Multiple Rainbow Sharks


Got a new tank with 3 rainbow sharks(which includes 2 albino sharks). Didnt know they shouldn't be kept together nor did the shopkeeper tell me. So one keeps chasing the two albinos.. no serious damage done yet. Dont know what I should do. Any advice is appreciated.


How big is your tank? Rainbow Sharks are highly territorial. It is recommended to keep one per tank, unless your tank is very large. Rehome the others immediately.

It’s also a very bad idea to take the advice of petstore workers. They may not have experience with the fish you’re buying or may have incorrect advice for your situation. Always do your own research and read threads posted by others to get an idea of what’s possible based on the experiences of other fishkeepers.


Its not that they shouldn't be kept together, they can be. But in most community tanks they do better alone.

These guys are territorial towards others of their own kind. Redtail sharks tend to be moreso than the rainbows. BUT if you have a large enough group of them (in a large enough tank) the competition between them becomes so scattered, that it's hard for them to compete, and they get along better this way.

EDIT: Does your 'non-albino' shark also happen to be larger? These guys fight over 'hierarchy'. Some loaches/botia do the same thing, but to a lesser extent. The biggest, strongest, fastest shark establishes his place as the 'alpha'. In a large enough group, this is okay (the subsequents are so caught up fighting for 'second, third, fourth, etc' place that) they fall in line behind the alpha and everyone generally 'gets along' with the occasional dart and nip. Whereas in a small group, they're constantly fighting over that 'alpha' spot (because there isn't much else to fight over at that point), and they can be relentless in this.

I have 16 kubota loaches in a 40B. I started out with 4 in a 20L. When I had the 4, they would chase each other in pairs, head to tail in circles (like dogs...) it was quite entertaining to watch. Now, with the group of 16, I see that break out on occasion (it ends with one loach pale, and the other with dark, contrasting colors - pale loach acts shy for a bit, and then schools with others after awhile), but not nearly as often - has to do with number ratios as well as space.

What size is the tank? Do you have enough hiding spaces for each of them (3 seperate caves, one in the middle, two at either side)?

Going off of what Crimson said, the LFS or pet store workers don't know your tank either. If you don't ask any questions (or the right questions), that associate is going to assume you know what you're doing, and they're going to get you the fish you want. Which is again, why you must do your own research ahead of time. Keep your phone on you and google it while you're in the store OR make sure to let the associate know about your tank (size and type of fish, how old - usually all we needa know) and ask them about every fish you're interested in. Some associates will ask you this before they catch your fish (depends on the associate) If they don't ask, you should tell them right away, and from there (if they're any good...) they should flag you if you're picking things that might not go well with what you already have.

Now, there are always 'new/learning' or downright 'careless' associates out there (If the corporations they worked for trained them properly, it wouldn't be this way, can you fault the worker? - I/O psych major here), which is why we use google as our safeguard. an example, where I work (mom n pop lfs), all of our associates are well versed in aquariums, we all HAVE multiple tanks (or exotics..). If I don't know the answer, one of my co-workers will and we use each other as resources to learn more and fill in each others blanks. In environments like this, you can trust your LFS associates will be 'good/honest/basic knowledge adept' at their job. I can't really say the same for chain stores though.

Ask the questions, and if they can't break it down to it's biology, ecology, or chemistry, than google it. . Usually though, if they're not sure, they'll tell ya too. .

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