Red Tail Black Shark
some say only one per tank... ive heard two are fine as long as they are relative in size... always see 5 to 10 in fish store together... anyone have experience with red tails?
I always only ran one. I would think it would have some to do with the size of the tank and how dense the plant life is. My chief reason for keeping (at least) one per tank is two fold. One - they are quite easy on the eyes when in healthy colors. Two - if they are rich felt black and scarlet red, you are doing well in the aquarium's ecology. In converse, and if not, you need to find out what is not exactly right.
Please realize, this is from past years experience as I am just now doing a restart in the hobby, now that I am retired. So to be fair and honest.. I currently have no red-tails. However you can rest assured I will fix that as soon as my tanks are established and stable.
I would only keep one RTS per tank unless you have a very large tank. Your profile show a 35 gal tank and that is only big enough for one, but even then you are pushing it because they can get up to 6" and need adequate swimming room.
I have one in a 72 Gal African Cichlid tank and he can hold his own. He is somewhat of an antagonistic fish but the cichlids will only take so much chasing before they put him in his place.
Like the previous poster stated, you can get a general idea of your water quality by their colors. I look to see that mine has a crimson red tail first thing when I look at my tank.
Also, they don't mix well with Rainbow Sharks either.
I agree with what's been posted here. You can find more info in our fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top, or click on the fish name when it is shaded in posts, example Red Tailed Shark. Their aggression level can vary, but as they mature it is extended to any bottom fish so the Shark should be the sole substrate level fish in the tank unless it is very, very large. It is believed by scientists that in their habitat they were loners (living in isolation except when spawning); they are now extinct in the wild, sadly.
Your comment on fish in stores: in store tanks, fish are often crowded very severely, but they are not meant to be long in that environment. Their conditions probably cause them considerable stress, and this weakens the immune system and can cause various internal health problems as well as making them much more likely to contract disease and parasites. The stress of the fish in the crowded store tank can prevent them from exhibiting aggression [which is not at all a good thing as the aggression is natural and when suppressed by poor environmental conditions it further damages the fish]. Placed in a more suitable environment, the fish's true tendencies/traits will (or should if healthy) emerge.
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