What Do Red Tail Sharks Eat?

The brilliant red tail with jet black body makes red tail sharks an eye-catching fish in the firewater oceans.Their simplest but striking appearance makes them a centrepiece for large tropical aquariums. For many years they have been very popular among the aquarium community because of their aesthetical personality. However, the destiny of the red tail shark is in a bit of trouble because of the loss of habitats for many years, they are found inhibiting living in the streams and are considered endangered species whereas in the wild they are being extinct. On an average they have a life expectancy of 5 to 8 years. Red tail sharks are one of nature’s most conspicuous creatures but despite their non-friendly relation with other species, they are being very popular among home aquarists because of their beauty and intelligence.

For humans to look beautiful, they need a healthy diet. Have you ever wondered what makes red tail sharks look damn stunning among all other species of sharks? Do they follow some specific diet or eat something healthy which makes them look gorgeous? Before going into the details of their eating habitat, let’s discover a bit about who red tail sharks are and what they look like.

What Do they look like?

Red tail sharks are also named as red tail shark minnows, they are native to Thailand. You were amazed to know that they actually belong to a group of bony fishes and are not a member of cartilaginous fishes but they are called sharks because the shape of their body exactly looks like a sharks. They are just 2 tonnes in weight and can grow to the length of 4 to 6 inches. They have a streamlined body with a pointed snout with many barbels that helps them to swim with high speed and to sense the movement of prey.

You will always find them in one colour scheme: red and black which makes them different from other other species. However, the intensity of colour is based on their age, in the juvenile’s stage, they are of deep orange and grimy grey coloured but as they grow older, the colour changes to jet black and very bright red. When they reach old age the colour starts fading to light grey and pale red.

Well, this was a short narrative about red tail sharks to make you understand who they are. Moving on, let’s do a reconnaissance about their feeding habitat.

What do red tail sharks eat?

Red tail sharks are omnivore, meaning that they feed on both plants and animals. They are not very demanding like other species about what they eat! So they have many choices to feed on. When in their natural environment, they feed on insects, plants, crustaceans, tubifex, zooplankton, creepy crawlies, earthworms, glassworms, bloodworms, fruit flies and various scavenging food items that are rich in proteins and minerals but it is very difficult for them to maintain their diet in the cage because you can feed them with fish flakes and pellets as a nutritive.

 Moreover they loved to eat water fleas, small worms, adult and larval brine shrimp, spirulina pellets, daphnia, insect larvae and algae that grows on the rocks. Furthermore, the food items that are not included in their diet chart are frogs, snails, guppies and turtles.

What do they like to have in the aquarium tank?

Red Tail Shark is one of the sharks that can be kept as pets. In an aquarium tank, you can feed them with vegetables like cucumbers, peas, zucchini, and green vegetables as they like green food, which is good for their health and beauty – secret revealed! They also feed on live foods which makes their colour looks more vivacious, algae wafers, frozen foods are the highly preferable food for this bottom dweller creature.  You need to feed them 2 to 4 times a day, the food that sinks at the bottom is best for them. As red tail sharks are not very picky about food so do not overfeed them, if you feed them too much this will affect their swim bladder and cause illness.

Final Thoughts

Red tail sharks are no doubt the most glittering creatures of the freshwater ecosystem, they are also well known to the home aquaria because of their unique colour scheme and they do not require special living conditions or diet. They are not choosy about their food, they feed on almost everything they found at the bottom of the ocean or your tank.  As they are omnivores they feed on both plant based and animal based products but their most preferable food is algae. That’s all about red sharks and their feeding habitat! Hope this article provided you with enough knowledge. However, if you are looking forward to bringing some eagerness and excitement in your aquarium tank then, red tail shark is highly recommended!

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.