Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark (Myxocyprinus Asiaticus)


Common NameChinese High-Fin Banded Shark, Chinese Sailfin Sucker, Banded Loach, Wimple Carp, Chinese High Fin Shark, High Fin Shark
Scientific NameMyxocyprinus Asiaticus
OriginYangtze River Basin in China
Temperature55°F to 75°F
Water Parameters6.8 to 7.5 pH
Adult Sizeup to 4 feet long
DietOmnivore

Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark Facts

  • Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks can grow up to 4 feet long, and they are not suitable for most home aquariums as they require a lot of space.
  • Despite having shark in its name, the Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark has no relation to sharks.
  • The Wild Population of Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks has sharply declined recently due to collection in the aquarium trade, overfishing, other invasive species, and the blockage of their migratory spawning routes. This sharp decline has landed the Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark on the endangered species list in China and is a state protected fish.
  • Due to their diet, Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks are great at helping with algae control. They are popularly chosen to be displayed in public aquariums and zoos for this reason.
  • It is nearly impossible to breed Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks in captivity, as they are a fish that migrates to spawn. Since breeding can stress these fish, and since it has such a low success rate, it is better to not attempt to breed these fish. 
Chinese High Fin Banded Shark (Myxocyprinus Asiaticus)
Chinese High Fin Banded Shark (Myxocyprinus Asiaticus)

Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark

Chinese High-Fin Banded Fish (Myxocyprinus Asiaticus) are often referred to as ‘Reverse Ugly Ducklings,’ because they start out their lives as strikingly colored fish, and as they mature they lose their colors. When Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks are juveniles, they have black and white striped bodies. The males lose their stripes and take on a reddish hue to their bodies. Females also lose their stripes and take on a more purplish shade.

Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks have flat bellies as they are bottom-dwelling fish, and they have thicker looking lips with no barbels. They have a single row of teeth in their mouths. 

Food & Diet for Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark

Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks are omnivorous, but they prefer to eat mostly plant matter. They are great additions to a pond because they will eat the algae that grows along the rocks and crevices. They actively like to search for algae to eat, and they will also eat any benthic organisms they happen across. Benthic organisms are small aquatic organisms, and the small aquatic larval stages of insects.

In captivity, you don’t have to worry about them being picky eaters. As long as the food you give the sinks to the bottom of the tank, then they will eat it.

Size, Growth Rate, and Lifespan for Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark

Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks have a relatively quick growth rate. They reach about 8 inches in their first year of life, and continue to grow until they reach their maximum size. Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks reach their sexual maturity when they have grown to around 2 feet in length. This happens when they turn roughly 6 years old.

At their full adult size, Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks reach 4 feet long, and 88 lbs. In the wild, Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks can live up to 25 years. You can expect their lifespan in captivity to be around 10 to 15 years, if they are kept in the proper conditions. Keeping them in the appropriate conditions is not only important for their growth but for their health as well. If they are not monitored, and their conditions suffer, they may not reach their full growth potential.

Tank Size for Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark

Tank requirements to keep Chinese high-Fin Banded Sharks can be difficult to meet in a home aquarium. You could keep a juvenile Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark in a 55 gallon aquarium, but it will grow quickly and need to be moved to a much larger tank. Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks do best when kept in a grouping of at least 2 or 3.

For a group of 2 or 3 adult Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks, you will either need an outdoor pond, or a 300 to 800 gallon tank.

Temperature in their aquarium should be kept at around 55F to 75F. Somewhere around the middle of this range is ideal. They should also be kept at around 6.8 to 7.5 pH.

Tank Setup for Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark

When choosing substrate for their tank, you will want to keep in mind that Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks will be spending most of their time at the bottom. It would be best to choose a high quality, fine sand substrate. You can use small stones to give your aquarium a more natural look.

When choosing plants and decor, you will want to keep it natural but not overdo it. You will want to make sure to give them spaces to hide without overcrowding your tank. Hiding space is important for these fish, but swimming space is more important. It is a good idea to leave most of the space in the middle of the aquarium empty so that they have room to roam.

Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks are larger fish, and they produce a lot of waste. You will want to make sure that you have a high powered filtration system. This becomes especially important for the larger aquariums that these fish require.

Can You Put Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks in a Pond?

Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks can be a great addition to your outdoor pond. They get along well with goldfish, koi, and other types of pond fish. Their docile nature makes them an easy fish to place in a community pond setup, since they will not be aggressive to other fish, or territorial of their space. They are able to tolerate a wider temperature range, and are not bothered by a colder climate. These fish will also help eat algae and help keep the pond clean. This is a popular fish to keep in public aquariums and zoos because it provides some help with algae control.

Tank Mates for Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark

Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks are able to be kept with others of the same species and they will even shoal with them. They are most comfortable when kept in a small grouping of at least 2 or 3. Aside from their own species, you can expect your Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks to get along with most other docile species of pond fish.

You will not want to keep Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks with fish that are territorial, or food that will try to compete with it for food.

Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark Disease

Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks are susceptible to many of the same ailments as all freshwater fish.

A common ailment for Chinese HIgh-Fin Banded Sharks to get is Dropsy. Dropsy can be an indicator that the fish has another underlying disease such as a bacterial infection, or parasitic infections. Dropsy is the buildup of fluid inside the body of the fish. You can identify Dropsy by simply looking at your fish. If your fish has a rounded, drooping belly, then it most likely is afflicted with Dropsy. This condition can also be known as bloat.

Dropsy is not a contagious ailment, but if you have fish of the same species in your tank, they could be at risk for developing it as well. There is no cure for Dropsy. Treatment for Dropsy is more about correcting the issue that brought about the Dropsy, and providing the sick fish with support.

The risk of your fish contracting one of these illnesses is largely dependent on the cleanliness of their tank. Many common issues can be prevented by simply establishing a regular cleaning schedule, and monitoring the tank for any fluctuations in their water parameters.

Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark Breeding

Breeding Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks in captivity is almost impossible. To get fish to breed in captivity, it requires certain conditions to be met before the fish will spawn. Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks migrate to reproduce in the wild. When spawned in captivity, the process involves the breeder giving the fish hormones. 

In the wild, Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks migrate to fast moving shallow waters to spawn. Once they are done, they move back into deeper waters.

Trying to breed them in captivity could cause unnecessary stress to your fish, and it is for this reason that it should not be attempted. Stressing out fish is bad for their health, and could cause them to develop a lowered immune response, and in turn make them more susceptible to parasites, fungi, and bacteria. These conditions can cause disease and death in fish.

Where Can I Purchase Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks?

You can purchase Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks in some pet stores, and find sellers online. You can expect to pay around $35 for a juvenile fish that is only a few inches long. You will want to make sure that you are purchasing your fish from a reputable breeder to ensure that you are getting a quality, healthy fish.

Since Chinese High-Fin Banded Sharks are also susceptible to most freshwater ailments, it is a good idea to quarantine any new fish before introducing them into your home aquarium.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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