06-22-2009, 08:01 AM
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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.