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Red tail black shark

Discussion in 'Fish' started by Fisher2007, 23 Feb 2018.

  1. Fisher2007

    Fisher2007 Member

    So - I ask this hesitantly, as I expect it's not the done thing in a planted tank BUT what are peoples thoughts/experience with these guys

    I'm in the planning stages of a 400-500 litre tank. Nothing crazy just led lighting and some easy to keep plants (java's, anubias, cryps, etc)

    Stocking wise I really like the ideal of a shoal of tiger barbs plus something else (rummy nose or rasboras) but I just love the red tail black shark and wondered if this would be possible? I've not kept one since I was a child but they were always my favourite, so if possible I'd like to try one

  2. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Global Moderator Staff Member

    Crikey, that's a blast from the past for me as well...Labeo bicolour or Epalzeorhynchos bicolor...I had one when I was a child; a firm favourite of mine too.
    The one I had didn't grow much beyond a couple of inches and apart from the odd territorial display seemed to be pretty tolerant of the rest of the community.
    But I think I must have been lucky and had an individual with a relatively placid temperament.

    It never caused any problems with plants either. But I suspect larger more mature specimens might be a bit of a handful. I also doubt a shrimp population would thrive in their company either.

    I hadn't realised that it was officially declared extinct in 1996. With habitat destruction, dam construction, and aquarium trade collection cited as the cause.
    I had often wondered why I hadn't seen them very often in LFS, and the ones I did see weren't very colourful. I'm guessing because they're all commercially bred, with a lack of wild caught to revitalise the gene pool.
  3. mort

    mort Member

    I still have one. The tank is a larger fish community setup and I never see aggression but that because it's the second smallest fish in there (about 5" now, my smallest is a 20 year old botia striata).

    I wouldn't be that worried about the plants you list as they are grazers not plant munchers in my experience. They act a bit like a large flying fox with their rasping teeth. I think the barbs will be more of a risk plant wise tbh.

    For tankmates I'd only keep things that could hold there own, so the barbs are a good choice. I wouldn't go for more timid rasbora or rummy nose personally but maybe another barb species like ruby, ticto, odessa etc or medit sized community species. I do have ancistris with it and don't see any problems, nor are there problems with the smaller loach.
    Tim Harrison likes this.
  4. alto

    alto Member

    Not all rummy nose are equal given the three species that are often sold interchangeably under the common name - most I've seen can definitely hold their own (at least when kept in shoals of 20 or more), though not sure I'd mix with tiger barbs for esthetics :wideyed:

    Given a large tank, there are quite a number of fish that can be mixed together in a successful community that I'd not consider in a smaller tank

    Red tail black sharks are common enough locally
    Like Tim, most I've seen don't get as large as mentioned in the Seriously Fish profile but perhaps they just aren't thriving
    Definitely make sure tank & plants are well established before adding more boisterous fish, bigger fish can cause significant physical damage to delicate leaf plants
  5. Fisher2007

    Fisher2007 Member

    Thanks guys. I'm in two minds. Off to look at a second hand 310 litre tank tomorrow (150 long by 60 tall by 40 wide). The tank should be big enough but I think the shark might be a limiting factor with other stuff

    A close second for me would be denison barbs. I'm now thinking those, some tiger barbs, some bentosi tetra and some chain link loaches...... Some like a good mix?

    Anyone got any experience with tiger barbs in a planted system. Again a fish I've not kept since I was a child and although not particularly unusual they continue to be one I'm drawn too

    Cheers again
  6. foxfish

    foxfish Member

    The one I owned was a right bad boy, extremely pugnacious & territorial!
    Beautiful fish though....
  7. Martinspuddle

    Martinspuddle Member

    Sheerness, Kent.
    Tiger barbs are fine in planted aquarium and don't do any damage in my experience and mixed with Harlequin Rasboras would look great in a planted 300 lt.
    Labeo Bicolor, great while young until they get to sub adult. My shark, years ago grow to six inches and terrorised the inmates of my 55 gallon community tank. Eventually he rehomed into a mixed large fish 200 gallon community aquarium which cooled him down.

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