Rainbow sharks have long been considered to be desirable fish for home aquariums. They’re pretty and many people love caring for them.
They can be a bit tough to care for if you’re a beginner, but you will do okay if you approach things the right way. One important aspect of caring for rainbow sharks is giving them an appropriate environment.
While the water conditions in the tank certainly need to be monitored, you also need to focus on the tank size. Putting these fish in a tank that’s big enough for them is imperative.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about rainbow shark tank size. This will help you to make the best decisions so you can keep your fish safe and healthy.
Can a Rainbow Shark Live in a 10-gallon Tank?
A 10-gallon fish tank is far too small for a rainbow shark. Rainbow sharks grow to be up to six inches long, and they hate being overcrowded in fish tanks.
Trying to cram a rainbow shark into a 10-gallon aquarium would be a terrible choice. This would make the fish feel incredibly stressed.
You’d only be making the fish sick and possibly stunting its growth. People often buy rainbow sharks as juveniles and they will only be between one and two inches long.
Understand that these fish are going to grow. Your fish will be six inches long after a few years have passed, and it’s not good to keep the fish in an undersized tank when it’s a juvenile either.
What About a 20-gallon Tank?
Sadly, 20-gallon fish tanks will also be far too small for these fish. A 20-gallon fish tank is not large enough for rainbow sharks to thrive.
A rainbow shark will be very stressed if put into a 20-gallon aquarium. This is an appropriate tank size for some fish, but rainbow sharks need much more room.
The aggressive and territorial nature of rainbow sharks makes them need much more room than most. If you give them a small environment they will get stressed and suffer from health issues.
A 20-gallon fish tank isn’t even good as a starter tank for these fish. If this is the biggest tank that you can fit in your home, it’s not wise for you to purchase rainbow sharks.
How About a 30-gallon Tank?
No, a 30-gallon tank will also be inappropriate for these fish. This is closer to being big enough for the fish, but it’s still too small overall.
A 30-gallon fish tank might look okay for a juvenile rainbow shark. However, the fish is going to outgrow this tank in a hurry.
Plus, these fish like to have more room than they need. They become stressed when kept in small tanks, and that means that a 30-gallon fish tank will never truly be appropriate.
So you’ll have to go with a larger tank. Keep the 30-gallon fish tank in mind for other fish that don’t need as much space.
What Is the Ideal Fish Tank Size for Rainbow Sharks?
The ideal fish tank size for rainbow sharks will depend on various factors. The minimum tank size is 55 gallons.
A rainbow shark should be kept in a tank with no less than 50 gallons of space. Most people choose to go with 55-gallon aquariums since they offer a good amount of space.
This is an appropriate tank size for one rainbow shark. If you want to keep more than this you will need a much larger tank.
So make sure that you have enough space to house a 55-gallon fish tank if you’re interested in buying a rainbow shark. For some, it might not be practical to buy these fish due to the amount of space they require.
Can You Have More Than One Rainbow Shark in a Tank?
It is possible to keep more than one rainbow shark in a tank, but you’ll need a rather big tank. Most experts say that you should buy a 125-gallon fish tank if you want to keep a small group of rainbow sharks together.
You’ll also need to put many hiding spots in the tank. Make sure that there are caves in the tank where your rainbow sharks can hide and get away from each other.
Having many aquatic plants in the tank will be a good idea as well. You want to make sure that you choose good plants such as Java ferns, Jungle Val, and Amazon sword plants.
Even if you do things perfectly, it’s still possible that the rainbow sharks might fight. This is why many people choose to avoid putting more than one rainbow shark in a fish tank.
Are Rainbow Sharks Schooling Fish?
No, rainbow sharks aren’t schooling fish. These fish are known for being fairly solitary.
Also, they’re intolerant of each other. This makes breeding the fish a bit of a hassle.
The fish often wind up fighting rather than pairing up to mate. Male rainbow sharks fight each other the most, but even male and female pairs are known to fight.
The aggressive nature of rainbow sharks makes it so they do not get along well. You might wish to avoid keeping these fish in groups due to how much of a headache it can be.
How Many Rainbow Sharks Should You Keep in a Tank?
You should keep just one rainbow shark in the fish tank. This is the easiest route to take since you won’t have to worry about the fish fighting each other.
Since it’s possible to keep rainbow sharks together, some people still want to know how many they can keep in one tank. A small group of three or four might be possible if you keep them in a very large tank.
However, many people still don’t have a good experience with keeping rainbow sharks in groups. If the tank is big and there are enough hiding spots it can work out okay.
Just be prepared and understand how territorial and aggressive these fish can be. It can be a bit of a nuisance, but knowing what to expect ahead of time helps.
Can a Rainbow Shark Live in a Community Tank?
It is indeed possible to keep rainbow sharks in community tanks. You just have to be careful when putting together the community aquarium.
These fish need to be given plenty of space. They won’t do well in community tanks if they’re too cramped.
Give the fish enough space at the bottom of the tank and research compatible tank mates. There are many good compatible fish that you can choose from.
Rainbow sharks can live in tanks with cherry barbs, tetras, gouramis, bristlenose plecos, and more. You just need to do the research to ensure compatibility before moving forward.
Some fish are incompatible with rainbow sharks. Many types of cichlids, angelfish, and bettas will not get along well with rainbow sharks.
How Big Should a Community Fish Tank Be?
The size of the community fish tank must be large if you want things to go well. As mentioned earlier, rainbow sharks like to have more than enough room in a fish tank.
They’re aggressive and territorial fish that won’t be nice if kept in a cramped environment. So you wouldn’t want to cram a bunch of fish into a 55-gallon fish tank and call it good.
It’s likely best to go with a 75-gallon fish tank or something larger when you plan to do a community aquarium. This should make it easier to give the rainbow shark more than enough room.
You’ll have to be careful not to overstock the tank with fish, though. Even a very large community tank can become overcrowded if you buy more fish than you should.
Do your best to get an aquarium that is more than big enough for rainbow sharks. These fish truly don’t do well in tanks that are too small.
They get stressed in small tanks and this will likely make them sick. You don’t want to put your fish in that situation.
The minimum tank size that you should buy is 55 gallons. If you want to keep multiple rainbow sharks in the tank, you’ll need a 125-gallon tank or something larger.
Since these fish need fairly big fish tanks, they might not be practical for everyone. If you’re working with limited space, you might want to choose another type of fish.
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.