Black Sharkminnow (Labeo chrysophekadion)
Black Shark Minnows are often seen in the aquarium trade; however, they are generally unsuitable for the home aquarium due to their large size, territorial, and aggressive nature.
Black Shark Minnows are sold as juveniles to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts. However, the Black Shark will eventually outgrow its surroundings and become aggressively territorial towards other tankmates and similarly-shaped fishes, especially when the tank has limited space. As a result, you should not keep them in a community tank with smaller fish or any delicate aquarium species.
It is advisable only to keep this species in a single species tank. However, suppose you have a large enough aquarium. In that case, you can keep these fish alongside other similarly sized robust, fast-moving fish species such as Cichlids that are capable of handling their aggressive disposition. Or species that mainly occupy the top levels of the tank. Otherwise, they would experience bullying and discomfort.
Balck Shark Minnow are similar to the Bala Shark in shape. But they have a larger dorsal fin and deep black colouration throughout the entire body. In addition, these fish have anterior branched dorsal rays that are longer than the head length, as well as 15 to 18 branched dorsal rays. They also have stocky bodies, fringed lips and large scales.
The Black Shark Minnow has distinct branching lobes that run through the tip of the snout to the start of the pectoral fins. Also, it has barbels around the nostrils. These are whisker-like sensory organs for sensation.
Juvenile Black Shark Minnows are solid black, but then they change to a greyish colour with a bright spot on each scale as they mature.
Black Shark Minnows are a popular food source in South Asia that is either dried or marketed fresh in local markets.
|Scientific Name||Labeo chrysophekadion|
|Other Names||Black Shark, Black Labeo|
|Origins||Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Difficulty||Intermediate - Advanced|
|Best kept as||Loners|
|Lifespan||10 - 15 years|
|PH||6.5 - 7.5|
|GH||10 - 20|
|TDS||36 - 268|
|68 - 79℉|
20 - 26.1℃
Photos of the Black Sharkminnow
Black Shark Minnows are Widespread throughout Southeast Asia, including the Mekong basin in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
You can also find them in the Dong Nai drainage in Vietnam, the Mae Klong and Chao Phraya river systems in Thailand, and various smaller watersheds in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, and Indonesia.
In Borneo, these fish have been recorded in the Kapuas River system in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island. Black Shark Minnows inhabit larger river channels, but they also transpire in canals, smaller tributaries and floodplains.
What to feed the Black Sharkminnow
Black Shark Minnows feed on algae, insect larvae, worms, small crustaceans, and detritus in their natural habitat. Therefore, you should offer your fish daily meals of small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, Daphnia, tubifex and Artemia as this will help them develop their best colours. You will also need to provide these fish with good quality dried food such as flakes, granules and pellets, as well as fresh plant matter in the home aquarium to keep their diet balanced.
Cucumber, Shelled peas, blanched courgette, spinach, and chopped fruit all make healthy additions to their diet. Lastly, it is recommended that you feed your fish two or three times a day.
Once your fish has settled, they will often ascend into midwater to graze on the biofilm that will usually form on rocks and other solid surfaces.
How to sex the Black Sharkminnow
It is practically impossible to differentiate between male and female Black Shark Minnows when they are juveniles. However, sexually mature females are usually deeper-bodied than males and may grow slightly larger. In contrast, males are slimmer and a little smaller.
How to breed the Black Sharkminnow
Unfortunately, it is challenging to breed the Black Shark Minnow; therefore, you are unlikely to succeed in an aquarium environment. However, there is an albino form of the Black Shark Minnow, which has been successfully bred in a Home Aquarium.
Black Shark Minnows generally spawn after the early thunderstorms of the coming rainy season. As a result, they generate at the sandbars along the riverbanks, where the eggs settle in the shallow water and begin hatching as the water level rises due to seasonal rains. The fry will then relocate into flooded grasses and vegetation along the river bank. The babies will then continue to follow the leading edge of the rising water levels as the floodwater reaches the land.
Once the fish reach maturity, they migrate to flooded areas to feed on algae, detritus, periphyton and phytoplankton. They then return to the rivers from October to December.
Migration varies in different countries; for example, in Laos and Thailand, they will migrate upstream at the beginning of the rainy season, usually from March to August when they are primarily in reproductive condition.
In Southern Laos, they migrate downstream during the dry season of December to March and finally, in Cambodia, they migrate upstream between October and March.