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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > Cyprinids > Red finned shark
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the



Red finned shark

Epalzeorhynchos frenatum
(formerly Labeo frenatus)


    Although not seen as much as it close cousin the red tailed black shark, the red finned shark is a beauty in its own right. Given good conditions the fins will color up and rival any in the tank. It also has the benefit of not being quite as aggressive and can be placed with a wider range of tankmates.

Quick stats:
    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 6" (15cm)
    Tank: 36 inches, 30 gallon
    Strata: Bottom-middle
    PH: 6.5-7.5
    Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 2-15
    Temperature: 73°F to 79°F (23-26°C)


    Order: Cypriniformes
    Suborder: Cyprinoidei
    Family: Cyprinidae
    Genera: Epalzeorhynchus
Red finned shark


Common name:

    Red finned shark,Rainbow shark, Labeo frenatus

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Southeast Asia, 1n the streams of Thailand.

General Body Form
    A large Dorsal fin, usually held upright with its outer back edge concave. Belly profile slightly curved and the back is very convex. Down-facing mouth, with two set of barbels. The body is slightly compressed and long. They can reach a length of about five inches, with the females larger than the males.

    Very similar to the more common Epalzeorhynchus bicolor, the main difference is the Reddish-Orange to Red coloration is shown in all the fins, not just the dorsal If the fish is in good condition the rest of the body, including the rest of the fins is Velvet or jet Black. Specimens that are in poor health or not kept in the proper conditions will appear pale and washed out.

    Compatibility: Do not keep with members of its own kind or any other kind of 'shark' unless there is plenty of space for both fish to establish territory and so they aren't in constant sight of each other. This fish can also be somewhat aggressive to other fish, especially other fish that live in the bottom strata. May also nip fins, but doesn't make it a habit like a tiger barb. Food: They need vegetable matter in their diet to grow properly. Everything is greedily taken by this fish. Feed algae sinking wafers, pellets, blood worms, brine shrimp, will also nibble zucchini and other greens.
    Decoration: This fish loves caves. Provide at least 2 caves, each on opposite sides of the tank. They will sleep in their cave. A cave of wood or rocks will make the fish feel secure. If shelter is not provided they'll take to any tight fitting secure place, including behind the heater, so provide a few caves to make them happy. Planted tanks also make this fish feel more secure, so a few plants are a plus ***CAUTION: will eat some plants, hungry or not*** Make sure the plants have relatively thick leaves, anubias or Java fern works well. The more secure the fish feels, the less aggression its likely to show.


    Clear and muddy waterways littered with wood and stones

    Breeding: Not recorded in the home aquarium.
    Breeding Difficulty: Expert - due to its intolerance of it's species.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Emily
We've had our red finned sharks in a 110 gal tank for about 6 months now. There are 4 of them about 3 1/2 to 4 inches long. Last week we observed two of them spawning. The female, larger and more rounded chased the male who would dash away but always hover nearby. Finally he came up to her and curled around her body while she released eggs and he fertilized them. Sadly the eggs were all eaten by tank mates but it was very interesting to watch their spawning behaviour. After spawning the male got away from her as quickly as possible and then hovered nearby watching. They spawned a total of 4 times that evening.






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