Rainbow shark

Aquarium fish: Rainbow shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum)
Size: 15 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 22-26 ° C
Aquarium volume: 240 l

Rainbow shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum ) – freshwater aquarium fish of the carp family, also known as the rainbow shark .


The green thicket comes from Asia. The species primarily inhabited shallow, swift rivers and streams in Thailand. The current location of Labeo is difficult to determine. In some areas, the population of these fish has declined drastically, in others it has completely disappeared.

Contrary to popular opinion, this has not been caused by harvesting, and environmental changes, among others, damming rivers.

Characteristics and disposition

Labeo in the aquarium reaches 15 cm in length. It is characterized by an elongated gray body with dark green shades and a dark spot at the base of the tail. Red, slightly opalescent fins. Tail fin bifurcated.

In addition to the wild form, there is also a breeding albiotic variety with a pigment-free body. At first glance, the green thick-lipped may be mistaken for the two-colored thick- lippedin which only the caudal fin is red. The sex of the fish is difficult to distinguish. Adult females can be recognized by a slightly more rounded belly, less intense coloration and the rounded ends of the caudal fin. The dorsal fin of males forms a distinct point and is edged in black.

It shows highly developed territorialism and becomes aggressive with age. Clashes between fish in a tank that is too small can result in the death of weaker individuals. It is best to keep only one representative of this species in the aquarium .

Nutrition and feeding

Labeo mainly feeds on algae and other plant foods. Their menu should also include live foods, e.g.

daphnia, artemia, potted plants, water pipes, eyedrops, water larvae, mosquitoes and bloodworms. They also accept frozen and dry food. We can enrich the plant diet with, for example, shelled peas, cucumbers, zucchini, spinach and chopped fruit.


For one individual, an aquarium of at least 120 cm in length, densely planted with plants, with hiding places made of stones and roots, and with a sandy substrate, is required. We can also put dry roots or branches in the tank and decorate them with plants such as Microzorium, Bobitis, Anubias.

Bright lighting will ensure the constant growth of the fish’s delicacy, i.e. algae. Labeo do not tolerate high concentrations of nitrates , therefore an efficient filter will be necessary, which will also ensure significant water movement and its proper oxygenation. The aquarium should be covered to prevent the fish from jumping out. Grubowarga green will be a slightly better choice for a social aquarium than Grubowarga bicolor, but you should choose your co-inhabitants carefully.

It cannot be kept with red, free-swimming and veiled fish. For roommates, it is best to choose fish from the middle and upper parts of the water. He will live in harmony with, for example, Botsia . The company of cuiras and cichlids should be avoided .


Oviparous species, very difficult to reproduce in aquariums .

At home, it is almost impossible. Commercial fish come from breeding farms where special hormones are used to stimulate spawning. Due to the aggressive temperament of the fish, tanks with a capacity of 500-1000 l are required. Soft water with a pH of about 6.5 and a temperature of 26-28 ° C is required. Spawning is preceded by a mating dance – the fish make strange movements by swimming around each other.

Roe is scattered among the plants in the amount of about 30 pieces. In the wild, Labeo spawns at the bottom in a pit. Hatching takes place after about 2 days.


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