Planning a Red Tail Shark Tank

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PL1995

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Mar 12, 2019
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Hi,

I'm thinking about getting a Red Tail Shark in the future and I want to make sure I'm fully prepared/planned for when I do. I've read that they need at least a 55g tank, which I have no problems with, however my question is if I go with a 55, can I add any tank mates for the RTS or should it be kept alone in this size of tank?

Thanks!
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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I'd avoid torpedo shaped fish. But I don't know of anyone that's ever kept one of them alone.

But I certainly wouldn't add any other red tail sharks.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Yeah, I love red tailed & rainbow sharks & have kept 1 at a time over the years. But they have their issues. Like dougall said long torpedo shaped fish are out. We also had trouble with corydoras. Corys don't understand the shark's territory needs & we lost some from getting body slammed into the substrate when they wandered into the wrong areas.

In a 55g gal, 4 ft tank you might try a shark, a big group of harlequin rasboras (maybe 10 or 15) & a pearl gourami , or 1 male & 2 females if you can sex them. Have at least 2 hiding places under wood or rocks. Live plants can help too & sharks like to graze on them. Java ferns & anubias can grow on rocks or wood in almost any tank. Both come in several leaf shapes.

If you want to try a BN pleco, add 2 or 3 more hiding spots, they both understand the territory thing. Otocinclus might be ok too instead of the BN, but they want a "mature" tank 5-6+ months old so there's biofilm & algae, they like plants too. They would need to be in a group of 6 or more of the same species, so maybe only if you have only 1 pearl gourami.

If you haven't already gotten a 55g, a 75gal is a much better shape for scaping...but also more expensive. I like 2 filters on all my tanks.

& don't be fooled by the small size RTs are often sold at, they grow to 5 or 6 inches.
 
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PL1995

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Mar 12, 2019
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Thanks for the detailed response! I really appreciate all the advice as this is certainly a step up from keeping guppies and corys!

A couple of questions... I'm cautious of adding something like a pearl gourami as I've heard they aren't good with territorial fish, which I assume that a RT would fit into this category, have you had any experience with trying them together?
 

the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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Kudo's for researching and wanting to properly house a red tail. They aren't hostile to mid and upper level schooling fish such as barbs, tetras and livebearers.... you would be fine with a gourami as well.
 
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fishorama

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I have kept 1 gourami at a time with sharks. Pearls are quite peaceful, blue or gold (same species) are almost semi-aggressive. Besides, pearls are prettier, IMO.

I would be careful choosing a schooling fish. Some can be nippy to the gourami's fins (tiger barbs, serape tetras for 2).

If you get a small shark, try to feed it lightly twice a day. They are babies & growing.
 
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PL1995

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Mar 12, 2019
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Thanks for all of the advice! I'll update this thread in the future when I eventually get this tank sorted :)
 
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