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How Much Does A Rainbow Shark Cost, And How Big They Get?

Rainbow sharks can be the best choice for an enthusiast with a low budget, and are also easy to purchase. How Much Does A Rainbow Shark Cost, And How Big They Get? Let’s talk about this topic in this article.

How Much Does A Rainbow Shark Cost

Rainbow sharks are well known for their shark-like appearance and small size, making them suitable for home aquariums.

They can make any aquarium look more vibrant and lively, especially if the tank is decorated with live plants.

Many beginners make mistakes while keeping these fish, misunderstanding their size, behavior, and care needs.

Although their name revives from a dangerous marine predator, the rainbow shark is a harmless fish if adequately cared for.

What are rainbow sharks?

The rainbow shark is a fish that belongs to the Cyprinidae family. It is the family to which the goldfish and Kois also belong. They are also known as the Ruby shark or Ray-finned shark. It is a small-sized fish that can grow up to 9 – 15 cm.

Scientifically named Epalzeorhynchos frenatum, these fish originates from Southeast Asian countries, particularly Thailand and Vietnam.

They are relatively cheap to purchase, which makes them suitable for beginners. They eat both plants and meat, making them an excellent choice for a large fish tank.

The Rainbow Shark is one of the most popular species of Minnow kept as pets. It is easily maintained with other tropical fish and freshwater shrimp.

Although they are pretty popular, their size, habitat, and behavior make them suitable for only large aquariums.

How big is a full-grown rainbow shark?

A full-grown rainbow shark can grow up to 9 – 15 cm and is very similar in size to the rosy barb. It has a torpedo-shaped body that helps them swim in the middle of the water.

How much does a rainbow shark cost?

Although this is a popular aquarium fish, they are not quite expensive. You can buy a rainbow shark for as cheap as $5 – 10.

Rainbow sharks come in various sizes and prices, where small-sized ones can cost you about $4 – $5, and large specimens can cost you up to $10.

However, glow rainbow sharks can be a little more expensive than rainbow sharks.

What are Glow Rainbow sharks?

Glow Rainbow sharks are a variety of rainbow sharks with fluorescent and bright red fins. They can be easily identified from regular rainbow sharks.

They are believed to be genetically improved rainbow sharks, but the company hasn’t confirmed anything yet. These fish usually are smaller than rainbow sharks but have the same behavior and care needs.

How big do glow rainbow sharks get?

Unlike rainbow sharks, glow rainbow sharks are smaller and reach only about 4 inches long. They look very attractive in a large aquarium and live plants, making them popular with many hobbyists.

How much does a glow rainbow shark cost?

Glow rainbow shark will cost you around $10 to $20 at retail shops. However, you can buy these fish from the official store for about $12 a fish.

Where to buy a Rainbow Shark?

Rainbow sharks are one of the most inexpensive fish you can find in local pet shops.

Although they are not available in all pet stores, you can find them at any local pet store near your home. Make sure the pet store you purchase them from is reliable and has healthy specimens.

Before you purchase them, make sure the fish has clear fins, no fungus or discoloration, and has no injuries. The body should be healthy and strong with no deformities.

Rainbow sharks are also available online, but purchasing them from unknown websites can be a little bit risky.

It may take time for the fishes to adjust to their new environment if they are shipped, leading to them dying.

How Much Does A Rainbow Shark Cost

What do rainbow sharks eat?

Rainbow sharks are omnivorous, which means they can eat both meat and plant food. However, they are better vegetarians than hunters.

They only need two or three flakes of fish food per day. But make sure they also get enough veg food during the day.

They are very fond of algae, so if your tank doesn’t have any algae, you can feed them algae wafers or flakes to fulfill their needs.

In addition to vegetarian food, you need to feed them meat-based food. They love to eat frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, and some meat-based flakes.

Do rainbow sharks eat small fish?

Yes, they will eat and swallow anything and everything. They will also feed on small fish and shrimp if the opportunity arises.

However, make sure you keep them in a large aquarium with some bigger fish. They will attack the smaller fish if they are left alone.

How long do rainbow sharks live?

Rainbow sharks are great pets with a long lifespan. They can live for around 6 to 8 years under the right conditions, but they may not even survive in small tanks for a year.

Is Rainbow Shark Hardy?

Although rainbow sharks are quite strong and active, they can be a little bit sensitive at times.

You need to keep these fish in an environment close to their natural habitat. If you keep them in a new environment where they cannot adapt, they may die eventually.

However, these fish will lose their color if they are not fed enough food. Some hobbyists claim that a lack of healthy vegetation in the tank can also cause the loss of color.

Make sure you keep them in an environment where they can survive and live for a long time.

Rainbow shark tank size

Rainbow sharks are best kept in a large tank with lots of live plants. Like much other bottom-dwelling fish, these fish are also territorial. So, they prefer to live alone.

If you plan to keep them in a small tank, keep only one rainbow shark in the tank. A 55-gallon is usually enough for a single rainbow shark.

Rainbow sharks are very active, and they need a big tank to swim around. If you keep Rainbow sharks in a small tank, they will become aggressive and stressed.

However, if your tank is small, you can divide the tank into two or more sections with a divider. This way, you can keep a few rainbow sharks in a small tank and enjoy watching them swim around!

How much does a rainbow shark tank cost?

As we said before, the minimum tank size should be about 50 gallons for a rainbow shark to thrive.

Depending on the model and features, a 50-gallon fish tank would cost anywhere from $50 to $300. Some tanks come with a filter and lighting, but some don’t.

The price of the tank depends on its features. For example, LED lights are more costly than non-LED lights of the same size.

You can always opt for a used fish tank if you have a low budget. You can find them on Craigslist for a very low price. Further, you can make some easy modifications and turn your old tank into an incredible aquarium!

How many rainbow sharks are in one tank?

As a general rule, you should keep only one rainbow shark in one tank as they are known to be a bit aggressive and highly territorial. However, if you have a larger tank, keeping a few of them together is no harm.

If you want to keep more than one rainbow shark, always house a group of 5 fish or more in your tank. This will reduce the dominance and aggression towards each other.

However, you must never house two rainbow sharks together as they may become territorial towards each other and start fighting.

Rainbow shark water parameters

Rainbow sharks will live in well-oxygenated and clean water. These can be a little bit sensitive, so you need to keep a close eye on the pH of the water. A pH level of 6.5 to 7.5 is ideal for rainbow sharks, but you need to use an API pH test kit to measure it.

A high pH level will cause the loss of color in rainbow sharks.

You also need to test the water temperature regularly to ensure it is between 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and between 72 to 75 in the winter.

The water hardness should be around 5dGH to 11dGH.

Rainbow shark tank mates

Rainbow sharks are bottom dwellers and highly territorial. If any fish gets in the territory of a rainbow shark, it may become a victim.

That’s why you should choose tankmates carefully. Since they are aggressive towards most other fish, it is important to select a tank mate that can handle a tough fight.

They will leave middle and top dwelling fish alone. So, you have a wide variety of options for top dwelling tank mates. Some examples are,

  • Danios
  • Gouramis
  • Rasboras
  • Rainbowfish
  • Loaches

However, you should avoid keeping them with schooling fish as they are most likely to explore the bottom of the tank, which is Rainbow sharks territory.

You can minimize this territorial behavior if you introduce your rainbow shark as the last fish in the tank. If the other fish are roughly the same size or larger than your rainbow shark, you’ll be less likely to notice aggression.


Rainbow sharks are extremely popular among fish enthusiasts, and fortunately, they are among the cheapest freshwater fish to buy.

Their hardiness and bright color make them a perfect choice for beginners and experienced aquarists alike. However, they are aggressive and territorial, so you have to choose your tank mates carefully.

Credit to : Jay Rule
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.