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. i also have a Tiger Barb with my rainbow shark and my red-tailed lack shark. Can some one help me? Can these fish mate with each other? This is my first time having my own fish tank.

  2. oh ok thank you do you no if the Rainbow shark will mate with anykind of fish? if so please tell me what kind.

  3. i have the same same fish at my house i wwwwoooovvvveeee him very much and i am going today to get him a play mate

  4. Well we’ve had two Rainbow Sharks for about a yr now..someone gave them to us as babies not knowing at the time what they were, we were shocked that they attacked and ate 2 bala sharks we had in there along with 2 small algae eaters and a chiclid. They are VERY territorial and aggressive when together..They are fine with our 2 Tetras though so..

  5. Ive got a 30+ gallon tank and I have two rainbow sharks, 4 tetras, 3 African chichlid, catfish and a tank sucker. they all seem to be getting along but today the rainbow sharks seemed to be mating or so I think? I dont think they were fighting because they would have done so already. Are they mating???

  6. can my single rainbow shark live in a five gallon tank with nothing else then a plant rocks and water with a filter?

  7. I bought 2 rainbow sharks in my 20 gallon tank is this ok if I don’t get anymore fish!?? They seem to be ok unless they try to go in the others rock house things then the start kissing then go seprate sides of tank??

  8. I have two rainbow sharks and 2 pitcus catfish and one of my sharks is losing color color in his fins and tail. Instead of the vibrant red/orange, its turning clear, is this normal? If not, what’s causing this and how to I stop/reverse it?

  9. Is it a new fish? old fish? water quality ok? could be sick.. have ich, or a fungus? Are you doing regular water changes?

  10. We Recently upgraded from a 10G to a 30G atm we have 3 swordtails 5 Tetras 2 Algae Eaters and 1 Rainbow Shark, when feeding for the last 2 days the Rainbow Shark doesn’t seem to be eating, and is hiding in a rock almost looks to be layin on his side, please if you have any suggestions, Water is perfect temp is 76 and plently of coral logs and plants for them all. Everything is getting along, just worried about the shark since thats what I wanted.

  11. I purchased a red tail/ rainbow shark fish and I only have a 5 gallon tank… am I really going to have to upgrade to a bigger tank?

  12. If one is weak, the stronger shark may pick at it. If the weak shark is sick, then yes… but only once it dies.

  13. I have a rainbow shark and a red tailed shark in the same tank together and they are fine but the red tailed shark chases the rainbow shark around ignoring everything like a dance and then the rainbow goes and hides under the bottom platform of a fake plant while the red tailed comes and visits it every now and then

  14. I love my little guys. they are happy and healthy and live with goldfish! and there is 2 of them. always together.

  15. my thank has pebbles on the bottom and my rainbow shark sweped it off and is atakting other fishes when the fishes come close did she/he laid egges?

  16. We have a ten gallon tank with two zebra danios, no heater in it. Recently we bought a rainbow shark, my son wanted a shark so bad. The first night we got it, it stayed right near the filter housing the whole night. The next day he was swimming up and down instead of the normal flow of the water. I see the temp needs to be warmer for the zebra than danio. Could this temp difference have killed the shark ? Only waited for 15 minutes before putting him in the tank after buying it.

  17. Hi! My son is concernd that he shark is not eating….what do we feed the shark…I wonder if we just dont see him eat like the other fish…please advise!

  18. Flakes should be fine. Some fish hide, but it should come for food eventually. Only feed it once a day. They don’t need much food. A pinch of flakes a day is plenty.

  19. That’s too small a tank for the shark. Make sure water parameters are ok. The shark may have been sick already if your water was ok.

  20. Hey, thank you for this infomation i have a question i have two rainbow sharks and one of them is bigger with darker fins and one is smaller with really light fins i feed them a lot of food more than i should it gets eaten but i don’t know what is wrong

  21. If the tank is big enough for both of them, and your water changes have been done regularly, you might check for “white spots” on the fish, or any fin rot. Do the fish get along? No stress? A light colored fish is often stressed.


  22. Well isnt that just peachy. At my school my mom is the principal and the fish guy put two Rainbow Sharks in the same tank. Well the bigger one isn’t just picking on the smaller one, it is picking on all the other fish.

  23. i have 3 bala sharks,3 rainbow sharks,1 red-tailed shark,and also a black fin shark and they all seem to do very well with each other and i havent had a problem with them at all about fighting or with each other so i guess its just all up to how u take care of ur tank and everythin i dont see anythin wrong havent had anythin go wrong i have had them for about 6 months now and they are doin well

  24. can i put salt with the red tail shark…………i have mbuna cichlids and tiger barb in the tank….please advice

  25. I have a rainbow shark…just set up the tank last week 65G…the rainbow shark disappears every evening and reappears every morning…we have sand not gravel…4 of us have looked through the tank over and over again but can`t find his hiding place….do they bury themselves in the sand ???? Im stumped

  26. Hi,
    I have 2 rainbow shark, clown lauch, African chiclid, alga eater and flower horn in the same tank. The rainbow sharks were the same size.They are fine until after 2 months, the rainbow sharks look aggressive and one of them now is bigger than the other one, especially on the belly part. The big one will chase after the small one everytime they bump into each other. Is there a possibility that the big one is pregnant? To be honest, I’m not sure whether they are female or male. Hope you can advise or comment on this. Thank you

  27. Hi, I have a 180 litre tank which has 3 rainbow sharks, tiger pleco, 4 tiger barbs, 4 green barbs, 4 other barbs and 3 angels. Today I had to pull one of the rainbow sharks out of the tank as it appeared to have a bite mark on its under belly and was turning on its side. He unfortunately died about 3 hours later. One of the sharks is very big and when any fish, besides the pleco, go near it, it chases them away. It probably sounds obvious, but is the big boy responsible for biting him? I was told by my local fish shop that I can have at least another 20 fish in my tank and put in more sharks?! After researching a lot I am a bit concerned and unsure if I want to do this? Any advice would be great!

  28. I have “JUST ONE” in a 75 gallon tank with 3 Bala Shark (which, are twice his size), 4 Silver Dollar, and some long-skirt black tetras and he thinks this tank belongs to him. Like I said, this is a 75 gallon tank and he will not leave the other fish alone. He is constantly chasing the others around the tank. I love this fish because with the proper care, his colors really glow (red on top and back fins), but I have to get rid of him because he is driving my other fish crazy! If you want a calm, peaceful tank, DO NOT get any of these fish, not even one

Leave a Reply

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