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Redtail Black Shark Fact Sheet
The Black Redtail Shark, Epalzeorhynchos bicolour, also called The Red tail shark, Redtail Shark minnow, Red-tailed labeo, Redtailed Shark, Red-tailed Black Sharkminnow and the tail of fire. The scientific name was Labeo bicolour. The genus is sometimes misspelled Epalzeorhynchus.
Of course it is not a true shark, as it is more closely related to lagoons and rays. This fish was native to Thailand and was found in the Chao Phraya River basin. They were in the streams and wetlands of this river area. There were also reports of it in the Mekong.
The Black Redtail Shark can reach a length of about 7 inches (18 cm) and can live up to about 15 years.
The Black Redtail Shark is probably extinct in the wild. It is uncertain why he disappeared. Although the collection of wild fish for the aquarium trade is suspected, it seems more likely that changes in its habitat are the real cause.
The Redtail Black Sharks available now are captive bred fish produced mainly in lakes in Thailand.
The Redtail Black Shark prefers fairly soft water, but will adapt to neutral water with moderate hardness. This is a tropical fish and a temperature between 22 and 26 degrees C (72-78 degrees F) is ideal, although the fish will survive for a while at higher temperatures.
This is a big fish, so it needs a big tank. While they can certainly be kept in a 3ft (90cm) tank, longer than that is recommended. Plenty of hiding places should be provided by objects such as rocks or driftwood, as well as plants.
The Black Redtail Shark is an omnivore, eating plant material as well as animal food. Their mouth is on the bottom of their head, so they are more adapted to eating pellets or wafer-type fish foods on the bottom than flakes on the surface of the water.
The Redtail Black Shark is territorial. This means that in most cases it is best to have only one of this species in your aquarium. If you have two, they will fight and eventually the dominant fish will end up killing the weaker one.
In aquarium stores (including ours) you will often see many small black redtail sharks together. living in apparent harmony. As long as they are small, they will tolerate the presence of rational numbers of their kind for a while. However, if the number drops to less than 4, one fish will become dominant. This dislike of their own species also applies to similar-looking related fish.
They will tolerate different types of fish better, but you should choose ones that are lively and not too small, so avoid the smaller ones like tetras, barbs and Rasboras. Larger tetras, barbs and Rasboras are better.
Susceptibility to diseases
The Black Redtail Shark, like its relative, the Clown Loach, is quite vulnerable to white spot, or Ich, caused by the parasite Ichthyophthirius multifilis. This is easily curable as long as it is caught early. Use one of the dye type treatments at half rate.
The Redtail Black Shark is very rarely bred in aquariums. Commercial fish are generally farmed in ponds, often with the help of hormones.
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