Have you recently purchased rainbow sharks for your home aquarium? Or perhaps you’re just thinking about buying some right now?
Before you move forward, it’d be wise to learn a bit about the care needs of these fish. To keep rainbow sharks healthy, it’s imperative to give them enough food.
You also need to make sure that you feed them the right types of food. What do rainbow sharks eat?
Continue reading to learn about the diet of rainbow sharks. You’ll learn how to go about feeding them as well as the types of food you should be giving these fish.
Do Rainbow Sharks Eat Algae?
Yes, algae is the primary thing that rainbow sharks like to eat. You’ll feed these fish algae as a part of their regular diet.
Typically, people give these fish flake food that contains algae or they give them algae wafers. These types of food have the right nutritional value for rainbow sharks.
Wild rainbow sharks will consume mostly algae and plankton. Does this mean that you can count on your rainbow shark to keep your tank clean?
The fish might eat some algae in the tank, but you still need to give it pellets or wafers. This isn’t a fish that will be able to live on just the algae in the tank.
Do Rainbow Sharks Eat Shrimp?
You’ll find that rainbow sharks love eating shrimp as a treat. It’s common for shrimp to be given to these fish as a supplement to their normal diet.
Many types of live foods can be given to rainbow sharks. There are certain types of shrimp that are more convenient for these fish such as brine shrimp.
These fish might also eat shrimp if you try to put them in the fish tank with them as tank mates. Some shrimp will be large enough to escape being eaten by the rainbow sharks, but shrimp babies would definitely get gobbled up.
Cherry shrimp will wind up becoming snacks for your rainbow sharks in all likelihood. If you’re only focused on food for the fish, it’s fine to buy live shrimp or frozen shrimp to give to your rainbow sharks.
Do They Eat Bloodworms?
Bloodworms are another common food given to rainbow sharks. Rainbow sharks need to have some type of protein in their diets.
The bloodworms will be a good choice to give to these fish. This is because bloodworms contain a lot of protein and it’s easy to get them at stores.
You can buy bloodworms in various forms at aquarium stores and certain pet stores. You might choose to buy live bloodworms or you might buy frozen bloodworms.
Freeze-dried bloodworms are also quite popular. This will likely be a typical food that you’ll give to your rainbow shark.
Do They Eat Other Fish?
Since rainbow sharks are omnivorous, it’s possible that they will eat other fish. Fish that are small enough to fit in their mouths will be potential meals.
This is true when looking at any type of omnivorous or carnivorous fish. It’s normal for these fish to eat baby fish or small fish if they’re inhabiting the same tank.
However, it’s not that common for them to seek out other fish as meals. Rainbow sharks are typically passive enough that they won’t want to go after other fish in that way.
In a fish tank setting, rainbow sharks will usually only eat small and defenseless fish. So you need to plan your community tank accordingly to avoid having certain fish become meals for your rainbow sharks.
Do Rainbow Sharks Eat Plants?
Rainbow sharks are omnivores that will eat both meat and plants. They don’t generally munch on aquatic plants in the aquarium, though.
It’s not unusual to see these fish eat decaying plant matter. They love eating algae and detritus might get consumed by these fish as well.
If you’re worried about rainbow sharks ruining your aquatic plants you shouldn’t be. They like to use aquatic plants as hiding spots.
Which Veggies Should You Feed Them?
Veggies can also be a normal part of a rainbow shark’s diet. It’s normal to feed these fish vegetables as a supplement to their normal diet.
There are all sorts of veggies that these fish can eat. Some of the most popular options include kale, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and peas.
Just make sure to slice the veggies up into small pieces for the fish. You want to make it easy for the fish to eat the veggies.
Also, you should only give your rainbow sharks fresh vegetables. Avoid processed veggies since those might contain salt and other things that won’t be good for the fish.
What Do Wild Rainbow Sharks Eat?
Wild rainbow sharks will eat a variety of things to survive. They mostly subsist on algae and plankton, though.
It’s also common for them to eat insects, larvae, and small invertebrates. Since these fish are omnivores, they’ll eat a combination of meaty foods and veggies.
What Do Albino Rainbow Sharks Eat?
Albino rainbow sharks aren’t really much different from standard rainbow sharks. They’re also omnivorous fish that will eat different types of meaty foods as well as veggies.
It’s most common for these fish to eat algae. So you’ll generally feed them algae pellets or wafers daily.
Then you’ll supplement the diet by feeding the fish live meaty foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. It’s also good to give them veggies such as kale, green beans, and carrots.
They need to be fed the same number of times per day as normal rainbow sharks. So if you get used to caring for standard rainbow sharks, it won’t be any different caring for albino rainbow sharks.
The main difference between the fish is how they look. These fish have a white bodies that stand out in the tank in a different way than the dark-colored rainbow sharks that you might be more familiar with.
Are Rainbow Sharks Bottom Feeders?
Rainbow sharks do indeed hang out at the bottom of the tank. They occupy the bottom area of the tank and are mostly bottom feeders.
It’s easier if you make sure that you buy food that will sink to the bottom of the tank. So people often purchase sinking algae wafers and other such food for rainbow sharks.
These fish will come up to other parts of the tank to eat sometimes, though. So they aren’t strictly bottom-feeding fish like many types of catfish are.
Rainbow sharks are territorial and like to protect the bottom of the tank. When keeping them with other fish it’s important to choose their tank mates carefully.
How Much to Feed a Rainbow Shark
Feeding rainbow sharks is easy once you get into a routine. You want to avoid overfeeding these fish, though.
So it’s best to give them only as much as they can eat in five minutes. Do this each time that you feed the fish and all should be well.
Note that there might be some leftover food in the tank when the time is up. You should remove this leftover food from the tank instead of leaving it there.
Organic matter can negatively impact the water quality and throw things off. So it’s important to scoop up bits of uneaten food and throw it away.
How Often to Feed Them
How often to feed the rainbow sharks is another thing to keep in mind. You should feed the rainbow sharks two or three times per day.
Enthusiasts suggest that you stick with three feedings per day. You can get the best results and keep the rainbow sharks in good health if you go this route.
A typical feeding schedule for these fish will be to feed them in the morning when you wake up, in the late afternoon, and then once more before bed. Other feeding schedules can also work out so long as you’re feeding the fish often enough.
You won’t have a hard time feeding the fish so long as you don’t feed them too much at once. Remember to only feed them as much as they can eat in five minutes.
How Long Can a Rainbow Shark Go Without Eating?
A rainbow shark should be able to survive for three days without being fed. So long as the fish is healthy, it’s unlikely that it will die of starvation after only three days.
Typically, a healthy fish should be able to survive for three days to one week without food. However, there are other factors that can play a role.
You shouldn’t go three days without feeding your fish for no reason. This will stress the fish and might lead to problems with illnesses or diseases.
Focus on sticking to a consistent feeding schedule. This is the safest route to take when caring for rainbow sharks.
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.