How to Take Care of a Blacktip Shark

Miguel Rodriguez

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Does anyone know what's necessary to keep a blacktip shark for its entire life? I plan to build a pond, and from the research, I've seen suggestions of 30-40 feet in diameter and at least 6 ft deep. Does that equate to just a single shark or can that be up to 2-3?
 
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Bbfishb81

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I wouldn't suggest a shark at all. They do not do well in captivity, but if you insist on having one, you need very large tank, preferably with round ends. And you will need to do alot of research on what to feed, and how often, they can be over fed. You also need to look into dosing iron and iodine, they need that for growth. They dont have bones, but cartilage so they grow different then average fish.
 

tehmadreefer

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Those dimensions would do just fine, however it's the filtration and flow systems that is going to be the largest issue. Sharks need very good water quality and lots of strong flow.

Look at videos of tye annual black tip migration we have here off the southeast and treasure coast of Florida for ideas.

Heck I fish for black tips right off the beach lol
 
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Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Rodriguez

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I wouldn't suggest a shark at all. They do not do well in captivity, but if you insist on having one, you need very large tank, preferably with round ends. And you will need to do alot of research on what to feed, and how often, they can be over fed. You also need to look into dosing iron and iodine, they need that for growth. They dont have bones, but cartilage so they grow different then average fish.
Yes, I agree! That's why I'm doing the due diligence right now. Do you know what percentage of iron and iodine that they would need? Also what their feed requirements are?
 

dantimdad

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Keeping these animals is nearly a full time job. 40 feet in diameter and about 12 feet deep would be minimum for one in my opinion. I have studied this at length after keeping other smaller types of sharks.

this would be one of those times when I would say unless you have about $200k for life support or more and have probably 20 hours a week or more then don’t do it. Plus the ongoing expenses would be in the thousands per month.
 
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Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Rodriguez

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Those dimensions would do just fine, however it's the filtration and flow systems that is going to be the largest issue. Sharks need very good water quality and lots of strong flow.

Look at videos of tye annual blacktip migration we have here off the southeast and treasure coast of Florida for ideas.

Heck I fish for black tips right off the beach lol
Excellent point, in koi ponds they have totally different behavior when you add current. That's definitely a priority. I plan to have 0 ammonia and nitrites while nitrates at 2 ppm.
 
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Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Rodriguez

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Keeping these animals is nearly a full time job. 40 feet in diameter and about 12 feet deep would be minimum for one in my opinion. I have studied this at length after keeping other smaller types of sharks.

this would be one of those times when I would say unless you have about $200k for life support or more and have probably 20 hours a week or more then don’t do it. Plus the ongoing expenses would be in the thousands per month.
Excellent! Could you share some of those rescources where you learned all this stuff? I should give some backround, I'm becoming a professional koi pond builder, however, I think ponds can be used to keep so many different fish! So right now i'm just designing ponds for R&D and then wait for the right client to pick it up. I already have a client in mind for this blacktip pond so that's why im specifying this species. Once i'm in a comfortable enough position I'll build one for myself. Thank you for the warnings!
 

Bbfishb81

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You can look up the levels for iodine and iron, I cannot remember them off hand. As for diet requirements,it does vary slightly between species. Most do eat, mollusks, cephalopods and small inverts.
 
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Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Rodriguez

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You can look up the levels for iodine and iron, I cannot remember them off hand. As for diet requirements,it does vary slightly between species. Most do eat, mollusks, cephalopods and small inverts.

Do you know of any good sources? I'm aware that there is some controversial texts on sharks as well as stingrays and I'd like to get them from a recommended source.
 
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Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Rodriguez

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Throw in some whole mullet, sardines, pomp, ballyhoo, Whiting, jack, blue, etc.
Very good, do you know the percentage of body weight they need a week or day for their body weight? For example, I'm designing my showcase koi pond system to have at most 5% of food feed of the total body weight of all the fish in the tank. Now I know that what they it on a day to day could vary, im planning for the most amount of filtration they would need. Also, do you have any good sources to learn about shark care?
 

tehmadreefer

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Very good, do you know the percentage of body weight they need a week or day for their body weight? For example, I'm designing my showcase koi pond system to have at most 5% of food feed of the total body weight of all the fish in the tank. Now I know that what they it on a day to day could vary, im planning for the most amount of filtration they would need. Also, do you have any good sources to learn about shark care?
No clue on that I've only kept the small coral cat sharks. As for shark care resources, your a bit out of luck on that besides here, reef central and Google. I know just a little about them since on the coast there around and doing reserach on fwc, to fish for them.
 
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Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Rodriguez

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No clue on that I've only kept the small coral cat sharks. As for shark care resources, your a bit out of luck on that besides here, reef central and Google. I know just a little about them since on the coast there around and doing reserach on fwc, to fish for them.
Hmm that's so unfortunate. Well, I appreciate the help!
 
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Jon Fishman

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If your main concern is building these ponds for customers...... I would build to the customer’s specs, and then learn from their mistakes when they ultimately find that keeping a blacktip isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
 

vetteguy53081

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You must consider environmental needs such as tank setup. Very fine sand as it will get scratched or injured from sharp sand or crushed coral.
With that, you must consider tank mates if any. There are some fish and creatures the shark just won't go after. It will almost NEVER go after stingrays, damsels, NEVER corals, etc. but corals and rock can have sharp edges- Another caution.
If the tank mate you want always will get eaten, no matter what size it is (eg blue tang or wrasse), You NEED to give it hiding spaces such as Rocks, corals, sand and caves to hide from the shark and they'll be safe but again caution on sharp rocks.
You need to stay on top of nitrogen in tank and Tank size . . . . . You can't keep a 2 foot shark in a 6 foot tank. Even a 3 foot shark when it reaches that size will need something along the lines of a 12 foot round tank at 6 feet deep to meet its' swimming behavior.
 
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Miguel Rodriguez

Miguel Rodriguez

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If your main concern is building these ponds for customers...... I would build to the customer’s specs, and then learn from their mistakes when they ultimately find that keeping a blacktip isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
That's something to consider. Maybe I am fantasizing about the idea of raising a shark to maturity rather than taking account of the undertaking of having to care for it. My purpose for building ponds is to give an opportunity for people to escape and be lost in the movements of fish. Also, give the opportunity for those who love and respect the animals to care for them and have experiences that very few people get to have. And I don't know how to conceptualize it, but it's also satisfying the little kid inside all of us. The ones where you look into the public aquarium and get a snapshot of a different world.

For me, I must admit I love big things. Especially big animals. I'll take a big dog over a little one any day. And i think the same one applies to fish. My goal when I would go fishing is to get the biggest fish. Because I'm just amazed by them as creatures, and it's just magnified when they're larger. Nano's are cute, but I can't see their tails sweep across the water, I cant observe it gliding through the water. It's hard to explain.

Why do you think they're not that cracked up to be?. I agree if it's in the conditions of a small tank. They're anxious, moving around and around, darting back and forth. It's nerve-racking for me.
 
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