When considering adding a red tail shark to your aquarium, understanding their lifespan is a key factor in successful care. The red tail shark, scientific name Epalzeorhynchos bicolor, can live up to 10 years in the right environment. The lifespan of these fish can be affected by various factors such as the quality of the water, the type of food, the size of the tank and the presence of any other fish. As with any pet, providing the right care to ensure your red tail shark lives a long, healthy life is essential. In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about caring for your red tail shark, including the right decorations, equipment, and general care.
Overview of Red Tail Shark Lifespan
The red-tailed shark, also known as the red-tailed black shark, is a freshwater fish native to Thailand. It is a member of the Cyprinidae family, and its lifespan can range from 6-8 years, though with proper care, they can live up to 10 years.
These fish prefer to live in small groups and can be territorial, so it is important to choose tank mates for red tail sharks carefully. They should be kept with non-aggressive, non-predatory fish of similar size and temperament. They are best kept in a tropical aquarium, with a temperature between 24-28 °C (75-82 °F) and a pH of 6.5-7.0.
|Small groups, tropical aquarium
|24-28 °C (75-82 °F)
|Non-aggressive, non-predatory fish of similar size and temperament.
Tank Mates for Red Tail Shark
When it comes to creating an aquarium for a Red Tail Shark, it’s important to consider the other creatures that will be living in the tank. The Red Tail Shark can be a bit aggressive, so it’s important to select tank mates carefully. It is best to choose fish that will not compete for territory with the Red Tail Shark, as this can lead to stress and aggression.
Fish That Are Compatible With Red Tail Sharks
|A peaceful, colorful fish that is an excellent tank mate for the Red Tail Shark.
|Bottom-dwelling fish that stay out of the way of the Red Tail Shark.
|Active and fast-moving fish that can get along with the Red Tail Shark.
|Friendly bottom-dwellers that will not compete for territory with the Red Tail Shark.
When selecting tank mates for the Red Tail Shark, it’s important to avoid fish that have similar coloring or markings. It’s also important to avoid fish that are too small, as they may be seen as prey by the Red Tail Shark. When setting up a tank with Red Tail Sharks, it’s important to ensure that there is plenty of space for all of the fish, as overcrowding can lead to stress and aggression in all of the fish.
It’s also important to avoid any fish that are known to be aggressive, as they may attempt to bully the Red Tail Shark. Red Tail Sharks may also become aggressive if they are not provided with enough hiding places in the tank. If possible, it’s a good idea to provide two Red Tail Sharks in the same tank, as this can help to reduce aggression and can even lead to Red Tail Sharks breeding in the aquarium.
Breeding Red Tail Sharks
- Tank Setup: To breed red tail sharks, you will need a tank size of at least 40 gallons, and other tank mates should be avoided. A water temperature of 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH of 6.5-7.5 should be maintained. The tank should have plenty of hiding places, such as plants, rocks, and driftwood, as the female may hide from the male before spawning.
- Feeding: Red tail sharks should be fed a variety of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods. Feeding them a high-quality diet is important for breeding success.
- Spawning: The female will start to lay eggs, which the male will then fertilize. The eggs will then stick to any object in the tank, such as rocks or plants. It is important to remove the eggs from the tank, as the adults may eat them.
- Incubation: The eggs can be incubated in a separate tank, with a water temperature of 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. After 10-14 days, the eggs will hatch and the fry can be fed small live foods.
Setting Up the Aquarium
Red tail sharks require a minimum of a 30-gallon aquarium, although larger aquariums are recommended. A larger size aquarium allows for plenty of swimming space, as well as adequate filtration and aeration.
Red tail sharks prefer an aquarium with plenty of rocks, caves, and other hiding spaces. Aquatic plants can also be included in the tank, but be aware that red tail sharks may dig them up. Avoid sharp or pointed decorations that may tear the shark’s fins.
A good filter and aeration system are essential for the health of your red tail shark. A heater is also recommended, as red tail sharks need to be kept in warm water temperatures. A thermometer should be used to monitor the temperature of the water.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Regular water changes are important for the health of your red tail shark, as well as for the overall health of the aquarium. The water should be changed at least once a week, using a siphon or gravel cleaner. Be sure to use a dechlorinator to remove any harmful chemicals from the tap water. For more information on water change frequency, consult your local aquarium store.
Diet and Feeding
Red Tail Shark is an omnivorous fish that needs a balanced diet of both proteins and vegetables.
- In the wild, they feed on small crustaceans, worms, insects, and plant matter.
- In the aquarium, they should be fed a variety of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods.
- They should be fed two to three times a day, in small amounts that can be consumed within a few minutes.
- Overfeeding should be avoided as it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and health problems.
- Vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, D, and E should also be added to their diet to promote good health.
|Minimum 30 gallons
|pH 6.5-7.5, Temp. 72-79°F (22-26°C)
|Live, frozen, and flake foods
|Fine gravel or sand
Red Tail Sharks are easy to care for and can thrive in a well-maintained aquarium. The minimum tank size for an adult Red Tail Shark should be at least 30 gallons, with plenty of open swimming space. Water parameters should be between a pH of 6.5-7.5 and a temperature of 72-79°F (22-26°C). Red Tail Sharks are omnivorous and should be fed a variety of live, frozen, and flake foods. Red Tail Sharks are peaceful to semi-aggressive and should not be kept with small or timid fish. The activity level of the Red Tail Shark is moderate, so it should be provided with plenty of hiding places and decorations. Lighting should be moderate, and the substrate should be fine gravel or sand.
Common Health Concerns
- Swim Bladder Disorder: Red tail sharks are prone to swim bladder disorder, which causes them to become buoyant or unable to stay underwater. This can be caused by digestive issues, overfeeding, or temperature fluctuations in the aquarium.
- Fin Rot: This is a bacterial infection that can cause the fins of your fish to become discolored and start to rot. It is important to keep your aquarium clean and check your fish regularly for signs of infection.
- Ich: Ich is a common protozoan infection that can cause white spots on the fins or body of your fish. It is important to treat your aquarium with an antifungal medication if you see signs of ich.
- Loss of Appetite: Red tail sharks can become sick if they do not get the right diet or if their water quality is poor. If you notice your fish not eating, check the water parameters and make sure they are getting the right food.
- Hole in the Head Disease: This is a bacterial infection that can cause pits and ulcers on the head and body of your fish. It is important to maintain a clean aquarium and check your fish regularly for signs of infection.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long do Red Tail Sharks Generally Live?
- Average Lifespan: 10-15 years
- Maximum Lifespan: Up to 20 years, under optimal conditions
Red tail sharks have an average lifespan of 10-15 years, but with proper care and maintenance, they can live up to 20 years or longer. Keeping them in an aquarium with the right environment and water conditions, providing a healthy diet, and avoiding any water pollutants are important factors in helping them to reach their maximum lifespan.
What is the Ideal Temperature for a Red Tail Shark Aquarium?
The ideal temperature for a Red Tail Shark aquarium is 24-26°C (75-79°F). The aquarium should be well-filtered and regularly tested for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. All levels should be kept as close to 0ppm as possible. It is also important to maintain a pH level of 6.5-7.5.
What Types of Aquarium Decorations are Suitable for Red Tail Sharks?
Red Tail Sharks need an environment that replicates their natural habitat in the wild. This means that decorations should have plenty of hiding places, open swimming areas, and plenty of rocks and plants. Rocks, driftwood, and caves all make good hiding places, while live plants and artificial plants provide plenty of cover. Rocks and driftwood also provide the Red Tail Shark with something to rub against, which helps it to stay healthy. It is important to provide the Red Tail Shark with enough space to swim and explore, so be sure to choose decorations that don’t overcrowd the aquarium.
What type of filtration system is best for a Red Tail Shark aquarium?
When it comes to filtration, the Red Tail Shark requires a powerful filtration system to ensure that the water is kept clean and free of any toxins that can harm the fish. Here are some of the best filtration systems for a Red Tail Shark aquarium:
- Canister Filtration System – These are high-powered filtration systems that are capable of filtering large amounts of water. They are also easy to maintain, and can be used to provide additional oxygenation to the aquarium.
- Hang-On-Back (HOB) Filtration System – These are easy to install and maintain, and are relatively inexpensive. They are not as powerful as the canister filters, but are still effective for filtering out small particles and debris.
- Internal Filtration System – These are designed to be placed inside the tank and filter the water directly. They are great for small tanks and do not take up much space.
- Undergravel Filters – These are great for providing biological filtration, as they allow beneficial bacteria to colonize the gravel and filter out toxins and debris. They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain.
No matter which type of filtration system you choose, it is important to make sure that it is properly maintained and that the filter media is replaced regularly. This will ensure that your Red Tail Shark has a healthy and clean aquarium environment.
What is the Best Feeding Schedule for a Red Tail Shark?
Red Tail Sharks need to be fed at least twice a day. Feeding them too little can cause them to become malnourished and weak. It is best to feed them a variety of foods such as worms, krill, shrimp, and other frozen foods. Be sure to only feed them what they can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to health issues and cause water quality problems. Additionally, it is important to provide a varied diet to ensure they receive the vitamins and minerals they need.
Red Tail Sharks are a charming, easy to care for fish that can be a great addition to any aquarium. They require little maintenance and are very hardy. With proper care, they can live up to 10 years in captivity. To ensure that your Red Tail Shark will thrive, make sure to purchase a tank large enough for them, provide adequate filtration, and keep the water clean and the temperature at a constant level. Adding plants and decorations to the aquarium will help to create a healthy environment for your Red Tail Shark. With the right care, your Red Tail Shark can be a wonderful addition to your home for years to come.