Red rainbowfish Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 22, 2022

The red rainbowfish is a stunning freshwater fish that is relatively easy to care for. They are a great addition to any community tank and will brighten up the place with their vibrant colors.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about red rainbowfish care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Red rainbowfish (scientific name: Glossolepis incisus) are a freshwater species that is native to Indonesia. They are found in various rivers and streams throughout the country, primarily in the western region.

Red rainbowfish prefer areas with plenty of vegetation and a moderate amount of water flow. This is something to keep in mind when setting up their tank, as you’ll want to make sure there is plenty of greenery for them to hide in.

These fish are known for being peaceful and compatible with a wide variety of tank mates. They are also relatively easy to care for, making them a good choice for beginner fishkeepers.

The main attraction of red rainbowfish is their beautiful coloration. As their name suggests, these fish are mostly red with a few yellow and orange accents. This makes them a real eye-catcher in any aquarium!


Red rainbowfish

The Red Rainbowfish is an absolutely gorgeous freshwater fish that’s perfect for any aquarium. As you can probably guess from their name, these fish are a beautiful red color.

However, it’s worth noting that their fins are actually a bit more orange than their bodies. The fins have a beautiful orange hue that really makes them stand out in your tank.

The body shape of the Red Rainbowfish is long, thin, and slightly flattened. This gives them a very sleek appearance that’s perfect for swimming long distances.

Their dorsal and anal fins are both long and thin. The dorsal fin starts about two-thirds of the way back on their body and extends all the way to the end of their tail.

The caudal fin is forked and symmetrical. The Red Rainbowfish also has a very long and thin pectoral fin that’s perfect for steering in tight spaces.


The average lifespan of a red rainbowfish is 3-5 years. However, with proper care, they can live up to 10 years.

The lifespan of a red rainbowfish is greatly affected by the quality of the water they live in. If the water is not clean, they will not live as long.


The average adult red rainbowfish size is between 4 and 5 inches long. However, it’s not uncommon for them to grow up to 6 inches in length in the right conditions.


Tank Size

The recommended tank size for a school of red rainbowfish is 30 gallons. If you’re looking for a smaller fish that can still provide some color and interest in a smaller tank, this might be the fish for you.

Water Parameters

The Red Rainbowfish is a freshwater species that is very popular in the aquarium trade. They are native to Australia and New Guinea where they inhabit freshwater streams and rivers.

Red Rainbowfish are not difficult to care for as long as their basic needs are met. They are relatively peaceful fish but can become aggressive if kept with other peaceful species.

Red Rainbowfish prefer a well-oxygenated aquarium with plenty of hiding places. They are not shy fish and will often swim in the open.

The following water parameters are ideal for Red Rainbowfish:

  • Water Temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Water Hardness: 4 to 8 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4 to 8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

When it comes to setting up the tank for your Red Rainbowfish there are a few things you’ll need to take into consideration.

The first is that these fish need a lot of space to swim. A standard 10-gallon tank is going to be too small for a single fish, let alone a school. We recommend a tank that’s at least 20 gallons for a school of these fish.

The second thing to think about is the plants you’re going to include. Red Rainbowfish are known to be fin nippers, which means they’ll likely nibble on any plants with long flowing fins.

You can still include plants in their tank, but you’ll need to be careful about the ones you choose. Short, stout plants are going to be your best bet.

Some great options include Anubias, Java Fern, and Hornwort.

The substrate in their tank can be anything you want. These fish don’t spend a lot of time rooting around in the substrate so the type you choose is up to you.

We recommend a dark substrate to help bring out the colors of these fish.

Common Diseases

The Red Rainbowfish is a hardy and relatively disease-resistant fish. However, that doesn’t mean they’re immune to all illnesses.

The most common disease that affects this species is ich. This is a very contagious illness that is caused by a parasite.

The first sign of ich is usually a series of white spots on the body, fins, and gills of your fish. If left untreated, it can quickly lead to death.

The good news is that ich is relatively easy to treat. There are a variety of medication options available, and most fish will make a full recovery if the disease is caught early.

The best way to prevent ich (and other diseases) is to maintain clean and stable water conditions in your tank. This will make your fish much less susceptible to illness and will help them to stay healthy and happy.

Behavior & Temperament

The red rainbowfish is a peaceful and social creature that does best in a group. In the wild, they live in harems with one male and several females. In captivity, you can keep them in a group of at least six, but the more the better.

You’ll often see these fish swimming in pairs or small groups. They’re relatively active fish, so don’t be surprised if you see them chasing each other around the tank from time to time. It’s all in good fun and nothing to worry about.

When it comes to temperament, red rainbowfish are peaceful and get along well with other fish. However, they can be a little nippy. They may nip at the fins of other fish, so it’s best to keep them with fish that have similar body shapes.

Tank Mates

In terms of compatibility, red rainbowfish get along with just about any other fish species. They’re not aggressive and can even be kept with smaller fish.

The only time you might have an issue is if you keep them with fish that are too small. Red rainbowfish are known to nip at the fins of smaller fish.

Other than that, these fish are community tank staples. They do best in groups of their own kind but can also be kept with other rainbowfish species.

Some good tank mates for red rainbowfish include:

  • Blue Rainbowfish
  • Turquoise Rainbowfish
  • Neon Tetras
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies


Breeding red rainbows is a fun and rewarding process. These beautiful fish are not only easy to spawn, but they’re also great parents.

The first thing you need to do is set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 30 gallons and have plenty of hiding places. You can use plants, caves, and driftwood. Make sure the tank has a tight-fitting lid to prevent escapees.

Then, you need to adjust the water parameters. Aim for a temperature between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be around 6.5-7.0. The hardness can be anywhere from soft to medium.

When everything is ready, add two males for every female. The males will start to establish their territories.

You’ll know spawning is about to happen when the males start to build nests. They use plant material and other debris to construct them. Once the nests are built, the males will start to court the females.

If everything goes according to plan, the females will lay their eggs in the nests. After that, the males will fertilize them.

The eggs will hatch in about two weeks. When they do, the fry will be free-swimming and ready to eat. Start them off on baby brine shrimp and move them to other foods as they grow.


The Red Rainbowfish is an absolutely stunning freshwater fish that is perfect for any tank.

They’re not too big, so they won’t take over your tank, but they’re big enough to make a real impact with their vibrant colors.

They’re also super easy to take care of, which is always a bonus.

If you’re looking for a fish that is both beautiful and low-maintenance, the Red Rainbowfish is a great option for you!