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How Many Red-Tail Sharks Should You Keep Together?

How Many Red-Tail Sharks Should You Keep Together?

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Red-tail sharks are a popular freshwater fish species known for their striking Red-tails and distinctive behavior.

If you’re thinking about keeping these sharks as pets, you may be wondering how many Red-tail sharks should you keep together in one aquarium.

While Red-tail sharks are territorial and aggressive fish, they’ll get along with each other quite well once you provide them with the right conditions. Adding some female Red-tails would also help maintain the peace.

In this article, we’ll explore the factors you should consider when deciding how many Red-tail sharks to keep together in your tank.

Can a Red-Tail Shark Live Alone?

Yes. A Red-tail shark can live alone, but isn’t ideal for them. Red-tail sharks are social fish, and they thrive better when kept in a group of at least 3 to 5 individuals.

To promote their physical and mental well-being, Red-tail sharks are best kept with other compatible fish species.

Are Red-Tail Sharks Schooling Fish?

No. Red-tail sharks are not considered schooling fish. While they can be kept in groups, they are generally more aggressive and territorial than true schooling fish.

In the wild, they are often found alone or in pairs rather than in large schools.

Red-Tail Shark Behavior and Temperament

The exact number of Red-tail sharks to include depends on the shark’s character.

Knowing the Red-tail shark’s behavior and temperament, the following could assist you in determining how many of them should you keep in a single place.

General Behavior

Red-tail sharks’ popularity reflects in their appearance (black and Red caudal fin) and unique behavior. An antagonistic fish, they aren’t recommended for community ponds.

These sharks are best contained in an exclusive fish tub. They can live with other fish but only those that can handle their aggressive tendencies.

However, going through this article should give you an idea of how you can manage to have your Red-tail sharks cohabitate with other fish.

Territorial Behavior

Red-tail sharks are fierce jurisdictional fish. They’re pushy towards other fish when they feel their domain is threatened.

It’s important to provide enough hiding spots and decorations to stop boundary disputes.


Known for their hostility, they can be bullies in a community pond. They tend to attack and kill other fish, especially smaller or weaker species.

You need to choose the right fish buddies for your Red-tail.

Red-Tail Shark Coloration

Red-tail shark’s striking Red-tail coloration highlights its distinguishing features. It becomes brighter during certain times or under certain conditions.

If, for example, the Red coloration on its tail becomes brighter and more vivid, the shark feels threatened or stressed.

Additionally, this behavior plays a crucial role in communication between individuals. It includes attracting mates, establishing dominance, or signaling aggression toward potential rivals.

Aquarium Size Requirements

Red-tail sharks are active fish that need a lot of swimming space. The size of the pond you keep them in is important to their health and well-being.

For a single shark, the preferred size is 55 gals. Yet, if you plan to keep several Red-tails, you’ll need a larger one.

This is to provide suitable individual domains to prevent aggression between your pet sharks. For every Red-tail, you need at least 20 gals to the minimum tank size.

For example, if you plan to keep four Red-tails, a size of 115 gallons would be perfect for them.

Considerations When Keeping Multiple Red-Tail Sharks

There are a few essential factors that you should bear in mind while keeping Red-tail sharks. This is to ensure your pet shark survives in their new habitat.

1 – Hiding Places

Red-tail sharks require hiding places in their ‘playground’ because of their aggressiveness and adversarial nature. This is to establish each one of them as a territory.

Furthermore, this would function as a solution to any territorial dispute.

In addition, to Reduce the risk of sharks’ hostile behavior, it’s essential to add plants, rocks, and caves. It serves as a distinct territory for the shark to protect.

2 – Water Conditions

Red-tails thrive in slightly acidic water. The ideal range is 6.5 to 7.5 pH and a temperature of 72 to 82℉.

It’s important to keep the water quality at its best by maintaining stable water conditions and performing regular water changes.

3 – Feeding Habits

Red-tail sharks are omnivores.

They can eat a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and frozen or live food, such as bloodworms and brine shrimp. You can also feed them small amounts of veggies—spinach, zucchini, or peas.

Don’t feed your sharks beyond what they can devour at every meal. Overfeeding can lead to health problems, like obesity and digestive issues.

Not only that, a serious illness that your fish can get from giving too much food is swim bladder disease. An inflamed or infected swim bladder (gas-filled organ) causes it to lose control of its buoyancy.

Feed them once or twice a day with only enough food that they can consume within two to three minutes.

Final Thoughts

The ideal number of Red-tail sharks to keep together is one male with at least two females. Keeping a single male Red-tail shark can be problematic due to its repugnant behavior.

It can lead to aggression towards other fish in the community. Adding at least two females can help diffuse the male’s aggression by spreading it among multiple targets.

Additionally, having one or more females will increase the chances of successful breeding if that is your goal. One important thing to keep in mind though is to ensure that the aquarium is appropriately sized.

It should be properly organized to accommodate the number of Red-tail sharks you plan to keep together.

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