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Columbian Shark - Sciades seemanni

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The Columbian Shark (Ariopsis seemanni) has formerly been known as Hexanematichtys seemanni, Arius seemanni, and Sciades seemanni. This fish has a dark, steel grey body with black fins and long whisker-like barbels on its face.

Like many other "sharks" found in the aquarium trade they are actually catfish. They are very energetic and can be quite amusing when they are a small size, but that may change as they grow to a length of 14 inches or more. In the wild some have even gone over 2 feet in length.

The Colombian Shark will accept most sinking food such as frozen food and pellets but should have a varied diet of both types. As they become more familiar in the home aquarium flakes may even be fed to them because they will learn to rise to the surface to accept them.

An important characteristic about these fish is that they are found in brackish water environments. This would be areas where freshwater and saltwater meet and mix together. This means they will do best in a home aquarium made to their conditions as opposed to being in a freshwater only tank. However, very small juveniles can sometimes be acclimated or raised in a freshwater tanks; adults need increasing salinity as they grow.

Like other scaleless catfish, these fish are very sensitive to medications and are very susceptible to ick so the owner should keep a close on their fish when they are first introduced to the tank.


F90 0022 0497
That Fish Place
Common NameColumbian Shark
Scientific NameSciades seemanni
OriginCentral & South America
Specific Gravity Range1.005-1.015
Max Size (in inches)14
Community SafeYes, with caution
pH Range6.8-8.0
Min Tank Size (in gallons)150
Temperature Range72-80
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico


Ratings & Reviews

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Great Fish-


Great fish. Lived long, Grew big. Minimal care needed. Grows constantly, I suggest a 50 Gallon+ Tank when they reach 2 years old.