Can I have a Red Tail Shark in my tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-19-2009, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
Exclamation Can I have a Red Tail Shark in my tank?

In a 55 gallon tank, could I have a red tail shark in a tank with small fish like guppies, endler's livebearers, platys, and other very small fish. I really like the red tail shark but i will not take any chances if it can hurt my other fish.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-21-2009, 01:26 AM
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Well they get about 4.5" and they'll probably be aggressive towards smaller fish, and when they reach maturity they get very aggressive with other redtails. I myself probably wouldn't take the chance
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-21-2009, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
Ok, Ive decided not too, I dont want to take the chance because i really do love all my small fish.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-22-2009, 07:01 AM
Tyyrlym's Avatar
Actually you should have no problems with a RTBS in a tank like that. With no other bottom dwellers the RBS will have the bottom to itself. I'll give you my usual RTBS spiel.

If you get a red tailed shark there are some ways to keep him happy and docile.

1) Lots of hiding places. The RTBS will pick out a territory centered on a good hiding spot like a cave or piece of driftwood. He will then defend it. Problems occur in RTBS tanks when another territorial bottom dweller is added, the two will butt heads and it will probably result in the death of one of the fish.
2) Lots of cover. Its a good idea to have a lot of cover in your tank, plants and things of that nature that break up sight lines through the tank. This will help to keep the RTBS's territory to as small a size as possible since he knows he can't defend what he can't see. Bottom cover and some tall plants will combine to help keep the RTBS from seeing the entire tank and also give the other fish a place to hide.
3) Get the shark young. Don't be tempted by the 3 or 4 inch specimens you might see. Find the smallest healthy looking shark you can and buy them. A small young shark is going to be less aggressive then an older large one. If he starts out in the tank small with the other fish he can grow up feeling secure and used to the other inhabitants and will be less likely to lash out at them.
4) Add him last. By adding your RTBS last it lets other fish stake out their territories. It also brings the shark into an established tank with fish already in it. He'll be more cautious. If the shark goes in first there's a good chance he will decide the entire tank is his, and that's not good for your other fish.
5) Add ONE. I can't stress this enough. One shark, regardless of the variety, is it. Red tailed, Rainbow, Albino, pick one and only one. They are not a social species and will regard another shark as a threat. Think male betta here.

A few other things, RTBS are not unlike corys, they're bottom feeding scavengers. The kind of diet that you feed a cory is pretty solid for a RTBS though some vegetable matter is good as the RTBS is an omnivore. Personally I feed my girl shrimp pellets and algae wafers.

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-22-2009, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
by bottom dwellers do you mean chinese algae eater, corys and stuff like that, the ones that actually suck the gorund or do you mean any fish that swims at the bottom of the tank? Sorry Im only used to guppies, platies and other very simple fish
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-22-2009, 11:11 AM
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Fish that stick to the lower levels of the tank or on the bottom like cories or plecos.

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post #7 of 16 Old 06-22-2009, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
Thank you so much, you have been such a great help!
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-22-2009, 12:32 PM
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go get one! they are great! Never had any problems with them!

I will hold your fish hostage! Unless you pay me one billion dollars.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-22-2009, 08:48 PM
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Did you ever think of getting a Bushy nosed Pleco? I have a 55 gal. community tank. It is one of the best fish I ever got for my tank. It does a great job on keeping the tank clean glass and decorations. It will only get to 3-4 " big. The Long fin ones are really pretty. They look shark like in the way they go around your tank. I have gold dust mollies, glo-light tetras, harleqen rasboras, dwarf rainbows, 1 long fin bushy nosed pleco I might add another one and 1 lg. anglefish bought as a tiny baby that was a nickel size and now is 6" big.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-23-2009, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
I know, on one of my other threads i asked about the bristlenose pleco, this is going to be a hard decision.....
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