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Pangasius sutchi
Iridescent Shark, Iridescent Catfish, Sutchi Shark

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Iridescent Shark - Pangasius hypophthalmus

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pangasius1.jpg (24kb)
Photo Credit: Marcos Avila

Name: Pangasius hypophthalmus
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Thailand
100 cm 800 L 7.0 25°C


The irridescent shark can grow up to 1 meter if cared for well. As its name describes, it is color changing. Another name for it is the shark catfish. This fish needs the water temperature of 22-26°C. It needs lots of swimming space and if it becomes very frightened it will play dead. It eats flake food. stick food, algae discs, and worms. This fish isn't very easy to take care of so I wouldn't recommend it as a first fish.

Contributed by Lily

This is a fish with a lot of personality! They are very active swimmers and add a lot of motion to a tank. I have had a few of these fish over the years and learned a couple things about them. First, when you get them home, they will most likely head straight for the bottom of the tank and play dead. I have also seen this behavior when they get startled, sometimes slamming themselves into the sides of the tank. Second, they have very hearty appetites. Any kind of sinking pellets disappear before your eyes (I have even seen large algae wafers swallowed whole!) Finally though, and most important, PLEASE don't buy this fish unless you can house it! As I said before, they are active swimmers and need lots of room. Working at a pet shop I saw many that were brought in because they had outgrown their tanks. Almost all had scarred noses where they had frequently run into the glass. The largest I have seen was at least 40 cm so please keep this in mind. If you have the room, they get along with practically any fish.

Contributed by Julie

I had one of these lovely fish, it was full of personality and always swam up to the top of the water to be fed and petted! Yes petted. It also made lots of noise (croaking mostly). I had to finally get rid of it due to its size. It grew way too big for my 200 Liter tank.

Contributed by Tammy Lee

I had a pair of Irridescents but eventually had to evict them. They were a nice addition, very active (playing dead in the beginning and when frightened as usual), easily startled but gentle and a good community fish. But they were very susceptible to disease - whilst the other fish remained healthy (but one unfortunate Berry Tetra who hung out with the Sharks a lot), if it wasn't one thing with them, it was another. White Spot Disease and Dropsy became their middle names, and I finally had to get rid of them to save the tank. They require easy care, but are quite sensitive. Before buying, make sure that they are HEALTHY!

Contributed by (no name given)

What a great fish to have. I got my "baby" when she was just one of the little ones in the pet store, 11 years ago. From 8 cm to her current 33 cm, she has given us nothing but pleasure. She is always the first thing someone notices when they come to my home. Plus, she is a very hardy fish. Through divorce, marriage, and several moves in between, she has adjusted fine every time. One last move planned, and thatīs to a new 850 liter home very soon.

Contributed by Dale Julien

These beautiful fish live naturally in large fast flowing rivers where they can obtain their true size. There is no way the general hobbyist can accomodate these catfish. They are very powerful swimmers, who spook easily and dart blindly from danger. Unfortuately when they are kept in tanks they end up with battered snouts and tattered fins. Quite simply it's cruel and unfair to keep Irridescent Sharks, amongst a few other fish, in aquariums.

Contributed by Michael Lewis

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