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   |    My Breeders   |    Banded "Sharks"   |    Fish Inquiry Form

PLEASE read all the information below and watch the videos of these amazing pond fish.

While researching I found many other names that this fish is know by and they are,  Asian Hi-fin Banded Sucker, Chinese Hi-fin Banded Sucker, Chinese Sail fin Sucker, Freshwater Batfish, Hi-fin Banded Shark, Hi-fin Banded Sucker, Chinese Hi-fin Loach, bat fish.

The "sharks" are shy, docile, non-aggressive fish that get along with all pond fish. 

Chinese hi-fin banded sharks are only found in the Yangtze River in China.  They do not breed in captivity, no one knows why.  They live 15 to 20 years and will grow to 20 inches.  They only grow 1 to 2 inches a year.

Your water has to be at least 60 and on the rise to add them to a pond.  While you can add one to your pond/tank it is best to have 2 because they are schooling fish. Some will school with my koi and some "sharks" school together.

You would need to bring them in the house for the winter to an aquarium if  you live where there is ice for more than a week or so during the winter.  They can take a few weeks of really cold water.  Here in NC, zone 7, they winter over just fine.

I added seven "sharks" to my 15,000 gallon pond and I can see them going along the bottom eating algae. We have shipped out lots of them and the email response from those who received them has been awesome.  Every one has been as impressed as we are!

They are also masters of hiding!  I had not seen the one in my upper pond in many months.  Then one day on my way to the greenhouse, there he was.  And he was 16 inches long.  Now that I know his hiding spot is behind a pot of lilies, I check on him regularl

Use the link above to Join My eNewsletter to receive an email when we have the "sharks" ready to ship in 2016.

All of my fish have been treated for parasites, bacterial infections and have been fully quarantined.

Chinese hi-fin Banded Shark

Non aggresive, schooling fish, friendly to all pond fish.

Algae Eaters (bottom feeders)

Minimum water temperature: 60 degrees

Needs to be over-wintered indoors in colder climates.

Must see video! 1/01/2013 The video to the left was taken with my live stream underwater camera found here.  In the lower right hand corner of the video you will see two of the three Chinese hi-finned banded sharks that live in our lower pond with our Koi.  The other four that we have, two in the upper pond and two in our middle pond are much larger because they do not compete with the Koi for food.

We have eight in our personal pond and they range from 8" to 18" in 2013.  They were fed Sho Koi that I soaked in water and mashed up so it would sink to the bottom.  On my camera I could see the three in my lower pond going along the bottom eating algae as well. Two schooled together (one male and one female) the other in the lower pond schooled with the koi. 

Can Koi and the "sharks" live in the same pond? This is a very common question that I get.  Watch this video taken on 4/10/14.
In this video they sharks have been floated in the tank and transferred to a bowl so I could do photos and videos In this video note all the algae near the pump (by the 2 pieces of tubing)  You will hear me talking in this video In this video note my surprise and excuse my language at my total surprise that all the algae has been eaten in the 10 minutes or so when I walked away.  

*** Hi Bonnie
Mine did good he is growing and we had some nasty cold cold weather. I saw him a couple times in the last few weeks.

Cindy  Andrews Texas 

*** Hi Bonnie,
      My hi-fin sharks spent the winter in my office in a 55 gal tank. They have grown to be about 12" long and we have fed them the food I got from you along with some flakes the other fish in the tank can't get.

      I will probably return them to the pond next week! We had a cold winter here with one snow that gave us 14" and we had consistent temps in the 20's in December. I don't think the sharks would have made it although the goldfish made out great! 

     If the sharks grow as much this year I don't know what we'll do this coming winter.

Cape Charles, Virginia ( Eastern Shore)

*** A customer in Nebraska, zone 5 left his two in his pond.  When the ice thawed (he kept an open spot all winter) one was dead.  A few weeks later he emailed back to say the other one was spotted eating algae on the side of the pond.  There is no way to know why the one died and one lived.

Chinese banded hi-fin shark Chinese banded high fin shark They had just finished floating and I placed them in a bowl for photos and videos
You can see some baby koi that are tank makes to the "sharks" I added some "sharks" to a Baby Koi tank with algae. The Baby Koi alone could not keep up with the algae as fast as it was growing. baby koi that will share their home with the sharks
Two of the Chinese hi-fin banded sharks seen from above
It has been 2-1/2 months since I added 2 of the Chinese banded hi-fin sharks to my lower pond.  One would stay near the underwater camera stand and the other on or near the rock that is holding down the temporary bottom drain cover.  It is a lotus pan turned upside down. LOL! Hey, it works.  I had not seen either of them for a few weeks and figured the dratted kingfisher got them.

In fact a couple of weeks ago, Rich was in the pond to get out breeders for spawning.  He had drained down the pond by about 1/2.  I have no rocks in my lower pond so there is really no place for a fish to hide.  Or so I thought.

I so enjoyed my morning coffee while watching their antics on my live streaming camera.  I had been so bummed out because they were "gone".

This afternoon while on my way down to the greenhouse, I spotted both of them sitting together near the camera stand for the underwater camera.  I dashed back up to the house to get my camera.

While the photo is not the best, you can see them both side by side. Now I need to figure out which is the male and which is the female.....

So for those of you who thought they were "gone" trust me, they are masters of hiding.

2 Hi-fin banded sharks schooling together in my pond I was able to snap this photo of 2 of the 2 Hi-fin banded sharks in my koi pond Chinese hi-fin banded shark schooling with my kio 5 months after I added them to my pond
Almost 5 months have gone by since I added the "sharks" to my pond.  They no longer stay on the bottom or hide.  They now school together by themselves or with my Koi.  There are actually 3 of them in my lower pond but I am not able to get a photo of all 3 together.
Yesterday we drained the upper pond and vacuumed the liner, dead headed the lilies and fertilized them. There were 2 small koi and one "shark" there. He/she was 7 inches back in March. He/she is now 10.5 inches. Today we drained the middle pond and vacuumed the liner, dead headed the lilies and fertilized them. There were 4 small koi and one "shark" there. He/she was 7 inches back in March. He/she is now 12  inches.

He was so docile he laid in my hand under the water.  So I decided to take a picture of him/her on its side.

You can tell his size by looking at my hand.  I tried to hold him in my hand and do the photo but I needed to also work the camera at the same time.  LOL

What do all these Japanese Names mean?
Read about the importance of Quarantine
Sexing Koi - See the difference an inch makes - and Different Scale Patterns
Read what people are saying About fish they bought.
See photos of my fish