sharks or Epalzeorhynchus
belong to the
Cyprinidae. This family of
fish is also known as Cyprinids. In
laymen’s term the red-tail is a member of the carp family.
red-tailed black shark was native to Thailand. But sadly, they are now
extinct in the wild. All the red-tails available in fish stores today
are commercially raised products of the aquarium trade industry.
black sharks of
course bear no relation to sharks. Their
name is purely descriptive. They have a
black, torpedo shaped body with
a profile reminiscent to that of a sharks. This includes a sharp
triangular shaped dorsal fin. Their bright red caudal fin (tail)
completes their visual appearance and name.
As with any
member of the
carp family they are primarily bottom
dwelling scavenger fish. Scavenger fish can be identified by their
downward pointed mouths with varying sets of barbels on either side.
Barbels are whisker-like sensory organs that contain taste buds much
like your tongue. Their primary function is for locating food. They
serve a secondary function of enabling the fish to find its way along
riverbed basins at night or in murky water.
considered compatible in community tanks.
Interspecies conflicts are rare. But a more robust fish such as barbs,
larger tetras, and the less timid cichlids, are a good choice as
tank-mates. As with most bottom dwellers it is a good idea to provide
rock work or hollow aquarium décor for resting and hiding.
When it comes
cohabitation with members of their own species
they tend become extremely territorial; especially the males. The
dominant male will often chase the submissive male around. They have
been known to harass their less dominant counterpart depriving them of
any chance to rest or eat. This often results in the death of the
submissive red-tail. Fellow bottom dwellers have also been known to
bring out the red-tails territorial instincts. They may become
combative with red-finned sharks and Siamese algae eaters. So if a
red-tail is your scavenger of choice it is a good idea to allow him to
be the king of his substrate domain.
wider tolerance range to pH levels than most
other fish. Anywhere from 6.5-7.5 will suffice. Acceptable water
temperatures are 72-79 °F. They can reach 5 inches. They
don’t tend to
grow as long in smaller aquariums. Females are typically a little
smaller than males. Their life expectancy is up to six years.
They can usually fend for themselves just
fine with food scraps on the aquarium substrate. However food such as
sinking wafers will insure their nutritional needs are meant.
spacious environment of fish farms produces enough of these
fish to keep their prices very reasonable at your local retailer or
online fish-mart. This is a good thing since they are extinct in their
natural habitats and rarely breed in aquariums. Their innate aggressive
behavior and the aquarium owners’ tendency to purchase a
scavenger fish undoubtedly contributes to this rarity.
Page For Future