Pet Sharks In An Aquarium: Is This A Good Idea?

Getting buddies about and exhibiting off a enormous aquarium with a several pet sharks inside of may well make you show up awesome and awe-hanging, but is it a great idea? And no, we’re not conversing about the odds of the shark breaking out of the aquarium (even though that can take place), but about the legality of possessing a pet shark. Think it or not, sharks are authorized to retain as pets – but not all of them. Is a great white shark a excellent thought for a pet? Of course not! Only the most docile species are authorized to be stored as pets, not to point out tiny to regular in measurement that can surely suit inside of a medium-sized aquarium.

Moreover, you are not the only individual who may perhaps be harmed if you retain illegal sharks as pets – the shark can undergo far too. Most shark species had been observed to try to eat a lot less and act fewer energetic when in captivity, so make absolutely sure you are not seeking to crack any legislation prior to venturing into the thought of a shark aquarium (or sharkquarium!). So, is owning sharks as animals in an aquarium a fantastic concept? And what varieties of sharks can be fantastic as pets? Which is what we are likely to find out in this post. 

Can You Hold Sharks as Pets?

Some sharks can be kept as animals.


The swift and uncomplicated answer is of course, precise shark species can be held as animals. Even so, out of all around 500 species of sharks, only a number of of them can be taken residence and inside aquariums. In addition, only a handful of shark species can prosper in captivity, and most of them die soon just after remaining encapsulated. Some shark species can be stored as animals in aquariums or contact tanks, but it is far better to depart them in the wild.

In community aquariums, some shark species are held in captivity. Mainly because of the dimensions boundaries in property aquariums, only the tiniest sharks can be saved as pets. Animal security guidelines are in spot to safeguard the two animals and the atmosphere, and you should really be aware of them in advance of bringing an exotic animal into your home. Only a number of benthic shark species, this sort of as leopard sharks, catsharks, horn sharks, and zebra sharks, had formerly lasted for a year or for a longer period in aquarium conditions. A couple of makes an attempt have been experimented with to continue to keep a great white shark in captivity, but most specimens have died or had to be returned to the ocean soon after a limited time.

Though retaining any shark species as an aquarium pet is not suggested, men and women who can afford to pay for really significant tanks and supplies do so. They preserve sharks like the nicely-regarded catsharks, wobbegongs, epaulette sharks, and a handful of a lot more actual shark species. It’s worthy of noting that some of these sharks improve to be tremendous and would healthy in no tank as adults. Real sharks as pets are not common in most locations and are illegal. In destinations like California, having said that, retaining some species of real sharks is lawful and, in reality, a position image.

There are not several destinations where by you can acquire a genuine shark. If you’re really serious about finding a pet shark, be prepared to spend a great deal of cash. The minimum measurement for a shark tank is established by the type of shark you intend to retain. 

Do Sharks Past in Captivity?

leopard shark
Sharks do not do as nicely in captivity as they do in their organic habitat.

Barbara Ash/W3schools

Usually, several shark species all have distinctive lifespans. Nevertheless, it has been examined that sharks do not do as nicely in captivity as they do in their natural habitat. Sharks captured inside community aquariums or home tanks have been noticed to have shorter life than some others in the wild. 

A theme park in Orlando, Florida is mentioned to have attempted to exhibit two wild-caught shortfin mako sharks at their Shark Face Show in 1978. The animals were claimed to have died within days of dashing into the enclosure’s walls. In 2017, a fantastic white shark also perished in a Japanese aquarium after only a few times. Sharks, it seems, do not thrive in tanks.

Sharks in the wild can transfer up to 45 miles for each working day (and some species will have to swim repeatedly to breathe), but sharks in captivity swim in circles, and some suffer nose injuries from rubbing in opposition to the sides of the tanks. Sharks in captivity might also be counterproductive to conservation endeavours. Looking at animals in unnatural surroundings that deteriorate and exploit them educates the community that they are ours to manage. It gives people today with the fake illusion that the species prosper in the wild and that getting rid of them from their native property is correct. There have also been lots of instances of sharks and rays dying thanks to straightforward complex faults. Furthermore, because numerous sharks are inherently shy, allowing for bizarre, loud kids and grownups to intrude on their own room will definitely disturb them.

What Sharks Are Excellent as Pets?

As mentioned, only a few species of true sharks are authorized to be stored as pets and place in tanks or general public aquariums. If you are contemplating of finding just one, you will have to initially be absolutely knowledgeable about the shark you will get and their requires. Hold in head that these creatures would not prosper in an unnatural atmosphere, so you will be the just one to aid them thrive. Below are some of the most popular shark species stored as pets:

1. Wobbegong

Funny Animal Names
Tasseled wobbegongs are ambush predators who prey on educational institutions of fish and can assault individuals unprovoked.


Aside from owning the craziest name, this shark is a amazing choice for a house aquarium – but only if you obtain the correct variety. Most of the huge species in this household can attain up to 10 ft! The wobbegong, which can be found off the coastlines of Australia and Indonesia, is a true member of the carpet shark household. If you would like to maintain a very little wobbegong as a pet, the tasseled wobbegong and Ward’s wobbegong are the best solutions. The wobbegong’s metabolic rate is also gradual and it prefers to spend most of its time at the base of its tank, generating it a small-maintenance pet shark.

2. Bamboo Shark

White Spotted Bamboo Shark
The bamboo shark is one particular of the cutest sharks at sea and the nicest ones to hold as pets.

Because of its little measurement and bi-coloured system, the bamboo shark is one of the cutest sharks at sea and the nicest ones to hold as pets. The bamboo shark is a lovely carpet shark popular as an aquarium pet because of to its little dimensions of 48 inches. They are comparatively simple to hold as soon as an aquarium has been set up for them. With a life expectancy of 25 a long time, the brown-banded bamboo shark helps make a excellent human companion. Bamboo sharks can be discovered in the coastal seas of Southeast Asia and the Australian continent. And when they have in no way harmed individuals, they are wonderful hunters. Divers have been known to stroke and pet bamboo sharks due to the fact they are so tranquil. Bamboo sharks are usually made use of in “touch tanks” in public aquariums to educate people about them and other aquatic life.

3. Epaulette Shark

Shark that Walks on Land - Epaulette Shark


The epaulette shark is the most well known of all shark pets for all the suitable good reasons. It is dashing, smooth, slender, and speedy-shifting, with two large dim patches over its pectoral fins that resemble fancy epaulettes on military uniforms, as a result its peculiar identify. The epaulette is an Australian shark that tends to make a excellent pet shark since, not like most sharks, it prefers restricted spaces, which gives a perception of protection.

They mature in between 27 and 35 inches prolonged, with a greatest duration of 42 inches, and dwell for 20 to 25 a long time. They’re slim and flat fairly than deep, supplying a lot more surface region to call floor objects. They can be observed on Australia’s northern coasts and the coasts of Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands. The epaulette shark’s skill to walk on land is 1 of its most impressive features. When they become trapped on land, usually owing to the tide shifting out, they have the uncommon capability to use their pectoral and pelvic fins as legs and toes.

4. Coral Catshark

Shark Eyes: Coral Cat Shark
The coral catshark can be retained as an adult in a 300 to 350-gallon aquarium, with a 450-gallon tank being optimal.


Catsharks are fascinating and wonderful pets hardly ever noticed in aquariums at dwelling. There is a broad assortment of species amid them, giving you lots of possibilities. They are substantial saltwater fish that will require specific awareness, even nevertheless they are illness-cost-free. The coral catshark can be saved as an grownup in a 300 to 350-gallon aquarium, with a 450-gallon tank being optimal. Its ordinary adult size is 24 inches (28 inches maximum). Dependent on in which you live, buying a person can be tricky. They can be ordered on the internet in the United States. Since of their sizing, finding them at a retail store is more challenging.

5. Blacktip Reef Sharks

The blacktip reef shark can increase up to 60 inches very long.


Blacktip and whitetip reef sharks do not perform effectively in captivity, but if you insist on proudly owning a person, you’ll require a quite significant tank with spherical ends. These sharks, which may well improve to be 48 to 60 inches extensive and can be saved with various reef fish as very long as they are nicely-fed, can be kept in a 1,000-gallon tank. You’ll also have to have to study what to feed them and how generally they need to be supplied for the reason that they can be overfed. You ought to also take into account iron and iodine doses, as they call for these nutrition for development.

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