Saturday, July 12, 2008

Red Tail Black Shark


Scientific Name: Epalzeorhynchus bicolor
Other Names: Red Tailed Shark, Red Tail Black
Shark, Red Tailed Labeo, Fire Tail, Labeo bicolor
Origin: Thailand
Adult Size: Up to 6 inches (15 cm)
Social: Aggressive with own spieces.
Lifespan: 5 -8 years
Tank Level: Middle and Bottom
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons (or larger)
Diet: Omnivore
Breeding: Very hard
Care: Easy
Ideal pH: 6.5 - 7.5
Temperature: 73°F - 79°F (23°C - 26°C)
Tank setup: Tight lid recommended as these fishes are very strong jumpers
Sexing: Hard to determine, but the female may have a grayer stomach whereas the males are solid black.


The Red Tailed Black Shark has a black body with a red tail (hence the name). The Red Tailed Black Shark has a downwards facing mouth with two pairs of barbels. The female is slightly large than the male.


Red Tail Black Shark are very aggressive and territorial towards their own speices. Therefore, it is best to keep only one of this species in your tank and avoid the temptation to keep them with a Rainbow Shark or other Red Tailed Sharks. Some literature has noted that in a large tank with sufficient hiding places, it is possible to keep more than one shark together, but one of these shark will be dominant shark, and will chase away other sharks when it is feeding time.

The Red Tailed Black Shark used to be found in fast moving waters in Thailand, particularly in the Mea Klong River. This river has a slow current, and has lots of wood and rocks for hiding. Therefore, and ideal aquarium should mimic the natural conditions of this fish.

However, various literature noted that the Red Tailed Black Shark is becoming extinct in the wild, and an article from Wikipedia notes that these beautiful fishes are in the Red List of endangered speices.

Many literature review indicated that these fishes are excellentjumpers. For this reason, the tank should ideally have a tight lid.


Red Tailed Black Sharks are omnivorous and cheerfully accept a wide range of food, including flake food, worms or vegatable pellets. To ensure that they look their best, it is highly recommended to give a varied diet.


Reports of hobbyist breeding Epalzeorhynchus Bicolor are very rare. A large well planted tank with a ratio of more females to males is needed. The females are more robust and rounded than the males. A spawning tube will appear weeks before spawning and the male fertilizes the eggs in jerky thrusting motions as the eggs are scattered. It is said that the eggs hatch in a couple of days and the fry are easy to raise. Most breeding is done in open ponds in their native Thailand and exported around the world.


1. FishLore, Online, Accessed 6 Jul 2008,

2. Aquarium Land, Online,,%20Red-Tail.htm

3. Aquatic community, online, Accessed 12 Jul 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

Innovative Fish Tanks

I have always been curious about innovative fish tank designs, but these designs are really.. er.. unique. Make up your own mind if these are cool or what?

I wanna stay in this hotel for 1 night just to enjoy the view! This is a new underwater hotel in Istanbul (Turkey) to be opened in 2010.

This fish tank is in a Beijing Hotel. While it looks awesome, the fishes can only survive for approximately 6 days. :(

I heard about toilet bowl with fish tanks, but this is the first time I seen them: (above) (below)

For a dining experience that keeps your guests looking at your table and not the food,
this design rocks.

If photo frames are your thing, this frame of Altantis comes completed with live fishes.

This design of a sink fish tank is totally awesommmeee..

Thursday, July 03, 2008

5 tips for keeping healthy fish in a healthy tank

This week, I have a guest blogger,Michelle, from My Aquarium Club Blog. She can be reached at Michelle would love to offer some tips for keeping healthy fishes.

1 - Water changes: the first and the most important rule is to change the entire water of the tank every month – 25% each weak is a reasonable solution. The water changes helps to remove contaminants and waste byproducts from the aquarium and replace them with fresh clean water

2. - Consistent Temperature: fish cannot regulate body temperature so changes to the water temperature are creating a lot of stress for the fish. You'll have to ask for the right temp for your fish and make sure that all your fish can live at the same temp range. Be careful during water changes not to add too cold or too warm water.

3. - Don’t use too many chemicals or products: Chemicals are not very helpful for a healthy tank and this includes pH adjusters and medicines. The only chemicals that go into my tanks are tap water, water conditioner to remove chlorine, charcoal in the filters and aquarium salt (if needed). If you need to adjust the pH of the water, there are natural things you can use such as rocks or substrate to raise the pH or wood or plants to lower it. This way you'll stabilize the pH without creating too much ups and downs.

4. - Use a quarantine tank: This is really important. If your tank is healthy and stable the highest risk for a disease is bringing in new fish that you just brought home from the store. Even at the best pet stores fish can get disease so always keep the newly bought fish at a quarantine tank for at least 3 weeks. This goes for other purchases too such as rocks, plants and anything else you introduce to you tank.

5. Compatible fish: It is important to enable the fish to live peacefully if you have one aggressive fish that is attacking another, know that stress leads to disease and attacks can end up in dead fish. Try to buy compatible fish choosing a fish not just for its beauty but for its ability to live with the other fish that you have. Create hiding places for the fish that needs its and if you have no choice try trading the aggressive fish for a more suitable one.