Aquarium Pond Sharks

Which sharks are best for ponds? Great question! That depends on the size of your pond. So let’s first take a look at some pond options and then we will talk about some suitable species for each sized pond. First, the fre-fab ponds:

The Rubbermaid 300 Gallon Stock Tank Shark Pond

This is what I have had for 10 years. I have housed all kinds of species in what I like to affectionately call my “redneck hot tub” 🙂

This stock tank holds 300 gallons – when filled to top. You can’t really do that with sharks since some are known to be jumpers. The jumping can occur from being spooked or just out of curiosity they decide that they want to see what’s out there. So the water level cannot be to the top. Filled most of the way as pictured below, the pond will be about 250 gallons.

My pond’s water level stays between the current water level and the water line slightly above it – Image Source: Erica Fischer/

From there I added a 150 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank and filled it with about 100 gallons or so. This is what I like to call the “reverse sump set up”. It provides a space for mechanical and chemical filtration, extra live sand and live rock for more biological filtration, a nursery for smaller sharks to grow out in and extra water volume. When this pond was fully stocked – well in my opinion the most sharks that should be housed in this set up – I housed full grown adults of the following species with no issue:

  • Grey Bamboo Shark
  • Coral Cat Shark
  • Mexican Horn Shark
  • Epaulette Shark

Any additional sharks would – in my opinion – be overstocking the pond as I think that the bio-load would be too much for this set up. That stock tank is approximately 5 feet by 6 feet by 2 feet high.

The Tarter Round Plastic Stock Tank

Another option is the Tarter Round Plastic Stock Tank which is 8 feet in diameter and 2 feet high. When filled to the top, this stock has a maximum capacity of 625 gallons. So you will likely only have 500 gallons or so when filled appropriately for sharks. With the added reverse sump that puts you at ~600 gallons. So I would say that you could house no more than 6 or 7 full grown sharks that are a maximum of 4.5 feet (no more than 2 sharks this size) and the rest could be 3 feet or less.

In this blog post: Aquarium Mini Sharks I go over the suitable aquarium shark species that have a maximum length of 3 feet or less. For ponds, you can keep any of the following species in these 2 set ups that we just went over:

Aquarium Pond Shark Species

The Grey Bamboo Shark

They start off looking like this:

Baby Grey Bamboo Shark – Image Source: Erica Fischer/

and they end up looking like this:

Grey Bamboo Shark – Image Source: Erica Fischer/

The maximum length of this species is a little over 3 feet. They are very wide and stocky.

EFish and Fatty the Grey Bamboo Shark – Image Source: Matt Heyde

They are semi aggressive towards their same species, especially species of the same sex. From my experience they get along just fine with other species.

More information on this species:

The Brown Banded Bamboo Shark

They start off looking like this:

Baby Brown Banded Bamboo Shark – Image Source: Erica Fischer/

And end up looking like this as adults:

Adult Brown Banded Bamboo Shark – Image Source: Matt Heyde

This species is known to be aggressive at times. Have kept 2 of the same sex and they did just fine together as well as with other species. You just need to be really careful since they get pretty big. So if they end up being aggressive, it will be a problem. As long as you target feed them and develop trust – by mutual respect – they should be fine. Their maximum size is about 4 and a half feet for the females and about 4 feet for the males.

Pictured left, a juvenile Brown Banded Bamboo Shark. Pictured right, an adult brown banded bamboo shark – Image Source: Erica Fischer/

More information on this species:

Epaulette Shark

This shark has a small body with a very long tail. They are probably about 2/3 a tail 🙂

Epaulette Shark – Image Source: Erica Fischer/

Their body is about half the thickness of a Grey Bamboo Shark and their maximum length is just under 3 feet. They are fairly docile in general and seem to get along great with other species from what I have seen, especially Mexican Horn Sharks for some reason.

Epaulette Shark with Mexican Horn Shark – Image Source: Erica Fischer/

More information on this species:

If you are going to build your own pond or lagoon, you now have a good idea of what you will need as far as water volume goes for the amount of sharks that you would like to keep.

Before you make the decision to try to find one of these sharks to keep as a pet, be sure to watch the video below.

For even more detailed information on shark keeping, check out my online course here: Aquarium Sharks for Beginners

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