Columbian Shark 101: Care, Disease, Breeding & All | 2022

By: Martin McAdam
Updated: April 3, 2022

The Columbian Shark is a species of requiem shark found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

I consider this species one of the essential commercial sharks in the world. They are caught mostly for their meat and skin and liver oil, used in various products.

This article will provide you with all the information to care for a Columbian Shark in your home aquarium.

Species Summary

Scientific name:Ariopsis Seemanni
Common name:Columbian Shark
Size:10 - 14 inches
Life span:10 - 15 years
Habitat:Pacific and Atlantic oceans
Compatibility: Generally peaceful with most other shark species, but maybe territorial with its kind
Tank size:Roughly 75 gallons
pH range:7.0 - 8.0
Temperature range:75° - 80° Fahrenheit
Water Hardness:10 - 20 dGH
Water Type:Salt or fresh
Nature:Predatory
Care Level:Intermediate
Origin:Wild
Diet:Omnivores in the wild
Specific Gravity:1.002 -1.010, when fully grown (1.020 - 1.025)

If you've ever wanted to own your shark, the Columbian Shark is a great option. They are generally peaceful and can be kept with most other shark species. However, they may be territorial with their kind, so it's best to only house one per tank.

Here are some things to keep in mind when caring for a Columbian Shark.

Size & Growth Rate

The average size of a Columbian Shark is around 10 to 14 inches in length, but it can grow up to 25 inches in length. They grow at a slow to moderate rate, so you can expect your shark to grow around an inch or two per year.

Lifespan

The typical lifespan of a Columbian Shark is usually 10 to 15 years. While it's rare to live beyond 20 years, some live up to 25 years in captivity with proper care.

Columbian Sharks are heavily hunted, and as a result, their life spans have been shortened in the wild. This species has some of the most extended known life spans in captivity.

Habitat

Columbian Sharks are found in coastal waters in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They are a pelagic species, which means they live in the open sea and not near the coast. And while they are often seen in the surf zone, they are not a true beach shark. Also, they are not freshwater species and should only be kept in saltwater aquariums.

Appearance

The body of a Columbian Shark is typically gray or light brown with darker spots and bands. They have a stout build and a blunt head. It's not hard to see why they are sometimes called "bull sharks."

Once you get a bit closer, you will also see their characteristic black tips on the fins. Fins are also typically a light gray or white.

The predominant color of their skin helps them blend in with their surroundings, making them difficult for predators to see. While adults lose their markings, juveniles are covered in them as they get older.

The shimmering silver scales on their underside are also a beautiful sight. Most fish also have a lateral line, a sensory system that runs the length of their body and helps them detect movement in the water. Columbian Sharks lack this feature.

The spine is full of venom and not recommended to be touched. The sting is excruciating.

The Columbian Shark is a beautiful but deadly predator and will be an impressive addition to any aquarium.

Columbian Shark Breeding

The Columbian Shark is a relatively easy fish to breed. In the home aquarium, they will usually breed during the spring and summer months.

Males and females can be easily distinguished between each other. Males are typically larger than females and have a more elongated body shape. Females are smaller and have a more rounded body shape. They are also naturally a darker color than males.

To breed your Columbian Sharks, you will need to provide them with a suitable breeding tank. This tank should be at least 75 gallons in size and have a dark bottom and plenty of hiding places.

The breeding process begins when the male and female sharks chase each other around the tank. They will eventually become so exhausted that they will fall to the bottom of the tank and release their eggs and sperm.

The eggs will then hatch, and the baby sharks will be able to fend for themselves. Keeping a close eye on the breeding tank is important, as larger fish can eat the baby sharks.

The Columbian Shark is a relatively easy fish to breed, and it can be a great addition to any home aquarium. By following these simple steps, you can help to ensure that your shark breeds successfully.

Behavior & Temperament Of Columbian Shark

Columbian Sharks are known for their calm and docile temperament. They are typically shy around people and will usually only come out when they feel safe.

Like other Catfish, Columbian Sharks will usually spend most of their time resting on the bottom of the tank. They are not known for being active swimmers and will usually only swim when they need to get to food or hide from danger.

The only time you typically see Columbian Sharks swimming around is when they are in mating mode. During this time, they will become very active and often chase each other around the tank.

It is important to provide your shark with a calm and stress-free environment in the home aquarium. By doing so, you can help to ensure that your shark stays healthy and happy.

Columbian Shark Care Guide

Columbian Shark care is enjoyable but not tricky. There's a lot of misinformation on the internet, so we want to make sure you have the correct information.

If you want your Columbian Shark to be healthy and happy, here are some basics you need to know.

Food & Diet Of Columbian Shark

In the wild, Columbian Sharks feed on various items, including small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. It is important to provide your shark with a balanced diet that includes both meat and vegetable items in the home aquarium.

Some good food choices for Columbian Sharks include:

  • Raw Shrimp: This is an excellent source of protein and is also high in calcium.
  • Raw Fish: This is a good source of protein and vitamin B12.
  • Zucchini: This is a good fiber, potassium, and vitamin C source.
  • Krill: This is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Some good vegetable choices for Columbian Sharks include:

  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots

The key to a healthy diet for your Columbian Shark is to provide a variety of food items that include both meat and vegetable items. By doing so, you can ensure that your shark gets the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Be sure to mix up the items you provide so that your shark has various flavors to choose from.

Tank Size

Minimum 75 gallons, but 100 gallons is recommended. This will give them plenty of space to swim around and avoid stress.

They are schooling fish and do best when kept in groups, so try to have at least 3-4 per tank.

However, it's a good idea to place a divider in the tank, so they don't get too aggressive with each other.

Water Parameters

The Columbian Shark is a saltwater fish and should only be kept in a saltwater aquarium.

The pH range should be between 7.0 and 8.0, and the water hardness should be 10-20 dGH.

The water temperature should be around 75°-80° Fahrenheit (24-27 degrees Celsius). With their high metabolism, the water should be changed regularly every 2 weeks.

Specific Gravity should be between 1.020 and 1.025 for adults

Nitrate levels: < 20 ppm

Filtration

Your aquarium should be fitted with a good quality filter to ensure clean and healthy water for your Columbian Shark. A good filter will help keep the water parameters stable and reduce the amount of maintenance needed.

Some of the famous filters are:

  • Canister filters: These filters are large and sit outside of the tank. They are great for filtering a large amount of water and can be used in salt and fresh water aquariums.
  • HOB filters: These filters are short for "hang on back" and sit on the back of the tank. They are a good option for smaller tanks or fish that need a lot of oxygen.
  • Pressurized filters: These filters are used in saltwater tanks and create a fine mist that helps to keep the water healthy and free of algae.
  • Sponge filters: These filters are small and sit inside the tank. They are suitable for new tanks or tanks with delicate fish.
  • Protein Skimmers: This is a must for saltwater aquariums and helps remove harmful toxins from the water.

Heater

Since the water temperature should be around 75°-80°Fahrenheit (24°-27°Celsius), you will need to use a heater to maintain the correct temperature.

Aquarium heaters are available in both submersible and external styles.

Some of the famous heater brands are:

  • Aquarium Heaters: This brand offers a wide variety of heaters for fresh and saltwater aquariums.
  • Eheim: This brand is known for its quality German engineering and offers a wide range of heaters, filters, and other aquarium supplies.
  • Fluval: This brand offers a wide range of aquarium supplies, including heaters and filters.

Lighting

Columbian Sharks do not require a lot of light, but some are still necessary for their health.

Aquarium lighting can come in a variety of forms, such as:

  • LED: This type of lighting is becoming more popular because it uses less energy and lasts longer than Other types of lighting:
  • Halogen: This type of lighting is bright and produces a lot of heat.
  • Fluorescent: This type of lighting is common in aquariums and is available in various colors.

Decor

Columbian Sharks are not picky fish and will be happy with most types of decor in their aquarium.

Some popular choices are:

  • Rock: This is a common choice for aquarium decor and is available in various shapes and sizes.
  • Plants: Live plants are a great addition to any aquarium and help keep the water clean and healthy.
  • Wood: Wood is a popular choice for decor because it comes in various shapes and sizes.

Other Tank Accessories

In addition to a heater, filter, and light, there are other accessories that you may want to consider for your tank.

Some popular choices are:

  • Aquarium Stand: This is the perfect way to store your aquarium supplies and keep your tank looking neat and organized.
  • Aquarium Vacuum: This is a necessary tool for any aquarist and helps to keep the tank clean and healthy.
  • Aquarium Net: This is another necessary tool for any aquarist and is used to remove fish or debris from the aquarium.

With the right equipment, you can create the perfect home for your Columbian Shark and ensure that they stay healthy and happy. By following these simple tips, you can keep your aquarium looking great and your shark healthy and thriving.

Cleaning The Tank

Before you do anything else, you will need to clean the tank.

The first step is to remove all of the water from the tank. This can be done with a garden hose or by using a siphon.

Once all of the water is removed, you can begin to clean the tank.

Start by scrubbing the sides and bottom of the tank with a brush. Be sure to remove all of the algae and dirt.

Next, use a bleach solution to clean the inside of the tank. This will help to get rid of any harmful bacteria or toxins.

Finally, rinse the tank with fresh water and allow it to dry completely before adding new water and fish.

Now that your tank is clean, you can add the necessary substrate.

Common Possible Diseases In Columbian Shark

There are several diseases that can affect Columbian Sharks, so it is essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

Some of the most common diseases are:

  • Dropsy: This disease is characterized by swelling and protrusion of the scales. The fish will also have a loss of appetite and become lethargic.
  • Ichthyophthirius: This disease is caused by a parasite and is characterized by white spots on the fish's body. The fish will become lethargic and have a loss of appetite.
  • Fin Rot: This disease is caused by bacteria and is characterized by lesions or rotting fins. The fish will become lethargic and have a loss of appetite.
  • Skin Flukes: This disease is caused by a parasite and is characterized by small white worms on the fish's body. The fish will become lethargic and have a loss of appetite.
  • Fungal Infections: This disease is caused by a fungus and is characterized by patches of white or black fuzz on the fish's body. The fish will become lethargic and have a loss of appetite.
  • Gill Fluke Disease: This disease is caused by a parasite and is characterized by red lesions on the fish's gills. The fish will become lethargic and have a loss of appetite.

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to take your fish to a veterinarian. By catching the disease early, you can help to prevent it from becoming more serious.

Treatment And Medications Of Diseases

Several treatments and medications can use to treat the diseases listed below.

Some of the most common treatments are:

Antibiotics: This is a medication that is used to treat bacterial infections.

Anti-Parasitic Medications: This is a medication that is used to treat parasitic infections.

Fungal Medications: This is a medication that is used to treat fungal infections.

Luckily, there are some great medications available that can treat most diseases. By working with your veterinarian, you can find the best treatment for your fish and help them to recover quickly.

You can keep your Columbian Shark healthy and happy by following these simple tips.

Be sure to clean the tank regularly.

Stock your aquarium with the right equipment.

Monitor your fish for any signs of illness.

By doing so, you can ensure that your shark stays healthy and looks great in your aquarium.

Shark Bathing

Shark bathing is a great way to help clean your shark's skin and remove any parasites or dirt on its body. It is also a great way to allow cool down your shark on hot days.

To bath your shark, fill a large container with fresh water and place your shark in the container. Gently rub the shark's body with a soft cloth to help clean it. Avoid getting too close to the shark's eyes and gills.

After bathing your shark, rinse it off with fresh water and place it back in the aquarium.

Shark bathing is a great way to help keep your Columbian Shark healthy and happy. By following these simple tips, you can help to ensure that your shark stays healthy and looks great in your aquarium.

Diet Foods To Avoid

There are several foods that you should avoid feeding your Columbian Shark.

Some of the most common diet foods to avoid:

  • Frozen Fish: This can contain toxins that can harm your shark.
  • Live Worms: These can contain parasites that can harm your shark.
  • Mosquito Larvae: These also can contain toxins that can harm your shark.

Feeding your Columbian Shark a diet of only live food can harm its health. By providing various food items, you can help ensure that your shark stays healthy and happy.

Tank Mates

Columbian Sharks can be kept with various different fish species in the home aquarium.

Some good tank mates include:

  • Other Catfish: This includes different types of sharks, catfish, and loaches.
  • Plecostomus: These algae eaters can help to keep the tank clean.
  • Angelfish: These brightly colored fish make a great addition to any tank.
  • Barbs: These active fish can help to keep the tank lively.
  • Garpikes: These fish are known for their predatory nature and can be an interesting addition to the tank.
  • Monos: These small, schooling fish are an excellent choice for a tank with smaller fish.
  • Arches: These fish are known for their peaceful temperament and can make a good addition to any tank.
  • Scats: These fish are known for their playful nature and can add some excitement to the tank.
  • Gobies: These small, schooling fish are great for a tank with smaller fish.
  • Target Fish: These fish are known for their aggressive nature and can make for an interesting addition to the tank.
  • Green Chromides: These colorful fish make a great addition to any tank.

When choosing tank mates for your Columbian Shark, it is important to choose fish compatible with its temperament and personality.

Fish To Avoid

There are several fish that you should avoid putting in your tank with your Columbian Shark. Some of the most common fish to avoid include:

  • Cichlids: These aggressive fish can be harmful to your shark.
  • Goldfish: These slow-moving fish can easily become prey for your shark.
  • Tetras: Your shark can easily eat these small, schooling fish.
  • Other Sharks: These fish can be harmful to your shark.

When choosing tank mates for your Columbian Shark, it is important to avoid putting any fish in the tank that may be harmful to it. By doing so, you can help to ensure that your shark stays healthy and happy.

Advantages Of Having Columbian Shark In Your Tank

The first advantage of having a Columbian Shark in your tank is that they are a relatively easy fish to care for. They are hardy and can adapt to a variety of different water conditions.

They are also active fish and will help to keep the tank lively. By adding a Columbian Shark to your tank, you can help to improve its overall environment.

The Columbian Shark is also a schooling fish and will do best when kept in a tank with other sharks of its kind. By keeping them in a school, you can help to create a more natural environment for your shark.

Lastly, the Columbian Shark is known for its aggressive nature and can make for an interesting addition to the tank. By adding an aggressive fish to your tank, you can help to keep it lively and exciting.

While there are several advantages to having a Columbian Shark in your tank, there are also a few things to keep in mind. Make sure that you do your research before adding one of these fish to your tank, as they may not be compatible with all of your other fish.

Finishing Up

The Columbian Shark is a great addition to any home aquarium. These fish are relatively easy to care for and can be a great addition to the tank.

They are hardy, active, and aggressive and will help to keep the tank lively and exciting. However, before adding one of these fish to your tank, it is important to do your research and make sure that they are compatible with your other fish.

By following the above care guide tips, you can help to ensure that your shark is a happy and healthy member of your tank. Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer

AquaMarinePower.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help users better understand their aquatic friends. However, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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