Rainbow Shark (Epalzeorhynchos Frenatum)
The Rainbow Shark is a striking freshwater fish that stands out in any aquarium. Its body is primarily dark gray or black, providing a beautiful contrast to its vibrant red or orange fins. The Rainbow Shark's elongated body and upright dorsal fin give it a shark-like appearance, while its forked caudal fin adds to its sleek look. This unique combination of colors and features makes the Rainbow Shark a visually appealing addition to any aquarium.
In addition to Rainbow Shark, this species is also known as Ruby Shark, Red-fin Shark, Red-finned Shark, Rainbow Sharkminnow, Green Fringelip Labeo, Whitefin Shark, and Whitetail Sharkminnow.
Rainbow Sharks are known for their active, semi-aggressive personality and grow up to 6 inches in size. Unlike its name suggests, the Rainbow Shark is not a schooling fish and prefers to be the only one of its kind in a tank. It's territorial and may show aggression towards similar species, so it's best kept with different types of peaceful to semi-aggressive fish. Additionally, Rainbow Sharks are known to nip the long-flowing fins of other fish.
It's a good idea to avoid other fish that hang out at the bottom of the tank, like cichlids and most catfish, because the Rainbow Shark might pick on them. For the upper levels of the tank, pick robust and lively fish that like to swim in groups. Additionally, Rainbow Sharks should be the last fish to be put in the tank to stop them from trying to take over the lower half of the aquarium.
The Shark is an algae grazer that consumes small crustaceans, insect larvae, and other aufwuchs. To maintain optimal health and vibrant colors, it should be fed a varied diet that includes small live and frozen foods like bloodworm, Daphnia, and Artemia, as well as high-quality dried flakes, granules, sinking algae pellets, and fresh plant matter. Foods like shelled peas, cucumber, blanched zucchini, spinach, and chopped fruit are excellent additions to their diet. Once comfortable, the Rainbow Shark will often rise to midwater levels to feed and graze on biofilm that forms on rocks and other hard surfaces.
Rainbow Sharks flourish in environments that mimic a flowing river, with a substrate composed of rocks of varying sizes, sand or gravel substrate, and larger water-worn boulders. The addition of driftwood roots, branches, and aquatic plants like Microsorum, Bolbitis, or Anubias, which can grow attached to the decor, further enhances their habitat while providing them with plenty of hiding spots. Bright lighting encourages the growth of algae and microorganisms, providing additional grazing opportunities for the fish.
Like many species inhabiting flowing waters, the Rainbow Shark is intolerant of organic waste accumulation. The Rainbow Shark thrives in conditions with high levels of dissolved oxygen and moderate water movement. Regular water changes and monitoring of water parameters are essential to keep these fish healthy.
A minimum tank size of 55 gallons is recommended due to their territorial nature. Care for Rainbow Sharks is intermediate. They require clean water with a pH of 6.5-7.5, hardness of 10-15 dGH, and a temperature of 72-79°F (22-26°C).
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.