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Tank mates for Rainbow Shiners


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First post on the forum for me!

So my latest tank is a heavily planted, dirted, Fluval Flex 32.5 with a group of 13 rainbow shiners. My original idea was to include some other native species (I’m in south east Georgia) but I don’t really want to get into the live-food feeding that the Pygmy sunfish (elassoma) require. (My axolotl already requires a worm farm. He’s as complex in feeding as I’d like to get. Plus my wife isn’t a fish person and if she’s going to do any feeding if I happen to be sick or out of town, it needs to be pretty simple. But she’s a good sport and hasn’t minded the dozen tanks that suddenly appeared in our house when I took up the hobby during the pandemic, but she has drawn her line 🤣)

The rainbow shiners prefer a cooler water. I’ve watched all the Co-Op vids listing the cold water fish. 

So far panda corys and hill stream loaches are on my short list. I’m really trying to figure out a “centerpiece” fish. 

I’d love to hear any ideas you have.



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I can suggest some barb species - Rosy, Odessa & Gold barbs, Danios like longfin zebras can handle it cooler, How can't you love a danger noodle (shout out to @Bentley Pascoe) like a dojo loach? And the albinos are stunners. Hifin variatus platys are stunners as well. Sailfin mollies from Florida can handle some cold but to be happy and breed them want it warm. Goodieds are a group you could look at although they can be nippy with smaller fish reportedly. 

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