All of B.Modesta fins are red/orangish/yellowish colored and RTS only has the red caudal fin. Shape and body color can be very similar.
Many LFS label RTS as loaches around here so you have to know what you're looking at to keep from being fooled.
I've read reports of some people keeping these guys in community tanks successfully. And I've heard stories of red tail sharks killing community tanks. I think partly this has to do with the personality of the fish. And partially to do with the environment.
If you have a tank with lots of hiding places and sight barriers it makes it so the red tail shark can claim a territory in the tank and just shoo other fish out of his territory. If he has no barriers in the tank or holes to hide in he may decide the entire tank is his and will attempt to remove all others. If the other fish are fairly peaceful slower moving fish (and they have no where to escape to) this will be a problem. The size of the tank will also factor in, as in most cases bigger is better.
Some people advise not to keep a red tail shark with other "shark" shaped fish (rainbow sharks, siamese algae eaters, flying foxes, other red tail sharks, etc...). Do botine loaches like Kubotais count as shark shaped? Maybe... In a large enough tank I'm sure the two species could coexist although I wouldn't recommend trying it without a backup plan.
This is a fish to be prepared for when purchasing, and not one to be taken lightly. The rainbow shark which I mentioned above is a closely related species and has just about the same personality.
Anyway those are my thoughts on the species for what it's worth.
even the 125 might not be large enough.
rts hate any other fish with the same body shape.
I have kept a rts with dario, yoyo, histies, kubs, rostrata, striata, clown, modesta, skunk, eos, sid, rubusta and helodes.
most botia are fiesty enough to deal with the aggression of an rts.
the rts will do fine with the tiger loaches (your talking Syncrossus right?)
my rts didn't do well with my horse face loaches and I don't think I'd put a rts with any pangio.
My second one was MUCH more peaceful, also schooled with the clowns, but he didn't make it--I had gotten into a car accident, I was laid up for quite some time...the fish tank suffered...
Anyway, it's true, personality does vary from fish to fish and I wouldn't hesitate to add another RTS to my tank one day. I won't do it now, but one day I will in a larger tank where all tankmates will have their space. And if he should become THAT aggressive, then he goes back to the store. But they are strikingly beautiful and my first one was the best looking.
And I agree about having enough hiding spaces for all. Sorry your experience was so bad (original poster). One fish shouldn't kill it for the rest of the group.
However the RTS is doing well is my Syncrossus loaches and the Arulius barbs. He swims mid level of the tank and kind of does his own thing. He doesn't interact with the other fish and they rarely interact with him.
it is also in my community tank with neons!, angles, discus, pleco,yoyo,danio,and others iv missed and no problems with them i did us to have silver dollars and they didn't get along.
I think its just whether or not u get a grumpy one or pecfull one luck of the draw
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