Columbian Shark Catfish (Ariopsis seemanni)

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Columbian Shark Catfish

MA Luisenpark Sciades seemanni.jpg
Columbian Shark Catfish

Ariopsis seemanni

470 Litres (124.2)

30-35 cm (11.8-13.8")


6.8 - 8.0

22.2-27.2°C (72 -81 °F)

8-30 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Live Foods

10-15 years



Additional names

Columbian Shark Catfish, Shark Catfish, Columbian Shark, Silver Tipped Shark, Tete Sea Catfish, White Tip Shark Catfish, Black Fin Shark, Christian Catfish, Jordan's Catfish, West American Cat Shark

Additional scientific names

Arius jordani, Hexanematichthys seemani, Tachisurus seemani, Sciades seemanni, Arius seemani


Central and South America: Pacific draining rivers and estuaries from Mexico to Peru.


Females are plumper than males. Breeding rare in captivity due to the size of tanks needed.

Tank compatibility[edit]

When this fish is a juvenile it can be kept in brackish conditions with other larger brackish fish such as the Mono. As it matures it needs to be in full Marine, and can be kept with large semi-aggressive Marine fish, but bear in mind that this fish can swallow up 67% its body length! These fish prefer to be in groups of 4 or more.
Please note this fish is often sold as freshwater, which is of course wrong.


Carnivorous, likes chunky foods including crustaceans and insect larvae. This fish has a huge appetite and may go looking for food in it's tankmates if not fed sufficiently.

Feeding regime[edit]

Twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Very large spacious tank, needs an SG of 1.005 - 1.010 when young, 1.020 - 1.025 when adult. Often erroneously sold as freshwater.


A very active scavenger. Can be aggressive towards those smaller than itself and smaller fish will indeed become prey. Should be indifferent towards larger fish as long as they keep out of this fish's way.


Elongated silver iridescent body, the belly is white. The fins are tipped with white and black. Large protruding eyes. Three sets of barbels. They also have venomous dorsal spines so need extra care when being handled.


External links[edit]