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Advice column all about aquariums by J. Hotelling
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Subject: Columbian Sharks

Hi,

I just read one of your responses to a previous Columbian Shark question. I am puzzled because when I bought my two sharks, the store told me nothing of needing brackish water. I even told them which other fish I have, i.e. two large Angelfish, one small bloodfin, one platty, and three neon tetras. I had previously bought two sharks and they died. I tried again at a different place, and again they said nothing of needing any different care than my other fish. One died today, one is still alive and I am now trying to find any way of keeping him alive. I cant put salt in the tank with ther others, I have bought pellets to feed him. My tank is 30 gallons by the way. Will he survive if I do not add any salt? Can I take him back? Why are these stores so clueless???

Is there anything I can do.

Tamara in Chicago

Tamara,

It is truly sad to hear this. We hear these stories everyday unfortunately. Your shark aka Arius Seemani will need the salt and he will grow to a min. of 12 inches so your 30 gallon will not support him for long.

It is hard to blame the staff at the local shop. Many are teenagers who may have very little knowledge of fish. What I would do is this. Search the web a bit and get a few pages of info on the latin name above. Take these pages to your local shop where you bought the shark. Ask that they let you exchange your shark for something more appropriate. This way you can educate them at the same time. Remember, an educated fishkeeper is always better than an uneducated one. Read up on your purchases before you buy. This way you can get what you want and fill someone else in at the same time. If you educate the person at the local shop, perhaps you will prevent if from happening to another fishkeeper.

I wish you the best with your situation and hope you make the best of it.

Aquariaman  

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