New to SW need a tank size

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Epaulette Shark

Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Aug 15, 2005
I am a newbe to SW but I have been keeping FW for a couple years. I have a FW 150 gallon Chiclid tank now. I am wanting to venture off into SW.

My goal is to have a 300 tank with 1 maybe 2 Epaulette sharks or Brownbanded Bamboo sharks.

What size tank do I need to start my SW Adventure off with?
I do not reccomend sharks to a newbie and I guess they would need a bigger tank than 300 gallons.I think they would need a tank about 600 gallons.
I would rather not start off with sharks. I would rather get my tank stable and my bioload going with something cheaper then about a $50-$100 Shark W/ Shipping.

From what I have read they can live in a 300 gal. But if that would be to small I would do a bigger tank something like mid 300's or 400 gal. I don't want to put stress on my sharks because of a small tank. I want him or them to have plenty of room to have fun.
sharks need ALOT of room and EXCELLENT filtration.You clould probably fit one in a 400 gal. Where did you read that you could put sharks in a 300? Overall I am still against having sharks in home aquaria.
In my

Aquarium-Sharks & Rays book ( by Scott W. Michael)

along with many, many Web pages

Alot of web pages says that you can keep One Aduilt Brownbanded Bamboo 3-3.5Ft. long in a 260 gal. tank.

If you search for them you will find out alot of information about them.
The question is, Can a 3.5 foot long shark really live well in a 300 gallon tank? I honestly don't know the standard dimensions of a 300, or if they are all custom. i know my parents jacuzzi is 250-300 gallons and I think a 3 foot shark would be very cramped.
Here is a listing that I found for ONE brand, but like I just said this is one brand and most of these tanks are Tall tanks!


240 Gallon Reg 96 x 24 x 24
300 Gallon Tall 96 x 24 x 30
360 Gallon Tall 96 x 24 x 36
500 Gallon Tall 96 x 24 x 48

Note: These tank sizes were taken from
Well what you could do is get the 300gal put something in it like a puffer or small ray, then if they do fine then you could add a shark.
There is a wonderful article on keeping sharks in the home aquarium in this months issue of tropical fish hobbiest. I recommend picking this up and reading it before making any further plans.
That is close to what I was thinking seafan!

Thanks Hara I will be sure to look for it at my LBS!
I am going to try and get a few so called Starter fish that should be compatable with my shark. I still have a good while before I ever start on this SW adventure. But it's never to early to start learn and plaining about a project like this.

I am not a person that likes to buy a fish and then get rid of it, unless one or the other is getting picked on.
That is a good Idea, just remember rushing in to anything will only cause headaches. Give the tank at least a few months of successful fish keeping before adding a shark. I like little clearnose skates, they can actually clean the sand for you.

And remember with a bioload like that a good cycle is important.
Also with a shark you need alot of filtration, how about a sump? Message Quarry Shark, he has experience in this area.
Oh yes I am going to have at least a year before I even start buying for this adventure. I am just trying to get started on plaining and learning now. instead of doing so when I am setting it up. Never hurts to start early, like seafan said "don't rush into anything."

I will build a sump for this one. I like to make sure that I have more filtration then the book says.
Even though the shark is only 3.5 foot it still needs room to move.. I'd recommend a 9ft plus in length.. and minimum absolute minimum 500gal for one shark.. but i believe they should be left in the ocean or public aquariums..
I've seen healthy bamboo sharks in 300-400 gallon tanks. The trick is having all dimensions at least a foot longer than the maximum size of the shark.
I have an Idea:
How about very little LR in the aquarium, instead have like a five inch DSB with sand sifters. In the sump should be like 200-300 lbs of LR, to make up for the rest of the biological filtration. This ensures the shark has plenty of swimming room.
Yeah I have only seen the bamboos in person. They were 8" and 10" Juv though
and they both where in a 10 gallon tank at a FS!
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