Iridescent Shark – Profile | Facts | Size | Food | Catfish | Tank

iridescent shark
(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

The iridescent shark, scientific name Pangasianodon hypophthalmus is a species of shark catfish (family Pangasiidae) native to the rivers of Southeast Asia.

Regardless of its title, the iridescent shark is not a shark. It’s discovered within the Mekong basin in addition to the Chao Phraya River and is closely cultivated for meals there.

Iridescent shark profile

The meat is commonly marketed beneath the frequent title swai. It has additionally been launched into different river basins as a meal supply, and its placing look and iridescence have made it well-liked with fishkeeping hobbyists, amongst whom it’s also referred to as the Siamese shark or sutchi catfish. Swai’s omnivorous food regimen consists of crustaceans, different fish, and plant matter.


The fish is called for the glow or iridescence exhibited in juveniles, in addition to the shark-like look of this and different shark catfish.

Iridescent Shark size

Adults attain as much as 130 cm (4.Three ft) in size and may weigh as much as most of 44.Zero kg (97.Zero lb).

They have a shiny, iridescent coloration that offers these fish their title. Nonetheless, massive adults are uniformly gray.

The fins are darkish gray or black. Juveniles have a black stripe alongside the lateral line and a second black stripe beneath the lateral line.

Distribution and habitat

P. hypophthalmus migrations within the Mekong and Orange River: March to May
Darkish inexperienced: May to September
Red: October to February

iridescent shark, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Shaded area: spawning area of the southern Mekong inhabitants between Khone Falls and Kratie

Iridescent sharks originate from the big rivers Chao Phraya and Mekong in Asia, although they’ve been launched into different rivers for aquaculture.

They’re freshwater fish that natively dwell in tropical local weather and like water with a 6.5–7.5 pH, a water hardness of 2.0–2.9pH., and temperature variations of 22–26 °C (72–79 °F).

They like massive bodies of water much like the deep waters of their native Mekong river basin.

The iridescent shark is a migratory fish that in most areas strikes upstream to spawn throughout the flood season whereas the waters are excessive and return downstream to hunt rearing habitats when the river water ranges recede.

The dates of the migration range relying on the river system. Within the Mekong river basin, they migrate upstream in Could to July and return downstream throughout September by December.

South of the Khone Falls, upstream migration happens in October to February, with its peak in November to December; right here, it seems to be triggered by receding waters on the finish of the flood season.

In August 2015, an environmental group in Santander, Colombia, confirmed that iridescent sharks had been present in one of many tributaries that feed into the Magdalena river, having been by chance launched from unlawful farm fisheries within the space.

The discovery has brought on alarm amongst the scientific neighborhood and authorities officers because the Magdalena river is house to over 200 native fish species, 35 of that are endangered.

How huge do albino iridescent sharks get?

Adults attain as much as 130 cm (4.3 ft) in size and may weigh as much as most of 44.Zero kg (97.0 lb). They have a shiny, iridescent coloration that offers these fish their title.

Culinary profile

Pangasius doesn’t have a connoisseur repute and is offered cheaply as swai (pronounced /swaɪ/) in the US, panga (or pangas) in Europe, and cream dory and basa in a number of Asian international locations.

Regardless of its poor repute, the full export of pangasius from Vietnam reached US$1.eight billion in 2014.

Pangasius fillets are a more and more well-liked product due to their low price, gentle style, and agency texture. Recipes for different whitefish resembling sole or halibut will be tailored to pangasius.

Pangasius is an omnivorous fish and thus doesn’t require an excessive stage of animal protein in its food regimen. Typical grading sizes are 3–5 oz, 5–7 oz, and seven–9 oz.

In the aquarium

Whereas juvenile iridescent sharks are offered as pets for house aquariums, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus isn’t simple fish to maintain.

Whereas they’ll survive in a 40-gallon aquarium, iridescent sharks are education fish that desire teams, are accustomed to residing in rivers, and are lively fish that require area.

They’ve very poor eyesight, so detected motion from outdoors of their habitat will be seen as a menace.

If burdened, their first intuition is to flee; a blind sprint may cause harm in an aquarium setting. These accidents might outcome in the fish sinking to the underside, the place it might lie on its facet or again till it recovers.

iridescent shark

Are albino sharks aggressive?

The Albino Rainbow Shark also referred to as the Albino Ruby Shark or Albino Crimson-Finned Shark, is nice for the semi-aggressive neighborhood aquarium, so long as they’re the only sharks and the opposite tankmates are of comparable dimension.

The Rainbow Shark will change into very aggressive in the direction of its personal species when mature.

Iridescent sharks require a minimal tank dimension of 12 m (39 ft) to develop naturally. Faculties require even bigger tanks.

If given sufficient room and fed adequately, they’ll attain 1 m (3.3 ft) in size. In most house aquaria, the dearth of area stunts their progress.

For that reason, most iridescent sharks stored in house aquaria develop to 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 in) in size solely and will die prematurely.

When offered adequately sized aquaria and correct husbandry, iridescent sharks might dwell into their teenagers and develop to full dimension.

How fast does an iridescent shark develop?

With considerable, high-quality meals and wonderful water circumstances (a lot of water adjustments), as little as 6 months, you might be conscious that it’ll finally hit 36″-48″ and with a tank within the lots of (800+) of gallons.

How do you handle an iridescent shark?

To ensure their food regimen is balanced, feed your iridescent catfish top-quality flakes two or 3 times a day. Ensure to not overfeed them by solely giving them sufficient meals in order that they eat all of it inside 5 or so minutes. Then feed them dwell or frozen Bloodworms or Brine shrimp.

Are iridescent sharks aggressive?

One of the best iridescent shark tank mates is peaceable fish of comparable dimension. Something a lot smaller may get mistaken for a snack (which you don’t need).

Since these are peaceable and shy fish any aggressive fish are to be prevented as properly.

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