Can Rainbow Shark Live with Cory Catfish?

Fish and other animals, both land and aquatic animals are just like we human beings, they need to be cared for and also be comfortable. Also just like we, they don’t interact with every animal out there. In this article, we will be lecturing on the compatibility of Cory Catfish and Rainbow Shark. Can they live together peacefully etc. Let’s find out.

Can Rainbow shark live with Cory Catfish? No, Rainbow shark is far bigger and more aggressive than Cory catfish. It will bully and may hurt Cory Catfish if they are kept together in a tank.

Like I said, not all fish are compatible with each other and could get together or coexist.

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Although they might share almost the same type of water parameters, but due to their behaviors or other things, they can’t be compatible with each other.

Now let’s look at the water parameters and temperament of both the corydoras/Cory catfish and rainbow sharks.

Water Parameters and Temperament of Cory Catfish

The Cory Catfish thrives in a freshwater and are very sensitive to brackish water because it could kill them.

Their ideal water temperature is 75-80°F.

Ideal pH level is 5.5-8.0, depending on the source of the fish.

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The alkalinity level should be 3-10dkh.

Nitrate/ Ammonia 0.

Although they could be classified as omnivores because they eat both plants, vegetables, fish feed and even smaller animals like insects, fish etc.

But they are very peaceful in nature.

They dwell mostly at the bottom of the water and could swim pretty nice.

Rainbow Shark Water Parameters and Temperament

This shark thrives in a freshwater with low current and substrates, plants.

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So consider getting them a low powered filter and aquarium plants to replicate their natural habitats.

They live in a temperature of 75-80°F with a pH of 6-8.

Their water hardiness is 5-8dh, and they could get really big to occupy a 30 gallon or more per fish, depending on the size.

They’re semi aggressive and are voracious eater, and at the same time they’re omnivores.

They can eat anything edible including other fish, worms, shrimps, etc, but they love eating plants and vegetables, so add that to their meal on a regular basis.

They love chasing other fish and even their own species too.

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Looking at the water parameters and the temperament of the 2 fish, you will understand that the two share similar water conditions and could live in almost the same environment comfortably.

They can live in the same temperature, pH etc, but the only difference between them is their size and behavioral differences.

So do rainbow sharks get along with catfish? No, Both Catfish and Rainbow sharks are bottom dwellers and Catfish being peaceful and smaller could be bullied and harmed by semi aggressive and territorial Rainbow sharks.

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So Cory Catfish being a member of catfish is not different from other catfish, and so will be bullied in many ways and even harmed.

Are Cory Catfish Aggressive?

You might be interested to know if the corydoras are aggressive fish.

Are Cory catfish aggressive? No, Cory Catfish are peaceful fish with no sign of aggression in their body.

They can coexist with many species and types of fish because of their gentle and peaceful nature.

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Although they are ferocious eaters and could eat anything, including fish that are far smaller than they are.

Are Rainbow Sharks Aggressive?

Although if you’re interested to know the temperament of rainbow sharks, then read below.

Although naturally, Rainbow sharks are not that aggressive, that’s why they are known to be semi aggressive.

They are quiet territorial and could chase other fish around who might have tresspassed, but they rarely kill nor harm other fish if conditions are right.

This simply means that it’s literally possible for catfish and rainbow sharks to coexist in the same tank without anyone trying to harm the other in anyway nor hustling for food nor getting bullied etc.

So let’s see how they could coexist happily in the same tank.

How To Make Cory Catfish Live With Rainbow Sharks

From what we have learned, catfish are peaceful and bottom dwellers.

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On the other hand, rainbow sharks are semi aggressive and bottom dwellers too.

So being a semi aggressor, they could be easily tamed to be peaceful if the conditions are right.

What am trying to say is there are some conditions that makes them aggressive such as wrong water parameters, and most importantly tank size.

Normally, rainbow sharks are peaceful and could coexist with many fish in their natural habitats, so what if those habitats are replicated in your aquarium, don’t you think they will be very fine and comfortable?

Now let’s see some of the things they need to become less aggressive.

Tank size: Tank size is the most important factors to consider when planning to buy a rainbow shark and possibly add mates to it.

Rainbow sharks are quiet big in size and need to be free and move about in it’s tank, even to talk of having some tank mates.

Related: Do Gouramis get along with each other?

I don’t recommend having nothing less than 55gallon tank for a rainbow shark.

If you want to add Cory catfish with your rainbow shark, then add up to 3-5 of them because they love to live in groups.

So rainbow shark and a group of corydoras won’t be suitable in any tank less than 80 gallons.

Plants and Hiding places: When I talk about replicating their natural habitats, this is what I mean.

Add as much as possible hiding places such as caves, plants substrates etc to your tank.

These things will keep the fish both busy and provide hiding places they need to avoid each others possible aggression.

Apart from hiding, rainbow sharks love eating some plants, so this will keep them busy and occupied to careless about the presence of the Cory cats in the tank and also careless too about bullying them when it comes to food.

Also those caves and other things will keep the catfish busy from trying to intrude on rainbow’s territories etc.

Some people will look at the issue of both being bottom dwellers and say they can’t coexist, No, if both are busy and there are hiding places in the tank, two bottom dwellers can be fine in the same large tank.

Plenty and quality food: To so many people, the issue of food could be a problem, although it’s true, but here is what to do.

Both of them being bottom dweller makes matters to be completed, but to feed them, provide them with automatic feeder which will keep supplying them food 24 hours.

We all know that no living thing can feed around the clock.

So even if the sharks are pigs in eating, they must surely get tired in a few minutes or an hour and make eay for the cats to feed to.

Again being too busy eating some of the plants, I don’t think they will bother the cats as such when it comes to food.

Right water parameters and chemical level: Do you know that what aids the aggression of Rainbow sharks is mostly stress and frustration?

Nothing stresses this shark than wrong water conditions and chemicals in the tank such as Nitrates and Ammonia.

These two chemicals are very harmful to them, so these normally gets them frustrated, so they tend to vent their stress on smaller tank mates by biting them and chasing them around.

So normal water parameters is the ideal for a peaceful rainbow shark.

Keeping less number of male than female: In every specie of animal, the male are the most aggressive and territorial.

So the males of rainbow sharks are the most aggressive and will always start troubles.

So the ideal idea for peace is to keep more females of the two fish than the male.

My recommendation is a male per 3 females.

This will keep the male busy and from getting too wild.


In the conclusion, yes rainbow sharks could comfortably live with catfish of any type if the condition is right for them.