Skip to Content

How Big Do Rainbow Sharks Get? (Are They Smaller in Captivity?)

How Big Do Rainbow Sharks Get? (Are They Smaller in Captivity?)

Share this post:

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Rainbow sharks are fascinating fish that many people are interested in. You might want to buy some of these fish for your tank sometime soon.

They could be good additions to your fish tank, but you need to make sure you can care for them properly. If you don’t know a lot about them yet, it’d be wise to research them a bit.

For instance, you might not know how big rainbow sharks can get. How big do rainbow sharks get on average?

Continue reading to learn about the average size of rainbow sharks. This should give you an idea of whether your current tank is appropriate for rainbow sharks or not.

What Is a Rainbow Shark’s Max Size?

Some rainbow sharks will grow to be around six inches long at maturity. This is as large as the majority of rainbow sharks will get.

However, there have been instances of rainbow sharks growing to be eight inches long. This is not common, but it has happened before.

In captivity, rainbow sharks will often be a bit smaller. Wild rainbow sharks are likely to grow to six inches, but captive ones will likely only grow to be four inches long.

Of course, it’s not unheard of for a rainbow shark to grow to six inches in a fish tank. This can happen with proper care and by keeping the fish in a large enough aquarium.

If you go out and buy rainbow sharks for your tank, it’s best to expect them to grow to be four inches long. They might grow slightly larger than this, but four inches will likely be the maximum growth potential of a rainbow shark that’s kept in a fish tank.

How Big Do Albino Rainbow Sharks Get?

Albino rainbow sharks grow to be the same size as normal rainbow sharks. They’re not substantially different from other rainbow sharks outside of coloration.

The maximum size that you would expect an albino rainbow shark to reach is six inches. There are some reports of these fish reaching eight inches long in the wild, but this is very rare.

The albino rainbow shark will possibly reach five to six inches in a fish tank setting. It’ll be around the same size as standard rainbow sharks since they have the potential to grow up to six inches long in fish tanks as well.

Just remember to care for the fish well and give it enough space in the tank. These fish need space and a consistent diet to reach maximum growth potential.

How Fast Do Rainbow Sharks Grow?

Baby rainbow sharks start out very small. Upon hatching, rainbow sharks will be so tiny that they will just look like specks in the water.

They grow incredibly fast when they’re young. By the time the fish is two to four weeks old, it’ll be ½ of an inch long, and it has the potential to reach one inch long during this time.

It can take a long time for rainbow sharks to reach their full size. So a rainbow shark won’t be four to six inches long until a few years have passed.

Getting the fish to reach its full size will involve meeting its basic care needs. This means keeping the water clean, feeding the fish, and ensuring that they have all they need to thrive.

How Long for a Rainbow Shark to Reach Full Size?

There are conflicting reports on how long it takes rainbow sharks to reach full size. Some say that this can occur in a year or so.

Others say that it might take three to four years. There are even some claims that it can happen much faster, but it’s likely that these fish will take at least a few years to reach four inches long.

Generally, the fish will need time to eat and grow naturally. The fish might be one inch long after a month or so, but the growth rate slows after this time.

Even so, you can have an impact on how fast your rainbow sharks grow. Feeding them high-quality foods and giving them enough space in the tank will help them to reach their full size.

How Can You Help Rainbow Sharks Grow Fast?

Helping rainbow sharks grow faster is mostly about meeting their basic care needs. You can’t force rainbow sharks to grow rapidly, but you can help them to grow a bit faster.

Give these fish protein-rich foods such as insects, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. You should also be feeding them algae rounds since they eat algae in the wild.

Make sure that the fish have more than enough room in the tank. Rainbow sharks get territorial when kept in overcrowded fish tanks or aquariums that are too small.

A big enough tank will make it easier for these fish to grow to full size. You can have a good experience as long as you focus on caring for the fish well.

Feed the fish three times per day. You’re supposed to give the fish as much as they can eat in five minutes.

Dispose of any food that the fish didn’t eat during the feeding session. Leaving uneaten food in the tank will only make the water dirty, and throwing the water parameters off can harm the fish.

Are Rainbow Sharks Easy to Care For?

It’s not as easy to care for rainbow sharks as it is for many other fish. These fish are considered to be moderately difficult to care for.

Most experts recommend that beginners stay away from rainbow sharks. They’re aggressive fish that have specific care requirements.

You need to be focused on keeping the fish tank clean and monitoring the water parameters closely to keep these fish in good health. Also, you need fairly large tanks for these fish.

They might not be the most practical fish to own for many newcomers to the hobby. Even so, it’s easy to see why these fish are appealing to so many people.

You might like the look of rainbow sharks and will want to try caring for them yourself. It’s easy enough to do a good job if you’re focused on learning about their care requirements.

Just don’t buy rainbow sharks unless you’re committed to caring for them well. You need to be serious about fish care to have a good experience with these fish.

Can Rainbow Sharks Be Kept Together?

Generally, it’s not recommended to keep rainbow sharks together in a fish tank. These aggressive fish are known to fight each other in aquariums.

Keeping a few rainbow sharks in a tank can lead to various problems. The fish fight for dominance, and they often injure each other during their squabbles.

This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to keep rainbow sharks together in fish tanks, though. You can keep small groups of rainbow sharks in the same tank if you have a large tank.

You’d need a minimum tank size of 125 gallons to do this. So it’s something only committed fish tank owners will want to pursue.

Also, you should know that these fish can be utilized as community fish. You just have to keep them in tanks that are large enough while choosing compatible fish.

It’s also wise to put hiding spots in the tank. Rainbow sharks like having aquatic plants and caves that they can use to hide.

Final Thoughts

Do your best to keep this information in mind so that you can determine if rainbow sharks are right for you. Rainbow sharks can be great fish to own, but you need a big tank for them.

The minimum tank size for rainbow sharks is 50 gallons. They can grow to be up to six inches long in a fish tank, but they might only reach four inches long depending on various factors.

Albino rainbow sharks are pretty much the same size as standard rainbow sharks. You need to make sure you have room for a big tank if you want to keep these fish.

If you plan to keep a small group of rainbow sharks, you’ll need a rather big tank. The minimum tank size for a little group of these fish is 125 gallons due to how aggressive they are toward each other.

Share this post: