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Maximum size : 90 cm

Black Sharkminnow - Labeo chrysophekadion : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The stunning Black Shark Minnow (Labeo chrysophekadion) is undoubtedly a sight to behold and frequently available in the aquarium trade. However, their immense growth potential of up to 90cm makes them unsuitable for the average home aquarium. Additionally, these fish are territorial and aggressive, so they may not be the best fit for a community tank. These fish are often sold as juveniles, but as they grow, they become increasingly aggressive towards other tank mates, especially similarly-shaped fish. As a result, it is essential to avoid keeping them with smaller, delicate aquarium species. It is best to keep the Black Shark Minnow in a single-species tank, but suppose you have a large enough aquarium. In that case, you may keep them alongside other similarly sized, robust fish species, such as Cichlids that can handle their aggressive nature or species that mainly occupy the top levels of the tank. It is worth noting that the Black Shark Minnow is often confused with the smaller Red Tailed Black Shark, and hobbyists should be wary of this common mistake. While juveniles of the species are black, the mature fish display a greyish hue with a bright spot on each scale, making them quite striking. In South Asia, these fish are a popular food source due to their large size.

Black Sharkminnow Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

When it comes to juvenile Black Shark Minnows, telling males from females is practically impossible. However, as these fish mature, sexually active females typically develop a deeper body than males and may also grow slightly larger. On the other hand, males tend to have a slimmer and somewhat smaller build.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameLabeo chrysophekadion
Year Described1850
Other NamesBlack Shark, Black Labeo
OriginsLaos Thailand Cambodia Vietnam
Max Size90 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asLoners
Lifespan10 - 15 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH10 - 20
TDS36 - 268
68 - 79
20 - 26

Natural habitat

The elusive Black Shark Minnows have a vast distribution across Southeast Asia, including the Mekong River, which spans across Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, and Myanmar (Burma). They can also be found in the Kapuas River system in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island. These fish are truly adaptable and can thrive in various water conditions.
 Mekong River - Vietnam
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 Kapuas River - Indonesia
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How to breed the Black Sharkminnow

Breeding Black Shark Minnows in an aquarium setting is a challenging task and unlikely to be successful. However, the albino form of this species has been bred successfully in a home aquarium. In the wild, Black Shark Minnows typically spawn after the first thunderstorms of the rainy season, with eggs settling in the shallow water near sandbars along the riverbanks. As the water level rises due to seasonal rains, the eggs hatch, and the fry moves into flooded vegetation along the river bank. The young fish continue to follow the leading edge of rising water levels as the floodwater reaches the land. After reaching maturity, these fish migrate to flooded areas to feed on algae, detritus, periphyton, and phytoplankton. The migration pattern varies depending on the country, with some migrating upstream during the rainy season (March to August) in Laos and Thailand, while others migrate downstream during the dry season (December to March) in Southern Laos. In Cambodia, the migration occurs upstream between October and March.

Diet & feeding

Black Shark Minnows have a diverse diet in their natural habitat, feeding on algae, insect larvae, worms, small crustaceans, and detritus. To maintain their vibrant colours and overall health in the home aquarium, offering them a balanced diet is crucial. Providing a mix of small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, Daphnia, tubifex and Artemia, along with high-quality dried food such as flakes, granules, and pellets, will help fulfil their dietary requirements. Adding fresh plant matter to their diet is also beneficial, and vegetables such as cucumber, shelled peas, blanched courgette, spinach, and chopped fruits are excellent choices. Feeding your Black Shark Minnows two or three times a day is recommended to ensure they receive the nutrition necessary to thrive.

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