Rainbowfish: Decoration of the Home Aquarium

The Rainbowfish (Melanotaeniidae) is a true decoration of the home aquarium. These peaceful Australian fish are suitable for those who already have experience in keeping aquarium fish and are familiar with concepts such as temperature, hardness, acidity. These fish can be very sensitive to water parameters. But a flock of a dozen of these fish can distract the owner and help him relax after a hard day’s work.



There are about 80 species of exotic Australian fish. Many of them do well in a home aquarium. But when choosing, it is important to know the usual temperature parameters of each species that is planned to be placed in the biotope. The wrong temperature will shorten the lifespan of the Rainbowfish in the aquarium, and the wrong acidity or hardness can kill them.

Common signs for all Rainbowfish:

  • Laterally flattened oblong body
  • Bright coloration
  • Dimensions on average 8-10 cm
  • The dorsal fin has several short rays, which, as it were, splits into two unequal parts: the one closer to the tail is longer. The short part in some species has a bizarre shape
  • The caudal fin has clear bifurcated contours: in the middle, its rays are shorter than at the edges, which results in a typical “fishtail”
  • The mouth is small, it has small teeth, suitable only for eating live food. Rainbowfish will not defend or attack with these teeth


The rainbowfish is found in Asia and Western Guinea, in dense freshwater lakes with many insects. Modern living conditions have led to a decrease in the fish population, so the governments of several countries have banned fishing. Listed in the Red Book as an endangered species. Rainbowfish from natural waters have a very bright body color.

Care and Keeping

The volume of the aquarium is at least 50 liters per flock of 6 individuals. Ideally, of course, 70-80 liters for the same amount. The fish should feel free. The larger the flock, the more spacious the aquarium. Weekly water changes for about a quarter of the total volume, and with them – cleaning the soil with a special siphon. A lid on the aquarium is a must: Rainbowfish can jump out.

Water Parameters

  • Temperature 22-28 ° C. More accurate parameters depend on the specific type.
  • Hardness 5-16
  • Acidity 6.5-7.5

Decor & Plants

  • It is better to place decor and plants closer to the walls of the aquarium, leaving room for free swimming.
  • As a decor, driftwood, live plants, and dark background are suitable. In such an environment, Rainbowfish looks most impressive.

How long do Rainbowfish live in an aquarium? Their life expectancy, subject to the general conditions of detention and careful attention to each specific species, is 4-7 years.


Rainbowfish are great at both dry and live food. Freeze is also suitable for them. It is better if the feeding is varied, with the presence of both species. Live and frozen food help to increase the body’s immunity and resistance to certain diseases. It is necessary to feed dry food in order to maintain the color, as well as to saturate the body of a small fish with the necessary amount of vitamins. If they are lacking, Rainbowfish will eat live plants. Better to choose foods that sink slowly. Rainbowfish are not very eager to collect the leftover from the bottom.


The main diseases that Rainbowfish are prone to are related to diet and feed quality. If feeding mainly with bloodworms and tubifex, then parasites or infections may be introduced into the intestines. Skin parasites are also introduced with live food or with new neighbors who have not passed quarantine. If live food is excluded, the fish will lack immunity to resist fungal diseases. Disease prevention can be called maintaining the required water parameters, regular cleaning, constant aeration, and filtration.


Rainbowfish is an outlandish visitor to our aquariums from the lakes and rivers of Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea. It is interesting that the number of open and described species is growing, but at the same time, some of them will not even be given to a person to see. Civilization is destroying the habitat of the Rainbowfish. In aquariums, these small fish become wonderful inhabitants: active, mobile, and rather unpretentious. The water parameters are actually not difficult to maintain.

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