Rainbowfish are very intriguing fish belonging to the large group of Melanotaeniidae. Due to their quite original shape, beautiful coloration, gentle disposition and the fact that they are not very demanding and therefore easy to keep, they have become very popular among aquarists. Here are the most popular varieties of rainbows.
In its natural environment, the neon rainbow can be found in the Mamberamo River Basin in New Guinea. It is distinguished by its characteristic body shape, light blue iridescent coloration, and red (male) and orange (female) fins. It is a schooling fish, so it feels best in a group of more than ten individuals.
Although the species grows up to 6 cm in size, it requires a relatively large tank with a capacity of at least 150 liters, in addition well planted with plants and with the necessary swimming space. Although neon rainbowfish is not very sensitive to changes of water parameters, the water in the aquarium should be well filtered and regularly changed. Moreover, the temperature should be kept within the range of 24-27°C and pH level at 7.0.
The neon rainbowfish is not demanding in terms of breeding and accepts various kinds of food – dry, frozen and live. It is therefore a good choice for hobbyists owning freshwater aquariums.
Boesemana rainbowfish, also referred to as “magnificent rainbowfish” (probably due to its unique coloration), inhabits the coastal areas of Ayamaru Lakes in West Papua. Its body is laterally flattened with characteristic upper and lower fins, extending from the tail to the middle of the body. It is distinguished by its striking, intense coloration, varying from dark orange, almost red in the back part of the body, through iridescent yellow-blue in the middle part, to the blue-gray head. Normally they reach a length of up to 12 cm.
An aquarium for Boeseman’s Rainbowfish should be as big as possible – preferably over 120 liters, with dense vegetation and plenty of swimming space. It is a typical shoal fish, therefore it feels best when surrounded by other specimens of the same species (at least 8-10). It doesn’t behave aggressively towards other fish, so it can be also placed in a social aquarium. It is, however, sensitive to any water contamination, so filter well and change water often. The best temperature in this case is 25-29°C and pH from 7.0 to 8.0.
Boesemana rainbowfish feeds on most foods: dry, frozen and live, but its diet should be varied.
The red rainbowfish (Glossolepis incisus) is an endemic species that inhabits almost exclusively Lake Sentani and its tributaries in Indonesia. It inhabits the coastal areas of the waters flowing into this tropical lake, in areas abundantly covered with vegetation. The male has a rusty red metallic coloration, while the female is predominantly brown. The body of these fish is laterally flattened and their size is not likely to exceed 15 cm.
The Red Rainbowfish is a peaceful fish, so it can be kept in a social aquarium. As it is a shoal fish, you should put about 8-10 specimens in the tank. The better and more natural the conditions are, the healthier and more intensively colored our specimens will be.
The aquarium for this species should be large (about 200 liters), with dense vegetation and a considerable swimming area. As for water parameters, medium-hard water with a temperature of 23-28°C is recommended.
In the diet of red rainbow fish it is worth to include live food, which this fish prefers, although it will not disdain food in other forms as well.
An unconventional solution can be an aquarium stocked with many species of fish from the rainbow family. Such a composition looks truly spectacular!
Featured photo: Claudia Wollesen / Pixabay