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Shark Concept Aquarium

Discussion in 'Speculative Zoo Design and Planning' started by 1 and only Drew, 14 Jul 2016.

  1. 1 and only Drew

    1 and only Drew Well-Known Member

    15 Sep 2015
    North Carolina
    My concept for an aquarium is a shark-centered aquarium. So far in my planning, there are no tanks in the aquarium that do not have some form of shark or ray in them. Here are the tanks and species lists (sorry, I have not planned very much of the aquarium yet).

    Frying Pan Tower Tank
    The Frying Pan Tower is a Coast Guard light station located about 35 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Some may recognize it from its live-feed web cams that regularly have sharks, barracudas, and other fish swimming by it. This area is heavily populated with sharks, and the star of this tank are the sand tiger sharks. They seem to prefer oil rigs, towers like this, and shipwrecks for hunting in the wild - so why not design an aquarium around this habitat? This tank would be 100 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 15 feet high which is equivalent to about 450,000 gallons. The sharks and rays found inside this tank are:
    • Sand tiger shark
    • Sandbar shark
    • Atlantic nurse shark
    • Roughtail stingray
    The large creatures housed inside this tank are:
    • Atlantic green moray eel
    • Gag grouper
    • Jack crevalle
    • Red snapper
    • Green sea turtle
    The filler fish housed inside this tank are:
    • Florida pompano
    • Atlantic spadefish
    • Lookdown
    • French angelfish
    • Sergeant major
    • Porcupinefish
    • Pigfish

    Caribbean Reef Tank
    The next tank is the large Caribbean reef tank. This would be very similar to the one at Shedd Aquarium (the stock list is actually VERY similar). This would be a very large, round tank with a large coral insert in the middle with corals resembling ones found in the Caribbean. There would be lots of activity in this tank, with all of the smaller fish plus a few larger fish. There is also room on the sandbed for the rays that are found inside this tank. This tank is 70 feet in diameter and 8 feet high, making it just over 230,000 gallons. The sharks and rays housed inside are:
    • Caribbean reef shark
    • Yellow stingray
    • Atlantic cownose ray
    • Caribbean whiptail ray
    The large creatures housed inside this tank are:
    • Green sea turtle
    • Sharksucker
    • Permit
    • Atlantic green moray eel
    • Atlantic tarpon
    The filler fish inside this tank are:
    • Triggerfishes and filefishes: Sargassum triggerfish, scrawled filefish, whitespotted filefish, orangespotted filefish
    • Jacks, porgies, scads, and bonnetmouths: Lookdown, saucereye porgy, bigeye scad, mackerel scad, boga
    • Angelfishes, butterflyfishes, and surgeonfishes: Blue angelfish, grey angelfish, french angelfish, reef butterflyfish, spotfin butterflyfish, longsnout butterflyfish, blue tang, doctorfish
    • Groupers and basslets: Atlantic creolefish, harlequin bass, tobaccofish
    • Grunts and snappers: Smallmouth grunt, bluestriped grunt, yellowtail snapper, blackfin snapper
    • Squirrelfishes and bigeyes: Squirrelfish, blackbar soldierfish, longspine squirrelfish, glasseye snapper
    • Wrasses: Puddingwife, yellowhead wrasse, bluehead wrasse, rooster hogfish
    • Chromis: Brown chromis
    • Boxfishes, porcupinefishes, goatfishes, and tilefishes: Scrawled cowfish, porcupinefish, spotted goatfish, yellow goatfish, sand tilefish
    • Parrotfishes: Redband parrotfish, striped parrotfish
    • Hamlets: Indigo hamlet, barred hamlet, shy hamlet, butter hamlet

    Hawaii Reef Tank
    This tank is modeled after a Hawaiian reef dropoff. There is a very small shallow section, so that the sharks don't accidentally get caught up in the rocks and trapped. There's a large cave in the dropoff wall, and in here there is a large viewing window where guests can get up close to sharks, rays, and hawaiian reef fish. This tank is a big one, at 120 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 10 feet high making it about 450,000 gallons. Sharks and rays in this tank are:
    • Blacktip reef shark
    • Whitetip reef shark
    • Grey reef shark
    • Galapagos shark
    • Hawaiian broad stingray
    • Giant stingaree
    • Diamond stingray
    Large fish species in this tank are:
    • Giant trevally
    • Golden trevally
    • Bluefin trevally
    • Whitemouth moray eel
    And finally, filler fish species in this tank are:
    • Eyestripe surgeonfish
    • Blue stripe snapper
    • Pink tail triggerfish
    • Slingjaw wrasse
    • Crown squirrelfish
    • Hawaiian cleaner wrasse
    • Guineafowl pufferfish
    • Black durgon triggerfish
    • Scythe triggerfish
    • Yellow tang
    • Wedgetail triggerfish
    • Sailfin tang

    California Kelp Forest Tank
    This is the first tank with an actual tunnel in it. The Frying Pan Tower tank and the Caribbean Reef tank are both viewed from external panels, the Hawaiian Reef tank can be viewed from a large panel as well as going into a small cave inside the tank, but the Kelp Forest tank is the first to actually have a tunnel going through. There is no alternative viewing to this tank. False kelp will be used in this tank, and lots of rockwork around the base of each one. As per all of the tunnels in the aquarium, there is a moving conveyor belt in the middle, and a path on the outside - visitors can choose which they would prefer to use. The tank is 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 10 feet high making it 375,000 gallons. The tunnel is 8 feet high, and positioned directly on the bottom of the tank. Sharks and rays housed inside this tank are:
    • Broadnose sevengill shark
    • Soupfin shark
    • Leopard shark
    • Brown smoothhound shark
    • Spiny dogfish
    • California horn shark
    • Swell shark
    • California bat ray
    • Shovelnose guitarfish
    • Big skate
    Large fish species housed in this tank are:
    • Chinook salmon
    • Yellowtail jack
    • White sturgeon
    • Lingcod
    • Giant sea bass
    • California moray eel
    Filler fish and invertebrates in this tank are:
    • Northern anchovy
    • Pacific mackerel
    • Striped bass
    • White seabass
    • Ocean whitefish
    • Kelp bass
    • California sheephead
    • Giant kelpfish
    • Garibaldi
    • Cabezon
    • Senorita
    • Copper rockfish
    • Flag rockfish
    • Sunflower starfish
    • White plumose anemone

    Estero Bay Predator Lagoon
    This tank is a model of Estero Bay, located on the gulf side of Florida. This is one of the tanks housing the "real" predatory sharks that is rarely found in captivity (you'll see what it is in a second ;)). There is lots of seagrass on the bottom of the tank, as well as a very large rock ledge that is about 4 feet high. There is no other structure in this tank so that the fish inside have plenty of swimming space. There is no tunnel in this tank, only a large viewing window. The reason for this is because there's no real structure in the tank for the fish to hide behind, so they are constantly in view - the water is also nearly crystal clear to mimic the shallow gulf coast waters. There are some very large Floridian predators in this tank, which explains why the tank is 490,000 gallons - 130 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 10 feet high. The sharks and rays in this tank are:
    • Bull shark
    • Lemon shark
    • Smalltooth sawfish
    The large fish housed in this tank are:
    • Cobia
    • Atlantic goliath grouper
    • Jack crevalle
    • Great barracuda
    And finally, the filler fish in this tank are:
    • Pinfish
    • Ladyfish

    Gold Coast Predator Lagoon
    This tank is mainly built to house a single species of shark (although there are four species in here, two of which are very rare in captivity, and the other two are fairly rare). There is a very large sand bed, with a few scattered rock piles to break up the tank. There is one large artificial reef structure near one end of the viewing window (there is one large, quarter circle shaped window in this tank, no tunnel for the same reasons as the Estero Bay tank) where a few fish species can be found. This massive tank is 1,200,000 gallons - 180 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 12 feet high. The sharks in this tank are:
    • Tiger shark
    • Dusky shark
    • Tasselled wobbegong
    • Spotted wobbegong
    The large/filler fish species in this tank are:
    • Giant moray eel
    • Unicorn tang
    • Golden trevally
    • Giant trevally
    • Saber squirrelfish
    • Titan triggerfish
    • Yellowmargin triggerfish

    Florida Mangroves Tank
    This tank is a medium sized tank, with mangrove roots at the back of the tank, and a large sandbed that is sparsely planted with seagrass at the front of the tank. There is a single viewing window for this tank, but it can be seen underwater and above the water. This tank is 40 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 5 feet high making it 27,000 gallons - tiny in comparison to the other massive tanks listed. Sharks inside are:
    • Atlantic nurse shark
    Filler fish inside are:
    • Yellowtail snapper
    • Lookdown
    • Pinfish
    • Cottonwick grunt
    • Florida pompano
    • French grunt
    • Porkfish

    Papua New Guinea Soft Coral Tank
    Long name, eh? This tank is the only one that has the combination of sharks and live corals. Plenty of the tanks have artificial corals, but this one has plenty of live soft corals, gently flowing back and forth, growing on the rocks on the walls of the tank. This is also the second tank with a tunnel - it sits on the bottom of the tank, just like the other tunnel thus far. This tank is actually not that large (when compared to other tanks with tunnels) - about 95,000 gallons when full. Sharks and rays housed in this tank are:
    • Zebra shark
    • Ornate wobbegong shark
    • Zebra bullhead shark
    • Brownbanded bamboo shark
    • Whitespotted bamboo shark
    • Marbled catshark
    • Coral catshark
    • Epaulette shark
    • Blue spotted ribbontail ray
    • Blue spotted stingray
    • Round ribbontail ray
    Larger creatures in this tank are:
    • Napoleon wrasse
    • Olive ridley sea turtle
    • Tesselata moray eel
    • Bluefin trevally
    • Golden trevally
    • Panther grouper
    And the filler fish species in this tank are:
    • Angelfishes, butterflyfishes, and rabbitfishes: Emperor angelfish, koran angelfish, asfur angelfish, maculosus angelfish, raccoon butterflyfish, schooling bannerfish, saddleback butterflyfish, foxface rabbitfish
    • Surgeonfishes: Regal tang, spotted unicornfish, sailfin tang, naso tang, unicorn tang, yellow tang, powder blue tang, achilles tang, orange shoulder tang, clown tang, vlamingi tang
    • Damselfishes: Indo pacific sergeant, blue devil damselfish
    • Snappers: Crimson snapper, blue lined snapper, emperor snapper
    • Wrasses: Bird wrasse, coral hogfish
    • Triggerfishes: Redtoothed triggerfish, black durgon triggerfish
    • Boxfishes and trumpetfishes: Long horned cowfish, pacific trumpetfish
    • Moray eels: Snowflake moray eel, zebra moray eel

    Australia Seagrass Bed Tank
    This is the smallest of the shark tanks - 25 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 4 feet high for a total of 6,000 gallons. Still a good size, but compared to the largest tank so far (over 1.2 million gallons), it's just a spoonful of water. This tank has a few decorative seagrass and macroalgae species, and a few small rock piles. It's pretty open, and there will be mangrove seedlings in here as well. Sharks inside are:
    • Port jackson shark
    • Speckled epaulette shark
    The filler fish in this tank are:
    • Yellow tang
    • Red head solon fairy wrasse
    • Orange spot filefish
    • Cinnamon clownfish
    • Fathead anthias

    Florida Keys Seagrass Lagoon
    Seagrass is a very popular theme, and what better environment to replicate than the Florida Keys? This is the main ray tank (as well as the next tank). I considered a touch tank for this one, however I have given up on that idea since there are a few "questionable" animals in this tank for a touch tank. This tank is a large oval tank that guests can walk entirely around, like the Caribbean Reef tank - though this one is elliptical instead of plainly round. It is 50 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 8 feet high making it 60,000 gallons. The only structure in this tank is a few fake lobster traps so that the shark and ray inhabitants have plenty of space to swim. Sharks and rays in here are:
    • Bonnethead shark
    • Atlantic sharpnose shark
    • Blacknose shark
    • Southern stingray
    • Atlantic cownose ray
    • Atlantic stingray
    • Yellow stingray
    • Atlantic guitarfish
    • Smooth butterfly ray
    Large fish in this tank are:
    • Nassau grouper
    • Great barracuda
    • Red drum
    • Permit
    Smaller filler fish in this tank are:
    • Bonefish
    • Ladyfish
    • Atlantic needlefish
    • Yellowfin mojarra
    • Hardhead catfish
    • Pinfish
    • Sea robin

    South African Tank
    There is one final tank, and that is the South African tank. I lied about the Port Jackson Shark/Speckled Epaulette Shark tank being the smallest - that title actually goes to this tank. Nah, just kidding - this tank is 400 feet long, 165 feet wide, and 20 feet high making this "mini ocean" nearly 10 million gallons - this would make it one of the biggest tanks in the world, and the largest in the United States. Now, you would think that with such a large tank and with a South African theme... well put two and two together and you would think there'd be some great whites in here. But no. I will do a post on that later, for now here's the sharks and rays living in this tank:
    • Whale shark
    • Blacktip shark
    • Silvertip shark
    • Spinner shark
    • Silky shark
    • Sand tiger shark
    • Tawny nurse shark
    • Great hammerhead
    • Scalloped hammerhead
    • Oceanic manta ray
    • Green sawfish
    • Freshwater sawfish
    • Bowmouth guitarfish
    • Giant guitarfish
    • Shortfin devil ray
    • Reef manta ray
    • Spotted eagle ray
    • Bull ray
    • Porcupine ray
    • Round ribbontail ray
    • Jenkins whipray
    • Cowtail ray
    • Reticulate whipray
    • Pelagic stingray
    • Thorntail whipray
    • Short tail stingray
    • Bottlenose skate
    There are a few species of large fish in here (as if manta rays, great hammerheads, and whale sharks weren't big enough) and those are:
    • Queensland grouper
    • Potato bass
    • Mulloway
    • Giant trevally
    With a tank this size, you really need some nice filler fish. What's special here is that every single one of these fish is native to South African waters, more specifically the eastern coast of South Africa. This was a lot of work to find these species, but here they are:
    • Jacks, porgies, spadefishes, tarpons, and mullets: Tille trevally, bigeye trevally, black jack, small spotted pompano, barcheek trevally, golden trevally, sand steenbras, scotsman seabream, longfin batfish, indo pacific tarpon, flathead mullet
    • Squirrelfishes: Blotcheye soldierfish
    • Angelfishes, butterflyfishes, and surgeonfishes: Koran angelfish, scrawled butterflyfish, clown tang, ringtail surgeonfish, powder blue tang
    • Gobies: Wheeler's shrimp goby, pinkbar goby
    • Drums: Bearded croaker
    • Wrasses: Bluestreak cleaner wrasse, floral wrasse, tarry hogfish, lyretail hogfish
    • Anthias and sweetlips: Lyretail anthias, painted sweetlips
    • Snappers and grunts: Bluestriped snapper, blackspot snapper, humpback red snapper, two-spot red snapper, blubberlip snapper, black and white snapper, green jobfish, crimson jobfish, red emperor snapper, small spotted grunt
    • Damselfishes: Pacific gregory, indo pacific sergeant

    Those are all of the shark tanks. I will discuss species selection in the next post, and then I will finish the aquarium, I guess.

  2. 1 and only Drew

    1 and only Drew Well-Known Member

    15 Sep 2015
    North Carolina
    Species Selection

    This aquarium has, by my count, 42 species of shark and 35 species of rays and relatives. This is 77 species of elasmobranchs and more than any facility that I know of. Of those species, 16 are requiem sharks. These are:
    1. Sandbar shark
    2. Caribbean reef shark
    3. Blacktip reef shark
    4. Grey reef shark
    5. Whitetip reef shark
    6. Galapagos shark
    7. Bull shark
    8. Lemon shark
    9. Tiger shark
    10. Dusky shark
    11. Blacknose shark
    12. Atlantic sharpnose shark
    13. Blacktip shark
    14. Silvertip shark
    15. Silky shark
    16. Spinner shark
    There are an impressive three species of hammerhead sharks in the aquarium:
    1. Bonnethead
    2. Great hammerhead shark
    3. Scalloped hammerhead shark
    There is one species of cow shark in the aquarium:
    1. Broadnose sevengill shark
    There is one species of sand shark residing in the aquarium:
    1. Sand tiger shark
    The aquarium houses three species of houndsharks:
    1. Leopard shark
    2. Brown smoothhound
    3. Soupfin shark
    The aquarium is home to three species of catshark:
    1. Marbled catshark
    2. Coral catshark
    3. Swell shark
    There are four species of bamboo sharks:
    • Epaulette shark
    • Brown banded bamboo shark
    • White spotted bamboo shark
    • Speckled epaulette shark
    Two species of nurse shark are found here:
    1. Atlantic nurse shark
    2. Tawny nurse shark
    There are three species of bullhead sharks:
    • Zebra bullhead shark
    • California horn shark
    • Port jackson shark
    There is only one species of dogfish:
    1. Spiny dogfish
    There are three species of wobbegongs at the aquarium:
    1. Tasselled wobbegong
    2. Ornate wobbegong
    3. Spotted wobbegong
    And of the "other sharks" (both are carpet sharks):
    1. Whale shark
    2. Zebra shark

    On to the 35 species of rays, guitarfish, skates, and sawfish. We shall start with the sawfish, of which there are an impressive three:
    1. Freshwater sawfish
    2. Green sawfish
    3. Smalltooth sawfish
    There are two species of skate in the aquarium:
    1. Big skate
    2. Bottlenose skate
    There are four species of guitarfish:
    1. Shovelnose guitarfish
    2. Bowmouth guitarfish
    3. Atlantic guitarfish
    4. Giant guitarfish
    Seven species of winged rays reside at the aquarium:
    1. Shortfin devil ray
    2. Bull ray
    3. Atlantic cownose ray
    4. Oceanic manta ray
    5. Reef manta ray
    6. California bat ray
    7. Spotted eagle ray
    There is only one species of butterfly ray in the aquarium:
    1. Smooth butterfly ray
    There is one species of Plesiobatidae ray, the only species in its entire family:
    1. Giant stingaree
    Of the true round stingrays, there is only one species represented here:
    1. Yellow stingray
    The remaining 16 species of rays are all considered whiptail rays.
    1. Roughtail stingray
    2. Caribbean whiptail ray
    3. Hawaiian broad stingray
    4. Diamond stingray
    5. Blue spotted stingray
    6. Blue spotted ribbontail ray
    7. Round ribbontail ray
    8. Southern stingray
    9. Atlantic stingray
    10. Porcupine ray
    11. Jenkins whipray
    12. Cowtail ray
    13. Reticulate whipray
    14. Pelagic stingray
    15. Thorntail stingray
    16. Short tail stingray

    There are a few reasons that I did not select any pelagic species for this aquarium - such as thresher, mako, porbeagle, blue, salmon, great white, oceanic whitetip, and copper sharks - to name a few. There are tanks large enough for them, however they always tend to find the walls of their tank, and abrade their noses or fins on the edge of the tank, no matter the size. I don't feel that it's acceptable to purposefully collect and keep these species only for them to die within a few days or weeks of being in captivity. If they were rescued in some way, that would be different, but setting up an entire large tank for pelagic species that will quickly die isn't a great idea.

    This aquarium has a very rare collection of sharks and rays. Of the requiems, sandbar, blacknose, blacktip reef, and whitetip reef sharks are the only ones regularly exhibited in public aquaria. I know of 9 aquariums in the US that have attempted to keep tiger sharks:
    1. SEA LIFE Aquarium
    2. Mote Marine Laboratory
    3. Adventure Aquarium
    4. Aquarium of the Pacific
    5. Epcot's Living Seas Pavilion
    6. Henry Doorly Zoo
    7. Mandalay Bay Shark Reef
    8. Maui Ocean Center
    9. Sea World Orlando
    Of those, Maui Ocean Center is the only one (I'm pretty sure) that has successfully kept these large sharks for any decent amount of time - Epcot's Living Seas and Sea World Orlando are the only other aquariums in the US who have kept a tiger shark for over 3 years, an impressive achievement. Outside of the US, the Veracruz Aquarium in Mexico, Sea World in Australia, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and Osaka Aquarium in Japan, and Atlantis in the Bahamas have kept them as well, with varying success. Obviously their 18 foot maximum size prevents most aquariums from keeping them, but they are also prone to rubbing their fins and noses against the walls of their aquarium.

    I would estimate there are no more than 5 aquariums keeping lemon sharks (the common lemon, not including the sicklefin lemon - those are kept in the Okinawa Churaumi aquarium, and nowhere else in the world). The Maritime Aquarium in Connecticut and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Washington state are the only aquariums I know of in the United States that currently keep this species. I also know Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands and Blue Planet Aquarium in England keep this species. They are very hardy (aside from fish lice) in captivity, and reach about the same size as a sand tiger shark, but the main reason they are not kept is because they become very aggressive towards pretty much any fish smaller than it by the time they reach 4 or 5 feet long - they're too risky to keep in captivity, except with large sharks like bulls, tigers, large hammerheads, large groupers, etc.

    The bull shark is also a rare species in captivity. Aquarium of the Pacific, Oklahoma Aquarium, and Sea World Orlando are the only places in the US that have them, that I know of. Atlantis in the Bahamas tried them, and multiple overseas aquariums have had success keeping them. There is a shark expo in Italy that lasts about four months, and they display bull sharks as one of the species. Sea World Australia, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, and uShaka Marine World all keep them as well. These sharks can be kept, although the trade-off is that nothing smaller than them can really be kept with them - safely, that is.

    I know of one aquarium in the United States that keeps grey reef sharks - Mandalay Bay Shark Reef. Outside of the US, the Marine Life Park in Singapore and the aquarium at the mall in Dubai keeps them. I really don't know why this species isn't commonly kept - maybe they don't ship too well, or maybe the look of them is too "plain" for the general public.

    While the blacktip reef shark is commonly found in aquariums, the blacktip shark isn't so common. Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey keeps them, and I think Burger's Zoo in the Netherlands keeps common blacktips. They don't adapt to aquarium life very well - very high strung, tend to crash into tank walls, and they don't always feed very well.

    The silvertip shark isn't even well known by the public (I actually only found out about them around a year ago), so it's no wonder they are very rare in captivity. Unfortunately, they cannot be found in the United States yet. The aquarium in the mall in Dubai keeps them, and so does the Marine Life Park in Singapore. They are a good oceanic whitetip look-alike, and I think the main reason for them not being very common in public aquariums is their limited range, large maximum size, and the fact that very few people actually realize they exist.

    There are six other species of requiem sharks that I will be discussing. Of those six species, two of them are found in public aquariums in the United States. The galapagos shark is found at Mandalay Bay Shark Reef, where they have been successfully kept in the 1.3 million gallon tank. They are increasingly hard to find, and have a large maximum size. Adventure Aquarium has kept silky sharks in their 760,000 gallon open ocean tank. The caribbean reef shark is only kept at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, with nurse sharks I believe. Two of the other species are only found in Australian aquariums. Sea World Australia is the only aquarium with the dusky shark, a larger species found mostly in the Atlantic ocean. The spinner shark is the other species, only kept in the Aquarium of Western Australia. I actually don't think they had success with this species, as I have only heard one thing about them keeping the species. That leaves the atlantic sharpnose shark - I don't know of any public aquariums in the world that displays this species. The main reason is that they are very easily spooked, and will run into the tank walls, and if they are hard, they have a good chance of dying. That is why a few private collections have them - they are willing to sacrifice underwater viewing windows to keep the sharks in large blow-up pools so that if the sharks hit the walls, they just bounce off instead of absorbing the shock.
  3. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    10 Nov 2015
    I like the research you put into this one! I know the details will come later, so this is a good early start. My thoughts:
    1. You only have eleven exhibits. True, most of them are spectacular, but that won't keep visitors who care beyond "oh, look at the shark" very long. Perhaps additional smaller exhibits with bamboo sharks, juvenile zebra sharks, etc. would make a good space filler.
    2. Aquarium of the Pacific kept their tiger shark for a long time, though how long I'm not sure.
    3. I've seen lemon shark somewhere in the US, though I've forgotten where. Not at any place you listed, though.
    4. Aquarium of the Pacific is not home to Bull sharks. Dallas World Aquarium used to have them, but they were transferred to Oklahoma so the denote exhibit could have more species.
    5. Whale sharks will be a pain to get as they are now considered endangered rather than vulnerable, and most countries no longer allow collection.
    6. Sawfish are internationally banned from collection for any purpose (except perhaps research), so the only way to acquire them would be captive bred, which has never happened.

    Looking good, though!
  4. 1 and only Drew

    1 and only Drew Well-Known Member

    15 Sep 2015
    North Carolina
    Species Selection, Continued

    Of the hammerhead sharks, bonnetheads are the only ones that are commonly kept in captivity. There are only two other species that are kept in captivity at all, and they are both in the species list for this aquarium.

    The great hammerhead has been kept by 5 aquariums, to my knowledge. Mandalay Bay Shark Reef tried them in their big tank, and they failed (they seem to have a love for hammerheads, as they are one of only two aquariums that I know of that have even attempted to keep the three common hammerheads - bonnethead, great, and scalloped hammerhead). I know Mote Marine Laboratory has experimented with keeping this shark, but I have no idea how that went. Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey and the Georgia Aquarium both successfully keep this species - Adventure's tank is 760,000 gallons while Georgia's is over 6 million gallons. Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas also keeps a pair of these sharks, in a large lagoon over 1 million gallons. I don't know too much about these sharks in captivity, since they are so rarely kept, but I would imagine that they aren't kept because of their 20 foot maximum size.

    The scalloped hammerhead shark is a bit more common, since it reaches a smaller maximum size. Adventure Aquarium keeps them - the only other aquarium to keep all three hammerheads. Mandalay Bay Shark Reef keeps them successfully as well. There are two other aquariums keeping these in the US - Monterey Bay Aquarium and Maui Ocean Center. There are five aquariums in Japan keeping this species, plus one in Australia and one in South Africa.

    The broadnose sevengill shark is displayed permanently in two aquariums - the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Aquarium of the Bay. Monterey Bay tried one for a little while, and then released it after a bit. It's a rare species, and I believe the main reason for them not being kept is because of the large 10 foot adult size, plus the need for chillers - hence the reason they are only found in west coast aquariums, at least one of which has a flow-through system.

    The sand tiger shark is very common in captivity, like the blacktip reef shark, blacknose shark, whitetip reef shark, bonnethead shark, or sandbar shark.

    Leopard sharks are common in aquariums as well, in both coldwater touch tanks and display aquariums because of their gentle nature and beautiful patterns. Soupfin sharks and brown smoothhounds are somewhat rare in public aquariums, but I feel it's only because they aren't a very interesting species to see, for most people at least. They are cool to shark enthusiasts, but for the general public they are a bit boring. They are not un-manageable for public aquariums to keep though.

    The same as above applies to all the catsharks and all the bamboo sharks I listed. They are commonly found and easily cared for, but kind of boring to most people.

    Atlantic nurse sharks are commonly found in captivity. However tawny nurse sharks definitely are not. The Australian Shark and Ray Centre and the Singapore Marine Life Park keep them, and the Poole Aquarium and Serpentarium in the UK used to keep them.

    Of the three bullhead sharks I listed, port jackson sharks are pretty common in public aquariums. California horn sharks are somewhat common, but kind of boring to most - Newport Aquarium and Oklahoma Aquarium are a few examples of where to see these sharks in the United States. The zebra bullhead shark is much rarer, and can be found in Adventure Aquarium and Birch Aquarium in the United States - I don't know of anywhere else to see them. Outside of the United States, the Marine Life Park in Singapore and the Blackpool SEA LIFE Centre in England keep them.

    With spiny dogfish, the same rules that apply to brown smoothhounds apply. A cool shark to enthusiasts, but not to the average Joe.

    Newport Aquarium, Children's Aquarium at Fair Port Dallas, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, World Aquarium (Missouri), Shedd Aquarium, Indianapolis Zoo, Georgia Aquarium, and the Henry Doorly Zoo are a few places in the United States that keep various species of wobbegong shark. They are a somewhat common species for large displays. They are not common in tanks with lots of small fish as they tend to eat them very readily (other sharks generally don't eat small fish unless they have not been fed), and they will eat things much larger than their mouths - this usually leads to both parties involved dying.

    Whale sharks are kept by very few aquariums with very large tanks. There are three aquariums in Japan that have them (Okinawa Churaumi, Osaka, and Ioworld aquariums), two in China (Yantai and Polar Ocean World aquariums), one in Taiwan (Taiwan National Aquarium), one in the United States (Georgia Aquarium), one in the United Arab Emirates (the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai), and one in Mexico (Inbursa Aquarium). Unfortunately, I have a feeling most of the foreign tanks these sharks are kept in are not anywhere near the size of Georgia 's Ocean Voyager Tank.

    Finally, the zebra shark - these are common in aquariums that are appropriately sized for them.
  5. 1 and only Drew

    1 and only Drew Well-Known Member

    15 Sep 2015
    North Carolina
    Thanks! I think this one will turn out much better than the other one. The other one is a more realistic goal, but this one is a cooler fantasy tank.

    1. Yeah, I plan on making more that are not shark related. I haven't gotten to them yet, but figured I should probably take a bit of a break ;)

    2. Aquarium of the Pacific received their tiger shark in February of 2009 from Taiwan. It was a female pup who was rescued after her mother was killed by fishermen. The embryo was artificially hatched (from what I've heard), and was raised from birth in captivity. It was placed in a shipping crate and mailed to Los Angeles, and then trucked to the aquarium. It spent four months in a holding pen, before being released into their main shark lagoon exhibit. In September of 2009 (7 months after being received) it outgrew their exhibit, and was released. So to answer your question, they kept it for 7 months :)

    3. You may have seen the very similar-looking sand tiger shark. They are far more common in the United States and in public aquaria in general. I know of a few people who privately keep these sharks as well. UPDATE - I forgot, you may have seen them at Oklahoma. They keep them with their bull sharks, along with atlantic nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks, and sandbar sharks.

    4. You're correct about that. However in 2006, they introduced a 5'3", 65 pound female bull shark to their shark lagoon exhibit. I have no idea how long they had her, but she's definitely not in there now.

    5 and 6. That's true, they will be very difficult to acquire. Possibly petitioning the smaller asian aquariums that keep this species to release them to the large 10 million gallon aquarium would work (for whale sharks). For sawfish, a potential captive breeding experiment could be done with them.

    Look forward to more feedback!
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

    13 Jun 2007
    New Zealand
    no freshwater rays?

    Also have you thought about a deepwater shark tank for things like goblin sharks, frilled sharks and lantern sharks?
    SealPup likes this.
  7. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    10 Nov 2015
    Thanks for the info on AotP's tiger shark. I had no clue it outgrew the exhibit that fast.

    Lemon sharks at Oklahoma sounds right. I've been there twice.

    Dallas Children's Aquarium no longer is home to any wobbegong species. They crammed seven sharks into a tank that wasn't big enough for one bamboo shark. Thankfully, all have been replaced by a lesser pacific white-striped octopus, which I sadly never saw.

    Georgia Aquarium used to successfully keep great hammerhead. They had four, though one passed away. They are all the cownose rays, and since the aquarium wanted the rays more than the hammerheads, they sharks were shipped away (not sure about their final destination).

    Monterey Bay Aquarium always has broadnose sevengill sharks, but not the same individuals. They run a catch-and-release program for research and display. There are currently 1.2 on exhibit. The females were caught last year, and two females that had been in the exhibit released.
  8. 1 and only Drew

    1 and only Drew Well-Known Member

    15 Sep 2015
    North Carolina
    That doesn't surprise me about Dallas Children's Aquarium. I've only learned about it from geomorph's review, and it sounds like a terrible aquarium.

    That makes sense about Georgia. They currently keep 18 species of rays, guitarfish, and sawfish in the Ocean Voyager tank - it seems like they might value their rays more than their sharks ;)
    Hammerheads in general (with the exception of the smaller species like bonnetheads) are notorious for eating stingrays, especially smaller ones in the cownose ray size. So I'm not really surprised they started eating them.
  9. 1 and only Drew

    1 and only Drew Well-Known Member

    15 Sep 2015
    North Carolina
    Not yet sure about freshwater rays, but they will probably be in there.

    A deepwater tank would be kind of cool. Might be a nice "for fun tank". Although I did say no to great whites, makos, etc because they don't survive well in captivity, so maybe not. I'll definitely consider it though
  10. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    10 Nov 2015
    It's not terrible by any means. Although it's quite small, there is a nice array of differing fish and invertebrates, as well as four reptiles. Most of the exhibits are adequate and at a cheap price of $8, it's worth your time if you have nothing to do and are in the area.
  11. 1 and only Drew

    1 and only Drew Well-Known Member

    15 Sep 2015
    North Carolina
    Hmm, maybe it's just because I've only heard one account of it. If I'm ever near Dallas, I will be sure to stop by. $8 seems like a good price for the aquarium.
  12. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    10 Nov 2015
    Don't allot more than an hour for it. The Dallas World Aquarium and Dallas Zoo are worth your time more.
  13. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

    19 Mar 2016
    São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    Cool. How about Blue sharks?
  14. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    10 Nov 2015
    The longest a blue shark has lived in captivity is seven months, as far as I am aware. I'm sure with a lot of work put into it, something could be worked out to keep them alive, but a lot of pelagic sharks just don't do well in captivity.
  15. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

    19 Mar 2016
    São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    Becaure they're not popular like some other sharks... I know of a case of the specie being maintained with Lemon sharks and Bull sharks... But was eaten by the Bull sharks... >.<
  16. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    3 Sep 2013
    Baltic Sea - no more
    Pelagic shark species do not do well in captivity because of a lack of popularity...
  17. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    10 Nov 2015
    Thanks for that video link, I enjoyed it.

    As the video suggests, we are only scratching the surface of pelagic shark captive care. Recently, we have been successful with scalloped hammerheads, with MBA's now having reached a large size and Newport Aquarium successfully bringing a school of six into captivity from Hawaii. Great hammerhead husbandry is slowly coming around- though only one is successfully kept in the USA right now, Georgia Aquarium had little trouble with theirs (out of five, two died- one if unknown causes and one of an infection. The others were released). However, advancement in most other species is minimal.
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2016
  18. 1 and only Drew

    1 and only Drew Well-Known Member

    15 Sep 2015
    North Carolina
    Sorry for sort of abandoning this thread. I'll work on it again sometime soon.

    I've not yet watched the video (everyone's asleep, don't want to watch it right this second), but the main reason pelagic sharks aren't kept very often is because they will rub their pectoral fins and snouts along the walls of their tanks, abrading and damaging them to a point of no return. They often don't feed readily either. Many of them get to be very large as well, so that doesn't help us to keep them.

    One thing I have thought about is a saltwater pond for keeping these sharks. No straight walls, only very gradually-sloping edges. Viewing would be done through a bulletproof glass box that is inserted into the tank. The only problem now is the stress when there is something taken in and out of their environment constantly (they could potentially get used to it, doubtful though), and getting them to feed (large schools of live baitfish in the tank may help initiate feeding responses).
  19. SealPup

    SealPup Well-Known Member

    11 Jan 2017
    I don't know about the logistics but why not a soft sided pool with a shark tunnel?

    I'm unsure which sharks/rays mix well: Bob Fenner says reef sharks are nippy and most sharks bother batoids. Bull and lemon and wobbegong are famously better off in single species exhibit. Once I saw footage of a sawfish going violent for no reason. I have to wonder how many incidents there are in such aquariums.

    I would like to know more about mobulas/mantas and Squatina. Why are they so rarely exhibited?