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Coral Catshark

(Atelomycterus marmoratus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 26"
• Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific, Western Pacific
• Family: Scyliorhinidae   • Species: Sharks   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Coral Catshark native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Coral Catshark is small tropical shark species found living amongst shallow tropical reefs and tidal pools throughout the Indo-Pacific and Western Pacific. Coral Catsharks are one of the few shark species imported for the aquarium trade that stay small enough to be properly housed by the average aquarium hobbyist. With an average adult length of 24" (28" maximum), the Coral Catshark can be housed as an adult in a 300 to 350 gallon aquarium, with a 450 or larger aquarium being ideal.

Coral Catsharks also come from shallow tropical waters that allows them to be housed with a wide range of tropical fish species available within the aquarium trade. Coral Catsharks have both and attractive body shape and great coloration, and unlike bamboo or nurse sharks, are active swimmers that will spend much of their time swimming about rocky caves and crevices within the aquarium exploring and hunting for food. Coral Catsharks are by far one of the best species of shark for the home aquarium, as they are suitable for larger standard aquariums of 180 gallons or more maintained by intermediate to advanced marine aquarium hobbyists.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Coral Catshark in the home aquarium.

Like other shark species, the Coral Catshark needs excellent water conditions, no stray electrical currents in the water, a soft sandy substrate, open room to swim and as large of tank as possible. Unlike many other shark species commonly seen within the hobby, Coral Catsharks are small enough as an adult to be properly housed in a 300 gallon or larger aquarium. It is important to maintain excellent water conditions when keeping Coral Catsharks, thus aquariums housing this species should have excellent biological filtration, large efficient protein skimmer and a large sump to help augment water volume.

All shark aquariums should be securely covered in order to prevent sharks from jumping out and should be designed with maximum length and width in mind to create the largest possible aquarium footprint providing for maximum swimming area. Tropical sharks like the Coral Catshark also required very high levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, thus there should be plenty of water surface agitation, additional power heads or air stones to provide as much dissolved oxygen as possible.

Coral Catsharks can be kept with a wide range of tropical fish species ranging from tangs & angelfish to larger Damsels and clownfish. They should not be kept with aggressive angelfish, puffers or Triggerfish that can nip at their eyes and fins. Aquariums housing Coral Catsharks should contain a mix of open areas for swimming and rock or coral formations to provide caves and crevices for the shark to explore and seek shelter in when threatened.

Coral Catsharks can live in very warm waters and will do well in aquariums with stable water temperatures ranging from 78 to 82° F. Coral Catsharks are an active slow swimming species that will swim about the aquarium moving in and out of the live rock decor, that when properly fed should be docile to all but the most small fish species within the aquarium.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Coral Catshark.

Wild Coral Catsharks spend much of their time foraging amongst tropical reefs and within tidal pools looking for a variety of invertebrates like shrimp, small crabs & clams on which to feed, along with small fish. In the aquarium environment Coral Catsharks will quickly adjust to eating prepared meaty foods including: fresh or frozen silver sides, clams, shrimp, clam, mussel and pieces of fish flesh. If well fed they tend to leave most other tank mates alone, but there is always the possibility of them consuming small invertebrates or very small fish species.

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