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Does anyone know if loaches and/or sharks use electric fields to find food? Not ocean sharks, but red-tail, rainbow, and bala sharks. I'm not crazy! Some fish do generate electric fields. Many saltwater sharks and rays can detect electric impulses given outby living things. In freshwater, there are electric catfish and ,of course, electric eels. Most fish that use electricity use it to navigate murky water and to locate food, but some can actualy stun or kill with elevtric jolts. A good friend of mine had an electric catfish that lived in a tank full of very aggressive snakeheads. When threatened the catfish would stiffen his body and vibrate for a second. Suddenly the attacking snakehead would dart away looking very shocked. The only other time I have seen anything like that is when I feed brine shrimp into my community tank. The rainbow shark will stiffen, then drift unerringly to the nearest brine shrimp. I wonder if he is finding them with electric sense. If anyone knows anything about this, I would be very greatful to hear your thoughts. Thanks
 

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Many (all?) of the fish in the mormyrid family generate electrical fields and use them to navigate. The BGK does as well, which is why it is as good of a swimmer backwards as it is forwards. It's amazing to watch that thing navigate the tank during feeding time - on its side, it can rotate on an axis, working around obstacles. It's really something to see.

I don't know of any other aquarium fish that are considered electrical (besides the catfish and eel?) - have never come across anything in my readings about the FW sharks being electrical, or loaches.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
anyone

Thanks for your input. Much appreciated. I'm still wondering if loaches and sharks have some kind of sixth sense. They are just so weird and ... I don't know... they seem to .... know things.
Has anyone seen electric catfish for sale? I looked on fish profiles and there is no entry. Snakeheads are now illeagle in New York state, maybe electric cats are too?
 

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I'm not sure about electric catfish laws, I think they're all wild-caught, and not very common in the trade. I'm pretty sure that the snakeheads have been blacklisted almost everywhere, due to them being released into the waterways and wreaking havoc. One of our members had an electric cat, amazing critter, but they need a LOT of space. . . she lives in California, but if you wanted more input on these fish, I'm sure she could give you some. Her old journal on Sparky can be found here. . . miss that funny lil' guy! :(

I adore loaches, but have never read that they have super powers, those barbels are pretty magical, though! ^_^
 

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All fish do have a sixth sense. It's called the lateral line. It's literally a line of cells running down their sides that enable them to detect movement in the water. Really interesting stuff. I can't imagine that is what he's doing, tho.

But I can tell you there is no scientific or anecdotal evidence to suggest that loaches or freshwater sharks use electricity to hunt. Sounds to me more like he's using a sense of smell.
 

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They can detect movement because the cells feel the changes in pressure.
 
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