Rainbow sharks can live between four and six years and are sexually mature at two years old, which means they can already start reproducing. Rainbow sharks are ovoviviparous, meaning they give birth to live young. The gestation period is around 11 to 12 months, and the juveniles grow slowly at first but reach full size in about six months.
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What to Do To Make Rainbow Sharks Live Longer
If you’re thinking about getting a rainbow shark and making sure they reach its maximum lifespan, you first need to decide on tank size.
Pick a Spacious Aquarium
Plenty of options are available, from 10-gallon tanks up to 150 gallons. A 55-gallon tank is an excellent place to start for rainbow sharks. However, if you’re looking to add more than one fish or want to keep them in an outdoor aquarium, we recommend upgrading to a larger tank.
In addition, if you’re going to keep your rainbow sharks in an indoor aquarium, we recommend a tank at least 80 gallons in size. Once you’ve chosen the size of your tank, you’ll need some other things before setting up your aquarium.
Add a Filter
You’ll need to install a filter to keep your rainbow shark tank clean and healthy. A good option is a standard intake and output filter that can handle the fish waste created by a rainbow shark. However, if you’re planning on keeping multiple fish in your tank or if you want to keep your aquarium outdoors, we recommend upgrading to something more significant.
You can use a standard intake and output filter with a rainbow shark tank. Just make sure to size it appropriately for the fish you’ll be putting in there, as they can get quite large. In addition, we recommend installing a quarantine system to keep unwanted fish out of your rainbow shark tank.
Provide a Heater
Rainbow sharks tolerate a wide temperature range, from 75 and 81 °F. So, you can keep them in any temperature range, as long as their water stays at either of those two ranges. However, if you are in a colder place, you may need a heater.
An excellent way to keep tropical fish happy is by providing them with heaters that emit warm water. Make sure your heater can produce enough power for your tank and the added aquatic residuum (fish waste) created by a rainbow shark.
Adding Decorations and Plants
Adding plants and decorations to your rainbow shark tank will help to create a healthy and attractive environment. Therefore, we recommend choosing low-maintenance plants, such as crypts or Java ferns. In addition, you can also add decorations like rocks or coral branches. For example, if you plan to keep your rainbow shark in an indoor aquarium, some floating plants or rocks will help add character.
Choose a Substrate
If you’re planning on using substrate in your rainbow shark tank, we recommend choosing something that’s both dense and smooth. This will help to keep the fish clean and healthy.
Some good options include commercial aquarium gravel or sand and river rocks. In addition, you can also use some artificial plants to add a bit of extra visual interest.
Provide Good Lighting
We recommend getting at least two high-powered LED light fixtures if you plan to keep your rainbow sharks in an indoor aquarium. This will provide the necessary lighting to keep the tank clean and healthy.
However, if you want to keep your rainbow sharks in an outdoor aquarium, we recommend installing a specialized light fixture for reef tanks.
Pick Suitable Tankmates
Rainbow sharks are generally peaceful fish, but they should be kept alone in a tank if you want them to be their happiest. They don’t handle other aggressive fish well and might get injured. Instead, rainbow sharks make excellent companions for more docile species such as angelfish, seahorses, or even larger bottom-dwelling fishes.
Longer Lifespan: Ideal Water Parameters for Rainbow Sharks
You’ve already learned that to keep your rainbow shark healthy and happy, we recommend keeping their water parameters at 75 and 81 °F. In addition, we recommend adding a bit of salt to the water to help with providing them with essential minerals and electrolytes. Here are more tips to make sure the condition of your rainbow shark’s aquarium is suitable for it!
Rainbow sharks do best when their water flow is moderate. That means their tank should have a slow stream of water that flows through it at least once every hour or so. In addition, you should gently stir the water regularly to ensure that the fish receive fresh and clean water.
Rainbow sharks are active animals and need a slightly alkaline water pH. That means their aquarium water should be around 6 to 8 pH, although you can experiment with different levels if you’d like.
Chlorine and Chloramines
Chlorine and chloramines are two types of chemicals that can be used in water treatment systems. However, these chemicals can also harm fish, so we recommend keeping your rainbow shark tank free of chlorine and chloramines. You can achieve this by adding an activated carbon filter or a scent-free freshwater mix to the tank.
Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate
Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all nitrogen-containing chemicals that can be dangerous to your rainbow shark if present in high levels in their water. You can control these levels by adding a good quality water conditioner or filter to the tank.
Healthy Diet and Feeding Your Rainbow Sharks
Rainbow sharks mainly consume fish, so their diet should consist of a good number of them. They are also scavengers, so they feed them various foods, including frozen and live seafood.
In addition, you can give them a small amount of vegetable matter such as chopped-up pieces of earthworm or some algae.
How Often Should I Feed My Rainbow Shark?
This is a difficult question to answer as they can vary significantly in their feeding preferences. However, you should generally feed them every day or two if their tank contains enough food. In addition, you can supplement their diet with tiny bits of fish food that they can seize.