Rainbow Shark

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rainbow shark


The Rainbow shark originates in the far east and was originally found in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.


Up to 15cm.

Aquarium Size:

240l/60 US gal should be considered a minimum.

Preferred water conditions:

  • Temp: 22 – 26°C
  • pH: 7 – 8
  • Hardness: Soft – Very hard.


The Rainbow shark is omnivorous and regularly grazes on Algae. They also enjoy live and frozen foods such as Daphnia, bloodwom and artemia.

The staple of its diet should be a good quality flake or pellet food but this should be supplemented with the above and some vegetable matter.

A well-varied diet should keep the Rainbow Shark in optimum condition.


As a juvenile, the Rainbow Shark can be quite timid and will spend much of its time hiding in its chosen cave. As they mature they can become quite territorial, particularly towards conspecifics but aggression can be directed at any fish that they feel has invaded their space.

Rainbow Sharks can be successfully kept in a community aquarium but tank mates should be chosen with care. Other bottom dwellers of similar size may be seen as a threat. Only one Rainbow Shark should be kept in a tank, as they become mature they will fight to the death over territory.


Adult females are noticeably rounder than males. In the albino variety, females may appear to take on a green colour when holding eggs.


Breeding is almost impossible in the aquarium due to the territorial nature of the fish.


A stunning fish that if cared for properly can make a great addition to a community aquarium.

Fish of similar size and shape should be avoided. For example, I have witnessed fights in the past between a Rainbow Shark and a Pictus catfish as they both wanted to occupy the same cave.

Rainbow Sharks should be kept as single specimens. Conspecific aggression is too high to keep multiple Rainbow Sharks together, unless in an enormous aquarium.


Often confused with the Red-tailed black shark, the easy way to tell the difference is the fin colour. Rainbow Sharks have all red fins, the Red-tailed black shark only has a red tail.


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