Epalzeorhynchos bicolor – Labeo bicolor

Labeo Bicolor or with its official name Epalzeorhynchos Bicolor has a deep black body with bright red fins. Unfortunately, they cannot be held together as they are territorial.

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Epalzeorhynchos bicolor – Labeo bicolor

Epalzeorhynchos bicolor can reach a total length of around 15 centimeters. This big fish stands out because it is completely black, except for its tail which is fire red. They are quite streamlined and a fast swimmers. The difference between male and female is not visible.

Synonyms: Labeo bicolor, Epalzeorhynchus bicolor.

The Aquarium

Epalzeorhynchos bicolor-Labeo bicolor requires an aquarium of at least 1 metre. Decorate the aquarium with plants on the edges and a sandy bottom or very fine soil substrate. With rock, drift wood and half coconuts you can make enough shelters but don’t forget to create a lot of free swimming areas. Dimmed lighting makes this fish less shy. They aprreciate some (or a lot) of current in the water.


The Epalzeorhynchos bicolor better known as the Labeo bicolor is native to Thailand. Originally, they were found in the Mae Kong River. They swim there in the middle and at the bottom of the freshwater streams and rivers, mainly in parts with rocks and/or plants where they can shelter to rest or to hide themselves.


Temperature: 20-26 degrees Celsius.
PH: 6-7,5
GH: 8-16

In Nature fish have to do with fluctuating temperatures. Keeping the fish for long times at the minimum or maximum temperature is not always desired and can shorten the average life span of the animals.


Epalzeorhynchos bicolor-Labeo bicolor is omnivorous, they will take mosquito larvae, Daphnia and artemia. They will also take flakes and ganules. If you feed artemia, the red in its tail will become more striking. Especially vegetable foods should not be missed. Supplement with flakes or granules. Make sure the food reaches the bottom.


They strongly defend their territory, you can only keep 1 specimen in the aquarium, at least not 2. If you want to keep more then one? Keep them with 7 or more, the more the better. With two or three, they will be constantly in combat.

You can find Epalzeorhynchos bicolor-Labeo bicolor usually at the bottom looking for food, sometimes they shoot up to the surface but swim down right after that. They are usually peaceful towards other fish, except algae eaters, they can react quite a lot. So keep them together with fish that swim in the middle and upper water layers.


Epalzeorhynchos bicolor spawns in rocky caves. The fry hatch after 30 to 60 hours. Four days after hatching, the fry can swim freely but develop the characteristic red in the tail only after being older than seven to 10 weeks.


IUCN: Critically Endangered (CR); Due to changes in its living environment in the years 1970, the numbers in the wild have declined dramatically. They are bred in Thailand in captivity for the aquarium trade.

Life expectancy

Epalzeorhynchos bicolor – Labeo bicolor can reach a maximum age of around 5 to 8 years.



Coby – Ron DeCloux

Copyright images

John de Lange
Hristo Hristov


fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Epalzeorhynchos-bicolor.html
Encyclopedia of life http://eol.org/pages/1015624/details
ARKIVE http://www.arkive.org/redtailed-black-shark/epalzeorhynchos-bicolor/
Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-16X

Additional information




Social Behaviour

Breeding behaviour








Minimum aquarium length in cm

Length maximum in cm

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