Rainbow Shark Care Guide


The Rainbow Shark is one of the most popular fish kept by freshwater fishkeeper's. They have a stunning look when they are full-grown, and the way that they swim around the tank is incredible. It's just one of the gorgeous fish to look at in the tank.


Varients of Rainbow Sharks

Rainbow sharks are pretty easily spotted in an aquarium. They come in different variety

  • Rainbow Shark: They are a gunmetal grey body with pinkish-red fins with a couple of black marks. 

  • Albino Rainbow SharkIt's a white body shark, with again pinkish-red fins.

  • Glofish Sharks: These sharks are also available in the glow-fish colors, basically there are two options; Sunburst Orange Sharks and Galactic purple Shark.

Rainbow Sharks will grow to approximately 5-6 inches and have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years in captivity, sometimes a little longer or shorter, depending on their water conditions.

Rainbow Shark Temperament

They are commonly viewed as community fish, but they are a territorial fish. They will give your other fish a little bit of chase from time to time, but some of them are pretty relaxed and don't mess with other fishes in the tank. As far as for territorial, they are mainly territorial to other sharks. So you want to avoid adding any fish that looks like Redtail sharks or other Rainbow sharks.; You only want one of these in the tank.

At your Local Fish Store, they may keep hundreds of them all in one single tank. They are not as territorial when there is no territory to claim. With so many of them in one tank, it spreads out the aggression. So this could be deceiving or make you think that you can keep several of them in your tank. To prevent having any issues, you only want to keep just one of them in your tank. There are rumors that if you keep 12-15 of them in a 75-gallon tank that they make for a very aggressive aquarium.

If you are keeping Rainbow Shark, then you should also stay away from the Bala Shark and other freshwater sharks. Because Ball sharks are schooling fish, but the Rainbow sharks are not, neither are Redtail. If you do keep them all together, it will make them territorial, and one of them is not going to make it out of the tank alive. 


Tank Requirments for Rainbow Sharks

Some people keep Rainbow Sharks in 40-breeders (40-gallon tank). They are considered a very active fish. They love swimming back and forth across the tank. Ideally, you do not want to keep them in anything under 55-gallons, but your shark would be much happier in the 75-gallon or larger tank. If you're going to keep a reasonably low stock level, you could make it work in 40-breeder. That way, the shark would get enough swimming room, but it would probably be a little more territorial even to non-shark like fish due to the smaller space.  


Rainbow Shark Water Conditions

  • Temperature:  They like to be kept in about 75-82 degrees.
  • pH: pH for these fishes is pretty flexible. They can be kept in as low as 6.5 and as high as 8.0.


Feeding Your Rainbow Shark

They are not very hard to manage. They are not the hardiest fish but not a very picky fish either. They are an algae-eater/bottom-feeder fish. They are omnivores, so they eat plant-based and high protein foods such as brine-shrimps, bloodworms other preprepared foods.

Rainbow Sharks will spend the day picking at the algae in your aquarium. They have small mouths, and they will sit there and nip at algae around plants, along the sides of your aquarium, the glass, the filter. It's a big algae-eater.

You can feed them with freshwater flakes or bug bites pellets for bottom feeder, wafers, bloodworms, frozen brine shrimps, community food. You shouldn't have any issue when it comes to feeding your Rainbow Shark. They are reasonably simple to take care of. They will swim up and eats flakes around the other fish. For some people, they will stay in the bottom layer of the tank, but not all of them are like that.


Identifying Male or Female Rainbow Sharks

You can't tell the sex of your shake from a young age. You have to wait until they get a little bigger. The females will tend to have a thicker body, and the males will have brighter colors with some black stripe edge along with their fins. 

If you are only getting one, then it's not that big of an issue unless you are trying to figure out the name for it, but that also does not matter much. If you plan to breed them, then you will need to be able to identify males and females.


Enjoy Your Rainbow Sharks

Rainbow Sharks are amazing to watch. You can sit in front of the tanks and just watch them chase the other fish, and swim around eating the algae. Its relatively cool to watch them swimming in an out of the decorations, woodwork, or the rocks in the tank.

This is a fish that you will love watching them if you are looking for an active fish that spends most of its time in the bottom layer of your aquarium, then this is your fish. This fish has the wow factor when someone looks at your tank.   


Overall:  It is a gorgeous fish. If you have the right set-up, then you should have one in your tank. Just keep these points in mind, and they are going to be a fantastic fish that you will enjoy watching. 

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