Have you ever heard about the Rainbow Shark? If not, then go ahead and stick with me till the end of this article. I’ve seen people mostly curious about the nature of the particular fish they want to keep as a pet. Not only that, but one must understand the ideal tank mates as well. Today, I will be talking about the Rainbow Shark and the tank mates for the Rainbow Shark.
Rainbow Sharks are popular for territorial nature. It means these fish have their determined area in the aquarium. Furthermore, Rainbow Sharks have aggressive and dominant nature as well. Being a bottom-dweller fish, these species cannot tolerate any other fish, including their own type.
However, aggression might decrease up to an extent when they start to mature. So, keep the nature of the Rainbow Sharks in mind while choosing the best tank mates. Consider the upper and middle-level dwellers with peaceful temperaments for your Rainbow Shark.
Furthermore, take note of the tank conditions, water parameters, food requirements, and so on. The requirements of other fish should match with the requirements of Rainbow Shark. If it does, then you can be sure that other fish will not disturb the territory of the Rainbow Shark.
Points To Be Noted Before Petting The Rainbow Shark
First of all, I want to inform you of one thing beforehand. Do not think about petting a Rainbow Shark if you are a beginner. Go for it only if you have a few years of experience in fish keeping. Think about petting a Rainbow Shark when you want to add something unique in your tank. However, be determined enough to provide enough care to keep these fish safe and sound. So, let’s begin if you are ready. Stick till the end to find more about these beautiful fish.
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The Behavior Of The Rainbow Shark
Rainbow Sharks are known to be passive and non-aggressive in their natural habitat. That means these fish do not hunt other fish or aquatic animals. However, it is different when they are in an aquarium.
Rainbow Sharks are one of the semi-aggressive fish species in the fishkeeping world. These fish can be both calm and aggressive, depending upon the situation. Ruby Sharks are territorial fish as well. If your tank is small or has too many other fishes, Rainbow Sharks will not tolerate it. Harassment and dominance will occur if these fish do not have enough space for themselves.
What Else Do You Need To Know About The Behavior Of The Rainbow Shark?
Unlike other fish species, Rainbow Sharks cannot tolerate the fish from their species-genus. Did you find it hard to believe? But, point check! It is true.
Rainbow Sharks are bottom-dwellers as you will find these fish swimming in the lower-levels of your tank. These fish are fast swimmers and also famous as aquarium cleaners. Rainbow Sharks love eating the algae in the aquarium, one of the bonus points about petting this fish.
Size Of The Rainbow Shark
The average growth of the matured Rainbow Shark is only about 6 inches. Some of the Rainbow Sharks also grow up to 8 inches, which is an exceptional case, though.
Related article: Aquarium Size and Weight- Beginner’s Guide
What Are Best The Tank Mates For The Rainbow Shark?
Some of the best tank mates for the Rainbow Shark are Gouramis, Rasboras, Zebra Danios, Loaches, Rainbow Fish, etc.
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Be careful while choosing the ideal tank mates for your Rainbow Shark as these fish are very territorial. We will discuss this topic in full detail later on in this article.
Before we jump into the main topic, let us begin with the basic introduction of the Rainbow Shark.
Choosing The Tankmates For The Rainbow Shark- What To Avoid?
As bottom-dweller fish, Rainbow Shark will not tolerate other bottom-dwelling fish at all. So, avoid such fish because Rainbow Sharks will get aggressive and attack the other innocent ones.
The fish species that you need to avoid as the tank mates for the Rainbow Sharks are Cichlids, Bala Sharks, Red Tail Sharks, Catfish, etc.
Furthermore, you must also avoid some schooling fish because those fish will also love to dwell in the lower levels of the aquarium. Rainbow Sharks will not tolerate those fish at all and might even harass them.
Analyzing The Best Tank Mates For The Rainbow Shark
Be careful while choosing the tank mates for the Rainbow Sharks because these are choosy fish. These fish can’t even tolerate the fish from their kind as well. Harassment, dominance, backbiting, and even killing each other might take place.
What makes the other fish an ideal tank mate for the Rainbow Shark?
To determine if the fish is an ideal tank mate for the Rainbow Shark or not, you need to analyze a lot of things. The main important things are behavior, tank conditions, water parameters, food conditions, etc. You need to compare these things very carefully before you decide to keep them together.
As you already know that the Rainbow Sharks can be aggressive while in captivity. You need to take proper care not only for the tank conditions but for the tank mates as well.
Choosing The Tank Mates For The Rainbow Shark- What To Avoid?
As bottom-dweller fish, Rainbow Shark will not tolerate other bottom-dwelling fish at all. So, avoid such fish because Rainbow Sharks will get aggressive and attack other innocent ones.
The fish species that you need to avoid as the tank mates for the Rainbow Sharks are Cichlids, Bala Sharks, Red Tail Sharks, Catfish, etc.
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Furthermore, you must also avoid some schooling fish because those fish will also love to dwell in the lower levels of the aquarium. Rainbow Sharks will not tolerate those fish at all. Moreover, rainbow sharks might even harass them.
10 Best Tank Mates For Rainbow Shark
Choose the fish species who dwell in the middle or top levels of the tank. Furthermore, choose the tank mates who are not only less aggressive or non-aggressive but can also defend themselves whenever required. Some of the best tank mates for the Rainbow Shark fish include:
|Size:||Less than 4 inches|
|Tank Conditions:||10 gallons|
|Water Parameters:||75-85 degrees Fahrenheit and 5-7.5 Ph level|
Native to the South and Southeast Asian region, Rasboras are a beautiful and colorful fish species. Not only that, but these fish are peaceful as well. This fish species is considered one of the best tank mates for the Rainbow Shark. Since Rasboras are small, these fish do not require much space in your tank. Furthermore, Rasboras are schooling freshwater fish. So, you can house them in a group of 7 or more.
The ideal tank conditions of the Rasboras are similar to that of the Rainbow Shark. Rasboras love a well-planted tank as there will be lots of places to hide whenever they feel unsafe. Also, Rasboras are top and middle-level dwellers, so the Rainbow Shark will not have a problem.
Furthermore, Rasboras are Omnivores. These fish can eat pretty much anything related to fish food such as small insects, larvae, zooplankton, bloodworms, crustaceans, etc. You can also feed the Rasboras with frozen fish food such as Flakes(Tropical, Color), Tropical Granules, etc.
Rasboras also consume green vegetables that you provide from your kitchen. Since the tank conditions and dietary requirements match between the Rainbow Shark and Rasboras, you can keep these fish together.
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|Tank Conditions:||10-30 gallons|
|Water Parameters:||75-80 degrees Fahrenheit and 6.8-7.8 Ph level|
Gouramis are a freshwater fish also native to the South and Southeast Asian territories. Just like Rainbow Sharks, Gouramis can be aggressive and cannot tolerate the other fish from their species as well. So, you should only keep one single fish in a tank. However, females will live with each other if they get adequate space.
Even though Gouramis are larger than Rainbow Sharks, these are peaceful and will not harm the other fish in your aquarium.
Gouramis are top-dwellers, and these fish also have a labyrinth organ that enables them to breathe directly from the air.
Rainbow Sharks will not be bothered by this fish species as well. Although Gouramis prefer soft and acidic water and Rainbow Sharks prefer hard and alkaline water, these fishes can live with each other.
On the other hand, Gouramis are Omnivores as well. You can feed them with Tropical Granules, Tropical Flakes, Color Flakes, and Shrimp Pellets. You can also feed them with some veggies from your kitchen.
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|Tank Conditions:||10 gallons|
|Water Parameters:||77-82 degrees Fahrenheit and 6.8-8.0 Ph level|
As the name itself says, these fish have the pattern stripes like that of Zebra. These fish are also known as Striped Danio or Zebrafish. Zebra Danios are native to South Asia as well. It is one of the most popular fish in the aquarium fish keeping world due to the selective breeding process. These fish will not only add glory to your tank but are also compatible with the Rainbow Sharks.
As a small and peaceful freshwater fish, Zebra Danios are middle and top dwellers. Rainbow Sharks will not bother as long as any fish species will threaten their territory. Zebra Danios are shoaling fish as well and love to live in a group of at least 5. These fish also cannot tolerate slow-moving long-finned species just like Rainbow Sharks.
The tank conditions and water parameters are similar to both of these Zebra Danios and Rainbow Sharks. Furthermore, these fish are Omnivores and will eat Mosquito Larvae, Small Crustaceans, Worms, Algae, Daphnia, Bloodworms, etc. Zebrafish also consume green vegetables like Lettuce, Zucchini, Cucumber, Peas, etc. just like Rainbow Sharks.
Loaches (With Caution)
|Size:||1 to 2 inches|
|Tank Conditions:||75+ gallons|
|Water Parameters:||59-75 degrees Fahrenheit and 6.5-7.5 Ph level|
Native to Eurasian territories, Loaches might not be the best tank mate for the Rainbow Sharks. It is because Loaches are bottom-dwelling fish and are more active during the night. However, you can still keep them together if you provide both the fish with adequate space in the tank. It will allow them to maintain the territory for themselves and adjust.
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On the other hand, Loaches are semi-aggressive as well. Some might attack other fish if they are uncomfortable. These fish just need proper care with the tank conditions, water parameters, and proper diet to keep them away from other fish species. Furthermore, some loaches are super peaceful and will not attack other fish species at all.
Moreover, Loaches are omnivores and will eat insect larvae, live worms, crustaceans, and algae. These fish will feed on some green veggies that you can take from your kitchen. The tank conditions and water conditions of both the Rainbow Shark and Loaches are similar. So, you can house these fish together as they will add more glory to your aquarium.
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Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
|Care level:||Very Easy|
|Size:||2 to 2.5 inches|
|Tank Conditions:||30-50 gallons|
|Water Parameters:||74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 6.5 to 7.5 Ph level|
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish are native to Western states (Indonesia). These fish are also popular in the aquarium world due to their vibrant blue/ iridescent scales and colorful fin pattern. Furthermore, Neon Rainbowfish are spirited, smart, and intelligent beings. These fish seem to know what is happening outside the tank as well.
Although these fish are small, they are active and swim around all day. Moreover, Neon Rainbowfish are shoaling fish and loves to live in a group of 10 or more. You must also know that these fish are top-level dwellers and rarely eat from the bottom of the tank. It is one reason why the Rainbow Shark will never have a problem with the Neon Rainbowfish.
On the other hand, Neon Rainbowfish are Omnivores and will eat anything. These fish mainly love to eat flakes, live foods(Brine Shrimp, Bloodworms, Tubifex worms, etc. Not only that, but Rainbowfish will also eat vegetables like peas and spinach.
Tiger Barbs (With Caution)
|Tank Conditions:||20 gallons|
|Water Parameters:||72-79 degrees Fahrenheit and 6.0-8.0 Ph level|
Tiger Barbs are also one of the best tank mates for the Rainbow Shark as these fish are active, lively, and hardy fish. These fish will show aggression only if there are less fish in the tank. As Tiger Barbs are schooling fish, they love to stay in a group of at least 5 of the same species.
Even though the Tiger Barbs can be aggressive, these fish are compatible with the Rainbow Shark. Rainbow Shark will tolerate the other fish as long as their privacy is maintained. You need to take care of the tank conditions and water parameters.
Furthermore, Tiger Barbs are Omnivores. These fish will consume processed foods like flakes, crisps as well as live and frozen fish food. Barbs are even more aggressive in the feeding period, so be careful.
Rainbow Kribensis Cichlids (With Caution)
|Size:||3 to 4 inches|
|Tank Conditions:||30-40 gallons|
|Water Parameters:||75-79 degrees Fahrenheit and 5.6-6.9 Ph level|
Kribensis Cichlids are native to the African region and are ideal tank mates for the Rainbow Shark if treated well. Name translation of the Kribensis Cichlids is Beautiful Belly Fish. These fish are indeed beautiful with the combination of beautiful patterns and colors.
These cichlids are aggressive only when it comes to protecting their offsprings. However, that problem can be solved if you have a large aquarium where they have more space to hide.
Furthermore, these fish are Omnivores and will love to eat any types of both live or frozen fish food. You can also give them some vegetable food as per your preferences.
|Size:||1 to 1.5 inches|
|Tank Conditions:||10 gallons|
|Water Parameters:||70-78 degrees Fahrenheit and 6 Ph level|
Caridina Cantonensis Shrimp is also known as Bee Shrimp. It is native to Taiwan, and it belongs to the Atyidae family. It is a small freshwater shrimp. These shrimps eat the small pieces of decayed vegetations and algae in the aquarium. Furthermore, the Bee Shrimp is a favorite aquarium pet these days due to their bright coloration. The hobbyists have selectively bred the shrimp for their characteristics. So, there are various kinds of Bee Shrimps available today.
The Bee Shrimps prefer soft and slightly acidic water. The warm temperature will affect their health. Furthermore, these shrimps aren’t suitable for beginner,s as they need professional care. Most importantly, the Bee Shrimps are super peaceful and won’t bother other aquatic animals.
Plecos (With Caution)
|Tank Conditions:||30+ gallons|
|Water Parameters:||72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and 7.0-8.0 Ph level|
The scientific name of the common Pleco is Hypostomus Plecostomus. It is also known as the Suckermouth Catfish. It is a tropical fish from the Loricariidae family, native to the tropical north-eastern South America. The Plecos are omnivores and eat algae, aquatic plants, and small crustaceans. Furthermore, these small fish got their name as Suckermouth Catfish because you can see full suckermouth in action while eating. The Plecos are also known as the Algae eaters as these fish clears the excess algae from the tank. However, lots of fish waste will imbalance the Nitrogen Cycle as well.
Additionally, Plecos are aggressive with other Plecos only. When these fish matures, they don’t prefer fish from the same species. On the other hand, Plecos can be aggressive if it is the only big fish in the aquarium. It may try to dominate if others try to cease its food as well. So, one must be careful when keeping it in a community tank.
|Size:||2.75 to 3 inches|
|Tank Conditions:||20-30 gallons|
|Water Parameters:||73-83 degrees Fahrenheit and 6.0-6.5 Ph level|
The Congo Tetra, scientifically named as Phenacogrammus Interruptus, belongs to the Alestidae family. It is native to the Congo river in South Africa. These are colorful tropical freshwater fish and is popular among fish hobbyists as well. The Congo Tetras prefer slightly acidic water as well. These fish are Omnivores. They feed on worms, crustaceans, insects, aquarium vegetations, and algae. Furthermore, the Congo Tetras are schooling fish and loves to stay in a group of at least 6.
These fish are usually peaceful when you keep them together with other fish species of the same size and temperament. Furthermore, Congo Tetras are also known as fin nippers and have a habit of chasing other fish. Thus, you must be careful to choose the best suitable tankmates.
One Rainbow Shark With Another Rainbow Shark- Do’s And Don’ts
As I said earlier, Rainbow Sharks do not prefer to live with the fish of the same species. However, you can keep them together if you take all the necessary steps.
If you intend to keep multiple Rainbow Sharks, then I would suggest you install a 125-gallon tank. Two Rainbow Sharks will get along with each other when they are young. Furthermore, the relationship will gradually decline when they start becoming mature. Remember not to keep only two of these fish only. It is best to keep 5 of the Rainbow Sharks together with each getting their personal space and fulfill dietary requirements.
How Do The Other Tankmates Behave With The Rainbow Shark?
One of the most important things that you need to remember is the size of the desired tank mate. I mean, aggression is likely to occur if you choose the tank mates as same as the size of the Rainbow Shark. Not only that, but avoid the bigger ones than Rainbow Shark as well. The larger ones might attack the Rainbow Shark, and you don’t want that to happen.
Another important thing is to avoid such fish species, which will look similar to the Rainbow Shark. In other words, avoid other red-tailed fish. Furthermore, compare the nature of the fish too. Sometimes, bigger fish can be super peaceful as well. These are some basics that you need to think of and analyze by yourself.
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Precaution Is Always Better Than Cure!
There might still be the chances of aggression, so be careful how you place the tank mates together in the first place. Keep the other tank mates together at first and let them be more familiar with one another. Then, you can add the Rainbow Shark at last. Doing this will somehow decrease the chances of harassment and fighting.
Important Things To Remember
Now that you already know about the tank mates for the Rainbow Shark, I would love to give you extra tips. I hope that these tips will be helpful for you before housing the Rainbow Shark and thinking about the tank mates for the Rainbow shark.
Some tips to keep your Rainbow Shark happy, healthy, and safe:
Due to the territorial nature of the Rainbow Shark, you must understand that these fish are sensitive as well. Rainbow Shark is best to be kept in a minimum of a 55-gallons tank.
There are so many reasons behind it. First of all, these are fast swimmers and territorial fish. It means Rainbow Sharks will claim the whole tank to be theirs if it is too small.
Secondly, Rainbow Sharks grow very fast and need enough space to swim freely without any disturbance. Also, make sure that your aquarium tank should at least be 4 feet long and 18 inches wide if you keep one fish.
Maintaining the right water parameters is very important in the fishkeeping world. It is more important, especially for the territorial fish like Rainbow Shark. Here are some of the parameters of water that you need to maintain:
Being the tropical freshwater fish, Rainbow Sharks prefer slightly warm water. The ideal water temperature that is best suitable for the Rainbow Shark is between 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, be careful before you introduce the Rainbow Shark to your tank. Let the aquarium be more balanced with the water temperature, which will make your fish more comfortable.
Ph and Kh levels
Always maintain the Ph levels between 6.5 and 7.5. On the other hand, the water hardness level should be between 10 to 15.
Make sure you install a water heater and degree to balance and check the water temperature every day. Maintaining the water parameters is very important because Rainbow Sharks are very sensitive to water changes as well.
Related article: How to maintain the hardness of the water in the aquarium
Although the Rainbow Sharks are famous for clearing the excessive algae from the aquarium, you still need to clean the aquarium once a week.
Changing at least 20 percent to 30 percent of the water every week is the best thing you can do for your Rainbow Shark. Too much dirty water will make the fish uncomfortable, which will even lead them to be sick.
If the stress and sickness go beyond the required level, your Rainbow Shark might even die too soon. Rainbow Sharks also cannot tolerate low oxygen levels.
Not only that but, pollutants like ammonia and nitrate at an excessive level will affect their health. Proper filtration types of equipment such as Canisters are available online or in stores near you.
Although the filtration equipment usually differs as per the size of your tank. Check out other articles to know the filtration systems in full detail.
Related Article: Why do tanks get dirty so fast? Tips for maintaining an aquarium.
Decor and Substrates
As I said earlier, Rainbow Sharks are tropical freshwater fish. So, it is best if you mimic the natural habitat in the aquarium as well.
You already have an idea about their natural habitat, so you know what to do, isn’t it? Yes, that’s right. You need to fill the tank with lots of plantations and decorative items.
Some real as well artificial plants will do great for the fish. Besides, do not forget to keep artificial caves, rocks, and lots of driftwoods inside the aquarium. These things will enable the fish to rest peacefully and hide whenever they are stressed out or sick.
Related article: How to decorate an aquarium- Beginner’s guide
Rainbow Sharks are Omnivores and aren’t fussy eaters. These fishes are used to consuming decayed plants, algae, insect larvae, and small chunks of meat they find in the wild.
However, consuming algae in the aquarium keeps these fish busy all day long in the aquarium. Rainbow Sharks love eating various fish food items as well.
You can feed your fish with both live and frozen food (insect larvae, tablets, flakes, tablets, etc.). Such food items are available online or from the departmental stores or fish stores near you.
On the other hand, Rainbow Sharks will significantly slow down with consuming algae when they get older. So, you can feed the fish with some green vegetables from your kitchen.
Some of the vegetations that you can provide your Rainbow Sharks are Spinach, Lettuce, Zucchini, and peas, etc.
Since you know about the ideal tank mates for the Rainbow Shark, you can decide which one is the best among the best. You need to analyze the behavior, size, tank conditions, water parameters, and diet before you keep them together. Some of the best tank mates for the Rainbow Shark are Rasboras, Danios, Neon Rainbowfish, Loaches, Zebrafish, Tiger Barbs, etc.
I hope you understood these things very well. I’m sure you will choose the best tank mate for your Rainbow Shark to keep them healthy, happy, and safe.