Pink-Tailed Shark Care For Newbie Aquarists (Full)


Pink-tailed shark are fantastic, energetic fish who make glorious a wonderful addition to any appropriate aquarium.

On this information, I’ll train you the best way to present red-tailed shark with the fitting surroundings and tank mates so you may efficiently look after them.

Pink-Tailed Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor) Fast Stats

  • Care Degree: medium
  • Min. Tank Measurement: 40 gallon (151 liter)
  • Temperature: 75°-79°F (24°-26°C)
  • Weight loss plan: omnivore
  • Temperament: semi-aggressive/aggressive
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Measurement: 6 inches (15 centimeters)
  • Household: Cyprinidae 
  • What number of will be stored collectively: just one
  • Scientific Title: Epalzeorhynchos bicolor
  • Widespread Title: Pink Tail Shark, Pink-Tailed Shark, Redtail Shark

Pink-Tailed Shark Species Profile

Pink-tailed sharks are native to Thailand, the place, sadly, they’re critically endangered.  

Once they have been considerable within the wild, they have been usually present in clear, fast-running waters. They’re additionally identified emigrate into flooded forest flooring in the course of the wet season.

They’re a solitary species that spends its time scouring the substrate for biofilm, algae, crustaceans, worms and bug larvae. 


Red tail shark in aquarium

Pink-tailed sharks are placing fish. They’ve coal black our bodies with, you guessed it, shiny purple tails.

They’re very slim-bodied fish with excessive, triangular dorsal and anal fins. Their pectoral fins are  nearly utterly clear and their giant, rounded pelvic fins are nearer to their tails than most fish. 

This makes them extremely maneuverable; they’ll activate a dime and offer you 5 cents change. 

They’ve the downturned mouth typical of carps and different backside feeders, and quick, rear-facing barbels on the corners of their mouths.  

These guys are sexually monomorphic, that means that each female and male fish share the identical kind. There is no such thing as a approach to have a look at the fish and decide whether or not they’re male or feminine.

And simply to get one thing straight, they don’t seem to be an precise shark, not even shut. This species is assessed as part of Cyprinidae, the identical household as carp, koi and Goldfish.

Completely, totally, not even anyplace close to being an precise shark.

Pink-tailed sharks get their identify as a result of their silhouette is similar to slim-bodied sharks, like blue sharks or blacktip reef sharks.

I can say, the way in which their physique and fins transfer will certainly remind you of fast-moving sharks. Their swimming seems to be nearly hypnotic, it’s tremendous cool.

However, that is the place the similarities to actual sharks ends.

Within the Aquarium

I can’t emphasize this sufficient, these are typically not good group fish. I contemplate them to be semi-aggressive to aggressive.

They’ll relentlessly chase different fish. Timid species won’t do properly with this fish within the tank.

I as soon as noticed a bit 3 inch (7.5 centimeter) lengthy juvenile red-tailed shark chase and bully a Texas cichlid 5 instances its measurement. I couldn’t imagine it, however I noticed it repeatedly.

By the point that fish reached 6 inches, it was the boss of the tank and would chase off some significantly imply fish each time it felt so inclined. Craziest factor I’ve ever seen.

Additionally, you can’t have multiple of those fish in your tank. Some folks get away with it for a short while whereas the fish are juveniles, however long run, the fish will harass one another frequently till one or each of them are lifeless.

Tips on how to Set Up a Pink-Tailed Shark Tank

Red tailed shark resting on driftwood in freshwater aquarium

Tank Measurement

I might suggest a minimum of a 40 gallon (151 liter) aquarium for these fish. In the event that they really feel too crowded, they are going to be much more aggressive with tank mates. 

A 40 gallon will give this fish ample room to stake out a territory.


Filters on aquariums are so necessary. With out them, wholesome fish tanks wouldn’t be attainable.

Particular useful micro organism stay contained in the biomedia of the filter. These micro organism stay off the poisonous substances, like ammonia and nitrite, postpone by fish urine and feces because it breaks. 

The micro organism eats the poisonous ammonia and nitrite and turns it into nitrate, a substance that isn’t dangerous at low ranges. 

This is named the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle.  

With out the useful micro organism that perform the cycle, waste merchandise would construct up within the aquarium, making the water poisonous for fish.

As for this explicit species, I’ve stored red-tailed sharks in a number of completely different tanks using a wide range of filters. These fish do nice with excessive stream filtration, like canister filters or highly effective hang-on-the-back filters.

And I’ve additionally seen them thrive with low stream filtration, like sponge filters. So long as the water is clear and the parameters are wholesome and steady, a red-tailed shark can deal with it.

Water Parameters

  • Temperature: 72°-79°F (22°-26°C)
  • Ammonia/Nitrite: 0
  • Nitrate: <30 ppm
  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • GH: 3-15 dGH
  • KH:  3-10 dKH


Pink-tailed sharks come from a tropical area and can subsequently want a heated tank.

I extremely suggest a heater with a guard on it. Generally these guys attempt to get too shut and might burn themselves.

My favourite heaters in the marketplace are the Fluval E-series. I’ve three of those that I’ve used for greater than a 12 months now. I really like them they usually’re all I’m going to be shopping for sooner or later. 

For our in-depth article evaluating standard heaters in the marketplace click on here.


I might suggest sand or smooth gravel for this species. They don’t dig rather a lot, however they’ll nostril round on the floor of the substrate searching for bits of meals.

A pointy or tough substrate may scratch up their noses and mouths, leaving them weak to an infection.


This species actually doesn’t have a choice in terms of lighting. Simply go together with no matter sort of gentle you need for the tank.

Vegetation and Decor

In the event you’re desirous to arrange a naked, open tank, this isn’t the fitting species for that sort of setup.

Pink-tailed sharks wish to arrange a bit territory, often centered round their favourite hiding spot.

It’s greatest to offer them with plenty of hiding locations, particularly some caves. Add plenty of decor, rocks, crops and driftwood to create a fancy surroundings for them. 

This species will usually cover for stretches of time in the course of the day so that they’ll want a hidey gap that they’ll slot in comfortably. Bear in mind, the grownup fish might be about 6 inches (15 centimeters) lengthy, so they’ll want an area a minimum of that massive.

They respect issues like driftwood and rocks that they’ll dangle round, particularly once they’re small.

Additionally, since these guys usually chase different fish, having plenty of rocks, driftwood and crops breaks up their line of sight so different fish can escape their wrath.

This species doesn’t tear up stay crops. In reality, they flippantly graze the floor of leaves as they munch on algae and biofilm. A red-tailed shark received’t hold your crops utterly algae free, however they’ll assist a bit.

Pink-Tailed Shark Weight loss plan

These guys usually are not choosy eaters. They’ll munch on nearly any sort of meals that drifts right down to the underside.

I particularly like to provide them sinking wafers. I do know {that a} sinking meals will get previous all of the hungry prime dwelling fish and wafers are large enough to not get caught down within the gravel the place the red-tailed shark can’t get it. 

Simply examine the elements as a result of a variety of “algae wafers” include a bunch of crap fillers.

Omega One Veggie Rounds are an excellent alternative. I’ve at all times gotten glorious development utilizing them because the staple food regimen for my red-tailed and rainbow sharks.

Omega One Veggie Rounds, 14mm Rounds, Sinking, 8 Oz Container

Omega One Veggie Rounds, 14mm Rounds, Sinking, 8 Oz Container

Final replace on 2023-04-13 / Commissions Earned / Photos from Amazon Product Promoting API

Pink-Tailed Shark Breeding

It’s not attainable to breed red-tailed sharks in a house aquarium setting.

You possibly can’t hold them collectively, they’ll tear one another aside. And you may’t inform who’s male and who’s feminine.

And so they received’t spawn except hormone remedies are added to the water.

So, no little child sharks in your tank. 

Pink-Tailed Shark Tank Mates

Red tail shark sifting through substrate

OK this may be exhausting to reply.

Pink-tailed sharks will be fairly aggressive. They’ll incessantly chase any tank mate that wanders into their territory, even fish 4 or 5 instances their measurement.

They don’t essentially damage the fish they chase, their mouths aren’t actually constructed for biting, however tank mates can get actually, actually careworn by the harassment.

It’s greatest to put red-tailed sharks with different semi-aggressive, and even flat-out aggressive fish.

My primary suggestion is tiger barbs. I do know their jaunty little stripes make them look lovable, however don’t be fooled. Tiger barbs are tiny little velociraptors that may gang up and harass different fish to dying, actually.

However the red-tailed shark is hard sufficient to deal with the barbs and vice versa. 

I’ve additionally had nice success with maintaining each rainbow and red-tailed sharks with African cichlids (I used to have a tank filled with mbuna), so long as there’s plenty of hardscape and decor that the shark can use as cowl. You additionally should guarantee that the cichlids aren’t so massive that they’ll simply swallow the shark. 

Pink-tailed sharks have such salty personalities that I’ve seen them chase fish 5 – 6 instances their measurement. A tank filled with cichlids won’t intimidate them.

I don’t suggest placing them in a tank with timid backside feeders, like corydoras catfish. The 2 species will come into battle over feeding and territory alongside the underside. The red-tailed shark will be relentless towards shy fish.

There are numerous studies that red-tailed sharks get alongside properly with clown loaches, even education with them. Nevertheless, with a view to hold these two species collectively, you’d want a tank in extra of 150 gallons (568 liters).

Is a Pink-Tailed Shark Proper for You?

This species is fantastic and actually enjoyable to look at as they go about their day. However, they don’t seem to be the fitting match for each tank.

Pink-tailed sharks will be actually unhealthy about harassing tank mates, generally even to the purpose of stressing different fish to dying.

You don’t want to place this species in with a bunch of tremendous peaceable, delicate fish. It received’t go properly.

Nevertheless, this species is nice for including some selection to a tank with different semi-aggressive and aggressive fish. 

These little terrors can deal with themselves simply nice, even with notoriously tough roommates like mbuna cichlids. 

Apart from the problems with aggression, this species is hardy, undemanding and long-lived, nice for even freshmen. And their spunk and bursts of power are so entertaining to look at.

I hope you discover this text useful.

I want you and your fish the easiest!

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