Rainbow Shiners

Rainbow Shiners

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Rainbow Shiners

Rainbow Shiners (Notropis Chrosomus) are a popular choice for coldwater aquarium hobbyists as they are considered an easy fish to care for. Rainbow Shiners are a beautifully coloured fish that change color when they are ready to spawn. Rainbow Shiners have translucent colored bodies with a silver-black colored stripe running down the length of their bodies.

The color of their bodies changes from a pink to a goldish colour, with their fins reddening at the base. Males change color when they are about to spawn - their fins turn blue, their heads turn purple, and their noses become red. This makes it easy for a breeder to identify. Planted aquariums or ponds with enough clear space for swimming are ideal - tall plants such as elodea and vallis are recommended. 

Can Rainbow Shiners be kept in a coldwater aquarium?
Rainbow shiners only grow to around 3 inches maximum, so they can be kept in an indoor coldwater aquarium, or an outdoor pond. Rainbow shiners can tolerate a range of temperatures, and are mid to upper level swimmers in an aquarium. Rainbow shiners are very active, and do tend to jump when spawning, so an aquarium with a secure lid is recommended. 

Are Rainbow Shiners a shoaling fish?
Rainbow Shiners are shoaling fish, when kept in a school of 6 to 8, but will do much better in groups larger than 10. It is good to keep a mixture of males and females together, as the males will display to potential mates and show off their colours.

Approx. supplied size: 1-2" / 3-5cm
Maximum size: 3" / 8cm
Origin: North and South America
Scientific name: Notropis chrosomus
Temperament: Peaceful
Lighting requirement: Low
Ideal number kept together: 6 or more

Water conditions
Our conditions: pH 7.5, temp 18°C
Ideal pH: 6.5–8.0
Water flow: moderate to high
Ideal temperature: 10-22°C

Ease of care
Easy. Avoid mixing with aggressive species and provide plenty of shelter in the form of plants, driftwood or caves.

Rainbow shiners are a peaceful community fish that mix well with tankmates such as danios and common goldfish in aquariums and ponds.

Carnivorous. Feed flake and small granules, suppliment with meaty food such as bloodworm and brine shrimp (frozen is fine)


Egg layers. It is not difficult to get Rainbow Shiners to spawn in captivity if conditions are met. Rainbow Shiners become mature enough to spawn in roughly 12 months. In the wild, Rainbow Shiners spawn during the late spring and early summer, so you can trigger spawning by slightly elevating the temperature in their tank to mimic the changing of the season, and by increasing their food intake.

Life Span
Rainbow Shiners can live 3-5 years in perfect conditions.

Please note we cannot hand-pick male or female unless specified in the listing. Photograph is for illustrative purposes intended as a guide to the species you will receive.

For more information on general fishkeeping and our shipping procedures click here.

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