Hello, I am interested in setting up an aquarium with an epaulette shark. Would it be suitable to keep it in a 55 gallon for 6 or so months, and then after that, switch to a 180 ? Also any advice on keeping these fish is welcome.
From what I understand, any shark needs a tank of at least 300 gallons. Sharks have to swim in order to breath properly, so they are constantly moving. A 55 standard tank is not only to small for water volume, but also for movement. Shark likely wouldn't be able to move. They also need rounded corners (achieved through many ways) so that they dont always bump into the walls. Depending on the size of the shark, it MIGHT be ok in the 180 for a few months - Im talking if the shark is like a little tiny specimen. But, 300 is really the minimum. "racetrack" tanks are the best design as well.
Thanks for the reply, in the article linked by jerryclunsford, it says that juveniles can be kept in even a tank as low as 20 gallons. Also, about the appropriate space for the shark to move, many websites say that the epaulette shark is specifically well suited for aquariums as it is used to swimming around in more narrow spaces, unlike most sharks. Is this simply untrue ? Or am I missing something? Thanks.
"A juvenile epaulette shark can easily be kept in a smaller aquarium, even a tank as small as the standard 20-gallon long. But the aquarist must be prepared to provide larger quarters as they grow, and they can grow fast! Juveniles may grow as much as 29 cm (11.4 in.) in a years time. At maximum size, most bamboo or epaulette sharks could be comfortably housed in a 180-gallon tank" - I got this from the love no mentioned by jerryclunsford
Chi, that species of shark kind of drags itself on strong fins.
Rosh, I don't know how much experience you have and the majority of sharks are not easy to care for. You will need a substrate that will not tear up its belly also.
I don't think it would be a good idea for it to be your first saltwater fish.
I guess it depends on the size of the "juvenile". A 55g is only 12 inches wide so that's a very narrow space to be turning in unless is a very small shark since, as far as I know, sharks only move forward. You could probably go for lower water volume if you got wider dimensions.
I'm planning on keeping some relatively hardy fish to begin with, the shark was more of a goal in a few months anyway, in fact the 55 gal might only house the shark when it's just a few months. But a 180 gallon would fit it for life, right?
"A juvenile epaulette shark can easily be kept in a smaller aquarium, even a tank as small as the standard 20-gallon long. But the aquarist must be prepared to provide larger quarters as they grow, and they can grow fast! Juveniles may grow as much as 29 cm (11.4 in.) in a years time. At maximum size, most bamboo or epaulette sharks could be comfortably housed in a 180-gallon tank. The Hemiscyllium spp. are all found in tropical seas and will thrive at water temperatures of 22 to 29 ºC (72 to 84 ºF). Remember, at lower water temperatures your shark will grow more slowly."
I stand corrected to the 300 gallon limit. However, if your going to take the time to setup a 55 (still believe that is far to narrow), then why not start with the 180? You'd save a lot in materials and time spent.
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