Everything You Need to Know About the Chinese High Fin Banded Shark

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Are you captivated by an aquatic species so rare and mesmerizing? Then, the Chinese High Fin Banded Shark may be a fish for you to consider! This unique fish is highly admired for its lovely look, gentle nature, and great size. So let us take a plunge into exploring all there is to know about this beautiful finned creature, from where it originates to how we can care for it as well as preserve their population in our waters.

This post offers comprehensive information on the renowned freshwater fish, which goes beyond just familiarizing ourselves with its features. Get ready now because we are diving deep into understanding every detail related to these fascinating fishes like never before!

Key Takeaways

  • The Chinese High Fin Banded Shark is an endangered species native to the Yangtze River Basin in China.
  • With proper care, these sharks can live up to 25 years and grow up to 4.5 feet long, making them a beautiful addition to any large aquarium or outdoor pond.
  • Conservation efforts are needed to protect this species from overfishing, pollution, and collection for the aquarium trade – but you can find captive bred specimens from responsible suppliers starting at $10-$30!

Species Overview

Scientific NameMyxocyprinus asiaticus
Common NamesChinese High Fin Banded Shark, Chinese Banded Shark, High-fin Banded Loach, Wimple Carp, Freshwater Batfish, Topsail Sucker
OriginChina, particularly the Yangtze River basin
Care DifficultyAdvanced
Life Expectancy15 – 25 years (longer lifespan in ponds)
TemperamentPeaceful (but will fish smaller fish)
Tank LevelBottom
Minimum Tank Size300 gallon aquarium or a pond of at least 1000 galloons
Temperature Range60-75°F (16-24°C)
Water Hardness10-20 dKH
pH Range6.0 – 7.5
Filtration/Water FlowModerate to high
Water TypeFreshwater
BreedingEgg layer
Difficulty to BreedVery difficult
CompatibilityBest with similarly sized fish that aren’t overly aggressive
OK, for Planted Tanks?No


The Chinese High Fin Banded Shark, better known as the Chinese Sailfin Sucker Fish, is a freshwater species native to the Yangtze River Basin in China. This remarkable animal serves a role in its local ecosystem and provides vital sustenance for those living nearby. Unfortunately, because of its popularity within aquarium trading circles, this fish has experienced severe drops in wild populations rendering it protected in China.

Despite these obstacles imposed upon them by man-made industry practices, they have nonetheless become highly sought after additions not just inside tanks but also out on a backyard pond all around the world due to their calm demeanor complimented with good looks combined with unique traits.

But before you take up such task, let us look at more closely where this creature comes from, what does he look like & how significant his presence plays back home in its natural habitat?

Origins And Habitat

This species, which only inhabits Asia and belongs to the Catostomidae family of fish, is known as the Chinese High Fin Banded Shark. It can be seen living in many parts of China, including rivers such as Yangtze River Basin, Pearl River Min River or Lake Dianchi, foraging food while also traveling between its habitats due to being a migratory fish.

The natural environment that this unique creature needs is one with a cool temperature and an adequate amount of current so they can receive enough oxygen necessary for them to survive comfortably – something found exclusively in high altitude regions like those surrounding these bodies of water located near mountains.


The Chinese High Fin Banded Shark stands out from other fish due to its distinguished look. Younger versions of this species are identifiable by the stripes on their body, earning them their “banded shark” nickname. Has they get older, the fin becomes smaller.

Chinese High Fin Banded Shark

When fully matured, they take on a single hue depending on gender, males show off red while females are adorned with purple and vertical streaks of red across themselves. This peaceful aquatic creature can grow up to 4 and a half feet in length, which necessitates large habitats such as outdoor ponds or spacious aquariums for adequate growth space. Hence novice aquarists should consider what is needed carefully before welcoming one into captivity.

The distinctive form, dorsal fin, and size of these high fin banded sharks makes an eye-catching addition that will add beauty to any tank environment!

Environmental Importance

The presence of freshwater fish such as the Chinese High Fin Banded Shark is fundamental for keeping rivers, lakes and wetlands in good health. These species are essential to maintain food chain balance and keeping their habitants tidy. This makes them key players that need local protection.

You should never purchase a wild caught Chinese High Fin Shark, there are plenty of captive breed species available. It may take some time to find them, but we will go over that in more detail on where to purchase them.

Conservation Status

The Chinese High Fin Banded Shark is a highly endangered species that has been officially listed on the Chinese Red Book of Endangered Species1. It is listed as a second-class state-protected animal. Its decline in wild populations is caused by overfishing, pollution, and its use as an aquarium fish.

So much so that it’s become locally extinct in some regions like Min. As aquarists, we have to take responsibility for helping maintain this unique finned animal’s future survival: buying captive-bred specimens instead and making sure proper practices are taken when using these creatures for their aquarium trade purpose can make all the difference!


The High Fin Banded Shark of China can life up to 10-15 years in the wild, yet with good care this species can live for even 25 years. Those bred in captivity who are given appropriate conditions and attention throughout their lives have a similar life expectancy as those living freely.

If incorrect tankmates or unsuitable water quality is provided, it will reduce the lifespan of these fish dramatically. Giving your Chinese high fin banded sharks ample space and adequate nutrition ensures they live long, prosperous lives, enabling you to enjoy observing them time after time!

Size And Growth Patterns

The Chinese High Fin Banded Shark stands out due to its impressive size and how quickly it grows. As juveniles, they have a beautiful striped pattern, but adult specimens feature one solid coloration along with different physical characteristics. This species can get quite large.

They are usually sold in pet stores when they are only a few inches. However, adult size fish reach up to 4.5 feet in length, which means that fish keepers will require large home aquariums or outdoor pond if looking to keep them healthy and happy at home. Before considering the high fin banded shark for their collection, potential owners must be sure they can provide this type of environment before taking on such a unique fish as part of their family!

Caring For Your Chinese High Fin Banded Shark

For a Chinese High Fin Banded Shark to thrive, it is key that their habitat and dietary needs are attended to. Providing them with adequate tank size as well as the correct water conditions will ensure they receive an environment that allows them proper socialization while meeting all of their requirements for comfort.

Tank Size

When keeping Chinese High Fin Banded Sharks in captivity, the size of their tank is essential. 55 gallons can be suitable for younger specimens. As they mature, larger tanks or even backyard ponds are needed to provide enough swimming space and prevent them from being stressed out due to inadequate environments.

Adults require a minimum capacity of 300 gallons if you want your high fin banded fish to remain healthy and safe. Don’t take these prerequisites lightly, proper housing must always be ensured when dealing with such species as Chinese high fin banded sharks.

Water Parameters

The Chinese High Fin Banded Shark needs a habitat that is similar to its natural habitat, characterized by low-to-moderate water flow and cool water temperature between 55-75°F. With an optimum range of 55–68°F. A neutral to alkaline pH level in the 7.0 – 8.0 zone is best for these fish to be comfort. Check your ammonia and nitrate levels as well. Here are some general parameters for you to follow:

Constant checking on ammonia levels as well as nitrites should always occur before water changes. Keeping your parameters in check will keep your fish’s stress level low.

Diet And Nutrition

To ensure good health and wellbeing for their Chinese High Fin Banded Shark, owners should provide a balanced diet that includes fish food such as flakes, pellets and pond fish pellets. Organic material like green hair algae, soft cold water plants or snails can be added to give variety in the meals while also providing essential nutrients.

Invertebrates, including worms, insect larvae, shrimp may also be offered. Offer a varied diet like this will help them preserve their magnificent looks whilst keeping them as healthy as possible!

Social Interaction And Behavior

When picking tankmates for Chinese High Fin Banded Sharks, it is essential to consider the size and disposition of other fish as well as their aquatic habitat requirements. It is also necessary to keep in mind how these conditions fit with those of the banded shark so that they can live harmoniously. These high fin sharks are peaceful by nature, but will eat fish much smaller than them.

Amongst themselves, they do best in groups. Keeping 3-4 individuals together ensures that these creatures have a secure and comfortable atmosphere.

Choosing Compatible Tank Mates

It is very important to select the appropriate companions for Chinese High Fin Banded Sharks in order to have a nonaggressive community tank or pond. These sharks tend to stay at the base of their aquarium or pond during daylight hours, so it’s necessary that any other fish chosen don’t try to compete or bother them while resting.

By looking into each potential mate’s compatibility carefully, you can create an environment where all your pet creatures thrive harmoniously together!

Good Tank Mates

Kawarimono Koi Types

When choosing suitable tank mates for your Chinese High Fin Banded Shark, it’s important to look for peaceful fish species that have similar water requirements. Ideal options when it comes to selecting companions include non-aggressive fish like:

These are all peaceful species that will not cause any undue stress on your high finned friends! Steer clear from overly territorial fish. Fish that can bully them could put them at risk within the aquarium or pond home. Remember that stress is the #1 killer in aquariums and ponds. Keep life peaceful and chill for your Chinese Hi Fin Shark.

Monitoring how well the aquarium inhabitants get along is a must. Offering plenty of hidey-holes as well as designated territories within their space creates an environment where all aquatic animals feel secure.

Bad Tank Mates

Chinese High Fin Banded. Sharks are usually calm and can coexist with other fish, but some species should be avoided to protect the shark from possible harm. Careful evaluation of potential tank mates is necessary so all aquatic creatures live harmoniously together without causing unnecessary stress or physical damage. To guarantee a safe environment for your high fin banded sharks, it’s important to stay away from aggressive fish that occupy similar habitats as them. Here are a few bad examples:

Bottom dwellers like Plecos and catfish, while big enough to house, will fight. Small fish that do not reproduce fast, like Minnows or Rice Fish are also bad options. Ideally, the Chinese Banded Shark is best suited in a pond with full grown Goldfish and/or Koi fish.

Challenges Of Breeding In Captivity

The breeding of Chinese High Fin Banded Sharks in captivity is a significant task, considering the fish’s natural habits of migrating to certain places for spawning. Although it may be possible to recreate these migratory behaviors within an aquarium or pond, inducing such conditions with hormones are often employed by those keeping them domestically in China.

This practice is common with commercial breeders and can lead to stress. This method should only be done by experienced owners who have studied their specific requirements and behavior patterns carefully.

Alternatives To The Chinese High Fin Banded Shark

If you are considering a shark-like fish but cannot meet the needs of the Chinese High Fin Banded Shark, there are many alternatives for your aquarium or pond. Here are a few:

  • Bala Sharks
  • Red-tailed Black Sharks
  • Roseline Sharks
  • Rainbow Sharks
  • Long-finned Apollos

Keep in mind that if you want a pond fish, the Roseline will be the best candidate as it can tolerate cold water the best of the ones listed.

Sharks offer unique looks and behaviors that will keep any aquatic environment vibrant. Before settling on one species it is important to ensure their care requirements can be met, as they all need specific parameters in order to thrive and live happily.

Where To Get A Chinese High Fin Banded Shark

If you would like to add a Chinese High Fin Banded Shark to your aquarium or pond, make sure that the supplier is reputable and trustworthy. Get information on where they came from- if it’s not captive bred there could be an impact made on wild populations of these fish. Prices range around $10-$30 depending on size and age.

Choosing a healthy animal raised in captivity will help conserve their species while also providing stunning beauty for aquarists and ponds alike! If you are having trouble finding them at local pet stores, consider purchasing them from an online dealer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Chinese hi fin sucker?

The Chinese High Fin Banded Shark, also known as the Topsail Sucker, Chinese high fin sucker, hi fin sharks, Chinese banded sharks, or Myxocyprinus Asiaticus, is an eye-catching freshwater fish. With its attractive hues and extended dorsal fin, it makes for a stunning addition to any aquarium.

Another name frequently used in place of this species of fin banded shark is the Chinese Sailfin Sucker – though all these monikers refer to one particular type. The high fin banded variety.

What is the temperament of a high fin shark?

Chinese High Fin Sharks are well suited for living in community tanks. Usually, these sharks will cruise around the tank during most of their day and spend some time resting near the floor. For them to stay active, they require plenty of room within their aquarium space. These peaceful fishes make a great companion and add beauty to any environment that they inhabit!

What do Chinese high fin banded sharks eat?

Chinese High Fin Banded. Sharks have a varied diet, so you can feed them a combination of live foods, such as earthworms, bloodworms, and tubifex worms, along with crustaceans, insects, mollusks, and pieces of shrimp.

For vegetables, they enjoy zucchini and seaweed too. In short, it’s an exciting menu for this freshwater fish!

Can Chinese high fin shark live in a pond?

Experts believe that the Chinese high fin shark should have no problem thriving in a pond environment. This type of shark is small and requires minimal food sources, so as long as the water space is ample with sufficient oxygenation levels they ought to be able to survive there comfortably.

If all necessary research has been conducted on how to properly maintain this species in your pond habitat then you can rest assured it will make for an ideal home for them!

How long do Chinese high fin sharks live?

If you’re looking for a pet fish with long-term potential, consider the Chinese high fin shark. They have an impressive lifespan of up to 25 years and can provide great joy to aquarists who take care of them properly!

High fins require special attention if they are going to thrive in their environment, but doing so will guarantee many enjoyable moments over their lengthy life span.


As an owner of a large aquarium or outdoor pond, the Chinese High Fin Banded Shark is an eye-catching addition to any space. With its remarkable size and peaceful temperament combined with striking coloring, this species of freshwater fish have become truly iconic in the pond industry. To guarantee their well being for years ahead, it is essential that they are supplied ample nourishment alongside suitable tankmates as well as fostering conditions that mimic those found in nature closely.

Have you kept this fish in the past? Let us know about your experience in the comments below. We would like to hear more. Until next time!

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