The Black Shark (Labeo chrysophekadion) is a large freshwater Shark (catfish) species that hails from the rivers and streams of Malaysia and portions of southeast Asia. While they are commonly sold alongside much smaller freshwater shark species, they grow much larger and are more aggressive than Redtail or Rainbow Sharks. Black Sharks can reach upwards of 2 feet in length in larger aquariums and have the aggressive disposition to go with their large size.
They are best suited for aquariums with larger community fish species or New World Cichlids, who are capable of handling the aggressive nature of the Black Shark. Due to their large size, hobbyists should also consider the aquarium decor as well as tank mates. Plants should be well-rooted, hardier species and should be clustered around wood roots or rocks so that they are not dug up. Additionally, the aquarium aquascaping design should allow for plenty of open space to allow the Black Shark to swim freely.
Keeping Black Sharks in larger aquariums (greater than 125 gallons) is important in order to mitigate aggression toward their tank mates since they will attempt to claim the entire aquarium as their own territory. Black Sharks housed in larger aquariums (6 feet in length or more) that are aqua-scaped with a mix of plants, driftwood and rocks tend to be only semi-aggressive, as they are able to establish their territory without taking over the entire tank. They should not be housed with any fish or invertebrate species that can fit in their mouth or that is easily intimidated.
Black Sharks are also not recommended for heavily planted aquariums or aquariums with delicate plant species as they will consume many species of plants. While not ideal for typical freshwater community aquariums, the Black Shark does make an excellent addition to larger community aquariums with a mix of large community fish species and peaceful to semi-aggressive New World Cichlid species. Overall the Black Shark is a very interesting and inquisitive species that exhibits an attractive black coloration and active swimming style.
Provide the Black Shark (Labeo chrysophekadion) with a larger aquarium of at least 6 feet in length and plenty of open swimming room. They also should be provided plenty of aqua-scaping like potted plants, driftwood, rock caves, pots or other decorations that will allow them to establish their own territory within the aquarium. Their large size and active swimming style make them somewhat destructive if housed in heavily planted or smaller aquariums.
In their native habitat, they root around in the substrate for plant matter and worms, thus their aquarium habitat should be designed with this in mind. Strong biological and mechanical filtration in the form of a large canister or wet/dry filter should be utilized to handle the biological load of large fish species like the Black Shark. Their natural river habitats have plenty of water turnover, thus the Black Shark is accustomed to good water conditions.
Black Sharks are known to be escape artists that will jump out of uncovered aquariums and splash water from the aquarium while feeding at the surface. Creating multiple territories within the aquarium by placing rocky caves, pots, or driftwood in multiple areas of the aquarium will help lessen aggression between the Black Shark and its tank mates.
- Species – Labeo Chrysophekadion
- Common Name – Black Shark
- Origin – Thailand
- Diet – Omnivore
- PH Range – 6.5 – 7.5
- Temperature – Tropical 24-27°c
- Current Size – approximately 3cm (Grows to approximately 60cm)