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Red-tailed Sharks Housed in Groups

centrarchid

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About 2 months ago we purchased a single Red-tailed Shark and stocked it by itself into a 29-gallon high. About a month later we purchased a second, but had to separate them with a partition. We want to see interactions so decided to acquire more in an attempt to override an overly simple pecking order. Six more for a total of 8 has made so all can move about in tank together without barriers. They still fight a lot, but after a week all are showing good bellies. All fish were in the range of 1.25 to 1.5 inches at point of combining in tank last week. I have capacity to split them with a 125-gallon and two 75-gallon tanks as part of the mix.

Thus far they have exhibited some rather complex social interactions that appear typical of fish that live in loose groups that invest a lot in tight territories.


My intent is to keep them together as long as possible. This summer we want to try and breed them using a much larger tank outdoors and some hormones.

Anyone keep them in groups for extended periods? I am not able to find any imagery on breeding methods or what the eggs and larvae look like.
 

Retired Viking

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Hello and welcome to the forum, I hope you will share some pictures this sounds interesting.;) Sorry I have no experience with red tailed sharks.
 
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centrarchid

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I have very limited capacity for photographs at moment.


First image shows over all tank with LED light source. Biofilm is not being removing for betterment of the Red-tailed Sharks.
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centrarchid

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4.5 to 5 inches depending upon source you read. I think sexual maturity is about 3" based on looks of those I have seen as that is when they start to get more robust.
 
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centrarchid

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Feeding activity is very interesting. Most effort directed towards biofilm, especially in areas with current. They appear to have capacity to eat a lot. Being chased makes so you do not want to eat for a little while after the chase. If feeding on a quality source with a belly full, then not as motivated to chase subordinates. Dominant fish appears to be growing fast, it may already be sexually mature based on appearance of abdomen.

Black coloration good indicator of rank, except with largest and most dominant fish which is relatively pale and able to displace darker fish. The bigger fish may be investing more effort in chasing the darker subordinates.
 
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centrarchid

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If you read the link you'll find they should be kept singly. Seriously Fish is the best site for fish research.
Thanks for link. I suspect there is a hump of incompatibility where 1 is better than a small social group that is not sustainable / stable. Past the hump with larger groups maybe sustainable. The approach works well with other species I am familiar with. Will keep you posted on results.
 
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centrarchid

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The largest of the Red-tailed Sharks is growing very fast. First hand accounts from people I know have growth all over the place with most indicating slow growth. I am feeding the fish roughly 4X per day which appears optimal for a fish that is more or less a continuous feeder. Will have to be on top of water changes and filtration management.
 
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centrarchid

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Contents of link below appears based on first hand experience. Trying to contact author.

 

essjay

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I would go by the info in Seriously Fish. That site is written by scientists and ichthyologists. Other websites are often written by people who just keep fish and have no real knowledge about them. if you can find out more about the author of the site in your link, you'll know whether or not his information is accurate.
 
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centrarchid

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Do any of the scientist / ichthyologist have experience with the breeding and rearing of early life-stage Red-tailed Sharks? So far I can find nothing. I want particulars on spawning and care of larvae. At this point, information of interest to me appears to be proprietary to farmers producing Red-tailed Sharks for the pet trade.

I am a scientist specializing in North American sunfishes with some experience involving Pirate Perch and crayfishes. Plus have been keeping and breeding ornamentals in aquariums since the early 1980's. Farm pond keeping started a decade prior.
 

Byron

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As both linked articles correctly point out, one fish of this species per tank is all there should normally be; but when spawning is the intent then a very large tank is needed with plenty of natural-type decor to provide for territories. SF suggests a territory of 1 meter per fish; the tank will have to be very large indeed. Commercial raising of this species may be with hormone injections, though huge outdoor ponds in SE Asia might work.

Had to edit this post, as I got confused previously and had to correct things. I really must check my notes more.
 
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Colin_T

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Rainbow and red tail sharks breed like barbs with males chasing females and the females scattering eggs in low level plants and algae, and on the substrate. The fry are small but can be reared on infusoria and green water.

Make sure they have plenty of driftwood in their tank and give them lots of plant matter to eat.
 
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centrarchid

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Rainbow and red tail sharks breed like barbs with males chasing females and the females scattering eggs in low level plants and algae, and on the substrate. The fry are small but can be reared on infusoria and green water.

Make sure they have plenty of driftwood in their tank and give them lots of plant matter to eat.
Where did you get information of spawning behavior? Another account indicated spawning occurs in caves or cavities. I can rear spawn in a >2,000-gallon tank near barn and use a couple 500-gallon tanks for same purpose. Spawn induction will not be done until summer when temperature range suitable.
 

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