooling fish in their natural habitat, Apollo sharks do not fare too well on their own. They require a school of 6 to 12 fish to be completely comfortable and start exhibiting signs of stress and discomfort if kept in a group of less than 3 fish.
Keeping them in a school of three fish or less can also prove to be dangerous as they tend to establish a pecking order with the dominant shark, often leaving the weaker injured.
– What Are Some Ideal Tank Mates for Apollo Sharks?
Ideal tank mates for Apollo sharks are medium to large non-aggressive fish such as Bala Sharks, Tin Foils, Barbs, Rainbowfish, Scavenger Catfish, and Gouramis. All of these match Apollo shark compatibility and will stay happy in the same tank as them.
– Are Silver Apollo Sharks Aggressive?
One good thing about keeping Apollo sharks in community tanks is that they are not territorial or aggressive about their space. When kept with fish of their own size, they do not fight. So they should not be kept with other territorial fish. Otherwise, they would get distressed.
However, as they are predators in nature, small fish are no match for these swift Silver Apollo sharks because they readily consume smaller fish as food. Therefore, keeping them together can be a fatal mistake.
Apollo sharks also get very excited when fed, so it is possible for your slower, shyer fish to miss out on their meals. The best way to prevent this is to either not house them together or keep them in a large enough tank so that species with contrasting feeding speeds are farther apart.
How To Care for an Apollo Shark: Is It Easy?
Although not entirely difficult, caring for an Apollo shark requires a certain level of expertise. They are active freshwater creatures and demand their aquarist’s care and attention. Therefore, we recommend Silver Apollo sharks only to intermediate-level fish keepers or above. They are not suitable for beginners or those new to the tropical fishkeeping hobby.
Coming from the rapidly flowing freshwater bodies of Southeast Asia, Apollo sharks require specific conditions to flourish in the tank. However, these tank specifications are not out of the ordinary, and you can set up an aquarium for these freshwater sharks in no time.
– Tank Size
Apollo sharks are happiest when they have a large open swimming space to themselves. A large aquarium is a must if you want to successfully keep these freshwater sharks as pets.
The minimum tank size for silver Apollo sharks (Luciosoma setigerum) is 125 gallons. The tank size you would need for your school of Apollo sharks depends on how many you have in the group and what other species you plan on keeping them with. However, ideally, you would need a tank of at least 125 gallons to keep your Apollo sharks happy and healthy.
– Water Conditions
Silver Apollo sharks belong to rapid streams and rivers in tropical regions. So they require a constant supply of clean water with a strong current. We recommend the installation of a canister filter to keep the water filtered. It will also provide a strong current for the freshwater sharks, ensuring that you are emulating the conditions of Apollo shark’s natural habitat as closely as possible while also getting rid of the waste produced by these big fish.
In terms of pH level, you shouldn’t keep the water alkaline or acidic. Rather, it should be kept neutral. The ideal pH level for the tank is between 6.0 and 7.5. We recommend monitoring the pH level closely with a pH tester.
– Keep the Water Well-Oxygenated
Silver Apollo sharks are found in water bodies with high levels of dissolved oxygen. This is an essential condition you must meet if you want to keep Silver Apollo sharks in your community tank. Using a large canister filter is the best way to go as it will generate the strong current you need for effective oxygen distribution.
Canister filters keep the water well oxygenated by increasing the disturbance at the water surface. This disturbance allows the gaseous exchange to occur, meaning the rate at which oxygen dissolves in the tank water increases. Hence, allowing your Apollo sharks to respire properly.
Furthermore, canister filters take in water from the bottom of the tank and deposit filtered water out from the top. This creates a current or disturbance that allows oxygen to be distributed throughout the tank. As you have to house Apollo sharks in large aquariums, you should install a strong canister filter for not only filtering the water but also distributing sufficient oxygen throughout the large tank.
– Water Temperature
Silver Apollo sharks are tropical creatures, and they are best suited to the temperature of the tropics. This aspect of tank setup is fundamental for the growth and upkeep of these freshwater fish. You should keep the water moderately warm and maintain a temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are a tropical fish enthusiast in a relatively colder region, you can use a heater to maintain the optimal tank temperature for your Silver Apollo sharks.
– Tank Lighting
Lighting is a crucial part of Silver Apollo sharks’ upkeep. You should ensure adequate lighting similar to the one they are used to in their natural habitat. Since Apollo Sharks are surface dwellers, they are not used to completely dark surroundings. Hence, you should keep the aquarium lowly illuminated with soft lights. This will let your Apollo sharks navigate their way around the tank at night while making them feel at home during the day.
What Decorations Should You Add to the Tank?
Silver Apollo sharks love large swimming areas, so you should set up their tank and add decorations with their habits and preferences in mind. Decoration that comes in their way and hinders their rapid movement is highly discouraged.
Since Apollo sharks are surface swimmers, they do not require a lot of plant cover to provide dark spaces. In fact, they don’t require cover at all. Hence, we recommend you do not add too many floating plants in their aquarium. You should keep Apollo sharks in a tank with lots of open space and refrain from populating the area with unnecessary decorations such as caves.
However, if you want, you can add bits of driftwood to the tank. Soft substrate or gravel can also be added at the bottom but be careful not to add any sharp substrate that can injure your Apollo sharks. Even though you should steer clear of excessive aquarium plants, those at the bottom of the tank are fine if kept in moderation.
What Are the Signs of Low Oxygen Levels in the Tank?
As an Apollo shark fish keeper, you should be able to identify when the water conditions are no longer suitable for these freshwater fish. Low oxygen level in the tank is one such hazard you should be aware of. You can tell that your Apollo sharks are not receiving the required amount of oxygen if you see them gasping at the water surface. Finding them bunched together around the filter outlet is another sign of oxygen levels dropping.
In a tank with low oxygen level, the activity of Apollo sharks will drop dramatically, and they will not eat as excitedly as they normally do. If you look closely, you will see rapid gill movement as they will struggle to breathe. This is a situation you want to avoid, and the best way to do so is to monitor the water conditions and have an operational filter installed.
Is It Necessary to Cover the Aquarium of Your Apollo Sharks?
Yes, it is crucial to ensure that the aquarium you have set up for your Apollo sharks is tightly covered with a lid. Silver Apollo sharks are known for being jumpy and can jump high enough to land out of the tank. Therefore, we strongly advise you to keep your Apollo shark aquarium secure with a lid at all times.
How Often Should You Change the Tank Water?
We recommend changing the aquarium water at least once a week. An often overlooked aspect of tank care is water change which ensures the cleanliness and overall well-being of your pet fish. Apollo sharks are an example of fish species that are used to clean, fresh water. While you may use a strong filter to keep the water clean, it is equally important for you to change it regularly.
You can completely replace old water in favor of new, fresh water, or you can undertake a 25 percent water change every week. Both practices are normal as long they fulfill the basic requirement of clean and fresh water.
Nutrition is an important part of any fish’s diet. If they eat well, they grow well and stay happier. Because Apollo sharks are very active throughout the day, they need their fair share of nutrition to make up for it. Hence, you should pay attention to their diet and make adjustments accordingly.
Silver Apollo sharks are omnivores, meaning you can feed them both vegetable matter and meaty foods. Apollo sharks are not picky eaters at all and will eat most substances they find in the tank, be it a small fish or a floating plant. However, they do have a specific taste for meaty food.
You can feed your Apollo sharks both live and frozen foods. They love to eat brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and krill but do not turn away from flakes and pellets either. Apollo sharks also readily feed on freeze-dried foods such as tubifex and bloodworms.
So, all in all, feeding these aquarium sharks is not a demanding chore, given you are cautious of providing them only the best quality food. When you give them a good diet, you will see the improvement in their health and the intensity of their body’s color.
– How Often Should You Feed Your Apollo Shark?
You should feed your Apollo shark at least twice a day. We recommend you give them meaty foods three times a day. This is because the better they eat, the better their growth will be.
In terms of portion size, we suggest you keep each serving of food large enough for your Apollo sharks to feed on for at least 4 minutes. This will ensure that you are not overfeeding or underfeeding these freshwater sharks.
Apollo sharks are not bred in home aquariums.
- The scientific name of Silver Apollo sharks is Luciosoma setigerum.
- They are found in the rivers and streams of Southeast Asia.
- Apollo sharks can grow up to a maximum of 10 inches in size.
- A minimum of 125 gallons of water is required to keep Apollo sharks.
- They are omnivores and need to be fed thrice a day.
- Apollo Sharks are not bred in captivity.
Apollo sharks are active freshwater fish that can make excellent new additions to your tank if you are a tropical fish enthusiast. They are peaceful and best kept in a school.
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