Epalzeorhynchus bicolor

Formerly Labio Bicolor



    Not really a “shark” But with the shape of the dorsal fin the name became obvious. The striking color contrasts makes this one of the most sought after fish. Aggressive to one another they should not be kept in groups.


Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Up to 6″ (15cm)
Tank: 36 inches
Strata: Bottom-middle
PH: 6.0 to 7.5
Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 5-18
Temperature: 73°F to 84°F (23-29°C)


Order: Cypriniformes
Suborder: Cyprinoidei
Family: Cyprinidae
Genera: Epalzeorhynchus

Common name


    Red tailed Black shark


    In the streams of Thailand.

General Body Form

    1. A large Dorsal fin, usually held upright with its outer back edge concave. Belly profile slightly curved and the back is very


    . Down-facing mouth, with two set of barbels. The body id slightly compressed and long. They can reach a length of about five inches, with the females larger than the males.


    A Reddish-Orange to Red Caudal fin with the Pectoral fins being the same or sometimes dark. If the fish is in good condition the rest of the body, including the rest of the fins is Velvet or jet Black. There are some color variations but the one described is the one most commonly seen. Specimens that are in poor health or not kept in the proper conditions will appear pale and washed out.



    1. A fish that can be kept easily in the home aquarium for many years. Their water temperature should be kept between 75 and 80 degrees F. The water hardness should be on the soft side and not contain too many dissolved salts. They also benefit from frequent water changes. A larger aquarium is best to house these fish as if you are going to keep more than one as pecking order will be established, with one fish controlling the whole group. You will be able to identify the leader by its intense coloration. Hiding places must be provided. The tank should not be lit to bright as the fish are shy. Decorations should include driftwood and live plants, for more information go to the


     page on details on how to set up an Asian water tank. Diet should be balanced with a good flake food, occasional live food and supplemented with some vegetable matter. All in all Epalzeorhynchus Bicolor is a fine and colorful addition to any aquarium.

Biotope:Clear and muddy waterways littered with wood and stones


    Reports of hobbyist breeding Epalzeorhynchus Bicolor are very rare. What I have found is that a large well planted tank with a ratio of more females to males is needed. The females are more robust and rounded than the males. A spawning tube will appear weeks before spawning and the male fertilizes the eggs in jerky thrusting motions as the eggs are scattered. It is said that the eggs hatch in a couple of days and the fry are easy to raise. Most breeding is done in open ponds in their native Thailand and exported around the world.



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