rogue killer shark! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-02-2009, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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miagrrl's Avatar
Red face rogue killer shark!

I have a murderer in one of my tanks. Its a red-tailed black shark. I've had him for months, and he has gotten just plain blood thirsty! he has killed three tiger barbs... I find him chasing one all day, then the next day its missing, then a day later, its eaten in half and he carries the dead on around his little cave. its aweful! what can i do besides the obvious answer of getting rid of "jaws" the shark? he doesn't seem to bother the danios....just the tiger barbs. is he not eating enough food? any ideas? feed him more?

"Instant gratification takes too long"
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-04-2009, 09:09 AM
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Well first of all a RTBS is a lot like a cory, a bottom feeding scavenger. A dead fish is a feast to them. Any fish that dies in your tank is going to have a RTBS all over it. Just because he's eating the remains don't assume he's the cause of death. In fact the way their mouth parts are makes it nearly impossible for them to actually kill another fish by biting. They're not a predatory species so if he's hungry he's not likely to go try and kill another fish for something to eat.

First off there's some background info needed.
1) How big is the tank?
2) What are all the fish in the tank?
3) How many tiger barbs did you have to begin with? How many do you have now?
4) When did you introduce the RTBS, recently? First fish in the tank? Last?

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Watch my tank progress from Craigslist salvage to fishy habitat: Aaron's Tank
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-04-2009, 10:01 AM
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Nearly all the information on these fish as well as the posts on different forums, indicate a fish that can be territorial and often times harrasses tankmates to the point of exhaustion or death if not provided plenty of places for it to hide or stake out territory.Tiger barbs for example are not predatory by nature but will nip the fins and or harrass tankmates to exhaustion and or death. With that said,, all fish are different. Some report success with keeping bettas in community tanks but I wouldn't recommend it. I would however ,not keep a fish that constantly chased or harrassed the others. I would as described,, try and provide some more areas for it to claim for it's own in hopes of dampening it's tendencies or I would replace the fish.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-04-2009, 12:42 PM
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if its a bicolor (see tyyrlym's avatar), then it would surprise me that he/she would actually kill another fish. These sharks chase, or are chased by, other elongated fish (in my experience)
Maybe give him some extra hiding places, or maybe ure tank is too small.
Mine lives with lots of angels and leaves them alone, even allows them to swim through his big tunnel. He chases the smaller SAE, but is chased but the alpha SAE.
Haven't had dead fish yet, so i can't tell anything abt his behaviour with a dad fish around.
Good luck and try to find the cause of the deaths. My bicolor is one of the most eyecatching fish i have

Matilda & Philippe & Limu the Lab

47 gallon (180 litre) colisa tank
106 gallon (400 litre) Gourami tank
317 gallon (1200 litre) angelfish tank
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-05-2009, 06:11 AM
Tyyrlym's Avatar
Ok, RTBS school time again.

First the environment for the shark. Have some caves, some hidey holes where the shark can feel secure and stake out her (mine's female) territory. She'll pick one and make it her own. Next, have plenty of cover in the tank. You want to break up the sight lines from the shark's cave. The less she can see the smaller the territory is. If the shark can see clear across the tank don't be surprised if she decides the whole bottom of the tank is hers and she has to defend it. Take a look at my 48 gallon corner tank. Tons of bottom cover. My shark has staked out the slate cave on the right as hers and her territory isn't much larger than it. Next, no other territorial bottom dwellers, one shark per tank and avoid things like Rams or convicts or fish that will get territorial. In a large enough tank you can have more but be ready to intervene if they decide their territories overlap.

Second, how to add the shark. Add your shark to the tank last. If the shark arrives in a tank already full of fish she's more likely to keep her territory small and defensible. If the shark goes in first she'll rule the roost and likely decide that the whole tank belongs to her. Get the youngest healthy shark you can. If the shark starts off small as just another fish she won't get in the habit of throwing her bulk around later in life.

Actually, another very good piece of info would be a picture of the tank. Successfully keeping a RTBS also has a lot to do with how you arrange their enviornments.

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Watch my tank progress from Craigslist salvage to fishy habitat: Aaron's Tank
The only things that happen quickly in an aquarium are bad things.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-06-2009, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by miagrrl View Post
Its a red-tailed black shark
Is it an actual red tail or are you just calling it that because all of its fins are red/orange colored. If the second one is the case then its a rainbow shark.

I have a rainbow shark and he actually chased a couple of my fish to death and ive seen him hit them as well. His mouth isnt right to be able to take a bite out of them but he can harass the crap out of them until they die then nibble his way through them
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