Max Size: 16cm

Red Tail Black Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)

The Red Tail Black Shark falls into the same family as carp and minnows. They have a long and thin body that is shaped very much like a torpedo. Their bodies are black, and their tails are bright red; their dorsal fin begins roughly halfway back on their body; hence, they are mistaken for actual sharks.

You have to provide them with hiding places such as caves to help make them feel secure. Also, ensure you have a tight-fitting hood because they are known to be excellent jumpers.

Many hobbyists mistakenly decide to add more than one of these sharks to a small tank which doesn't work out as you will find out because one of them will soon become the dominant "shark", which will then chase and pester the others relentlessly.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameEpalzeorhynchos bicolor
Other NamesRed Tail Shark, Fire Tail, Red Tailed Labeo, Red Tailed Shark
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asLoners
Lifespan5 - 8
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH10 - 16
KH10 - 1
73 - 79℉
22.8 - 26.1℃
Red Tail Black Shark
Red Tail Shark Juvenile
Red Tail Shark
Red Tail Shark
Red tail black shark
Red-tailed black shark

Natural Habitat

This species originates from the rivers, streams and waterways of Thailand. There is only one known population of red tail sharks in the wild, in the Chao Phraya basin's clear waters and floodplains as far South as Bangkok.

Water flow should be fast to replicate the Red Tail Black Shark's natural habitat.

Other Sharks of interest

Bala Shark(Balantiocheilos Melanopterus)
Black Sharkminnow(Labeo chrysophekadion)
Chinese High Fin Banded Shark(Myxocyprinus Asiaticus)
Rainbow Shark(Epalzeorhynchos Frenatum)
Siamese Algae Eater(Crossocheilus oblongus)
Silver Flying Fox(Crossocheilus reticulatus)
View All Sharks

What to feed the Red Tail Black Shark

Redtail sharks will happily eat high-quality flake or pellet food, high-quality plant-based food, along with traditional quality flake food.

They will also graze on algae, and you should supply green vegetables to balance their diet.

You can also feed the sharks frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworm, and they seem especially partial to frozen daphnia.

How to Sex the Red Tail Black Shark

This species is tough to sex. Female sharks are usually larger, fuller and wider where the males will be more slender; the females have a greyer duller colour rather than solid black like that of the male. Also, females have a more curved dorsal fin.

How to Breed the Red Tail Black Shark

You will find it extremely difficult to breed this species, especially when people tend to keep no more than one at a time unless you have a large aquarium, and even then, the success rate isn't high.

The only way it's possible is if you use hormone treatment.

Frquently asked questions about the Red Tail Black Shark

Are Red Tail Sharks aggressive?

The Red Tail Shark is very territorial and can be overly aggressive, especially to their species and fish of a similar appearance, such as the Rainbow Shark, Sliver Flying Fox and some algae eating loaches.

It is recommended to house these fish with other semi-aggressive fish or ensure the aquarium is large enough for the other fish to escape harassment. In keeping with other shark type species ensure there is a group, so the aggression is more distributed instead of focused on a single fish.

Are Red Tail Sharks okay with Amano and other shrimp?

The red tail shark is an omnivore, so it could predate on smaller shrimp, so if you plan to breed your shrimp, you should avoid Red Tail sharks and, in general, avoid the addition of all fish to your aquarium for the highest yield. Because Amano shrimp does not reproduce in freshwater and is more significant than most other aquarium shrimp types, these are your safest option.

We have maintained Red Tail Sharks with adult cherry and Amano shrimp in the past without problems.

Can red tail shark live with guppies?

While red tail sharks can be aggressive to their tank mates, they will rarely bite or damage the other fish. However, because guppies sleep on the bottom during nighttime, you may find their fins nipped occasionally. It may be best to avoid housing guppies with more extended fined types of guppies with red-tailed sharks, especially if you value pristine tails.

Is the Red Tail Shark a real shark?

No, the Red Tail Shark is not related to real sharks in any way, the name shark was obtained due to its triangular dorsal fin and similar overall shape in comparison to real sharks.

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Date Added: 20/05/2020 - Updated: 17/11/2021 03:29:47