I have been caring for and researching sharks and stingrays since I was 16 years old. I am now 35. In 2012 I started rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing sharks that are commonly kept in the home aquarium with my good friend Matt Heyde.
Here are the current inhabitants of my pond and their stories:
Fatty The Grey Bamboo Shark
Fatty is a Grey Bamboo Shark that I saw in an aquarium store and purchased him and his sister. Unfortunately as pups they both contracted Vibrio and his sister passed away from it. Fortunately, I was able to save Fatty. He got his name from his body shape which only looks “Fat” when his species is healthy. He’s actually not fat at all, he is a big muscle. He is about 6 or 7 years old now. I don’t know for sure because he was already hatched when I got him. He grew to full size not that long after.
Yoshi The Coral Cat Shark
Yoshi is a Coral Cat that I purchased from an aquarium store after he had been there for months. He was too big and quickly outgrowing the small tank that they had him in. So I took him home. I’m not sure how old he is since he was an adult when I got him but I have had him for about 6 years now.
Amelia The Epaulette Shark
Ameila is an Epaulette Shark also known as a walking shark. I’m not 100% sure as to where she came from or how old she is but the store that I rescued her from had her for about 5 years. She was an adult when they got her and she was laying eggs in their display tank at about the second year that they had her. I have had her for about 2 and a half years so she might be about 11 years old. I got a text one afternoon around 3:30 pm from someone who used to work at the store telling me that if I did not pick her up by 5 that their manager would euthanize her. Something, they were not sure which of the species in the display tank, was eating the other, expensive fish.
Since she was one of the biggest sharks in their display, they blamed her. I got over there shortly after and took her home. We ended up having to rescue 6 more shortly after with a new threat, that if we didn’t come and get them that they would be left outside without aeration in garbage cans filled with just enough water for them by the trash. They were a bunch of jerks those people. Luckily someone bought their company and closed down their stores. There is a special place in hell for people who mistreat animals, a real special place. These people were extra special. In the end though I’m grateful that they contacted me since the moment I saw Ameila in their display tank I wanted the opportunity to take her home and give her a better life. She is in my system and loves her 3 buddies that she lives with.
El Guapo The Horn Shark
El Guapo is a Mexican Horn Shark that I rescued from someone who bought the tank that he was living in and all of the other fish that were in there with him. I have an entire video that I made about his rescue and rehabilitation. I’ll leave a link in this video’s description. He is about 4 years old now and I’ve had him for about 3 years. I rescued him as a pup. He is really sweet and has adapted well to his poor vision which resulted from the abuse that he unfortunately endured in the tank break down that I bought him from.
A future inhabitant is Zelda. She is currently growing out in a smaller aquarium. From there she will be raised in the sump of the pond. Once she is large enough she will be introduced to the rest of the crew. As an egg Zelda was being auctioned off to anyone who won the auction. She is tank raised from a company called ORA who provided the egg to this auction. I don’t know much about why this was happening or why people who did not have the proper systems to raise her in were able to bid on the egg but luckily a friend won it and gave it to me. ORA tagged the egg for 6/22 which is likely the date that her mother laid her egg since she hatched on October 20th just 11 days shy of the full 130 day average gestation period. Like I did with Fatty and El Guapo, I am training her as a pup so that we bond and form a mutual respect for one another. This is essential since she will reach a length of about 3 feet as an adult. This will make it much easier for me to handle her if need be.
If you are interested in keeping sharks, be sure to watch this video below to ensure that these animals are the right fit for you.
To learn more about these sharks, check out my content here on my website: Aquarium Shark Guide