Red-tailed Black Shark Profile

Red-tailed Black Sharks

Common name: Red-tailed Black Shark

Scientific name: Epalzeorhynchos bicolor

Type of fish: False Shark (Cyprinid)

Origin: Southeast Asia

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Max size: 5 inches

Growth Rate: Slow

Minimum tank size: 40 gallons

Diet: herbivore/omnivore

pH: 6-7

Hardiness: Moderate

Aggressiveness: Semi-aggressive

Tankmates: tetras, livebearers, barbs, small and medium-sized American cichlids, danios, Corydoras catfishes, gouramis

Sexing: Hard to tell

Notes: Although these fish look strikingly similar to rainbow sharks, the key way to differentiate them is to look at their fins. Red-tailed black sharks only have red on their caudal/tail fin, whereas Rainbow sharks have red on their dorsal and pectoral fins as well. Furthermore, Red-tailed black sharks have a darker body than the rainbow shark. The mouth on these fish is orientated downwards so they "suck" on food similar to a pleco. As such, I do not recommend keeping these fish with plecos because I have found that plecos often outcompete red-tailed black sharks for food. Furthermore, these fish cannot stand other "sharks" so these fish are best kept alone. These fish are also endangered in the wild. Finally, red-tailed black sharks are not actually sharks; they are a type of cyprinid.