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Whitespotted Bamboo Shark

(Chiloscyllium plagiosum)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Expert   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 38"
• Minimum Tank Size: 350 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Hemiscyllidae   • Species: Sharks   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Whitespotted Bamboo Shark native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) or Marbled Bamboo Sharks are found throughout the Indo-Pacific ocean, where they are generally found living on coral reefs and shallow lagoons. Like other Carpet or Bamboo shark species, the Whitespotted Bamboo Shark uses its slender body to get inside rocky crevices and holes in the reef to hunt for inverts, crustaceans and small fish species.

They also use the reef and/or rocky formations along the lagoon bottom to protect them from other larger shark species. Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks are commonly found within the aquarium hobby due to their relative small size and ease of care.

Adult specimens generally reach about 30 to 36 inches in the aquarium environment, which means they can be housed in aquariums as small as 450 to 500 gallons as an adult. The Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks slender body and natural reef habitat also make them better suited for aquarium life as they can maneuver in tight areas and shallow water.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Whitespotted Bamboo Shark in the home aquarium.

Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks require excellent water conditions, no stray electrical currents in the water, a soft sandy or mixed sand/rubble substrate, open room to swim and as large of tank as possible. Unlike some other shark species commonly seen within the hobby like the Nurse Shark, Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks are small enough as an adult to be properly housed in larger aquariums ranging from 350 to 500 gallons depending on shape.

It is important to maintain excellent water conditions when keeping Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, 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 Whitespotted Bamboo Shark 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.

Bottom dwelling shark species like the Whitespotted Bamboo Shark should generally not be kept with fish species that tend to pick at the reef or at bottom dwelling inverts. Examples of poor tank mates for Bamboo Sharks include: Large Angelfish, Triggerfish, Puffers, or Groupers larger than the shark.

Good tank mates include: other similarly sized shark species, Stingrays, Tangs, smaller Groupers, Grunts, Hamlets and other similar species. Bottom dwelling Carpet Sharks like the Whitespotted Bamboo Shark are well known invertebrate and crustacean predators, thus they should not be kept with crabs, shrimp, snails, starfish, etc unless they are intended as food.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Whitespotted Bamboo Shark.

Whitespotted Bamboo Shark in the wild spend much of their time foraging amongst tropical reefs and within shallow lagoons looking for a variety of invertebrates like shrimp, small crabs & clams on which to feed, along with crustaceans and small fish.

In the aquarium environment Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks will quickly adjust to eating prepared meaty foods including: fresh or frozen silver sides, squid, clams, shrimp, clam, mussel and pieces of fish flesh. It is best to feed them a variety of marine based meaty foods in order to provide them with a complete nutritional diet, which will help them maintain a strong immune system.

Juvenile specimens should be fed 3 to 4 times per week, while keeping an eye on both their growth in length and girth. Adjust feeding accordingly so that the shark grows at a reasonable pace while maintaining a body girth that is not too skinny or overly plump.

If well fed they tend to leave most other fish tank mates alone, but they are likely to attempt to consume invertebrates or crustaceans while they hunt during the night.

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