Red-tailed black shark
The red-tailed black shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor; syn. Labeo bicolor), also referred to as the redtail shark and redtail sharkminnow, is a species of freshwater fish from the carp family, Cyprinidae. It’s endemic into Thailand found in the clear waters and floodplains in the Menam Chao Playa basin, however, due to excessive poaching, it was thought to have become extinct. and now seriously compromised, however frequent at aquaria, where it’s prized for its deep black figure and vivid reddish or orange tail. The red-tailed black sharks found from the aquarium trade now are captive bred.
This fish is widely famous for its impressive appearances; it’s an entirely black figure with a vibrant forked reddish tail. Regardless of what its title would suggest, this fish has been in fact a kind of carp, not a shark belongs into the Cyprinidae family. In captivity, you need to expect your fish to grow around 6 inches with most rising to 5 inches, and it ought to live to about 6 years of age. Owing to the territorial nature, they need to be held in massive aquariums. It’s an omnivore rather than a fussy eater, eating most items put into the volcano.
Physical Characteristics: The Red-tailed Black Shark is notable for its striking color contrast. It has a dark black or deep grey body with a vibrant red tail, hence its name. The fish has a streamlined, elongated body and can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length. Its mouth is surrounded by a pair of short barbels, which are sensory organs used for detecting food and navigating their environment.
Red Tail Shark in Aquarium
Here are some important factors to consider for its care and maintenance:
Tank Setup and Conditions: The Red-tailed Black Shark is an active swimmer and requires a spacious tank to thrive. A minimum tank size of 55 gallons is recommended, but a larger tank would be even better.
They prefer freshwater aquariums with a neutral to slightly acidic pH (around 6.8 to 7.5), and a temperature range between 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 26 degrees Celsius).
This species appreciates a tank that mimics its natural habitat. It prefers a tank with plenty of hiding spots such as caves or densely planted areas, as well as open swimming spaces. A substrate of fine gravel or sand, along with driftwood and rocks, can help replicate the natural environment.
Diet and Feeding: Red-tailed Black Sharks are omnivorous, and their diet should reflect this. High-quality pellets or flake food can serve as the basis of their diet, supplemented with occasional servings of live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. They also appreciate plant matter and vegetables, which can help improve their digestion and overall health.
Behavior and Tank Mates: Red-tailed Black Sharks are known for their territorial behavior. They often claim a part of the tank as their own, and can become aggressive towards other fish that enter their territory. This behavior is especially pronounced towards other bottom-dwelling fish and members of the same species. Suitable tank mates for the Red-tailed Black Shark can be robust and fast swimming fish that spend most of their time in the upper levels of the tank. Avoid keeping them with much smaller fish, as they might become targets for the shark’s aggressive behavior.
Choosing tank mates for Red-tailed Black Shark requires consideration due to their territorial nature. It’s best to avoid other bottom-dwelling fish as they could become targets of aggression. Here are some examples of suitable tank mates:
- Large Barbs: Species like Tiger Barbs and Rosy Barbs are usually robust enough to coexist with Red-tailed Black Sharks.
- Rainbowfish: Their swift, upper-tank swimming helps them avoid conflicts with the shark.
- Gouramis: Larger, peaceful Gouramis can do well, but avoid smaller, more timid species.
- Danios: Especially larger Danios, like Giant Danios, can be good companions as they are fast and occupy the upper parts of the tank.
- Loaches: Species like Clown Loaches or YoYo Loaches can be suitable as they are also bottom dwellers but usually can hold their own.
- Certain Cichlids: Non-aggressive cichlids, like the Blood Parrot Cichlid, can be a good choice as they are sturdy and usually peaceful.
Always monitor behavior when introducing new tank mates. If aggression occurs, consider rearranging the tank decorations to disrupt established territories or remove the offending fish if necessary.
Breeding: Breeding Red-tailed Black Sharks in captivity is very challenging, and there’s little documentation of successful breeding in home aquariums. Most of the Red-tailed Black Sharks available in the pet trade are bred in commercial farms.
Health: Like all fish, Red-tailed Black Sharks are susceptible to common fish diseases such as ich or fin rot. Maintaining high water quality with regular water changes and monitoring can help prevent most common diseases.
Aquarist Experience Level: Moderate
Minimum Tank Size: at least 55 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Behaviors: semi-aggressive fish.
Water Conditions: 72° to 80° F, pH 6.5 -7.6
Size: normally 6 inches.
Lifespan: 5-6 years