5 Freshwater Aquarium Sharks – Different Types

freshwater shark

Aquarium sharks are not your typical type of ocean sharks but rather some type of fish that belong to the carp or catfish family.

And the reason why they are known as the shark fish is that they have features similar to that of the shark, including size. 

The shark fish just like other types of aquarium fish’s have species that are aggressive and should be kept in a species only fish tank, others thrive in schools of up to about 3 sharks such as the balas.  In general, however, sharks can be paired with like-sized fish of the same temperament. A healthy shark fish will eat vigorously displays rich color and has an active swimming style. 

We will, therefore, sample different types of freshwater aquarium sharks and their care guide. 

Different types of freshwater aquarium sharks

1. Roseline Torpedo Shark 

Roseline Torpedo Shark

Roseline Torpedo shark is also known as the Denison barb, fish from the barb family, they have a history of aggressiveness but not the Denison barb. And that is why they can live with other types of fish peacefully; they are also a shoaling fish. While in their natural habitat the Roseline Torpedo Shark can be found in rivers and streams with heavy vegetation. 


The Roseline torpedo shark fish will feed on your tank plants if you have any, but to provide it with the necessary nutrients; you will have to include daphnia, bloodworms, and fresh vegetables among others in its diet.  

  Do Fish Cough or Sneeze?


The most compatible tank mates of the torpedo shark are such as the cichlids, the tetras, and the rainbows. 


To successfully breed the Roseline torpedo shark you will have to use soft acidic water, over the year’s aquarist have been having breeding problems with the torpedo shark, to the extent of using hormones to stimulate spawning.

Tank requirements  

The torpedo water PH should range between 6.5 and 7.8, a big tank is required if you are going to keep a school, and a school of 3 would thus require up to 400 gallons. 

2. Siamese Algae Eater (SAE)

Siamese Algae Eater

The Siamese Algae Eater is an aquarium vacuum cleaner and will wipe out all the algae in your fish tank. And like other fish, the SAE will not tolerate other similar looking fish but are generally peaceful and will do well in a community tank. 

Preferable water temperatures for the Siamese algae eater are 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a water PH of 6.5 or 8. Their ideal tank mates are the angelfish, the corydoras and the swordtails among others. 

3. Iridescent shark catfish

Iridescent shark catfish

The iridescent shark does have some peculiar characteristics, for example, it can grow up to about a meter long. They love their space thus they love swimming around instead of resting, taking care of the fish is not an easy task and it would be best if you had information first hand before investing in the specific type of fish. 

If you restrict it to a small tank, it will not grow big and could even die because of stress. ideal tank conditions are 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit and a water PH of 6.2 to 7.5. Suggested tank mates are such as the Oscars, the pleco and the carps among others. since the iridescent shark has the ability to grow very big you should invest in a big tank and this would mean that one iridescent occupies 400 gallons. 

  Benefits of Having Floating Aquarium Plants

4. Red-tailed black shark

Red tailed black shark

The red-tailed shark just like its body has a red tail and a dark black body, the fish tends to live long and thrive in areas with plenty of vegetation. And in case you had not thought of incorporating rocks and wood in your aquarium, this would be the best time, as they also love to hide. They are among the algae eater type of fish but will disappoint you if you expect them to feed on algae in large chunks. 

An ideal tank size would be 55 gallons, with water temperatures of about 74 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The red-tailed black shark can be kept in a community tank of tetra, clown loaches and gouramis among others. Water PH should be maintained at 6.5 or 7.5. 

5. Silver Apollo Shark

Silver Apollo Shark

If you decide to go down the silver Apollo shark route be prepared to host at least six of them because they are a schooling type of fish. They don’t stay in one place, it will thus be necessary to clear the mid and top part of the aquarium to accommodate the Apollo shark. 

They are quite involving when it comes to rearing, for example, you will have to provide a very large fish tank of up to 75 gallons, and a high-end filtration system if you want them to thrive. A good diet for the Apollo shark would consist of small river shrimps, flakes, and pieces of vegetables among others. 

Ideal water temperatures for the silver Apollo is 70 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with a water PH of 6 to 6.5. Since you are interested in the Apollo shark, they have to be kept in schools to reduce stress. You will thus have to invest in a 150-gallon fish tank. The Apollo can be kept in a community fish tank and their compatible partners are the loaches and barbs, the Plecos and the Bala Sharks

  How to Identify Male vs. Female Guppies

Pet shark care tips and information 

  • Maintain a sturdy hood: freshwater fish are skilled jumpers and will easily jump to suicide if you don’t provide a tight lid on your aquarium. 
  • Filtration: shark fish produce a lot of waste, making the tank water prone to ammonia spikes. However, you could invest in a decent water filter preferably a canister filter that will provide safe levels of filtration. 
  • Include tank decorations: shark fish have a history of bullying their tank mates or chasing them around from time to time, therefore, dense vegetation, and caves will give them a place to rest or hide when they need to.
  • Substrate: soft substrate is always good for the bottom dwellers’ flat belly, as it keeps them safe from scratching on sharp objects. Therefore, for the bottom-dwelling sharks, you could provide a smooth surface or a fine sand substrate.
Was this article helpful?