10 Rainbowfish Tank Mates – List of Compatible Species

Disclosure: I may earn a commission when you purchase through my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. – read more

Rainbowfish is a family of small and colorful freshwater fish native to northern and eastern Australia, New Guinea, Sulawesi, and Madagascar.

This species is less than 12 cm in length and live in a wide range of freshwater habitats, like rivers, lakes, swamps, etc. While the Rainbowfish spawns throughout the year, they lay most of their eggs in the rainy months.

Not to mention, Rainbowfish are omnivorous and love to feed on small crustaceans, insect larvae, algae, etc.

Rainbowfish enjoy the company of tropical community fishes like tetras, guppies, and other rainbowfish varieties.

Although, you want to be careful about letting two males in the same tank as they can fight during the breeding season if your aquarium does not have enough females.

They like to eat dead insects floating on the surface in the wild and feed on floating flakes when in captivity. Some of the best tank mates for Rainbowfish include:

1. Angelfish

Angelfish belong to the family Cichlidae and possess a graceful swimming behavior. They are a brilliant addition to large community aquariums.

Angelfish are generally peaceful. However, since they are cichlids, they can be aggressive with each other. You can see their aggressive behavior when they attempt to pair off and spawn.

Besides, this class of fish does not have a problem eating the smaller fish in your tank. Like most fishes, angelfish can be opportunistic and eat almost any living organism that fits into their mouth.

Angelfish are great tank mates for Rainbowfish and are perfect for larger aquariums. However, you must maintain the tank temperature above 82° F.

Angelfish are great companions for Rainbowfish as they do not feel safe around other fishes of their kind.

Angelfish generally fight to defend their space or claim a mate but are predominantly peaceful. More importantly, it is one of the few fish breeds that do not bully other fish species in a tank.

2. Barbs

Barbs are colorful and lively freshwater fish. With more than 2,000 known types of barb species, they are native to Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.

Barbs are active fishes and are popular among the fishkeepers for their colors. They can make for a striking addition to your community tank.

While it is an omnivorous fish, they are predominantly peaceful and playful. They are easy to care for, provided you place them in a 20–55-gallon fish tank.

Barbs like to swim in groups in the middle of the tank and are notorious fin-nippers. Be cautious about housing these fishes with slow-moving or long-finned fish species.

They make great companions for Rainbowfish as they display showy behavior and like to form hierarchies in an aquarium community.

However, be sure to buy your barbs in schools of six, or they can harass the Rainbowfish and other tank mates.

3. Cory Catfish

The cory catfish is a bottom-dwelling fish with small faces, white bodies filled with black spots, barbels, and whiskers around their mouths.

Cory catfish is a peaceful and hardy fish and usually does not harass their tank mates. They are fantastic tank mates for Rainbowfish as they have a calm temperament.

Fish aquarium enthusiasts enjoy breeding cory catfish for their unique appearance.

They enjoy most of their time hiding in caves or under the aquarium decor. Add some fun aquarium toys and artificial plants to your tank to help your cory catfish feel safer and at ease.

If you are a first-time cory catfish keeper, watch out for their color changes. If they become paler than usual, it is a sign of stress.

Do not be disheartened if your cory catfishes do not get along with the Rainbowfish right away.

Give them some time as they like to socialize in the evenings and enjoy hiding at the bottom during the day.

4. Danios

Danios belong to the family of Cyprinidae and are native to Southeast Asia. They are active freshwater fish and come in striking colors and patterns.

They are perfect for amateur aquarists as they have low care needs. This omnivore fish has a peaceful temperament and can live for up to seven years with proper care.

Danios are social animals that exhibit shoaling behavior. They also have hierarchical systems, and the dominant fish in the shoal is usually very playful and dominant, allowing you to mark it as the leader.

If you plan on populating your fish tank community with Rainbowfish and danios, remember that they show aggressive or hyperactive behaviors in an under-populated or over-cramped aquarium. 

Make sure to buy the perfect number of danios and Rainbowfish and place them in the right-sized tank to prevent them from chasing and nipping their peers’ fins.

Also, do not place them in the same tank as slow-moving long-finned fishes as they tend to show signs of aggression to such breeds.

5. Mollies

Mollies are freshwater fish belonging to the Poeciliidae family, and they come in a range of colors. These fish adapt to any environment, making them a fool-proof option for first-time aquarists.

Mollies are peaceful creatures that will get on well with most fish species, making them a great addition to a community tank.

These fish require a minimum aquarium size of 10 gallons, and they are livebearers. While mollies are delightful companions for Rainbowfish, you must shift your pregnant molly to a separate tank to help her give birth to her offspring in a safe environment.

Your Rainbowfish can and will eat the fry if a pregnant molly delivers in the same tank.

Mollies come in a multitude of colors and are non-hostile tank mates. Remember that mollies can fade in color if under stress.

It is a social schooling fish and prefers housing in groups of 4 or more. Buy one male molly fish for every 4 females to prevent the males from fighting and getting overly aggressive.

6. Platy Fish 

Platies are a prolific breed in the wild, and they have an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years. Proper care and ideal tank conditions can help these fish live longer and healthier over the years.

Platy fishes come in a wide range of colors and are generally peaceful. They get along quite well with fish species with similar temperaments.

Platy fish tend to be more aggressive and active during the day. The males can pester the females and show aggression but are generally easy to maintain.

While platies are hardy and tolerate most tank conditions, they do best in the tanks that simulate their natural habitat. This fish will get along just fine with the Rainbowfish, provided they have sufficient space.

Remember to feed them a varied diet of frozen and live foods, pellets, and flakes. 

7. Plecostomus 

The pleco fish has a unique appearance with excellent tank-cleaning abilities. They have a life expectancy of 15 years and are easy to maintain.

One of the fun facts about pleco is that they can survive for up to 30 hours without water. Also, they can wriggle across the land in search of a new pool.

Plecos do not grow as large in an aquarium and are ideal tank mates for Rainbowfish.

Plecos are peaceful fish and enjoy living in a community tank. However, pleco can become aggressive and exhibit territorial behavior if they are under stress, face competition over food and breeding, or endure unpleasant tank conditions.

They can chase and push other tank mates if they feel stressed or competitive, threatening your Rainbowfish.

Make sure to maintain ideal tank conditions. Also, plecos spend their daylight hours hiding and emerge at night for food. 

8. Rasbora

Rasboras are a popular choice among aquarists as they come in striking colors and shimmer in the light.

Rasboras are great tank mates for Rainbowfish as they are peaceful, social, and enjoy the company of other fishes.

They are timid and spend most of their time hiding in an aquarium. However, you must be patient with the rasboras as they take their own to adjust to a new environment. Rasboras prefer to move in groups.

Hence, make sure to buy rasboras in groups of eight or more to help them feel lively and prevent them from annoying or bullying other fishes.

While they belong to the class of non-aggressive fishes, you must avoid housing them in the same tank as fishes double their size.

Some large-sized cichlids can view rasboras as a snack. Rasboras are perfect companions for Rainbowfish, danios, dwarf gourami, Corydoras, and guppies.

9. Swordtail Fish

With a life expectancy of 5 years, these omnivorous fish are fabulous companions for Rainbowfish. They have a peaceful temperament and prefer tanks that hold at least 15 gallons of water.

These belong to the family of platy fish and are a popular choice for first-time aquarists for their peaceful temperament and ease of care. They have a life expectancy of 3 – 5 years and are livebearers and omnivorous.

Make sure you transfer your pregnant swordtail fish to a separate tank to help them deliver their fry in a safe space.

As tank mates for Rainbowfish, swordtails are peaceful and enjoy the company of their kind and other species.

Swordtail fish can spend a lot of their time in the middle and upper parts of the tank and tend to form loose groups. However, you want to get more females, and fewer males as the latter can be territorial and aggressive.

You will enjoy watching your swordtail fish alongside Rainbowfish in a tank as they are active swimmers.

10. Tetra Fish

Most fish keepers are crazy about getting themselves tetras for their hardiness and ease of care. They are great for almost any tank setup and make great peers for most fish species.

Tetras prefer a warm tank with temperatures ranging between 70°F and 80°F. Failing to maintain a warm temperature can cause your tetra to fall sick, slow down your metabolism, and make them less active.

While tetras enjoy the company of Rainbowfish, they also like to be around live plants. Unlike some fish species, they do not tear down the leaves in their sight.

However, get a tank that can hold at least 10 gallons. You can feed them all sorts of granules, flakes, dry, and live food.

Also, remember tetras like to live in a tank in schools. Getting an automatic food dispenser can ensure that every fish in your aquarium receives enough food at the proper intervals.


Rainbowfish are some of the most peaceful, active, and social fishes that you can keep.

Place them in schools of six or more to prevent them from feeling stressed.

Also, getting a spacious tank for your Rainbowfish can prevent them from getting aggressive with the other males during spawning.

These are easy to care for species that can bring lots of beauty and color to your tank.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *