Three Perfect Shark Additions to Your Aquarium
Sharks. They really are the misunderstood creatures of the briny seas. People are scared of them, which can be good, except when they want to go all "Clint Eastwood" and take out all the sharks. People, however, should really remember that we are encroaching on their natural habitat and not the other way around. Also, most shark attacks happen when people don’t listen to warnings …
Overall, though, sharks are cool creatures. They’re smart, they know how to take care of themselves, and they’ve remained basically unchanged for millions of years, which is pretty incredible. So what's not to love, right?
If you consider yourself a shark aficionado and are finally thinking of purchasing one for your aquarium, there are a few things you should know.
If you’ve never had a fish before as a pet, think hard before getting a shark. Owning a shark isn’t like owning a guppy. They’re saltwater creatures and thus need a lot of specialized care. So start out easy and work your way up to shark owner status.
If it Smells Like a Shark and is Labeled a Shark ...
... it must be a shark, right. Wrong! There are a lot of freshwater fish that are labeled "shark." These may be really cool and amazing fish, but they are most definitely not sharks, so research carefully. Fish commonly mistaken for sharks, include the bala shark, red tailed shark, rainbow shark, and the iridescent shark.
Finding the Right Shark (For Life!)
There are many popular sharks to choose from. However, we must again stress the importance of researching your desired shark species. Many sharks grow up to be really, really big! This means they’re not going to be suitable for the average-sized home aquarium. (Not a problem for the über-rich, though. You can afford to have a swimming pool-sized tank put into your mansion, which is better for taking care of your enemies, à la James Bond villains, anyway.) For instance, the Nurse shark is popular, but it usually grows to be too big for most home aquariums (up to 14 feet!).
Our top three picks for pet sharks:
#3 The Wobbegong
Apart from having pretty much the coolest name ever, this is a good shark for a home aquarium … but only if you get certain species. Many of the large species of this family can grow to be up to 10 feet long!
Usually found off the coasts of Australia and Indonesia, the wobbegong are bonafide members of the carpet shark family, thus classified because of the carpet-like markings on their bodies.
The wobbegong also has a slow metabolism and pretty much likes to sit at the bottom of its tank, hanging out. It also eats about twice a week, which means it’s a fairly low maintenance type of pet shark.
If you want one as a pet, the best small species of the wobbegong (go on, say it out loud, it’s fun) to have are the tasselled wobbegong and Ward’s wobbegong.