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The Week of Sharks

Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is starting August 1! I think I’ve watched every season since 2004. Odd considering I spend a lot of time in the ocean, but anyway, watching the shows always gets me thinking about my favorite and not-so-favorite sharks. For example, the bull shark probably scares me the most.

They’re considered one of, if not THE most dangerous shark in the world by many experts due to their aggressive behavior and their ability to swim into freshwater rivermouths, estuaries, and other freshwater locations. Without writing the bull shark saga or trilogy, basically they’re the Mike Tysons of the shark world. Smaller than the big guys, angry, and bite people at inappropriate venues. But what gets to me the most is that it’s capable of being a freshwater shark!

I’m glad PETCO doesn’t carry anything like these guys. However, there are some freshwater sharks that we do carry, and they are some of my favorites. Although they’re not related to their marine cousins, they have similar shape and form. A few of them are actually related to carp. While they’re not as aggressive as the cartilaged fish in the ocean they are extremely active in a fish tank.

There are quite a few kinds to choose from that aren’t saltwater fish: Chinese Hi Fin Banded Shark, Bala Sharks, Rainbow Sharks, Red-tail Sharks, Iridescent Sharks, and Land Shark… ok maybe not Land Shark (Big high five to anyone that knows what this is!). Here are some of my favorites that we sell at PETCO:

There are quite a few kinds to choose from that aren’t saltwater fish… Chinese Hi Fin Banded Shark, Bala Sharks, Rainbow Sharks, Red-tail Sharks, Iridescent Sharks, and Land Shark… ok maybe not Land Shark (Big Time High Five to anyone that knows what this is!).

    Bala Shark

  • Red-tail Shark and Rainbow Sharks – These guys belong in a semi-aggressive or active tank as they don’t get along with each other, and can get territorial. Great additions to a tank with Tiger Barbs, Gouramis, or even Swordtails. Plus they look like miniature sharks from certain angles!
  • Bala Sharks – Because of their silver torpedo shaped bodies, this fish was named a “shark”. With the right size of tank of five feet in length or more, these fish make great additions to a habitat with other high activity fish. An indoor pond is another feasible plan for these fish.
  • Iridescent Sharks – These are large catfish that belong in outdoor ponds or large indoor tanks or ponds. Slow growing fish, the iridescent shark is also known as swai in Thai, tra in Vietnamese, and is sometime sold as basa. These toothless catfish tend to get spooked easily and have poor eyesight. So no playing “Marco Polo” with them!
  • Chinese Hi Fin Banded Shark – Originating from the Yangtze River in China, these fish grow extremely slow in captivity as they get up to three feet long in the wild. These fish are also cool water fish similar to goldfish. And just like goldfish and koi, they usually don’t bother other fish. Swimming at the bottom of an outdoor pond is something that needs to be seen in person to be appreciated.
  • Shark Nose Goby – Actually, we DO carry a Shark Related Marine fish in our stores… This is a small marine fish that gets no larger than 1.5 inches in length. Very similar to the Neon Cleaner Goby, but with a different color scheme.

Hmmm… maybe someone would ruin this too and make freshwater sharks with lasers beams attached to their heads. Ugh. I prefer laughing sharks.

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  • Steve Hassler

    Can’t wait for Craig Ferguson to host Shark Week! Will his co-host be Wavy Rancheros?

  • Lisa G.

    I just love sharks! I do volunteer work for an organization in SW Florida where we tag young Bull sharks. It is great! The mothers swim in from the Gulf into the shallow estuaries to give birth. The pups spend a few years in the estuaries where there is safety and a bounty of food. There are tons of sharks in the Gulf. Lets just hope the oil doesn’t come their way.
    -Lisa, store 1758