Rainbow Shark

Scavenging for food in the gravel, Soumyakundu's Rainbow Shark is a beautiful example of the Epalzeorhynchos frenatum species. A member of the Cyprinidae family, this fish is commonly stocked in the freshwater community fish tank.


The rainbow sharks blackish-green body is accented by colorful reddish-orange fins. Also known as the Red-finned Shark, or Ruby Shark, this fish is primarily a bottom, and mid-level dweller. They're happy eating most anything. Spinach, lettuce, tubifex worms, algae, and leftover fish food, make them happy.

The Rainbow Shark is a semi-aggressive fish, which can also be very territorial. It's suggested you have just one in the tank, and fish in similar size. Also, it's best to avoid combining the Rainbow Shark with other freshwater sharks, such as the Red-Tailed Shark and Black Shark. Here are a few more characteristics to consider:

  • Grows to 6 inches
  • Tank parameters: 73-80 F; pH 6.5-7.5; KH 10-15
  • Minimum tank size is 30 gallons; 50 gallons preferred
  • Requires moderate care
  • The rainbow shark is an Omnivore

Rainbow sharks are compatible with most barbs, danios, loaches, plecostomus, and the gourami. You just have to make sure and leave them space to establish a territory.

Breeding the rainbow shark in an aquarium setting isn't done due to the sharks aggressive behavior. If you've got the room in your fish tank, and proper companions, the rainbow shark can be a fun fish to keep.

109 thoughts on “Rainbow Shark”

  1. Hi everyone,
    I have just one rainbow shark now in a 30g tank and had to do a full water change and treated the tank. Everything was going very well and was treating for ich in my convicts. His right eye went blue yesterday afternoon and that morning he was fine he is hugging the side of the tank and this morning had a white dot in the centre of the blue eye. After the research I have done his eye doesn’t seem to make sense every condition talks about a white eye not blue. I have put him in a floating breeder thing till Saturday so I an get him what he needs. but i have no clue what I’m dealing with or even if it will go away. The fish store says it maybe stress but they arn’t really sure themselves any ideas?

  2. I have a Rainbow shark & when we first got him/her it was black , now it is Greyish/greenish .. Does that happen with aging? & also how would I know weather it was a female or male?

  3. Hi. I have a rainbow shark for abt 4years now, and I want to know if its ok to put a sucker fish in with my rainbow shark

  4. I have a 37 gal tank with numerous platys that are continuously reproducing, a large plecostomus, and two sharks that were sold as red tailed sharks. I discovered today that they are actually rainbow sharks, one is gray and one is beautiful black. How do I tell male from female in this species? I also have a silver catfish and another cat that is smaller and all the fish in the tank appear to get along with no fighting or attacking. My silver cat hides a lot and we rarely see it. Can I keep some of my platys in a 10 gallon tank with two fantail goldfish and a plecostomus?

  5. Hi Linda,
    Female rainbow sharks will be a lot rounder in the middle and have solid-red anal fins. Male rainbow sharks will have black-lined anal fins. I would think those platys, goldfish and pleco would be fine in a 10 gallon tank. Be careful about overstocking it–1 inch of fish per gallon is the rule.


  6. Hi Sue,
    If you are referring to a pleco, I would think that that would be fine. It would be a good cleaner for your tank, and they generally stay hidden or on the bottom so probably wouldn’t pose any territorial issues with your rainbow shark.


  7. Ok I bought my rainbow shark several months ago . I see above that they lay eggs. So what would mine have had? There worm looking things all in the tank. Idk if they were just hid in the bottom under sonething and just came out or if she had them like this . Can u help

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *