Rainbowfish Water Conditions and Aquarium Tank Setup

Aquarium Tank Setup

Water conditions

These fish naturally inhabit neutral to alkaline water in the wild. However, captive bred fish can tolerate slightly acidic water as well. Their colors seem to become more pronounced in slightly alkaline water. It is best to maintain the pH between 6.5 and 7.5. The temperature needs to be between 72 °F or 22 °C and 82 °F or 28 °C. They can tolerate slightly warmer waters but it should never fall below 22 °C or 72 °F as that can be fatal for the rainbowfish. The key is maintaining stable water conditions instead of widely swinging water parameters. The whole point of keeping Rainbow fish is for their awesome looks and infectious personalities. Both of these become subdued when the water parameters aren’t great or keep changing widely.

A larger planted aquarium tank is able to keep the water parameters stable a lot more easily. Rainbow fish are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrites and every measure should be taken to ensure that the levels of these compounds are zero. They can tolerate nitrates to a certain extent and water changes only need to be done once every 3-4 weeks. Its color is the best indicator of the water conditions. If it begins to fade away then check the water parameters to ensure everything is fine. There are variety of options available considering the design for planted aquarium tank, you can either go for customised design or opt for readily available fish tanks in the aquarium shop.

Lighting and tank setup

As rainbowfish inhabit clear waters, they do not mind strong lighting. However, excessively strong lighting washes out their brilliant coloration. Instead, choose a lighting system that is subdued and has plenty of light in the yellow spectrum. This along with some nice aquarium mosses will make the color of these fish pop out even more. The lights should be switched off every day for at least 8 hours as the active lifestyle of these fish means that they need ample amounts of rest and can get fatigued quite easily.

As far as the tank setup and decor go, these fish are very accommodating and you can get away with pretty much anything you deem worthy of decorating your tank. Just make sure to leave plenty of unbroken swimming space preferably along the entire length and breadth of the aquarium. This will give the rainbowfish a sense of freedom which is vital to their good health. There should be a few hiding spaces as well. These fish are perfect in planted aquariums too as their colors nicely complement the plants. They do not tend to uproot plants either making them perfect for such tanks.


As we have alluded to multiple times, the rainbowfish is a peaceful fish and does well with most fish of similar temperaments. Danios, tetras, guppies, gouramis, danisonis, non-nippy barbs, Corydoras, and other docile fish all make great tankmates. They should not be housed with cichlids and other territorial fish. Multiple species of rainbowfish can also be mixed together without any issues. Keep in mind that these are very active around food and that can lead to slower fish not being able to feed properly. They should be provided with adequate aquarium plants to feel comfortable and safe.

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