Max Size: 8cm

Rainbow Shiner (Notropis chrosomus)

Rainbow Shiners are peaceful shoaling fish that are best kept in groups of six or more individuals. It would be more beneficial if you try and get a mixture of both females and males to assure that the males have potential mates to display to and rival males to show off to. These fish are Unfussy and adaptable cold water fish suitable for a variety of different water temperatures.

The aquarium needs to be spacious, established and well filtered with a decent current from additional powerheads. You will also need to provide your fish with plenty of hiding places using things like rocks, bogwood and robust planting.

Rainbow Shiners mix well with other fish of a similar temperament and size that also enjoy the same fast-flowing conditions as they do. Ideal tankmates could include the torpedo-shaped Nemacheilid loaches such as Nemacheilus, Schistura and Mesonoemacheilus, which will occupy the lower levels of the aquarium, as well as subtropical Botiid Loaches.

Weather Loaches would also be suitable, providing your tank is large enough to accommodate these inquisitive bottom dwellers. Rhinogobius sp. Gobies also make excellent companions. Although Rainbow Shiners are generally peaceful species, it would be better if you avoided long-finned tankmates.

Rainbow Shiners have elongated streamlined bodies. Their bodies are an iridescent pinkish colour that displays a bright golden band along the midline of the flank from behind the operculum to the base of the tail fin. The anal, dorsal and pelvic fins are marked with orange or red blotches.


Male Rainbow Shiner
Male Rainbow Shiner
Male Rainbow Shiner
Rainbow Shiner
Rainbow Shiner
Rainbow Shiner
Rainbow Shiner
Quick Facts
Scientific NameNotropis chrosomus
Other NamesAlabama Rainbow Shiner
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan1 - 2 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.0
50 - 75℉
10 - 23.9℃


In the home aquarium, the Rainbow Shiner will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively straightforward to distinguish male from female Rainbow Shiners. Males are typically slimmer and more brightly coloured than females. During the breeding season, both sexes develop tubercules on their heads and bodies. Another interesting fact is that females live longer than males.

Other Minnows of interest

Eurasian Minnow(Phoxinus phoxinus)
Red Shiner(Cyprinella lutrensis)
Vietnamese Cardinal Minnow(Tanichthys micagemmae)
White Cloud Mountain Minnow(Tanichthys Albonubes)
Date Added: 26/04/2021 14:58:35 - Updated: 19/01/2022 13:59:49