If you’re thinking about buying rainbow sharks for your fish tank, there’s a good chance that you want to keep them in a community tank. These fish can be kept in community tanks, but you need to make sure that you make good choices.
It’s important to pick a tank that’s the right size. You also need to take the time to pick out appropriate tank mates for the rainbow sharks.
There are many fish that can live peacefully with rainbow sharks. You’ll find that some fish are a bad match as tank mates for these fish, too.
Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about rainbow shark tank mates. It’ll help you to make the best decision and set up your community tank optimally.
Can Rainbow Sharks Live with Angelfish?
Most experts recommend that you avoid putting angelfish in community tanks with rainbow sharks. Rainbow sharks are known to bother fish that have long fins.
They might nip at the angelfish, and they will cause them stress. The aggressive nature of rainbow sharks doesn’t make them good tank mates for angelfish.
Angelfish are gorgeous, though, and many people don’t want to give up on the idea of keeping them with rainbow sharks. Some people have successfully kept angelfish with rainbow sharks, but it’s not the best idea to try to do so.
To keep all of the fish in the tank safe, you’ll do better if you go with compatible tank mates. You don’t want the angelfish to get hurt or bullied by the rainbow sharks.
Can They Live with Jack Dempsey Fish?
Trying to keep Jack Dempsey fish in the same tank as rainbow sharks will not be wise. This will lead to a situation where the two fish will fight.
Both fish are territorial, and they will fight for supremacy. One of the fish could get seriously hurt during this encounter.
You want to create a community tank that’s peaceful and safe for all of the fish involved. It’s not good to put rainbow sharks in tanks with fish that they will get into fights with.
Jack Dempsey fish can be interesting to own, but it’s best to keep them in tanks that are separate from rainbow sharks. The two fish won’t get along, and the situation won’t end well if you try to force the two to live together.
Can They Live with Cichlids?
Generally, keeping rainbow sharks with cichlids won’t be a good idea. There are a few reasons for this, but one of the most important ones to keep in mind is that many cichlids like higher pH levels than rainbow sharks need.
Also, cichlids are generally aggressive fish that can be somewhat territorial. This will clash with the territorial nature of the rainbow sharks and might lead to fights.
You should pick other fish for your community tank and forget about cichlids. Cichlids are nice fish that you might want to own, but they’d be better off in a separate tank.
Technically, angelfish are cichlids, and you already learned that they won’t work with rainbow sharks. Do your best to avoid fish that aren’t truly compatible with rainbow sharks.
Are Goldfish an Option?
Goldfish can work as rainbow shark tank mates, but you need to ensure that the tank is large enough. As long as you’re not overcrowding the tank, these two fish can get along just fine.
The rainbow sharks should occupy a different area of the tank. Rainbow sharks like to stay at the bottom of the tank, while goldfish tend to stay near the middle of the tank.
They shouldn’t come into conflict if the tank is large enough to accommodate all of the fish. So goldfish can work out nicely as tank mates for rainbow sharks.
Many people like putting goldfish in tanks with rainbow sharks. They look pretty, and it’s easy enough to get the two fish to get along so you won’t have to deal with stressful situations.
Can Rainbow Sharks Live with Bettas?
It’s not a good choice to put bettas in community tanks with rainbow sharks. Rainbow sharks are territorial fish, and so are bettas.
Also, rainbow sharks are known to go after fish with long fins. So bettas would wind up being a target for the rainbow sharks.
Even if these two fish occupy different areas of the tank, it’s likely that they will come into conflict when kept together. Bettas and rainbow sharks will fight, and some of the fish will get injured during the scuffle.
This is a bad situation that you should avoid. Don’t buy bettas for a community tank that contains rainbow sharks.
Can They Live with Mollies?
Some people choose to keep mollies in community tanks with rainbow sharks. It isn’t the best fit because of how mollies reproduce, though.
Mollies are live-bearing fish that reproduce monthly. The increased number of fish makes the ammonia levels spike in the tank, and this will be very bad for the rainbow sharks.
So you should likely avoid putting mollies in the community tank. These fish occupy different sections of the tank, but they’re still not a good match.
Mollies can be good community fish, but they’re just not ideal rainbow shark tank mates. Luckily, there are many better choices that you can turn to.
What About Shrimp?
Some people keep certain types of shrimp in community tanks with rainbow sharks successfully. However, it should be noted that rainbow sharks will eat many types of shrimp.
They will eat cherry shrimp and many other types of shrimp. Also, when shrimp reproduce, the babies will get gobbled up by the rainbow sharks.
So shrimp aren’t the best tank mates for rainbow sharks. It can work, but it isn’t likely the best choice that you can make.
If you choose to put them in tanks with shrimp, you’ll have to go with larger species of freshwater shrimp. It can work out and some people do like to put shrimp in community aquariums.
How About Guppies?
Guppies are considered to be pretty good tank mates for rainbow sharks. You can safely keep these fish together in a community tank.
Generally, guppies aren’t going to spend any time at the bottom of the tank. So the rainbow sharks won’t come into contact with them.
To keep things safe, you’ll be wise to put plenty of hiding spots in the tank. Ensure that there are aquatic plants and various little caves where fish can hide.
Many people choose to keep guppies and rainbow sharks together in community aquariums. So this idea is one that you can rely on when planning out your community tank.
Can Rainbow Sharks Live with Tetras?
Tetras are fairly common tank mates for rainbow sharks. They’re considered to be easy tank mates for these fish because they get along well enough.
Neon tetras are among the most common types of tetras that people keep with rainbow sharks. There might be times when the tetras will get chased by the rainbow sharks, but nothing bad should come of it.
As usual, you want to ensure that the tank is large enough and that there are hiding spots for the fish. As long as the basics are handled well, it’s easy enough to get good results caring for these fish.
Tetras can be a joy to own and can add charm to your fish tank. So don’t hesitate to buy some if you’re interested.
Can They Live with Gouramis?
Gouramis are generally regarded as some of the best community fish. You’ll be happy to hear that they can be kept with rainbow sharks as well.
Since gouramis are such peaceful and calm fish, they’ll be good tank mates for rainbow sharks. You just need to make sure that the aquarium is large enough so the rainbow sharks won’t get overly territorial.
So long as you keep them in the right environment, the situation will be safe for both fish. The gouramis will mind their own business, and the rainbow sharks will do their thing at the bottom of the tank.
Many people love gouramis, and there are many kinds that you can choose from. They’re pretty fish that will be perfect for community tanks.
Are Rasboras a Good Option?
Certain types of rasboras should work out fine as tank mates for rainbow sharks. You want to make sure that you choose the best rasboras that will tolerate the rainbow sharks.
Most people wind up going with harlequin rasboras. Harlequin rasboras are fast-moving fish that won’t be bothered by rainbow sharks.
You’ll enjoy the beautiful nature of the rasboras, and they won’t have a tough time in the community tank with the rainbow sharks. It should be an overall good experience.
Rasboras can swim fast enough that they can get away from the rainbow sharks if they need to. This situation should work out well, so rasboras are recommended tank mates for rainbow sharks.
Can Rainbow Sharks Live with Barbs?
Barbs are among the most common tank mates that are recommended for rainbow sharks. Much like harlequin rasboras, cherry barbs are capable of swimming pretty fast.
They can tolerate the nature of the rainbow sharks, and they’re able to swim fast enough to get away from them. Cherry barbs are also rather pretty, and many people like buying them just because they have aesthetic appeal.
It’s also nice that barbs are generally hardy fish that are easy to care for. You won’t have a tough time keeping them in good shape, even in a community tank setting.
Getting some cherry barbs for your fish tank will be a good choice. They’ll be some of the best tank mates that you’ll find for rainbow sharks.
Can They Live with Plecos?
Plecos are in the tough position of being bottom-feeding fish. This means that they will occupy the same part of the tank as the rainbow sharks.
Rainbow sharks are known to bully most types of catfish and other bottom-dwellers. However, plecos are a bit on the big side, and this means that rainbow sharks won’t be able to do much to them.
You’ll find that plecos are hardy and large enough to withstand the rainbow sharks. Plecos are good tank mates for rainbow sharks because they don’t have to worry so much about rainbow shark aggression.
They’re simply too big for the rainbow sharks to be able to bully them. So you can buy most types of plecos and keep them in community aquariums with rainbow sharks.
What About Loaches?
Loaches can be good tank mates for rainbow sharks, too. They’re good options for similar reasons to why plecos are good options.
Many loaches are fairly large, which means that rainbow sharks won’t try to bully them. Also, they don’t have to worry about being eaten by rainbow sharks.
Just be sure to pick loaches that are large enough that they won’t be bothered by the rainbow sharks. Some people have kept clown loaches with rainbow sharks and have said that things went well.
So you might be able to try various types of loaches as tank mates for rainbow sharks. As long as the loaches are a bit bigger than the rainbow sharks, things might work out fine.
The Best Tank Mates for Rainbow Sharks
There are many good tank mates that you can choose for rainbow sharks. Barbs such as cherry barbs are among the most popular fish to keep in community tanks with rainbow sharks.
You can also go with plecos since they’re big enough to withstand rainbow sharks. Loaches have the potential to work as well.
Gouramis can make good tank mates for rainbow sharks and so can harlequin rasboras. You can keep them with guppies in community tanks and even goldfish are known to work well as long as the tank is large enough.
Neon tetras can be kept in community aquariums with rainbow sharks. You’ll have plenty of strong choices to consider when you want to have a community tank that contains a rainbow shark.
The Worst Tank Mates for Rainbow Sharks
Of course, there are many poor tank mates for rainbow sharks as well. You should avoid putting these fish in community tanks with angelfish.
They’re not going to get along well with fish such as bettas. You’ll wind up seeing these fish fight if you put them in the same tank.
This is also true when trying to pair rainbow sharks and Jack Dempsey fish. Cichlids won’t make good tank mates for rainbow sharks, and you’ll want to avoid most types of bottom-dwelling fish.
It’s also important to note that tiger sharks and zebra sharks will not get along with rainbow sharks. Don’t put them in community tanks with rainbow sharks since it’ll only lead to chaos.
There are many things to consider when picking tank mates for rainbow sharks. Now you know a lot more about picking the right tank mates for these fish.
It should be far easier to make good choices now that you’ve learned about the different options. Go with good tank mates such as gouramis, plecos, harlequin rasboras, or cherry barbs.
Avoid keeping these fish in tanks with bettas, angelfish, Jack Dempsey fish, and tiger sharks. You want to put the fish in a position where it will be safe, and it can thrive.
Setting up a community tank isn’t hard when you research the compatibility of the fish. Remember not to overcrowd the tank, and make sure that you get a tank that is more than large enough to keep the fish comfortable.
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.