Rainbow Shark Profile

Rainbow Sharks

Common name: Rainbow Shark

Scientific name: Epalzeorhynchos frenatum

Type of fish: False Shark (Cyprinid)

Origin: Southeast Asia

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Max size: 5 inches

Growth Rate: Medium-Fast

Minimum tank size: 40 gallons

Diet: herbivore/omnivore

pH: 6-7

Hardiness: Moderate

Aggressiveness: Semi-aggressive

Tankmates: tetras, livebearers, barbs, small and medium-sized American cichlids, danios, Corydoras catfishes, gouramis

Sexing: Hard to tell

Notes: Although these fish look strikingly similar to red-tailed black sharks, the key way to differentiate them is to look at their fins. Red-tailed black sharks only have red on their caudal/tail fin, whereas rainbow sharks have red on their dorsal and pectoral fins as well. Furthermore, rainbow sharks have a grayish body, while red-tailed black sharks have a jet-black colored body. The mouth on these fish is orientated downwards so they "suck" on food similar to a pleco. As such, I do not recommend keeping these fish with plecos because I have found that plecos often outcompete rainbow sharks for food. Furthermore, these fish cannot stand other "sharks" so these fish are best kept alone. Finally, rainbow sharks are not actually sharks; they are a type of cyprinid.