The Black Shark fish is a domesticated freshwater fish that shares similar looks with its cousins, the true sharks.
Like sharks, they are massive, active, and aggressive; their aggressive and territorial behavior makes them hard for beginners to manage.
Despite their feistiness, these Black freshwater sharks are a firm favorite of many aquarists.
Let’s look at some characteristics of this fish and how best to care for them.
|Scientific Name||Labeo chrysophekadion|
|Other names||Big Black Shark, Black Shark, Black Laebo|
|Average Tank Size||125 gallons for juveniles, 200 gallons for adults|
|Average Size||24 – 36 inches|
|pH||6.5 – 7.5|
Labeo chrysophekadion Background
Black Shark fish is a large freshwater fish. It is commonly found in the rivers, streams, channels, and floodplains in Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Borneo, and Sumatra. Their natural environment is littered with lots of hiding places that make them feel comfortable.
Black Shark fish love to indulge in the leafy matter, so it’s not advised that you fill their tanks with plants; they’ll snack on them.
The Black freshwater shark is a large fish and can grow up to 36 inches in length.
Of course, its growth is, to a large extent, dependent on the quality of care you shower on it.
Tankmates, water conditions, and of course, diet are essential determinants of how big your fish will grow. That is why you need to know how to properly take care of this fish before you go ahead to purchase one.
Another crucial factor that determines just how big your Black Shark fish will grow is its genetic makeup. Getting a fish with great genes is one way to ensure that your fish stands a fair chance of becoming all that it can be. Add good genetic makeup with great care and diet, and you have the winning combination for raising the Black Shark.
– Sexual Dimorphism
Distinguishing between the sexes of the Black Shark is pretty straightforward. The males are skinnier than the females. On the other hand, the females sport a more rounded abdomen, especially during the breeding season.
– Average Lifespan
The average lifespan of the Black Shark is somewhere between 6-10 years. It is important to note that only fish with good genetic makeup can stand the chance of living that long.
Remember that the genetic makeup of your fish is just one of the factors that determine the actual lifespan of your Black Shark; diet, tank set up, and care are another. With the right tank setup, maintenance, diet, and tank mates, you can give your fish a comfortable, stress, and disease-free life.
Unlike their big carnivorous cousins in the sea, Black sharks are omnivores who will eat anything that can fit into their mouths. Thanks to this, sourcing for their food is not difficult. You can throw in smaller fish and invertebrates like snails and shrimps for them to munch.
Other great food ideas for this shark include spirulina flakes, algae, and shrimp pellets. High-quality live foods and frozen foods are great treats for them; they will help boost your shark’s color. We recommend the following.
- Bloodworms, earthworms, and tubifex worms
- Brine shrimp, krill, Mysis shrimps, and other crustaceans
- Insects like mosquito
- Larvae and eggs of insects, e.g., Daphnia eggs and fry
- Algae wafers, sinking vegetable pellet, and spirulina granules
- Fresh veggies like zucchini, cucumber, peas, and spinach
Frequency of Feeding
With their voracious appetite, we advise that you feed your juvenile freshwater Black Shark at least twice daily and once a day as adults. Of course, you may be tempted to overfeed them; we strongly advise that you do not.
To help, limit the quantity of food you throw to what they can finish in about two minutes. You should remove leftovers immediately to prevent contamination of their tank water.
Black Shark Tank Setup
– Tank Size
The Black Shark fish grows large and loves its space, so it needs a huge tank to cater to its size and needs. We recommend a tank size of 200-gallon to raise this fish, especially as it nears maturity comfortably. You can start the juvenile sharks in a smaller tank of 125-gallon; however, as they grow, you will need to up for a bigger tank.
– Water Requirements
The Black Shark is a hardy freshwater shark for your fish tank. They can tolerate a range of water parameters; however, we recommend that you mimic their habitat closely for the best results.
The temperature should be kept within 72-82 F; they tend to favor warmer temperatures. The water hardness should be around 2-10 dKH and be slightly acidic; maintain the pH at 6.5-7.5, and you are good.
You will also need a robust filtration system for your tank. You must change their tank water weekly to prevent the build-up of toxins and bacteria in the water.
– Tank Decoration
The Labeo chrysophekadion does not require so many tank decorations. A basic 200-gallon tank with lots of hiding spots would work well for them. You can craft out their hiding places using caves, up-turned clay pots, and more. The hiding places help make them comfortable and reduce their display of aggression and territorial behavior.
Placing trees in their tanks is something we would advise against because they would eat up all the leaves; yes, they are omnivores!
– Tank Mates
Setting up your fish tank is just one-half of the problem. The next step is pairing them up with compatible tank mates.
For that, we advise that you study their behavior in the wild. Since they are highly aggressive, it would be terrible to pair them with overly aggressive fish species. In short, it is best to keep this fish by itself.
If you choose to house it with other fish species, then one thing that should influence your choice of tank mates for this fish is their feeding habit. You always want to keep your fish with other species that share similar dietary requirements; it’s easier that way.
You should also ensure that they have identical water preferences; it wouldn’t keep fish with widely varying water parameters. The result would be one fish being stressed, and that is not good for you.
The best tank mates for the Black Shark fish are equally large fish with similar temperaments. Ensure that they are fast-swimming and are one of those fishes that tend to favor swimming at the upper or middle layers of the tank. Notable fish species that make great tank mates for your Black Shark fish include:
– Black Shark Fish Tank Mates To Avoid
We have already covered the fish species that are compatible tank mates for your Black Shark Fish; now, let’s look at fish you should not house with Black Sharks. Avoid housing them with other aggressive sharks; they will fight with each other so much.
Also, avoid adding docile, peaceful fish to their tank. The sharks will chase down the docile fish and stress them out so bad that they wouldn’t survive for long.
Slow-moving fish are also a no-no for the fast-moving Black Sharks; the same goes for fish species with lots of red coloring. The red hue seems to set off these sharks, causing them to become even more aggressive.
How To Raise a Healthy Black Shark
Ensuring that your Black Shark fish is healthy is a great way to prevent it from falling prey to common freshwater diseases. Here are some tips for this.
- Start with getting a fish with a great genetic makeup
- Isolate new fish before adding them to your already established tank
- Feed your fish with high-quality live, frozen, or commercial food
- Avoid overfeeding your Black Shark
- Remove all leftovers from their tank as soon as they are done eating
- Ensure at least a 25 percent water change weekly
- Make sure your tank filters are maintained regularly
- Get a water tank kit to ensure the water parameters are within the recommended range
When it comes to breeding this species in captivity, not much success has been recorded.
- Black Sharks are very aggressive shark species that grow as big as 30 inches
- They are very active and need at least a 125-gallon tank
- They can live for up to 10 years if well cared for
Remember, with proper care, these beautiful fish species can live for a long, long time and add a bit of spice to your tank. Leave us a comment on how it goes.
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