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Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

Posted by hoondela Oregon (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 4, 05 at 1:01

Hello! My 8 year old daughter won a goldfish at a recent school carnival and never having owned fish, we almost killed it by putting it in a goldfish bowl. We quickly learned that it needed a tank, filter etc.and were excited to be offered a free tank set up if we would agree to take the sole occupant of the tank as part of the deal. The owner had been given the fish as a gift and didn't know what it was, other than it was a tropical fish. I naively thought we could just let the goldfish share the tank with the "mystery fish", but when I went into a local pet store I was told that tropical fish needed warmer water than gold fish and that it would probably not be a good idea. Anyway, to make a long story short, we have now have "TWO" 10 gallon tanks, one with our 25 cent carnival goldfish and one with the mystery fish which I have been able to identify as a rainbow shark. My question is, the goldfish is happy, active and eats like a pig, but the rainbow shark just hides behind the thermometer and we never see him come out or swim around. The little bit of info that I picked up on the web seem to indicate that he is a shy fish and recommended that we put a pipe into his tank for him to hide in. So is he just a really shy fish, or could he be sick? Hope someone can help! Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

The rainbow shark is a "shy" fish. You should provide adequte hiding places for it. A section of pvc pipe is the easiest but not the most attractive IMO. You can make caves and tunnels with aquarium safe rocks or even veneer the pvc with plants/rocks etc. Unfortunately both the goldie and shark will out grow the 10 gallon tanks. You will be "OK" for now but the gold fish will eventually need a 30gal tank to be healthy and happy the shark "may" need even a larger one depending on growth and life span. Also the shark is a semi-aggressive fish. It should be kept with other semi-aggressives if you intend on getting it some "freinds".


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

Dear Woeisme,

Thanks for the tips. We put a piece of PVC pipe in the tank and the shark has left the space behind the heater and has claimed it as his cave although we didn't see him when he made his move. If we gave him lots of places to hide would he feel more secure and be more active? He never came out from behind the heater before and now it looks like he has no intention of coming out from his pipe either. My other concern is that since he doesn't venture out we never actually have seen him eat. I have no idea how to tell if I'm feeding him too much or too little. The previous owner gave me tropical fish flakes and algae flakes and I've been alternating them but don't know if he's eaten anything or if we even have the correct food for him. Thanks for any advice. We didn't originally intend to become fish owners but are finding that the gold fish is actually quite enjoyable. If I knew that the little shark was ok perhaps I'd enjoy him more too.


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

It is enjoyable so let the addiction begin. Do a yahoo search for "rainbow shark profile" and see what you come up with. A good site will give you all requirements from water quality to diet and history.Just do the 2 minute rule, put only the amount of food in that it will consume in 2 minutes. If there is left over use a smaller portion next feeding. it is better to under-feed at first until the tank cycles. Dont worry you wont starve your fish. Most first timers tend to overfeed .Some fish develop personalities and eventually start to trust you when they aclimate and are less stressed. Possibly try a larger diameter PVC for veiwing . If I recall Rainbow sharks are from S.E. Asia . I havent kept one in about 25 years so I cant remember.


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

Hi,
I am planning on purchasing a 20ga. tank and I was wondering if I could put a rainbow shark in it. If so, can you give me specific fish that would be able to live with the shark. And what kind of plants. Thanks for any advise.


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

If you are going to buy a 20 gallon tank, make it a long and not tall 20. They both hold the same amount of water, but the longer a tank is in relation to capacity, the better. A longer but less tall tank gives a greater amount of surface for air, and more space for the fish to swim. They really do swim back and forth, more than up and down, and virtually all of the small tropicals kept in home aquariums come from fairly shallow waters.

Rainbow sharks, of course, are not sharks at all, but highly territorial cyprinids, related to Danios, and are considered an aggressive species, but they really aren't aggressive so much as territorial. They are only "aggressive" because they ARE territorial. They aren't "mean", it's just their nature to chase other fish from "their" territory.

Their usual problem, is being kept with too many other fish in too small a tank to allow them to stake out a territory and still leave plenty of DMZ for their tankmates to live in peace.

However, they are also pretty much bottom dwellers, so the trick there, is to keep them with fish that swim middle to top, and for that, you might consider another member of the cyprinid family; one of the Danios.

With good filtration in a long 20, you could keep a school of about 12 larger Danios, such as blues, or pearls and the Rainbow Shark, and because they swim at different levels, there should be no conflict.

Mainly, the Rainbow would not view a SCHOOL of Danios as invaders and Danios are also among the most hardy of fish for any beginner to start with. Most of the fish commonly kept in home aquariums are naturally schooling and it's both cruel to the fish and far less satisfying to watch them, if you keep one or two of this, that and the other.

It's such a tempation to want a few of everything, but you really should resist. You will be far better off maintaining a limited species tank, and the fish will benefit from your restraint as well.

Rainbow Sharks are one of the exceptions to the schooling rule however, at least in home aquariums. Only those with really large tanks, say 125 gal. & up, can safely keep them in schools, as each would then have the space to stake out it's own territory.

Fish keeping can be a lot of fun, and is a great way to relax, but your best experience in keeping them, is to do it with an understanding of their natural behavior, and giving them a chance to exhibit it, in as natural a setting as you can.

Anytime a pet store sales person tells you that you can have a HAPPY community tank with one or two of this, that and another, is either a liar, or an ignoramus.


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

We got started the same way gold fish from vacation bible school .we now have a 30g (2 gold fish) a 75g
I have a rainbow with platys and Zebra Danios red will chase the platys from his area. I put several pieces of PVC (different sizes 1 1 and 2) and a piece of 4 corrugated drain(in a 75 gal friends call it my steel mill tank ( We work at a steel pipe mill))for them to hide in. also all of them seam to love both live and fake plants. A piece of cucumber is a treat for red and will get him out of his cave.We use a veggie clip to hold it mid level on the front glass. Also do you have gravel or glass beads on the bottom. Keep your first 10g as a hospital tank. Good luck! Ebay or Craigs list can save you a ton for bigger tanks, filters and some supplies .


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

Hi,

I just got home from the pet store and bought a rainbow shark. The fish guy told me he would be a good fish for my community tank and he seemed pretty knowledgeable so I trusted him. Now that I'm doing research, I see he may not have been the best choice. I have 5 danios, 7 tetras, a pleco, and 2 little cory cats. I also have ghost shrimp, snails, and a crayfish (my boyfriend bought it without asking me). Do you think the crayfish might put the shark in check or should I get rid of him. I would hate to take him back to the pet store because he is a cool looking fish. I have 2 plants and a few rock caves that he can hide in. Its a 30 gallon tank but I don't know if that will be big enough. Could someone give me some advice?


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

I'm a novice too, but our first fish was a rainbow fish and beware, they jump! Our first one jumped out and we put him back in the water in time. He jumped again and got stuck in between the tank hood and light bulb (it was very cheap hood, so i had to buy a new hood) and did not survive. So I got another one. But he too jumped out in the middle of the night and was dead when we woke up. My tank is fully covered and it's amazing to me he found a way out. Somehow he jumped out where the filter is.


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

Crayfish aren't a good tankmate, although as long as the fish are moving they're safe. Crayfish are more likely to eat dead fish than create them. Still, I would return the crayfish.


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

i have a couple of rainbow shark and have eggs i dont know how take care

tengo unos rainbow shark y pusieron huevos no se como cuidarlos los pusieron por el tuvo del filtro pero afuerita del agua no se si este bien


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RE: Rainbow Shark - Novice fish owner

SAYA suka happy aquarium

Here is a link that might be useful: happy aquarium


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