Among the Top 5 Freshwater Sharks for Aquariums (and How Big They Really Get)


These kinds of freshwater fish, which belong to the Cyprinidae family of carp and minnows, are not genuine sharks, as you may have noticed when you went to a pet store. They just so happen to have sharp, torpedo-shaped bodies that give them the appearance of sharks. Freshwater sharks are popular among beginners due to their appealing appearance and toughness, but they can grow considerably larger than anticipated and require huge tanks once they reach adulthood. So let’s learn about their needs and determine whether they are the ideal fish for you before you buy that cute 2-inch (5-cm) shark at the pet store.

1. Red Tail Shark

As they get older, red-tailed sharks become quite aggressive toward other sharks and members of their own species since they are solitary animals rather than schooling fish. They are able to coexist peacefully with other similarly sized, aggressive fish, including larger gouramis like blue and gold gouramis, South and Central American cichlids, and African cichlids. Additionally, you may pair them with slightly smaller, incredibly quick schooling fish like enormous danios and barbs. Avoid keeping peaceful fish, sluggish swimmers, or tiny critters that might be devoured as tankmates.

2. Rainbow Shark

This stunning centerpiece fish, which resembles a red tail shark and grows to a length of 5 to 6 inches (13 to 15 cm), is also gorgeous. However, they are more dark gray in appearance with red fins and a red tail, as opposed to being nearly all black. Additionally, several color variants like the albino and Glofish varieties are frequently sold at pet stores. They originate from Thailand and other surrounding Southeast Asian nations and can survive in a wide range of pH values (6.5–8.0) and temperatures (72–80°F; 22–27°C).

3. Roseline Shark

The shorter red line that sits on top of the longer, horizontal black stripe running along the centre of the roseline shark’s body gives it its common name. They are 4-5 inches (10–13 cm) long, feature beautiful yellow and black markings on the tail, and are also known as Denison barbs. They would enjoy living in a planted aquarium because they are from swift-moving rivers and lakes in India with thick vegetation close to the banks. They require 3-5 fish in their party, unlike the other fish on this list, so be prepared to purchase a tank that is at least 4 feet (1.2 m) long.

4. Siamese Algae Eater

For larger tanks, do you need an algae eater? Try the Siamese Algae Eater (SAE), a 6-inch (15-cm) fish with a silvery-brown body and a strong black line running down its side. It is one of the few fish that will consume leftover fish food, different kinds of algae, including black beard algae. Because the adults are big enough to eat the majority of the fish food you offer, the juveniles prefer to consume more algae. You might need to fast the adults for approximately a week to get them ravenous enough to chase after algae.

5. Bala Shark

Our list’s largest shark measures 12 inches (30 cm) in length. It has a silvery body and light-colored fins with thick, black border and is also known as the tricolor shark or the silver shark. They can survive in pH ranges of 6 to 8, and temperatures ranging from 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 28 degrees Celsius), as they are native to Southeast Asian rivers and lakes. They are quite simple to feed and will happily consume any meals that are either floating or sinking, as well as invertebrates like shrimp and snails.


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