Caring for Your Own Rainbow Shark
A rainbow shark can be a fantastic addition to an existing fish tank or a great starter for your first try at caring for fish. This type of fish is typically either grey or white with orange fins. It is a colorful fish that can certainly add a bit of flare to your aquarium! Take a look at the following information and guidelines for selecting and caring for rainbow sharks.
Rainbow Shark Personality
The rainbow shark can be a great fish to add to your aquarium, but before you make the commitment to buy one, it is important that you understand the rainbow shark’s personality. Introducing a fish that has an incompatible temperament with your other fish can make the entire tank environment depressing and dangerous for the fish inside. In the world of fish, the rainbow shark would be considered semi-aggressive. They are highly territorial and have a tendency to pick on tank mates that have a less aggressive or passive temperament. This can be dangerous to the non-aggressive fish because a rainbow shark will literally bite the fins of the other fish which can eventually result in death.
The Right Tank Environment
Rainbow sharks need plenty of room to swim due to their energetic nature and therefore you shouldn’t consider getting this type of fish unless you have a tank size of at least 30 gallons, but a 55 gallon tank would be much better for this type of fish. Ideally, the tank should have rocks as well as live vegetation. Young rainbow sharks need the live plants to help stimulate healthy growth and development, although adult fish can also benefit from the plants. Another tank inclusion that you might want to consider is a good sized rock, cave, or decorative item like a sunken ship. Your rainbow will have moments when it simply wants to be left alone, otherwise it may become more aggressive. By placing a bulky item in the tank, you are able to offer the fish a safe place where it can be by itself and relax instead of taking out its frustration on the other fish.
The temperature setting for the tank should be between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH somewhere between six and a half to seven and a half. You shouldn’t have to worry too much about the pH as rainbow sharks aren’t typically very picky about this, but the tank should have a decent filter to keep the water clean and an aerator (sometimes referred to as a “bubble maker”) to help keep a nice flow of oxygen throughout the water.
Good Tank Mates for the Rainbow Shark
Finding appropriate tank mates for your rainbow shark will ensure that the quality of life for all of your fish is good. When choosing some tank mates, or to decide whether your existing fish will be suitable matches for a rainbow, bear this basic guideline in mind: size matters. When it comes right down to it, the only fish that truly co-exist amiably with rainbow sharks are ones that are larger than the resident rainbow. More aggressive fish species can also cohabitate with rainbows if a challenge between the two is issued and the rainbow loses. Consider getting some rainbow fish or danios. A plecostamus (also called a “sucker fish”) would be a great addition to the tank and will also help to keep the tank and water clean.
You could also try:
• Tiger Barbs
• Silver Dollars
• Glass Fish
These fish are also semi-aggressive and would be able to handle the kind of attitude that the rainbow tends to dish out.
Tank Mates to Avoid
As mentioned earlier, rainbow sharks are considered semi-aggressive and therefore there are certain types of fish that should not be placed in the same tank as a rainbow. For starters, if you are considering a rainbow for your tank, it is highly recommended that you stick to just one, as rainbow sharks cannot co-exist with one another due to their intense aggression towards their own species. In fact, breeding is made extremely difficult due to this fact. Otherwise, just try to avoid any species of fish that is physically smaller than your rainbow or that has a submissive personality (which would be like painting a target on its back).
Rainbow sharks eat a variety of food, but they mostly prefer vegetation. Rainbow sharks in an aquarium can be fed standard fish flakes, frozen foods (like shrimp), as well as pellets from the fish store. You can also feed your rainbow certain fresh vegetables such as spinach leaves, various types of lettuce, and squash. You should bear in mind that your rainbow may not always eat a great deal of fish food because they do also eat algae from the tank. Don’t worry if your rainbow doesn’t zoom to the top of the water to get dibs on the first flakes that you sprinkle into the tank. It could be that he has recently eaten well on the algae in the tank and is simply full. If your rainbow fails to eat fish food for an extended period of time and begins to exhibit symptoms such as lethargy, discoloration, peeling, or any other uncharacteristic traits, you should consider taking it to your local veterinarian.