Shark Species

How Big do Rainbow Shark get

When consistently controlled water parameters are maintained, and a large surface area is provided, a rainbow shark can be kept in captivity and will provide a visually appealing display. After all, it is among the most prevalent aquarium fish with elegant colors. With rainbow sharks in your aquarium at home, you will surely experience a soothing experience as well as a cool and calm atmosphere.

But before you bring it home, the question is, how big do rainbow sharks get? If you do not consider the size before, all your effort might go in vain, as sharks are thought to be large in size, and they need plenty of space to swim around.

If you have got the shark already at your home aquarium, it’s more important for you to find out how big it can get so that you can take care of the requirement the right way. 

Do you know that you cannot keep the great white sharks in an aquarium no matter how good you look after their requirement? Because eventually, they will die. You will surely not want it to happen with a rainbow shark.

The rainbow sharks are, however, said to be a smaller species of shark, but you never know how big it can get. So, get to know about the size and prepare according to that.

Let’s get into the measurement aspect directly and get to know about the size before discussing anything else about the rainbow sharks.

How big can rainbow sharks get?

Known for their distinctive look and close resemblance to ocean sharks, rainbow sharks have long been admired for their unique appearance. However, they are not as large as the ocean sharks; instead, you can keep them in a home aquarium, but with care and attention.

As for size, they reach a maximum length of about 6 inches long, which is very small when compared with ocean sharks. Though this does not mean that they are easy to keep in captivity, you need to meet their requirements, or else you can have a bad experience.

In exceptional cases, you might see a rainbow shark growing to a size of 8 inches long, but as said, it’s rare, and the fish cannot grow more than that.

With that said, we will be looking at the other details in the below sections, but before moving into that, what do you think the lifespan of this shark is, and at what time does it reach its full length? Let’s find out.

How long does it take a rainbow shark to get full size?

Most rainbow sharks are believed to reach a maximum length of 6 inches, but after how many days of their birth do they reach this size?

The rainbow shark hatches as a tiny speck, but from there, they develop at a relatively rapid pace. In terms of life expectancy, rainbow sharks live an average of four to six years, though some have breathed as long as eight years.

Knowing that you can expect them to take several weeks or months to reach their full size.

Best aquarium size for rainbow sharks

Given that the rainbow shark can be kept in captivity and is as small as 6 inches long, you would like to have it today in your home aquarium. But keep in mind that the small size of a shark species does not mean the small aquarium will be good enough.

As said earlier, if requirements are not met, it can be a difficult task to keep rainbow sharks in custody. So, let’s talk about the ideal aquarium size for rainbow sharks.

Talking about the lower end, the least you should have is a minimum aquarium size of 55 gallons for one rainbow shark. The more sharks you bring in, the more water you need and the larger the size of an aquarium.

The question is, why would a 6-inch shark species need a large size tank? Well, it has a lot to do with sharks’ behavior and temperament. Want to know about it? Continue to read below.

Rainbow shark behavior and temperament

A rainbow shark’s natural habitat is a passive one, and they don’t really target other fish or marine animals. Captive rainbow sharks, however, do not follow this pattern.

In spite of how small rainbow sharks are, they are semi-aggressive and highly territorial when confined. A threat to their space makes them more likely to attack.

When given enough space to swim around, the rainbow shark will accommodate other freshwater species.

When it comes to rainbow sharks, other factors need to be taken into account, such as water quality is the most important element. To keep your rainbow shark in the best possible condition, it is essential that the pH of the water remains between 6.5 and 7.5.

Rest aside, you know how big do rainbow sharks get and what should be the optimal size of a water tank, you will surely be going to have a good experience.


In comparison with other shark species, rainbow sharks stand out because of their unusual color combinations, and this often makes them the favorite choice for home aquariums. Yet not many people know that despite their small size of about 6 inches, they require a large tank in order to flourish and grow to their full extent.

Taking care of rainbow sharks properly can make them the prettiest additions to your aquarium. Find out the names of other shark species that make the best pets.

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am lettin people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.