Juvenile pictured above, Adult left.
a.k.a. Pangasius Shark, Sutchi Catfish, Striped Catfish
Care Level : Moderate, needs a large tank
Max Size : 47 inches (120 cm) – but commonly about 4 inches in smaller tanks
pH : 6.5 - 7.5
Temperature : 72°F - 79°F (22°C - 26°C)
Water Hardness : 2° to 20° dH,
Life span : 20 years, maybe much longer
Origin: Asia, Thailand
Temperament/Behavior: Can be quite skittish, nervous and may not bother tank mates as juveniles. May eat smaller fish as it starts to reach adult size.
Breeding: Not common in the home aquairum. Breeding has taken place at aquaculture farms and ponds.
Tank Size: ideally 125 and up
There is also an albino in this species as well. As you may have guessed from some of the other common names, this really isn't a shark, it's a type of exotic catfish, but it sure as heck is about as close to looking like a real shark for the freshwater aquaria as it gets! They originate from Asia. This fish can grow to be almost 4 feet in length (120 cm) and sometimes larger in the wild. Now typically this is only in huge aquariums, as a regular aquarist may experience having one for many years and never getting more than a few inches, perhaps 5 inches in a 60 gallon tank, but we have grown them as large as 10” in a 125 gallon. They are very active swimmers as well.
They are quite skittish and can be easily frightened by sudden movements in front of the tank so this is an ideal fish for a calm office or home with minimal activity. Their nervous behavior can lead to damage of themselves and for their tank mates. Keeping them in a school of 5 or more may help calm them down. Floating plants may help make them feel secure as well. They have been known to jump from tanks, so a good tight fitting hood is a good idea.
They are omnivorous and should go after all fish food you offer.