Red Tailed Shark Minimum Tank Size - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 32 Old 09-22-2012, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
Red Tailed Shark Minimum Tank Size

I see on the profile that the minimum tank size for a RTS is 48". I was wondering if one could like comfortably in a 36" 35 gallon tank if he was the only fish in the tank? Or is it just too cramped?


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post #2 of 32 Old 09-22-2012, 11:39 AM
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I see on the profile that the minimum tank size for a RTS is 48". I was wondering if one could like comfortably in a 36" 35 gallon tank if he was the only fish in the tank? Or is it just too cramped?
At the risk of being bombarded with disagreement, that tank is fine and you don't have to limit it to the shark. RTS are grazers and inspectors. They don't swim the tank from end to end incessantly. You can add appropriate tank mates to a rate that is healthy for the capacity of the tank. I purchased a tiny RTS and put him in a 30 gallon community tank. Less than a year later, he has reached full size and is flourishing.

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post #3 of 32 Old 09-22-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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At the risk of being bombarded with disagreement, that tank is fine and you don't have to limit it to the shark. RTS are grazers and inspectors. They don't swim the tank from end to end incessantly. You can add appropriate tank mates to a rate that is healthy for the capacity of the tank. I purchased a tiny RTS and put him in a 30 gallon community tank. Less than a year later, he has reached full size and is flourishing.
I don't mind keeping him alone, I have other tanks for other fish. I have read that some RTS get ornery as they age, and I wouldn't want him harassing the other fish to death. I hear it is hit and miss and some are more friendly.

The tank used to house a single ryukin goldfish so I'm used to it being understocked. I just need to redecorate it, add some driftwood and get a heater.


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post #4 of 32 Old 09-22-2012, 12:15 PM
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I see on the profile that the minimum tank size for a RTS is 48". I was wondering if one could like comfortably in a 36" 35 gallon tank if he was the only fish in the tank? Or is it just too cramped?
Can we just clarify.... Is it a red tailed shark? .... Or is it a red finned shark? The two are quite different.
If as you say it's the red tailed shark I would really suggest the 48 inch tank is the better option as this shark can be quite nippy and territorial!

BA, BSc, MA.... hopefully soon to be Phd.
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post #5 of 32 Old 09-22-2012, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Can we just clarify.... Is it a red tailed shark? .... Or is it a red finned shark? The two are quite different.
If as you say it's the red tailed shark I would really suggest the 48 inch tank is the better option as this shark can be quite nippy and territorial!
Red Tailed Shark.

I realize they get nippy and territorial, and that is why a 48" tank is recommended.
What I'm asking is, if he is the only fish in the tank, and all the territory is his, and there is noone to get nippy with, then is 36" adequate?

Badman's says 36" is the minimum tank size, and I read on another site they need a yard (36") of their own territory.

When I read conflicting profiles I typically ask around for advice from people who have kept that species in similar circumstances.


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post #6 of 32 Old 09-22-2012, 12:55 PM
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I once had a conversation with an older chap who was one of the best aquarists I personally have even come across.... I asked him what the minimum tanks size was for a fish.... he reply: "Half a mile by half a mile by half a mile." What he was getting at was that the more space you can give any fish the better. But in this instance i would say that, given that the minimum size the fish is going to get to is between 6 and 8 inches, the 48 inches would... in my opinion be better.

BA, BSc, MA.... hopefully soon to be Phd.
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post #7 of 32 Old 09-23-2012, 02:54 PM
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The Profile i think makes it fairly clear why space is needed for this fish. A five-inch territorial fish in a 36-inch space can obviously work, but our aim should be not to just have fish "manage" but provide the best.

I have a 3-foot tank, and a couple 4-foot tanks. I cannot visualize this fish in my 3-foot, there would be so many risks. The tankmates will need more space too, another consideration with this cyprinid.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 09-23-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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post #8 of 32 Old 09-23-2012, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
Again, I don't want any tankmates. There won't be any territorial issues (I assume) because he will be the only fish in the tank, and all the territory will be his. I wouldn't cram another fish in there with him, I wouldn't even put an RTS in my 4 foot tanks because of the other fish.


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post #9 of 32 Old 09-23-2012, 06:18 PM
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Again, I don't want any tankmates. There won't be any territorial issues (I assume) because he will be the only fish in the tank, and all the territory will be his. I wouldn't cram another fish in there with him, I wouldn't even put an RTS in my 4 foot tanks because of the other fish.
That is a very different issue. My apology if this was said earlier and I somehow missed it. A 3-foot tank with a sand or fine gravel substrate, and several chunks of wood, and plants, would make a nice habitat for a single Red Tailed Shark.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 32 Old 09-23-2012, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
Nice! I just need to redecorate the tank and get a heater. It used to house a ryukin goldfish.

Definitely want some plants and driftwood in there.


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