Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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FuelingFire 10-06-2012 10:31 PM

I am new and could really use the advise!
Hi all, I recently was given a 55 gallon tank. I have not set it up other then to build the stand. I want to take my time and not rush into something that will be over whelming. I have had a tank before years ago, and i feel like a beginner all over again. The way i am thinking of setting my tank is to have Rocks driftwood and plants and make it look as natural as possible. My main concern though, Is the fish I want to mainly have is a Redtail shark. And i have been looking online the last week about them, and have been seeing a lot of controversy as to what tank mates to have in the tank with them. I really would like to keep my tank simple yet lively. So my question is What are suitable tank mates for a redtail shark. And what other idea's would you maybe have for a beginner. I have been doing a lot of homework as far as everything that goes with a tank, and do it yourself projects. I thank you all for any advise you can give me.

magpie 10-06-2012 11:20 PM

The internet source that I trust the most is Seriously Fish. Here's their species profile. Sounds like you should add the shark last.

Epalzeorhynchos bicolor (Red-Tailed Black Shark) — Seriously Fish

He's this site's fish profile - also with really good, trustworthy info.
Red Tailed Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor ) Profile

If I had any firsthand experience I'd share it with you!

FuelingFire 10-07-2012 10:14 AM

Thanks, I still got time before i end up getting any thing. Because i am going to take my time. so i thank you for your insight.

SeaHorse 10-07-2012 10:45 AM

Welcome FuelingFire!! Wonderful to hear that you have received such a great sized tank to start off with!! You are very lucky to not be starting with a 10G. (The larger volume of water makes changes in water quality slower reacting which is good!)
Have you read our Beginner's guide to Cycling a tank? Here is a link...

Also our Fish Profiles should tell you what you can put with a Red Tail Shark. They get aggressive and should be kept one per tank.

Keep us posted, we love pics!!

FuelingFire 10-07-2012 01:03 PM

Hi Jackie, yeah i been reading up on not just the fish, but the care of everything involved. But i have in mind how i would like it to look and be. And have been doing countless hours of research on everything i would like and how it will affect every other part of the tank. but at the moment i am currently looking for a filtration unit. Though I would like to have only a few fish. so as to not over whelm the tank, But to also have something that will compliment the tank, and will get along with a RTBS. Though i am still doing research and my mind might change on the type of fish. I still would like any advise and idea's that will suit the RTBS along with the other fish. But this is the question i have now. if i have enough hiding spots and dense growth of plants, along with rocks and drift wood, would it help with the calmness of the Shark?

Byron 10-07-2012 03:11 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:

As it notes in our profile that another member linked, the Red Tailed Shark can be beligerent. This sometimes depends upon the individual fish, so one can only advise as to what might occur.


FuelingFire 10-07-2012 03:35 PM

Thanks for the welcome from all of you. and i think what i will end up doing is finding fish around his full grown size that will maybe have his personality to maybe keep them at bay. though it's a thought it isn't definite.

Byron 10-07-2012 06:46 PM


Originally Posted by FuelingFire (Post 1268420)
Thanks for the welcome from all of you. and i think what i will end up doing is finding fish around his full grown size that will maybe have his personality to maybe keep them at bay. though it's a thought it isn't definite.

Not sure I am interpreting you correctly, but if you mean selecting fish with similar dispositions, that will make everything worse, as those fish will cause trouble among themselves regardless of the RTS. Very generally, having a RTS means no other substrate fish, as these will almost certainly invade "his" (or "her") territory regularly. As for upper fish, remembering the RTS attains 5 inches, they should be substantial. And no stripes which frequently antagonize the RTS. The medium barbs (but not striped) and medium-large rasbora tend to work.

As i mentioned previously, each fish can be different in temperament, so while the aggression is the norm for this species, one does come across individual fish that behave a bit more docile. But you should understand the probable risk and plan accordingly. Getting rid of fish later--whether to another largish tank, or the store, or other aquarists--is not always as easy as it sounds.:-)

FuelingFire 10-08-2012 01:24 PM

Thanks Byron that actually helps me out a lot and made me understand some things. um like i said i got time before everything gets together. I'm still searching for a filtration unit at the moment. but at least i have a better understanding as to how they are. it sounds to me as much as they are nice to have, they really can be quite problematic. so i think i will reevaluate, my selection. not saying i am changing my mind but, gonna look at other options.

FuelingFire 10-08-2012 03:14 PM

OK i was looking online and i stumbled across this for community tanks for beginners, at isn't like all the rest with tetras and guppies. and this is what it said... please tell me if this is a good set up..

The Asian Riverbed Aquarium (120-200 liter)
This set up is very nice if you are willing to install a fairly strong current in your aquarium. It will mimic a South-East Asian riverbed biotope and should therefore ideally be heavily planted. Keeping a planted aquarium is actually easier than keeping a non-planted one since the plants will remove waste products from the water and help you keep the levels of oxygen up. Ask your local fish store for sturdy plant species that will thrive under normal aquarium lighting and require no additional carbon dioxide or fertilizers. This Asia Riverbed setup is inhabited by 15 Zebra Danios, 10 Tiger barbs, 4 Tinfoil barbs and 1 Red Tail Shark. The Red Tail Shark is not a true shark; it is a shark minnow that lives in freshwater only.

I do not think i would go with the tin foil barbs tho..

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