Glofish Types & Breeds: Colors | Types | Cost | Size | Lifespan

GlofishⓇ are a patented commercial brand that sells amazingly stunning fluorescent fish. They have neon-bright coloration, come in several types and colors, and look amazing when kept in groups. However, due to their less than natural coloration, they are not a fish species for everyone. They do, nonetheless, have a huge fanbase with many fish keepers choosing to keep them. This article discusses Glofish types & breeds.

How The Glofish Came About

The Glofish was never originally intended to be introduced to the fish keeping world. Rather it was the result of an experiment to create fish that could act as indicators of water pollution. However, when a picture of these fish was shown to the public, an aquarium business saw them, interest spiked, and the rest, as they say, became history!

Glofish Types And Colours

There are four different species of Glofish available for you to purchase. These are all tropical freshwater varieties that require the same care and maintenance as their non-fluorescent counterparts. The four species are:

  • Barbs
  • Tetras
  • Danios
  • Rainbow Sharks

When the Glofish was first launched they came in just two colors which were green and red. However, over time the Glofish company has managed to develop and launch four more. The six amazing colors Glofish come in are:

  • Starfire red
  • Electric green
  • Sunburst orange
  • Cosmic blue
  • Galactic purple
  • Moonrise pink

Glofish Care And Maintenance

As previously mentioned Glofish require the same care and maintenance as their natural colored varieties. For Barbs, Danios, and Tetras the care is all the same, whilst the Rainbow shark has slightly different needs.

glofish image
Children Love GloFish – They come in lots of colors, shapes and sizes

Barbs, Danios, And Tetras

Barbs, Danios, and Tetras are incredibly active fish that may irritate more sedate tank mates. They are a schooling fish, best kept in groups, with Barbs having a tendency to be a little nippy. An aquarium of these species is always fun to watch.

All three of the above-mentioned fish species can grow up to two inches, live for up to three years, are omnivores, and require an aquarium size of five gallons plus. They thrive best in temperatures of 72 to 78 °F or 22 to 26 °C.

Diet And Feeding

As omnivores Barbs, Danios, and Tetras will eat a wide variety of foods. These include tropical flake, pellet, frozen, and freeze-dried foods. You should vary the diet of these species of fish to ensure they receive the proper nutritional balance.

It is also worth noting that Glofish of these species will hugely benefit from a diet high in carotenoids. This is due to carotenoids helping to keep fish color vibrant. Various types of protein, vegetables, fruit, and herbs are ideal for this purpose, though you can also buy commercially produced color enhancing foods.

You should only feed Barbs, Danios, and Tetras small amounts that they can eat within one to two minutes. Feed twice daily if possible to ensure these fish remain healthy.

Housing And Environment

Though a single specimen of these fish only requires a 5-gallon aquarium, they are in fact best kept in groups of at least five plus. This means that nothing smaller than 30 gallons is suitable to house Barbs, Danios, and Tetras in, preferably bigger if you can.

Glofish also love plenty of substrate, rocks, plants, and hiding places within their aquarium. Stable water parameters are essential for these fishes health with a KH of between 4 and 10, and a pH of 6 to 7.

Maintenance And Care

Glofish will require weekly maintenance on their aquarium. Perform a 10 to 25% water change and clean the substrate with a gravel vac. You will also want to check the filter, change media where necessary, and clean as appropriate. Any ornaments should also be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure they do not suffer from a build-up of algae and dirt.

Health Concerns

There are no specific health concerns related to Glofish. However, they are still prone to all the same diseases as their species are. For Barbs, Danios, and Tetras the most common of these are fin rot and ich.

Fin rot is exactly what it says on the tin! Fins will be frayed or disintegrating with the base possibly showing a redness. Improving water quality usually cures fin rot but you can also use readily available medications.

Ich displays itself as white spots on the fins and body stemming from rubbing up against hard objects. Quarantine any fish with ich immediately and treat with specialist treatment.

Rainbow Shark

Rainbow sharks are incredibly attractive fish with a feisty personality. They are quarrelsome, territorial, and certainly do not play well with their own kind. They do, however, make fairly good tank mates for any species that can hold its own to the Rainbow sharks bullying.

Growing up to 6 inches and living for around 8 years, the Rainbow shark is an omnivore that will often feed on the bottom of the aquarium. They require an aquarium size of at least 30 gallons plus, and thrive in temperatures of 72 to 78 °F or 22 to 26 °C.

Diet And Feeding

Providing it will sink to the bottom of the aquarium the Rainbow Shark will eat pretty much anything. Plant-based foods are their usual diet such as cucumber, spinach, and lettuce.

Like the Barb, Danio, and Tetra, the Rainbow shark Glofish will benefit from a diet that contains carotenoids. Again commercially produced color enhancing foods will suffice, though these may not sink. Treats such as bloodworm and brine shrimp are also perfect for enhancing color with Rainbow sharks loving them.

Twice daily feedings are recommended for this species, but be careful not to overfeed. Rainbow sharks will also eat food that was not necessarily meant for them that has sunk to the bottom of their tank.

We feed TetraColor Flake food to all our bright colorful tropical fish.

Housing And Environment

Rainbow sharks require an aquarium of 30 gallons plus that has plenty of swimming space. They also need a sandy substrate that they won’t injure themselves on. Hiding spots, driftwood (Prices Here On Amazon) and plenty of plants are also recommended with this species for them to retreat to.

Maintenance And Care

Regular water changes are required for the Rainbow shark along with gravel vacuuming and general cleaning of ornaments etcetera. Also, you should check the filter on a regular basis and change media as needed. Water parameters should be KH of 4 to 11 and pH 6 to 7.5.

Different colors & species available

Health Concerns

Much like Barbs, Tetras, and Danios the Glofish Rainbow shark does not have any specific health concerns. Rather, they are prone to the common diseases suffered by their non-fluorescent counterparts. These include ich and fin rot for which we have covered symptoms and treatment above.


Glofish live between 3-5 years depending on the species. Their lifespan is dependant on water condition, diet and aquarium size. Ensure the correct water conditions for each species and provide the best diet and you can expect your Glofish to live up to 5 years.

If you’d like to know how GlofishⓇ are made then read our in-depth article entitled: How Glofish are made.

Conclusion: Glofish Types

As a final word, it is good advice to only source Glofish from a reputable fish store. This will ensure that you do not fall into the trap of buying ones that have been cruelly enhanced by anything other than genetics. Many stores carry the GlofishⓇ brand in all species and all colors. Prices for these beauties usually start around $7.