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Black Shark (Labeo chrysophekadion)

Black Shark (Labeo chrysophekadion)

The Black Shark (Labeo chrysophekadion) is also known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Black Shark Minnow or Black Labeo.   It is widely distributed throughout Southeast Asia and is found in the Mekong basin in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, the Dong Nai drainage in Vietnam, the Chao Phraya and Mae Klong systems in Thailand, and other smaller watersheds in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, and the Greater Sunda Islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, Indonesia.

Black Sharks are found in large river channels, smaller river tributaries, canals, and in flooded plains during the rainy season. Adults forage in the floodplains and make seasonal migrations to breed in the upstream areas of their ranges.

Black Shark (Labeo chrysophekadion)

Black Shark (Labeo chrysophekadion)

In many parts of their range, the Black Shark is utilized as a food fish.

They can grow to three feet in length and in an aquarium environment are suitable only for very large home aquariums or public aquarium.

Black Sharks are often sold in the aquarium trade to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as juveniles, but they quickly outgrow their surroundings and become belligerent and aggressively territorial towards conspecifics and similarly shaped fish, especially when space is at a premium.

This is one fish that should not be kept in a community tank with fish smaller than itself or anything that is delicate in nature.   Because of it’s aggressiveness and territorial behavior, it is best kept in a single species tank.   Although it is possible to keep them with other robust, similar sized, fast moving, mid-level species, they should be introduced into the tank last, after all the other tank inhabitants have settled in.   Even then, the fish will bully other bottom dwelling species.

Despite it’s unsuitability for home aquariums, an albino form of the Black Shark has been selectively bred for just for this purpose.

Aside from providing an extremely large tank, if you plan on keeping a Black Shark in an aquarium environment; a large mature filtration system, a rigorous maintenance regime comprised of weekly 50-70% water changes, and highly oxygenated water with some degree of water movement is considered mandatory maintenance for the species. They will also need a sandy or fine gravel substrate, some river rock and smaller boulders preferably formed into caves for them to hide among, some hardy plants like Java Fern or Anubias spp., some driftwood roots and plenty of swimming space.

In their natural environment, the Black Shark is primarily an aufwuchs grazer that feeds on algae, insect larvae, worms, small crustaceans, etc. In an aquarium environment they should be provided regular meals of live or frozen bloodworms, Daphnia, tubifex and brine shrimp, along with a good quality dried flake food or granule. They also need fresh plant material in their diet such as blanched cucumber, spinach, shelled peas, etc. Because they are grazers, they should be fed several times a day rather than a single feeding.

The Black Shark is difficult to sex and has not yet been bred in an aquarium environment.

Juvenile Black Shark are usually available online and from specialty fish shops at reasonable prices from 1 3/4″ to 3 1/2″ in size.

Black Shark (Labeo chrysophekadion)

Labeo chrysophekadion

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Highly Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 76-82° F, KH 10-15, pH 6.5-7.5
Max Size: 26″
Color Form: Black
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Single species tank
Origin: Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia
Family: Cyprinidae
Life Span: 20 years or more
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

Posted in Featured Articles, Freshwater Fish, Sharks, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (0)


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