Red Tailed Shark (Epalzeorhynchus bicolor)

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Red Tailed Shark

Epalzeorhynchos bicolor1.jpg
Red Tailed Shark

Epalzeorhynchus bicolor

150 Litres (39.6)

10-12 cm (3.9-4.7")




6.5 - 7.5

22 -26 °C (71.6-78.8°F)

8-15 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods
Other (See article)

10-15 years



Additional names

Red Tailed Shark, Redtail Shark, Redtail Sharkminnow, Red-Tailed Black Shark, Red Tailed Labeo

Additional scientific names

Labeo bicolor, Epalzeorhynchus bicolor


Originally from Mae Klong River in Thailand, but may already be extinct in nature, and is therefore listed on the Red list of endangered animals.


A difficult fish to visually sex. Females are usually larger. Females have a grey stomach, males are solid black.

Tank compatibility[edit]

This fish mainly dwells on the bottom levels of the tank and will guard its own territory. It is aggressive towards its own species and any other shark-like fish. Only keep with top-dwelling medium-sized peaceful but robust and fast-swimming fish, as it may also bully other bottom dwellers.


An omnivorous fish that will accept catfish pellets to make a good staple. A vegetable component to the diet is recommended.

Feeding regime[edit]

May be fed up to three times daily, though once a day is sufficient.

Environment specifics[edit]

Not a small species, so consider adult size when choosing an aquarium. If co-inhabiting the aquarium with other species, a 3 foot long by 1 foot wide aquarium should be considered a healthy minimum. Cover in the form of real or artificial plants is appreciated as with most fish, and a couple of caves or hiding crevices are useful to lessen any possible aggression. Like a lot of fish, the Red Tail Black Shark will jump out of the aquarium if given the opportunity and it does not feel comfortable. This fish will also fight with its relative, the rainbow shark and prefers a densely planted tank with hiding spaces.


Although a bottom dweller, the Red Tailed Shark can be an aggressive fish at times. Depending on the personality of the individual fish it may not be appropriate to keep with community fish. If a fish were to stray into the red tailed shark's territory, depending on its attitude, it might try to attack the fish. It is usually intolerant of other members of it's species and more than one should be kept at the risk of fighting between the two and eventual death.


Quite a distinctive animal, those unfamiliar may confuse it with the Rainbow Shark, however the Red Tailed Shark only has a red tail where as all of the Rainbow Shark's fins are red. The Red Tailed Shark is also usually a much darker black. An albino variation is also available.



External links[edit]