Red Tail Shark Size report

Red Tail Shark in tankRed-tail shark (scientific name: Epalzeorhynchos bicolor) is one of the most common tropical fish species native to Thailand. Red Tail Sharks are an eye-catching freshwater fish with their simple but striking appearance. This species has gotten a lot of interest from the aquarium community.

The origin of its name is obvious when you see one. The majority of their body is black except for their caudal fin, which is red. These fish are more than just pretty. They are fairly easy to care for and can be low-maintenance if you place them in the right tank with the proper environment and temperature.

You might see these freshwater aquarium sharks quite a bit in tanks, and they are talked about in forums worldwide as well. This article introduces a lot of what you need to know if you want to keep these little black-red fish.

Red Tail Shark Descriptions

The red tail shark is not a shark. The "shark" name came from their dorsal fin, similar to an actual shark. This fish is also known as Labeo bicolor, firetail, red-tailed black shark, etc. The red tail shark is a member of the Cyprinidae family of tropical freshwater fish and originates from the streams and waterways of Thailand. There was a highly condensed population of red tail sharks in Bueng Boraphet, the largest freshwater lake and swamp area in the middle portion of Thailand.

Red Tail Black Shark

Quick Facts

Scientific nameEpalzeorhynchos bicolor
FamilyCyprinidae
DistributionThailand
ColorBlack-red
SizeUp to 6 inches
Lifespan5-8 years
TemperamentAggressive
Minimum tank size55 gallons
Water temperature72°–79°F (22°–26°C)
TankmateLive alone

Appearance

The red tail shark is very similar to another cyprinid, the rainbow shark. The difference is the color of the fins. All 6 of the Rainbow Shark’s fins are red, and the Red Tail Shark is completely black except for its red tail. The red tail sharks are shaped like a jet and have a streamlined body with a pointed snout which helps them power through high flow areas. If you look closely, you will notice they have several barbels on their snout.

rainbow shark and red tail shark

Average Size

The red-tailed shark only grows up to 6 inches long, and most only reach 5 inches.

Lifespan

The average red-tailed shark lifespan is between 5 and 8 years. They will live longer if you keep them in great habitats and reduce stress by keeping them with the proper tank mates.

Red Tail Shark Care

The red tail black shark is a territorial fish that will chase other fish away from their territory or become aggressive during feeding. It would be best to have a large tank, especially if you plan to keep them with other species. The red-tailed shark should not be kept with extremely docile or peaceful fish. It is highly recommended to house only one of these species.

Tank

The aquarium tank recommended to keep the red-tail shark is at least 55-gallons. The tank should be decorated with several places for this fish to hide. The red tail shark will enjoy a well-planted tank with caves or driftwood for shelter. The tank should also have a tight-fitting lid because the tropical freshwater fish species are known to jump out of tanks.

The red tail shark was assumed to be extinct as recently as 2011. Even though it has been verified that this fish is still around in the wild, their numbers are a fraction of what they once were. This species is extremely hard to have sex with, which is one of the reasons why their number is reducing.


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