Buying rainbow sharks for your home aquarium can be a good choice. Many people think that these fish are some of the best they have owned.
They’re fun to look at, and they certainly have added aesthetic appeal to the fish tank. You might even consider breeding these fish when you want more.
Is it possible to breed rainbow fish in captivity? Can you breed these fish as a beginner, or is it something that requires experience?
Keep reading to learn all of the important details about rainbow shark breeding. This will allow you to make good choices and figure out how you want to proceed.
Are Rainbow Sharks Live-Bearers?
No, rainbow sharks aren’t live-bearers. These fish lay eggs just as many other fish do.
Live-bearing fish are ones that get pregnant and carry their babies. Rainbow sharks simply lay eggs, so the process is different.
A female rainbow shark lays the eggs, and then the male fertilizes those eggs to make them viable. This is the same thing that most egg-laying types of fish do when laying eggs.
The mating process isn’t too different from that of many other fish, but breeding rainbow sharks is hard in captivity. You’ll learn a bit more about that later.
How Can You Tell if a Rainbow Shark Is Pregnant?
Rainbow sharks don’t get pregnant. Only live-bearing fish become pregnant.
Since rainbow sharks lay eggs, the fish is going to get heavy with eggs when it’s time to breed. You might notice that a female rainbow shark will look a bit plump around the middle when she’s getting ready to lay eggs.
When the belly area is a bit swollen, that is a sign of the fish being ready to mate. Of course, bloating can occur for other reasons, so a bloated belly might not always be due to the fish being ready to lay eggs.
For example, rainbow sharks might become bloated if they get constipated. Some types of infections can lead to bloating as well.
How Long Are Rainbow Sharks Pregnant?
Rainbow sharks never get pregnant because they lay eggs. They aren’t live-bearing fish, so it’s impossible for a rainbow shark to get pregnant.
Female rainbow sharks simply produce eggs and lay them when it’s time to mate. These eggs are then fertilized by a male rainbow shark so that they will become viable.
How Many Eggs Do Rainbow Sharks Have?
A rainbow shark will lay several eggs when breeding. It’s not clear how many eggs the rainbow shark will lay at once, but you can expect several eggs.
It could be dozens of eggs or slightly more. What’s important to know is that the eggs are laid by the female, and the male will then be tasked with fertilizing the eggs.
The most common scenario sees the rainbow shark laying eggs in groups of ten to twenty. The eggs will be attached to objects in the tank, such as aquatic plants or decorations.
Since these fish are very tough to breed in captivity, most people will never see a female rainbow shark lay eggs. If you get lucky, you’ll discover that the rainbow shark breeding season occurs during October and November.
What Do Rainbow Shark Eggs Look Like?
When looking at rainbow shark eggs, you’ll see that they’re quite small. The eggs will always be small and round.
They have hard outer shells and will usually look either orange or pale pink. If the color of the eggs is different than this, it likely means that the egg wasn’t fertilized properly.
Each rainbow shark egg will be roughly the size of a pea. They can be a bit tough to spot at first unless you know what you’re looking for.
Look for rainbow shark eggs on aquatic plants and little decorations that are placed in the tank. The female fish will generally attach the eggs to plants and other objects in the aquarium.
How Long Does It Take Rainbow Shark Eggs to Hatch?
It takes a little while for rainbow shark eggs to hatch. After the eggs have been fertilized, it’ll take roughly one week for the eggs to hatch.
The exact hatching time will vary based on the water temperature in the tank. When the eggs hatch, the baby rainbow sharks won’t be cared for by their parents.
Rainbow shark fry are left to fend for themselves. It’s generally best to separate the eggs from the parents since the parents won’t provide any care.
Can You Breed Rainbow Sharks?
It’s possible to breed rainbow sharks, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do so. These fish are considered to be some of the hardest to breed.
Unless you are an experienced fish breeder, it’s not advisable to attempt to breed rainbow sharks. You’ll likely only get bad results.
Why is it so hard to breed these fish? Simply put, the temperament of the fish makes it quite difficult.
Even keeping rainbow sharks in the same fish tank can be a challenge. Most people choose to keep just one rainbow shark in a tank.
These are aggressive fish that are known to fight each other. They will squabble and fight for dominance so much that some of the fish will get hurt.
When keeping these fish together, you need to keep them in a rather large tank. It’s also important to utilize hiding spots appropriately to mitigate aggression issues.
So breeding rainbow sharks will also be rather tough to do. You won’t have an easy time getting the fish to breed since they don’t tolerate their own kind well.
Most say that it’s a lost cause trying to breed them in captivity. There are people who do it, but these people are experienced and have perfect setups that allow them to get optimal results.
So it’s likely that you should give up on the idea of breeding rainbow sharks in your tank. In all likelihood, this is not a scenario that will be enjoyable for you.
Keep reading if you’re determined to give it a shot, though. You’ll learn how breeding rainbow sharks is done.
How to Breed Rainbow Sharks
Breeding rainbow sharks is so tough that most recommend not trying to do it. You can attempt this, but you should know that your chances of success are slim.
To start, you’ll want to purchase a 75-gallon fish tank as a breeding tank. This is the tank that you’ll use to try to coax a breeding pair of rainbow sharks to breed.
The breeding tank should have appropriate water conditions for the rainbow sharks. Take the time to prepare the water and cycle the tank to keep things safe.
Make sure that you have one male and one female fish. Males are slimmer and more colorful than females.
The fish must be sexually mature as well. It takes between one and two years for these fish to reach sexual maturity.
Sexually mature rainbow sharks should be around four inches long. So if your fish are smaller, it’s likely that they’re still juveniles, and you’ll need to exercise patience.
When everything is ready, you should put the two fish in the tank. Keep hiding places in the tank because it’ll help to limit problems with fighting.
Make sure that you’re using a good filter and that you have a powerful enough heater. The temperature of the water must be between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Change 25% of the water in the tank in an attempt to coax the fish to breed. Keep doing this once per week, and look to see if you notice the fish rubbing against each other.
Rubbing against one another is a breeding sign in rainbow sharks. Eventually, the female should scatter its eggs, and the male will fertilize them.
You should have a 10-gallon tank set up to take care of the eggs. When the eggs are laid and they have been fertilized, you’ll transfer them to the 10-gallon tank.
The water in the tank needs to be dechlorinated, and you must use an air stone that’s attached to an air pump. After about one week, the eggs should hatch.
This likely sounds simple, but getting rainbow sharks to breed is anything but. They don’t get along well, and the fish will be more likely to fight each other than they will be to mate.
Keep this in mind and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the results you’re hoping for. You can always try a different breeding pair to see if you have better luck.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.