So many people think that rainbow sharks are among the best fish to buy for an aquarium. They love how nice the fish look and want to be able to enjoy them for as long as possible.
Rainbow shark care can be a bit difficult for many beginners, though. These fish aren’t necessarily as easy to care for as other freshwater fish.
Can they survive for a long time if you know what you’re doing, though? What is the average lifespan of rainbow sharks?
Read on to learn about how long rainbow sharks live in fish tanks. This should give you a good idea of what to expect when you buy rainbow sharks for your aquarium.
How Long Do Rainbow Sharks Live?
You’ll be glad to hear that rainbow sharks have the potential to live for quite some time. On average, rainbow sharks are expected to live between four and six years in captivity.
Some fish will live much longer than that. There are rainbow sharks out there that have lived up to eight years in fish tanks.
It all comes down to how well you care for the fish. If you do a superb job keeping the fish in good health, it’ll be more likely to live a long life.
These fish are fairly hardy despite being moderately difficult to care for. You need to monitor the water parameters and feed the fish well, but they can live for quite some time if you do your best to handle the basics.
How Long Do Albino Rainbow Sharks Live?
Albino rainbow sharks are favorites for many people. These rainbow sharks are neat because they look a bit different.
Are they different enough that they will have different lifespans, though? Typically, albino rainbow sharks will live between five and eight years in a fish tank.
So they essentially have the same life expectancy as other rainbow sharks. If you care for these fish well, they can live for as long as eight years.
Many people love albino rainbow sharks and say that they’re among their favorite fish. You can enjoy these fish for a long time if you focus on providing them with quality care.
How Long Do Wild Rainbow Sharks Live?
In the wild, rainbow sharks have the potential to live for slightly longer than they do in captivity. It’s said that wild rainbow sharks can live for up to ten years.
The stress of being kept in a fish tank seems to cut a few years off of their lives. So they do survive longer in the wild than they will in aquariums.
Some people say that it’s possible to keep rainbow sharks alive in fish tanks for ten years. However, it’s more likely that the fish will live up to eight years with excellent care.
If you can replicate the wild conditions of the rainbow shark very well, the fish might live for up to ten years. It’s just not a common situation that you see happening in aquariums.
How Can You Help Them Live Longer in Captivity?
Helping rainbow sharks to live longer in captivity is generally about caring for them well. You just need to focus on handling the basic care needs of these fish.
Rainbow sharks are moderately difficult to care for. They’re fish that need you to focus on keeping the water parameters where they need to be.
The pH balance of the tank must remain between 6.5 and 7.5 for these fish to thrive. They don’t do well when the ammonia levels spike in the tank.
So keeping the fish tank clean is important. You need to do regular tank maintenance and water changes to keep things where they need to be.
It’s also imperative to use a good heater to keep the temperature in the tank consistent. These fish can become stressed when exposed to fluctuating water temperatures.
The ideal temperature range for rainbow sharks is between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Do your best to monitor the temperature for the health of the fish.
These fish need more than enough room since they can be territorial. Rainbow sharks are aggressive and will fight other fish sometimes if they invade their territory.
They aren’t the best community tank fish, but they can be kept in community tanks with appropriate tank mates. No matter what, you need to make sure that these fish have plenty of space.
It’s not common to keep rainbow sharks together in a tank since they fight each other. You can keep rainbow sharks together only if you have a rather large tank.
The minimum tank size for one rainbow shark is 50 gallons, whereas you’ll need a 125-gallon tank to keep a small group of rainbow sharks.
If you don’t set the tank up correctly, it’ll be hard to keep these fish healthy. They might get injured by fighting each other, or they might simply get sick due to being stressed.
When you want them to live for up to eight years, you need to focus on providing them with an ideal environment. It will require a bit of effort, and this is why it’s usually not recommended that beginners buy these fish.
Are Rainbow Sharks Okay as Community Fish?
Keeping rainbow sharks as community fish is fine only if you do your research. They can be kept as community fish when put with the right tank mates.
There are many fish that they’re known to fight. For example, rainbow sharks would likely fight bettas or Jack Dempsey fish if you tried to keep them in the same tank.
You generally want to avoid other bottom-dwelling fish as well as other fish that are very aggressive. They’re not good to keep in tanks with angelfish or cichlids.
It is possible to keep rainbow sharks in tanks with many other types of fish, though. Many people keep these fish in community tanks with cherry barbs, gouramis, guppies, plecos, and goldfish.
So you can see that you have options to consider. Rainbow sharks certainly aren’t the best community tank fish that you can choose, but they can work out if you plan ahead.
Rainbow Shark Illnesses
Rainbow sharks can get sick when they become stressed. They also might get sick if exposed to certain types of bacteria.
To combat the potential for sickness, you want to keep the water quality high. Focus on keeping the tank clean, and quarantine incoming fish when keeping rainbow sharks as community fish.
The most common reason these fish get sick has to do with stress. If you can avoid stressing the fish, it’s less likely that they will become ill.
You also need to avoid overfeeding the fish. They might have swim bladder disease issues if they eat too much at once.
Only feed the fish as much as they can eat in five minutes. It’s better to feed them three smaller meals a day to keep things safe.
Now you know that rainbow sharks can live for up to eight years. They might live a bit less time than this if you don’t provide them with the best possible care, though.
To make your fish live for a long time, you should focus on tank maintenance. Keep the water quality high in the tank and give the fish more than enough room.
Don’t let the rainbow sharks get stressed, and they likely won’t get sick. Keep ammonia levels from spiking, and the fish should stay relatively safe in the tank.
Feeding the fish a high-quality diet without overfeeding them also helps a lot. Be sure to handle the basics well, and you can enjoy keeping these fish in your tank for many years.
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.