Pangasius Catfish

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Species group:

Other common names: Iridescent Shark Catfish; Iridescent Shark; Sutchi catfish; Pla Sawai; Siamese shark; Mistic Shark; Asian Shark Catfish

Scientific name: Pangasius hypophthalmus

The basics:
The Pangasius Catfish is a fast-growing, large member of the catfish family. The species is found in Southeast Asia in the Mekong basin as well as the Chao Phraya river, and is heavily cultivated for food both in Southeast Asia, and for export. Juvenile iridescent sharks are often sold as pets for home aquariums. However they are not easy fish to keep and are not recommended for most home aquariums because of the large size they can reach as adults - 48 inches in length and up to 100 pounds. Because very few hobbyists have tanks large enough to keep an adult Pangasius Catfish, most of these fish kept in home aquaria grow to only 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches) in length and die prematurely from organ failure. All too often this catfish is offered for sale as a juvenile fish at around 75-100mm and is quite often labelled as Pangasius sutchi or Iridescent Shark.

The Pangasius Catfish has an elongated body, with 6 branched dorsal fin rays. Male Pangasius Catfish have darker stripes and are more slender than the females.

0-48 inches

Pangasius Catfish are peaceful schooling fish, though they may be quite skittish.

Because of their large adult size, this species is not suitable for most aquariums. To house an adult, a 2000 gallon tank may be necessary.

72.00-79.00 °F


0.000-0.000 mg/L


velvety, calm fish, striking fish, swimmers, large aquarium, handsome fish


disease, adult fish, small aquarium, pretty specific water, community tank



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