Skip to Content

Why Is My Rainbow Shark Losing Color? (4 Clear Causes)

Why Is My Rainbow Shark Losing Color? (4 Clear Causes)

Share this post:

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Buying rainbow sharks for your tank can be a very satisfying experience. Many people think that these fish are great simply because they look nice.

Others have a good time observing them. It’s true that rainbow sharks are colorful fish that can be fun to watch in an aquarium.

What if your rainbow shark starts losing color, though? Have you noticed that your rainbow shark isn’t as vibrant as it once was?

What causes rainbow sharks to lose color? Is this a sign that the fish is sick or does it mean something else?

Continue reading to learn more about this situation. It’ll help you to figure out what you can do to help your fish.

1 – Stress

Stress is something that can cause your fish to lose color. There are many things that can cause fish to experience stress in a fish tank.

Rainbow sharks are fish that need to be given plenty of room to thrive. When you put these fish in tanks that are too small for them they will become severely stressed.

This is a big problem that you need to avoid. One rainbow shark is meant to be kept in a tank that offers at least 50 gallons of space.

Since these fish are territorial and aggressive, they need a bit more room than normal. You can keep them as community fish, but you must research appropriate tank mates.

Rainbow sharks hang out at the bottom of the tank. They need to have hiding spots and they must be given enough space to thrive.

Overcrowding the tank with fish will make the rainbow sharks get stressed and they will lose color. Also, it’ll make the territorial nature of the rainbow sharks that much harder to deal with.

2 – Water Parameter Issues

Water parameter issues can cause rainbow sharks to lose color as well. These fish are sensitive to changes in the water parameters.

Ammonia spikes in the tank are particularly troublesome. You need to monitor the water conditions by testing the water regularly so you can avoid such issues.

Be sure to keep the fish tank very clean. Using a good filter is important because it’ll make keeping the tank clean much simpler overall.

You still need to do regular tank maintenance even when you’re using a powerful filter. Cleaning the tank and doing regular water changes will help.

Note that water changes can cause rainbow sharks to lose color a bit. It’s normal for fish to react to water changes and lose color, but it’s still something that you must do to keep them safe.

The pH balance should stay between 6.5 and 7.5 for these fish. Ensure that the temperature of the water stays between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

3 – Dietary Issues

Not feeding the fish well might cause them to lose color. You need to make sure that you’re feeding rainbow sharks high-quality foods.

Rainbow sharks are generally omnivorous fish that will eat algae as well as various types of meaty foods. You should give them flake food or pellets that contain algae and other beneficial nutrients.

Algae wafers are among the most common types of food given to rainbow sharks. They love eating these wafers and it’s easy to find them at aquarium stores and pet stores.

You’ll also likely want to give the fish various live meaty foods. You can feed them bloodworms, brine shrimp, insects, and more.

It’s also good to give these fish veggies sometimes as a snack. They like eating veggies such as kale.

Feed these fish three times per day. Give them as much as they can finish in five minutes.

You want to remove any uneaten food from the tank when the fish are done. This is to prevent the organic debris from throwing off the water parameters.

4 – Age

Fish will also lose color as they continue to age. Rainbow sharks will get older and they might lose a bit of color during the process.

This is normal and there isn’t much you can do to keep it from happening. The only thing you should focus on is providing the fish with optimal care.

Ensure that the fish has an appropriate environment to live in. Give the rainbow shark high-quality food and make sure that you’re feeding it often enough without going overboard.

So long as you’re focusing on the basics, it’ll be easy to help your rainbow shark remain as vibrant as possible. It will lose some color as it ages, but this is simply a natural thing that fish deal with.

Do Rainbow Sharks Change Color?

Yes, rainbow sharks can change color for various reasons. Above, you learned that various problems in the tank can cause rainbow sharks to lose color.

They can also get a bit darker sometimes in certain situations. For instance, you might notice the rainbow sharks get a bit darker when you put food in the tank.

Sometimes the mood of the shark and what it’s doing will have a minor impact on its coloration. It’s more common for people to notice the rainbow sharks losing color due to various stress factors, but they can get darker.

What Colors Can Rainbow Sharks Be?

Rainbow sharks have bodies that are either bright blue, dark blue, or black. Their fins will be a red or orange color.

Sometimes when the sharks get stressed they will lose color so much that they will turn white. If things get really bad you’ll notice a lack of color in these fish.

Of course, there are also albino rainbow sharks that are naturally white. So these fish are just white normally and don’t become that way due to extreme stress.

Share this post:


Tuesday 27th of June 2023

Why is my rainbow shark swimming up and down side of tank