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Redtail shark

Redtail shark
(Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)

Be careful, I have a strong character and I'll let you know it! The Red-tailed labeo is as beautiful as it is aggressive. Its maintenance will require some precautions.

This sheet will help you avoid mistakes and keep this species safe.

Scientific name

Epalzeorhynchos bicolor
Labeo bicolor

Common name

Redtail shark
Red-tailed labeo

Origin

what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Thailand
Biotope: Asian

Dimorphism

what are the physical differences between males and females?

The caudal male is bright red, less colored in the female. The female is bigger and more plump

Group

Group

Cyprinidae

Volume

what is the minimum volume for this species?

250 L / 55 imp gal / 66 US gal alone
800 L / 176 imp gal / 211 US gal in group

Water parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 22 to 28°C or 72 to 82°F
pH: 6.5 to 7
Hardness: 5 to 15°dGH

Difficulty

Difficulty

Average

Size

what is the maximum size of this fish?

10 to 15cm (4 to 5.9")

Life expectancy

what is the average life expectancy of this fish?

4 to 15 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle and depth

Individuals

sociability of the species

1 or 5/6

Food

How to feed the Redtail shark?

Food

How to feed the Redtail shark?

Omnivorous: all forms of food are accepted with plant supplements (eg zucchini, cucumber, shucked peas, spinach).

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Redtail shark have?

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Redtail shark have?

When young, it is quite gregarious. However, as it ages, it becomes aggressive, very territorial and it lives alone. Cohabitation with its congeners is possible only in very large volumes (800 L or 210 gal) and with 6 individuals (to establish a stable hierarchy) introduced together from their youngest ages.

Very dynamic and active, it likes big spaces. Its bad temper is ultimately a sense of the very developed territory. If the aquarist is interested, understands and adapts to the territorial rules of the Red-tailed Labeo, it becomes again a calm and serene fish.

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Redtail shark?

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Redtail shark?

Even if the Red-tailed Labeo is often sold to go in a community aquarium, a specific aquarium is recommended. Indeed, if it is the only representative of its species, it will not hesitate to attack all fish in the aquarium and all territorial fish. It is slightly more flexible with non-territorial species. Calm and shy species are therefore to be banned absolutely.

It seems that it leaves in peace the groupers (Syncrossus, Chromobotia, Yasuhikotakia and Botia) while its aggressiveness will focus on its congeners (Epalzeorhynchos) and on fish that resemble it like Crossocheilus, Garra, Balantiocheilus and Gyrinocheilus.

In a large volume (500 L or 130 gal), it can possibly cohabit with large Cichlids with a strong temper, or with some very lively species such as Puntigrus tetrazona (Sumatra barbs), Etroplus or Danios.

At the end, all the population of the aquarium must be thought around the Red-tailed Labeo alone!

Breeding

How to breed the Redtail shark?

Breeding

How to breed the Redtail shark?

The breeding of the Red-tailed Labeo is only very rarely successful. Place in a spawning tank (200 L or 50 gal) consisting of many hiding places and plant clump, 1 male and 1 female. Temperature 24/27°C or 75/80°F and pH at 6.5/7. Powerful filtration will generate a large current. The lighting will be sieved. Spawning takes place within 24 hours. A laying may include up to 1000 eggs. The incubation lasts 36 hours. From the age of one month, add vegetable supplements to their food.

Fry food: infusoria, then nauplies of artemia and cyclops.

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Redtail shark?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Redtail shark?

In general, plan a luxurious aquarium on the outskirts with peat bog roots. For the substrate, opt for a fine sand. Also sift the light with floating plants.

For a more specific aquarium approaching its natural habitat, the tank must look like a flowing river. So you can add rocks of varying sizes and gravel. Also place driftwood branches and plants like Microsorum, Bolbitis or Anubias. Finally, generate a moderate current.

Good to know

Good to know

Find all additional information!

Although robust, its maintenance is rather reserved for aquarists experience due to its very particular character.

In addition, Red-tailed Labeo is sold as a «algae eater», while it is still less effective in this area than Crossocheilus. Do not buy it for this reason or you will have a big problem of cohabitation.

It can become gray or green because of stress.

There is an Albino variety of Epalzeo that would be less aggressive.

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