Rainbow Shark (Epalzeorhynchos Frenatum) Fish Species Profile

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Rainbow sharks are some of the most attractive aquarium fish. However, despite their beauty, the Rainbow Shark has some behavioural issues such as dominance and aggression; this is because they are territorial.

This usually happens as they mature, as juveniles, they are timid and will spend extended periods of their time concealing themselves.

These sharks are active swimmers and tend to spend most of their time dwelling at the bottom of the tank.

The Rainbow Shark is a dark grey fish with vibrant orange-red fins,

They are torpedo-shaped, have a flat stomach with a pointed snout and an upward dorsal fin that may consist of branched rays, along with a forked tail fin like a shark.

Another popular type of the Rainbow Shark is the Albino Rainbow Shark.

Whilst the Albino Rainbow Shark has the orange-red fins, its body is a creamy-white colour.

Scientific NameEpalzeorhynchos Frenatum
Other NamesRed-Finned Shark, Ruby Shark, Green Fringelip Labeo, Whitefin Shark, Whitetail Shark.
OriginsSoutheast Asia
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asLoners
Lifespan5-8 years
Maximum Sizeup to 15 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature73 - 79 ℉ (22.8 - 26.1 ℃)
PH6.5 - 7.5

Origins of the Rainbow Shark

The Rainbow Shark is native to Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and Myanmar in Southeast Asia.

They inhabit clean, warm, freshwater rivers with plenty of plankton and sandy bottoms. However, we know they migrate into floodplains, flooded fields and forests during durations of heavy rain pours or flooding.


Rainbow Sharks are not fussy eaters and will consume most things; as long as it sinks to the bottom of the tank.

Rainbow Sharks will require a varied diet; this will keep their immune system healthy. To achieve this, you should feed them algae wafers or tablets, insect Larvae, frozen or live food and zooplankton. You can also offer them blanched vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and peas.

Sexing the Rainbow Shark

It is relatively easy to distinguish a male from a female Rainbow Shark

Males tend to have brighter red or orange fins than females, and males will also have thin grey lines on their tail fins, while females will not have any lines.

Females also tend to have more rounded bellies and are thicker.

These become obvious as the fish matures as there is no difference between juvenile male and female Rainbow Sharks.

Breeding the Rainbow Shark

In their natural habitat, Rainbow Sharks tend to mate between October and November around the time they reach sexual maturity.

However, the specific month can be affected by changing seasons, temperature as well as the length of the days.,

When reproducing, the female will lay her eggs, and the male will immediately fertilise them by spraying the eggs with his milt. The eggs will then hatch in around a week.

Unfortunately, in the home aquarium, breeding Rainbow Sharks is extremely difficult, and there has not been any records or proof of success stories.

Large quantities are bred in southeast Asian commercial farms though.

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Date Added: 8/28/2020 - Updated: 8/28/2020 11:42:37 AM