Sharks might be something you never considered as an animal that people should keep as a pet but the fact is that different kind of sharks is kept in home aquariums all over the world. The sharks that are kept in aquariums are usually smaller saltwater sharks such as reef sharks. A number of these pet shark species adepts very well to an aquarium environment in larger aquarium and are often breed in aquariums. There are also a number of popular freshwater fish that are known as freshwater “pet” sharks. These species are however not true sharks and isn’t even related to sharks. There are however “true” freshwater sharks but these are rare and not readily available in the aquarium trade.
You might think that it would be dangerous to keep sharks as pets and the danger that these sharks present is real but not very big as long as you threat your sharks with care. Sharks that are commonly kept as pets are not a threat to an adult’s life but they can give nasty wounds which might result in scars if they bite you. There are however a long row of other popular aquarium inhabitants that are potentially more dangerous such as lionfish.
Pet sharks are however not for every one and even the most suitable species requires huge aquariums, larger than most people can offer their sharks. This is the reason why pet sharks aren’t for every one and why you really most do your research before buying a seemingly small shark for your home aquarium. Many of these species grow very large and are not suitable for most home aquariums. Most shark species will need an aquarium or pond the size of a swimming pool when they grow large and this is why most aquarists do best in avoiding these fish altogether. You should never by a shark if you can’t offer them this kind of space already or is absolutely sure that you will be able to do so soon, well before they grown so big that they actually need all that space.
There are a number of sharks sold as pets but the most common species are Nurse Sharks, Black tip reef shark, white tip reef shark, epaulette shark, wobbygong shark , leopard sharks and horn sharks. Some of these species can grow to be 4m / 13 ft long which makes it easy to se why these shark isn’t suitable as pets for most aquarist. Another shark that can be found in aquarium stores from time to time is the bull shark which is especially unsuitable to keep in aquariums since this is one of the most aggressive sharks there is. Bull shark can be found in freshwater but should not be kept as a freshwater fish.
Epaulette sharks are one of the more common types of pet sharks. Copyright www.jjphoto.dk
If you feel that you have enough room and expertise to have freshwater shark you will need to setup your aquarium according to your sharks need. I will tell you more about how to keep sharks as pets and how to setup their aquariums in a coming article.
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