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Redtail Shark

(Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F, KH 10-15, pH 6.5-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Southeast Asia, Thailand   • Family: Cyprinidae
• Species: Sharks   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Redtail Shark native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Redtail Sharks have beautiful jet black bodies with vibrant red tail fins. They are a medium sized tropical community species that is considered semi-aggressive with kept in a medium to large community aquarium, but can often be more aggressive if kept in too small of an aquarium with similarly sized and shaped tank mates. However, when this species is kept in 55 gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of plants, driftwood and rock-work, it can be an excellent long-lived tank mate.

In the wild this species live in tropical waterways in and near Thailand where it is used to an environment with an abundance of plants and tree roots. It is best to emulate their natural habitat as best as possible in the aquarium, as this will help the Redtail Shark feel more at home in the aquarium and allow it to establish a suitable territory within the aquarium.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Redtail Shark in the home aquarium.

Redtail Sharks are known as much for their territorial aquarium behavior as their striking coloration and pleasing shark-like body shape. However, this should not keep a moderately experienced aquarium keeper from keeping the Redtail Shark in a medium to large community aquarium environment. This species will often claim large territories within the aquarium and will become quite aggressive towards other of its own kind or similarly shaped species like Rainbow Sharks.

This aggressive nature can be mitigated by providing multiple areas in the aquarium that contain substantial driftwood, plants and rock formations to create various territories within the aquarium. Medium to Large community aquariums of 90 gallons or more that contain plenty of driftwood, plants and rock formations should be able to support Redtail Sharks and similarly sized and shaped specimens provided the aquarium has lots of aqua-scaping.

Larger aquariums of 125 gallons or more that are heavily aqua-scaped with plants, driftwood and rock formations can easily support Redtail Sharks with other similar species like Rainbow Sharks. Redtail Sharks do very well with boisterous species like barbs, tetra and rainbowfish and will generally not bother smaller fish species as long as they are in a suitable aquarium setup.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Redtail Shark and provide a healthy diet.

Redtail Sharks are very easy to feed as they will readily consume a large variety of meaty and plant-based foodstuffs. They will take food from the waters surface, the water column and even food resting on the aquarium substrate. It is best to feed this species a varied diet that contains a combination of meaty and vegetable flake and pellet foods, freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex worms and even vegetable based pellets and wafers.

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