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Iridescent shark
(Pangasianodon hypophthalmus)

francais anglais
Iridescent shark

Iridescent shark
(Pangasianodon hypophthalmus)

In fact, this species is not an aquarium fish, since it can measure more than one meter! On the other hand, even if this is inaccessible to most individuals, one can always consider its maintenance in huge heated pool.

Otherwise, go to the public aquarium near you to admire them!

Scientific name

Pangasianodon hypophthalmus
(anciennement Pangasius hypophthalmus ou Pangasius
Helicophagus hypophthalmus
Pangasius hypophthalmus

Common name

Iridescent shark
Striped catfish
Iridescent shark-catfish
Sutchi catfish


what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Thailand and Malaysia
Biotope: not specific


what are the physical differences between males and females?






what is the minimum volume for this species?

30000 L / 6600 imp gal / 8000 US gal

Water parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 23 to 28°C or 73 to 82°F
pH: 6.5 à 7
Hardness: 5 à 25°dGH





what is the maximum size of this fish?

more than 1.3 meters (50")

Life expectancy

what is the average life expectancy of this fish?

30 years

Living zone

in which area of the pond does this fish live?



sociability of the species



How to feed the Iridescent shark?


How to feed the Iridescent shark?

The Striped catfish is an omnivorous fish. You can give it artemia, mussels, insect larvae, shrimp, bloodworms, seaweed (spirulina for example), pellets for ground-fish... There is a clear preference for live prey.


What kind of behavior does the Iridescent shark have?


What kind of behavior does the Iridescent shark have?

This fish is peaceful but it is rather sharp (even nervous), so it needs space. It must be known that in its natural environment, it is a migratory fish that will travel long distances to breed. It is a very good swimmer who never stops moving!

It is gregarious and appreciates the presence of its congeners: form a group of at least 4 individuals.


Who can live with the Iridescent shark?


Who can live with the Iridescent shark?

All fish smaller than it will be prey, which greatly limits the possibilities of cohabitation.


How to breed the Iridescent shark?


How to breed the Iridescent shark?

Impossible in captivity. The specimens sold come from artificial fertilisation on farms or from samples taken in the wild.

Its pond

Which pond for the Iridescent shark?

Its pond

Which pond for the Iridescent shark?

The Iridescent shark-catfish, given its size and its lively temperament, will appreciate the very large ponds for maintenance in captivity (beware of the temperature): a group of 4 requires at least 30,000 liters (6600 Imp Gal or 8000 US Gal)! You understand that this species is by no means an aquarium fish. It’s, in most cases, impossible to maintain this fish for individuals: go to the public aquarium closest to you to admire them!

When it comes to the environment, choose sturdy plants that make it safe and reduce nervousness. Embellish some smooth rocks (to prevent it getting hurt).

Good to know

Good to know

Find all additional information!

In stores, it is found in the juvenile state, measuring only 5 to 10 cm or 2 to 4 inch.

alevin Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

However, captivity in the aquarium is a torture for this giant, who finds itself very quickly cramped in most configurations that are proposed. Indeed, after 2 years, it must normally be more than one meter or 40 inch! We recommend you giving up this fish, which will be better in nature!

There is an albino and golden variant of this fish:
alevin Pangasianodon hypophthalmus albinos

Despite its name, it is related to siluriformes (catfish) and not to sharks.

In Asia, it is maintained to be consumed!

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