Red Tail Shark: Care Guide, Tankmeat and Diet

Red Tail Sharks are eye-catching freshwater fish. Their simple yet attractive appearance is something you do not see in other species. Because of their attractive appearance, this fish has gotten a lot of interest from many aquarists across the world.

If you place them in the right habitat they are actually fairly easy to care for and can be low-maintenance.

Care Level:Moderate.
Color Form:Black, Red.
Lifespan:5-6 Years.
Size:Up to 6 inches.
Minimum Tank Size:55+ Gallons.
Tank Setup:Tropical Freshwater: Rocks, Caves & Plants.
Compatibility: Moderate.

Origin of Red Tail Shark

They are freshwater fish that is found in Thailand. This species is now considered to be Critically Endangered. It has been verified that this fish is still around in the wild, their number is a fraction of what they once were.

The appearance of Red Tail Shark

The Red Tail Shark from a color standpoint, there are only two colors to mention black & red. They also have a classic shark-like appearance. The majority of their body is completely black with no deviation or pattering anywhere even on the fins. But that all changes when you get to the caudal fin.

Red Tail Shark
Red Tail Shark

It is their dorsal fin that is similar in appearance to a shark, which is where its name comes from. They have long and slim with flattened sides and a curved back body. You will notice they have red eyes, and their mouth has two pairs of barbs.

You can expect them to grow up to 6 inches. If your shark is unhealthy or stressed you will notice its red tail starts to fade in color.

You won’t be able to tell the difference between male and female at birth. However, as the female matures, you will notice females have a fatter and well-round abdomen.

Sometimes the Red Tail Sharks are confused with the Rainbow Shark. They both belong to the Cyprinidae family, they are in fact separate breeds. The rainbow Sharks also have red fins. You must not keep both Red Tail Shark and Rainbow Shark in the same tank as they will fight.

The behavior of Red Tail Shark

As a young Red Tail Shark, you will find them to be fairly timid. Give them plenty of spaces to hide. When they mature into adults they will become territorial and can be aggressive to fish that stray into their territory. Most of the time they will swim near the bottom of the tank.

Large tank 200+ gallons with a large number of hiding places it is possible to keep several Epalzeorhynchos bicolor (scientific name of Red Tail Shark) species, however, each fish will require at least 1 meter of the tank length.

Tank Requirement for Red Tail Shark

They are known for being territorial, 29 gallons tank for juveniles and adults should be placed in at least 55+ gallons tank. You should make a lot of hiding places for your fish. Use caves, driftwood and ensure the tank is well planted.

Water conditions in the aquarium should be as follows:

  • Temperature: 72oF and 79oF.
  • pH: 6.8 – 7.5
  • Water Hardness: 5 – 15 dH

Make sure the water is fast flowing to replicate their natural environment. Use gravel and pebbles for the substrate.

Red Tail Shark Diet

They are an omnivore and in the wild they are diet will consist of plants, crustaceans, and other small insects. They will eat most things you put into the aquarium including flack, pellets, live and frozen foods. You should be comprised of high-quality pellet or flake. You can also add some variety to this with meats and plants.

Meet you can feed them:

  • Brine Shrimp.
  • Krill.
  • Bloodworms.

Plants you can feed them:

  • Cucumber.
  • Peas.
  • Zucchini.

If you feed vegetables make sure you cut them into small pieces before feeding them.

Tankmates for Red Tail Shark

The Red Tail Shark is not exactly the ideal candidate for community tank, even though you can keep them with other fish. You just need to be careful with your selection. The ideal Tankmates should be robust, fast, and tend to spend their time in the middle and upper levels of the water. Some fish that you can keep with them :

  • Bala Shark.
  • Barbs.
  • Danios.
  • Angelfish.
  • Gouramis.

Hey, I am Shuvradeb Biswas a content writer. Fishkeeping is my hobby. There are many problems I faced during my first fishkeeping. So, I made the blog to help new fishkeepers.

Leave a Comment