Facts About Rainbow Fish


Rainbow fish are a a colorful addition to your freshwater aquarium. The fish display iridescent colors that reflect brightly in the light and are generally a peaceful fish tolerant of a range of environmental conditions.


  • Juvenile rainbow fish do not display the bright colors of adults, but will develop color as the grow.

Wild rainbow fish live in the waters of southeast Asia and Australia. There are more than 50 species of rainbow fish.

Rainbow Fish Community

Rainbow fish live in schools, so you should have a minimum of six rainbow fish in your aquarium. They tend to swim in the middle layers of the aquarium.

Despite their peaceful nature, use caution when introducing new fish into your aquarium. Some types of fish that tend to get along with rainbow fish include:

  • Tetras
  • Suckermouth catfish
  • Mollies
  • Guppies
  • Minnows 
  • Angelfish

Do not pair your school or rainbow fish with cichlids or fancy goldfish.

Feeding and Aquarium Care

Rainbow fish vary in size depending on species and typically grow between 1 and 6 inches in length. Select a tank that offers the school plenty of room to swim as rainbow fish are fast and active swimmers. You need a tank that 20 gallons. If your fish are 4 inches or larger, your tank must be at least 4 feet long.

Add plants and rocks to your aquarium to make the environment interesting for the school. These fish are tolerant of varying temperatures and water pH. A good water temperature for rainbow fish is between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Determine the best water conditions based on the species of rainbow fish you select.

In the wild, many rainbow fish feed on larvae and insects. In the aquarium they will accept most types of food, but need a varied complete diet to stay healthy. Offer flake, pellet or granular foods to your fish and supplement their diet with live or frozen foods. Give food two to three times per day.

Rainbow Fish Health

Healthy rainbow fish should have good color, alert eyes and intact fins. They spend most of their time hiding in plants. Signs that your rainbow fish is ill include:

  • Spots of fungus on the body
  • Swimming erratically
  • Listlessness
  • Color loss
  • Frayed fins
  • Abnormal breathing

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