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Freshwater Fish

18 Best Rainbow Shark Tank Mates

Rainbow Sharks are among the top choice for pet fish among hobbyists and professional aquarists. They are fascinating species that definitely look splendid on any large aquarium tank. However, one renowned fact about this fish is their natural tendency to be aggressive.

They are a territorial type of fish and want to have the bottom area of the tank to themselves. For this reason, picking the best tank mate for them can be quite challenging. 

Because of their aggressiveness, a lot of fish species are less likely to survive when put together in a tank with a Rainbow Shark.

On the other hand, in some cases, Rainbow Sharks will cohabitate peacefully with another fish, but months later, they will hate the other and decide to attack randomly. 

On the bright side, there are a number of fish that would make great companions for Rainbow Shark in a tank. The key is to choose fish that are tranquil and peaceful in nature.

Moreover, it is also best to choose fish that are naturally top to the middle of the tank dwellers to avoid territorial conflict. 

18 Best Rainbow Shark Tank Mates

Below is a list of fish and aquatic species that would make great Rainbow Shark tank mates. 

1. Bichirs

Size: 11-23 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons

Temperature: Semi-aggressive

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Bichirs

Bichirs are definitely one of the most sought-after types of fish among hobbyists, although they require a high care level.

These beautiful fish make good rainbow shark tank mates since they are calm and peaceful. This is despite them being bottom dwellers like the rainbow shark.

However, they need to be kept in a larger tank that’s over 80 gallons in size. It is also not recommended to keep several Bichirs in one tank since they may get aggressive towards each other Bichirs.

Also, since they require intermediate to advanced care level, it is advised to only keep Bichirs if you have the know-how of taking care of them professionally. 

2. Congo Tetra

Size: 2.5-3.5 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Congo Tetra

Originally from the Congo river in Africa, the Congo tetra joins the bettas and goldfish in the category of some of the most popular fish species among hobbyists. 

Just like rainbow sharks, Congo tetras prefer soft water as well, and this makes them great tank mates for rainbow sharks. Besides, they love to dwell in the mid-top part of the tank, allowing them to live peacefully with the rainbow shark. 

Similar to other small-sized fish, Congo tetras prefer to live in a group and should be kept in a group of at least 6.

Lastly, Congo Tetras are omnivores; they will eat algae, aquarium vegetation, insects, worms, crustaceans, etc. 

3. Tiger Barbs

Size: 3 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Tiger Barbs

Given that tiger barbs are quite playful, challenging, and agile fish, they can make great companions for rainbow sharks.

However, as they are shoaling fish, they might get stressed and aggressive if there are only a few of them in the tank. 

For this reason, it is ideal to have a group of at least 7 Tiger Barbs in a tank. Also, ensure that their privacy in the tank is maintained so they can live harmoniously with your rainbow sharks. 

Tiger Barbs are mainly omnivores, but they also like eating processed foods like flakes, crisps, pellets, etc. 

4. Bee Shrimp

Size: 1-1.5 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Bee Shrimp

Bee Shrimps or also known as the Caridina Cantonensis Shrimps, are small freshwater shrimps originally from Taiwan. These species make great companions for your rainbow shark as they are not very agile and will not fight for food. 

This type of shrimp is generally very peaceful and doesn’t bother their tank mates, thus making them the perfect rainbow shark tank mates.

Bee shrimps require soft water, and they have similar temperature requirements as rainbow sharks. Keep in mind that the heat is going to undermine Bee shrimps’ health. 

In terms of food, Bee Shrimps eat algae and decayed vegetation in the tank.

Keep in mind, though, that cherry shrimps are different. Do not put those in your Rainbow Shark’s tanks, as they will only become food for your pet. 

5. Rainbow Fish

Size: 1-6 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Rainbow Fish

Rainbow fish are another species that make great rainbow shark tank mates. Like the rainbow shark, the rainbow fish has a colorfully shaped body and simmering scales. If you keep them together, the tank will definitely look exceptionally wonderful. 

This type of pet fish typically doesn’t get into fights with rainbow sharks since they dwell closer to the water surface.

Usually, the rainbow fish is typically smaller than the rainbow shark. Therefore, it is recommended to get rainbow fish of similar size as your rainbow shark to ensure that they won’t get beaten up just in case they get into a fight. 

Although rainbow fish are omnivores, they will also eat fish food pellets, flake foods, frozen bugs, and live bugs. 

6. Zebra Danios

Size: 2 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios do not only look attractive on any tank, but they also make great companions for almost any type of small to mid-sized pet fish such as rainbow sharks.

Although these two fish species do not interact much, they certainly get along well. 

Zebrafishes or also known as Zebra or Striped Danios, typically live in the middle to the upper part of their fish tank. They are quite small and pretty chill fishes; thus, they won’t bother your rainbow shark. 

On the other hand, these fishes are fast swimmers and can quickly get away from rainbow sharks which are long-finned and slow-moving fishes.

Just like rasboras, zebra danios love being in a group.

If you choose to have zebra danios as your rainbow shark’s tank mates, having at least five of them is ideal. 

Zebra danios are omnivores; they eat algae, worms, bloodworms, daphnia, mosquitoes, etc.

Furthermore, similar to rainbow sharks, zebra danios will also eat green veggies such as lettuce, zucchini, cucumber, peas, etc.

7. Rasboras

Size: 2 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Rasboras

Rasboras are another top consideration when searching for the best rainbow shark tank mates for a number of reasons.

Rasboras will typically be in the upper to the middle part of a tank, and they are quite small in size; thus, they don’t take quite much space. 

In addition to that, this type of fish is generally less aggressive and will not bother other fishes in the tank. Besides, this type of fish species can grow up to 2 inches in length, making it very difficult for the rainbow shark to eat them.

Moreover, it is important to note that Rasboras are schooling fishes and do well when kept in a group. Ideally, you should have about seven or more rasboras in a tank together. 

The ideal environment for rasboras is essentially the same as that of rainbow sharks. They love a decorated tank with plants and rocks where they can hide to feel safe. 

8. Loaches

Size: 3 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Loaches

Loaches are typically bottom dwellers in a tank, just like rainbow sharks. Hence, you need to be cautious when placing rainbow sharks with loaches.

However, if you have a big enough tank where both fish can live at the bottom comfortably, these two species can make great tank mates.

The key is to have plenty of hiding places that also serve as sight breakers for both fish. 

Although rainbow sharks generally don’t get along with bottom-dwelling species, loaches are an exception. These two fish species may get along well since they naturally inhabit a similar region in the wild. For this reason, both fish can get along well and not get into territorial conflicts.

However, it is recommended to have a spare tank where you can transfer the other fish just in case either or both of them get aggressive. 

Loaches are omnivores and eat algae, crustaceans, insect larvae, live worms, etc. They will also eat select green veggies such as spinach, lettuce, peas, etc. 

9. Gouramis

Size: 5-6 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Semi-aggressive

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Gouramis

Gouramis are one of the first options recommended by experts when thinking about the best tank mates for rainbow sharks.

These fish species are generally peaceful, making them great companions for almost any type of pet fish. 

Because gouramis are pretty chill, they make excellent cohabitation with rainbow sharks as long as they are placed in a larger aquarium tank.

This way, your rainbow shark and its gourami mate can swim around freely. 

Moreover, it is also recommended to get bigger gouramis, maybe over four inches, since small gouramis might get bullied by rainbow sharks in the tank.

Lastly, although gouramis are not aggressive, it is recommended to only have one gourami in your tank; keeping two or more gouramis in a tank will result in chaos. This is unless you are keeping honey gouramis

10. Dwarf Neon Rainbow Fish

Size: 2.5-6 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Dwarf Neon Rainbow Fish

Native to Indonesia, dwarf neon rainbow fish are known for their vibrant and alluring colors.

Despite this fish’s small size, they are exceptionally eye-catching in any tank, and they also swim all day swiftly. 

Dwarf neon rainbow fish are top dwellers, which means they won’t be bothersome to your rainbow shark.

They barely catch food at the bottom of the tank too. For these reasons, they make the perfect tank mates for Rainbow Sharks. 

Similar to rasboras and rainbow fish, dwarf neon rainbow fish are shoaling fish and prefer to live in a group.

Having ten or more of them in a tank is going to be ideal. This fish species is omnivores and will most likely eat anything you feed them. However, they especially like eating bloodworms, flakes, brine shrimps, live foods, etc.

Additionally, dwarf neon rainbow fish also loves green veggies, including peas, cabbage, spinach, and more. 

11. Ghost Shrimps

Size: 1 ½ inch

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Ghost Shrimps

Ghost Shrimps would look exceptionally alluring in any tank. The main reason why they are called “Ghost” Shrimps is that they can easily camouflage by becoming transparent.

Because of this natural ability, they make great companions for many pet fish, including rainbow sharks. 

This is because they will also become very difficult to spot and can hide in plants and vegetation from the rainbow sharks. However, the main disadvantage to Ghost Shrimps is they tend to have a shorter life. 

12. Rummy Nose Tetras

Size: 1.5 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Rummy Nose Tetras

Rummy Nose Tetras, also known as Rummies, is another type of Tetras popular among fish lovers.

This fish species can be kept together with the rainbow fish, but this should take place when the rainbow shark is still young and small. Otherwise, older and bigger rainbow fish may attack your rummies.

When keeping rummies and rainbow Sharks together, it is advised to have a large tank where both species can comfortably dwell without bothering each other.

In addition, it is also a good idea to add ample hiding places for rummies in the tank. 

13. Angel Fish

Size: 5-6 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Angel Fish

Angel Fish make great additions to almost all large-community aquariums, including ones with a rainbow shark. These species will typically get along with rainbow sharks, although some have the habit of nipping other fish’s fins. 

When breeding, angel fish can be irritable sometimes, and they will have a tendency to attack other fish in their tank. On the other hand, if they are taken care of properly and given ample space to swim around comfortably, they are peaceful fish to have as tank mates.

In most cases, they prefer a tank size of 20 gallons. 

Angel fish are omnivores and will eat small crustaceans, worms, granules, shrimp pellets, color flakes, etc. 

14. Black Skirt Tetras

Size: 3 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Black Skirt Tetras

Black Skirt Tetras are a type of schooling fish that belong to the Characidae family. They are the most popular than tetras and can dwell well with your rainbow shark.

Black Skirt Tetras are generally peaceful and calm fish and are easy to care for. This makes them the perfect choice for beginners and advanced hobbyists.

Black skirt tetras are middle dwellers; thus, they won’t be a bother to your bottom-dwelling Rainbow Sharks. When provided with a large tank, black skirt tetras and rainbow sharks would live harmoniously together.

Lastly, black skirt tetras will eat any dry food such as pellets and flakes.

Moreover, due to their small size, they should not be fed more than once daily and should only be given food amounts that they can consume within 3 to 4 minutes. 

15. White Cloud Mountain Minnows

Size: 1 ½ inch

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

White Cloud Mountain Minnows

White cloud mountain minnows have a colorful and striking beauty, making them an excellent addition to your tank. Their scales are holographic and will reflect various colors when hit by light. 

This species of fish belongs to the carp family and is native to China. Since they love to dwell on the middle to top parts of the tank, they are a suitable choice for rainbow fish tank mates.

They are also calm and peaceful, which makes them great companions for many types of pet fish in an aquarium. 

Naturally, white cloud minnows are schooling fishes and should be kept in a group of 6. Otherwise, they will get stressed and hide or lose their colors. 

16. Plecos

Size: 15 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Plecos

If you have a bigger tank with large enough space, a pleco will definitely make a great addition alongside your rainbow shark.

The plecos are big and can grow up to 2 feet long, meaning that they cannot become food for the rainbow shark.

Although plecos are large-sized bottom-dwelling fish, they are known to be calm, peaceful, and less agile fish. Thus, there is a lower likelihood of getting into conflict with your rainbow shark. 

It is important to note that both rainbow sharks and plecos are bottom dwellers and feeders. Nevertheless, plecos will generally only scour for food and will not get aggressive over it.

Moreover, they are considered scavengers and will eat pretty much anything, but they mainly feed on algae, aquatic vegetation, and small crustaceans.

17. Mystery Snails

Size: 2 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Mystery Snails

Mystery Snails are a type of snail which makes great rainbow shark tank mates.

They are naturally slow-moving and peaceful species; thus, they won’t be a bother to the other fish in the tank, and rainbow sharks may not consider them a threat.

Another thing about mystery snails that many hobbyists love is their love for cleaning up.

They will spend their entire life going around the tank eating up algae and decaying plant remains. However, these snails will not touch healthy plants. 

Although mystery snails could survive by just eating the algae and plant decays in your tank, it is also recommended to feed them with algae wafers just so they can have their own dedicated food source. 

18. Kribensis Cichlids

Size: 4 inches

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Temperature: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivorous

Care Level: Beginner

Kribensis Cichlids

Native to Africa, Kribensis Cichlids are another type of fish that make great tank mates for rainbow sharks.

This fish is renowned for its fascinating colors and patterns and chill and peaceful nature. However, they can be quite aggressive when they are safeguarding their offspring.

In case the Kribs get too intrusive, you might need to relocate your rainbow shark to another tank. 

To help you avoid having your cichlids and rainbow shark from getting into a fight, you must keep them in a big tank with large enough space.

It will also help if you put decorating elements such as plants, rocks, aquarium tunnels, etc. 

Kribensis Cichlids are mainly omnivores; they will feed on processed or live fish food. They will also eat green veggies such as cabbage, peas, cucumber, spinach, etc. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Goldfish And Rainbow Sharks Live Together?

Many people are unaware of the fact that goldfish and rainbow sharks are actually related as they are both members of the carp family. However, these two fish species do not make great tank mates. 

Although it is possible for both fish to cohabit in one tank, it can be quite complicated and difficult.

Rainbow Sharks will have the tendency to hurt goldfish, especially if they hit maturity. Thus, having them together in one single tank is not recommended. 

Moreover, aside from personality clashes, Goldfish and Rainbow Sharks can’t be kept in the same tank due to their different water temperature requirements.

Goldfish prefer cooler waters around 65-74°F, while rainbow sharks prefer warmer water around 77-78°F.

Putting fish in water that does not have its preferred temperature will make them susceptible to diseases. 

Can You Put A Rainbow Shark With Guppies?

The answer is no; you can’t keep rainbow sharks and guppies in the same tank. Although young rainbow sharks can live with guppies peacefully, they have a tendency to become aggressive when they hit maturity. 

Given that guppies love to swim in the middle to the bottom part of the tank, they might interfere with the territory of the rainbow sharks, and this can spark conflict between the two species.

Rainbow sharks might chase away the Guppies, or worse, eat them. 

Instead of choosing guppies as rainbow shark tank mates, you can opt instead for Tetras, gourami, danios, angel fish, and other fish mentioned above instead. 

Are Rainbow Sharks Aggressive?

Rainbow sharks can become aggressive, but it heavily depends on their tank mates. Generally, rainbow sharks aren’t actually aggressive towards mid to top dwelling fish.

However, on the other hand, they can become quite aggressive and territorial towards bottom dwellers and bottom feeders such as plecos and catfish.

Rainbow sharks can also become aggressive towards long-finned fish such as fancy goldfish. When picking tank mates for your rainbow shark, it is ideal to choose mid to top dwellers to avoid interference.

It is also recommended to pick naturally calm, peaceful, and less agile fish as tank mates for your rainbow fish. 

Does Rainbow Shark Needs Oxygen?

Yes, it is necessary to have a source of oxygen when keeping your rainbow shark in an aquarium tank. 

Do Rainbow Sharks Like Current?

Rainbow Sharks are used to living in high-flow waters in the wild. Thus, they definitely would love having a flowing water current in their tank. 

Conclusion

Now that you have an in-depth idea on how to choose the best rainbow shark tank mate choosing which fish to add to your tank should be a lot less challenging by now.

While rainbow sharks are known for having the tendency to get aggressive towards other fish, they are actually calm and peaceful once they feel comfortable and safe in their environment. 

Edwin

Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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