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FRESH WATER

Fishes

Boesemani rainbowfish
(Melanotaenia boesemani)

francais anglais
Boesemani rainbowfish

Boesemani rainbowfish
(Melanotaenia boesemani)

It is the most popular fish among rainbow fishes. No need to explain why, its splendid colours speak for themselves! This beautiful fish needs clear water and a large surface current. Consult this sheet to find out more.

Scientific name

Melanotaenia boesemani

Common name

Boesemani rainbowfish
Boeseman’s Rainbowfish

Origin

what are its countries of origin?

Origin: New Guinea
Biotope: Australia/New Guinea

Dimorphism

what are the physical differences between males and females?

The female is slightly smaller than the male. It is brown-green, and the male is yellow-blue

Group

Group

Melanoteniidae

Volume

what is the minimum volume for this species?

350 L / 77 imp gal / 92 US gal

Water parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 26 to 30°C or 79 to 86°F
pH: 7 to 8
Hardness: 8 to 15°dGH

Difficulty

Difficulty

Average

Size

what is the maximum size of this fish?

10 to 15 cm (4 to 6")

Life expectancy

what is the average life expectancy of this fish?

12 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Top and Middle

Individuals

sociability of the species

8

Food

How to feed the Boesemani rainbowfish?

Food

How to feed the Boesemani rainbowfish?

Very easy to feed, Melanotaenias are omnivorous with a carnivorous tendency. They can feed on mosquito larvae, small krill, drosophila, artemia, tubifex... Complete with a vegetative supplement from time to time. You can also use dry flakes found on the market.

For the good health of your fish, alternate all these foods. A beautiful colouring will prove that there are no deficiencies.

Watch out for the overfeeding of these voracious fish. To calm their appetite, prefer to distribute small rations but several times a day (at least 3 times).

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Boesemani rainbowfish have?

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Boesemani rainbowfish have?

Peaceful but very active, it swims constantly. The Boeseman’s Rainbowfish have a gregarious instinct that needs to be met. Thus, plan a minimum of 8 individuals for their well-being, with a few more females. Sometimes, there can happen some skirmishes between males, rarely serious. Some males become more territorial as they age, but without consequence if the aquarium is large enough.

group of Melanotaenia boesemani

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Boesemani rainbowfish?

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Boesemani rainbowfish?

It is a peaceful fish that will ignore the other occupants of the aquarium. In theory, it is compatible with almost all other community fish.

Well, in theory... Because the water parameters required by Melanotaenia are special! Thus, cohabitation restrictions will mainly be on this last point. It is common to add other rainbow fish, but this can cause hybridization problems during breeding.

Apart from this, avoid adding too small fish that can be considered as prey, or shrimp that will serve as meals for sure.

Breeding

How to breed the Boesemani rainbowfish?

Breeding

How to breed the Boesemani rainbowfish?

The spawning is very easy to achieve, the rearing of fry is a little more difficult.

To stimulate spawning, feed your fish with live prey (small amount but up to 5 times a day), make partial water replacements and expose your aquarium to the morning sun. This should trigger spawning quickly. It lasts several days (almost 7 days) and about twenty eggs will be weighed daily.

Rainbow fish lay their eggs among fine-leaved plants (Java moss, for example). Eggs are suspended from their support by filaments. The incubation is quite long, count from 7 to 10 days before seeing the birth of fry. They will swim freely 4 to 5 days after birth.

Problems can occur from the moment of hatching. Indeed, as the spawning is spread over several days, births also are. For example, tiny newly hatched fry are in contact with others a week old, which can lead to predation problems. To overcome the problem, many aquarists are laying their rainbow fish on tufts of synthetic fibers. It is then easy to remove them from the aquarium to raise the fry in successive groups in different small aquariums. You can take this fiber daily or every 2 days.

The rearing of fry is the most difficult stage. They should be fed little but regularly (4 to 6 times a day). The cleanliness of the water is also critical: it will have to be constantly irreproachable. For this, simple sponge filter can suffice if you siphon the dead nauplies at the bottom of the aquarium (be careful not to suck the tiny fry) and if you make water changes regularly.

The fry are gray and grow very slowly. This is perfectly normal. They will take about 1 year to reach their adult size.

Fry food: infusoria, plankton, young Artemia nauplii, finely chopped strawberries, spirulina...

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Boesemani rainbowfish?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Boesemani rainbowfish?

The Melanotaenia Boesemani loves to swim a lot, it is even tireless! Because of its size and active temperament, it should be reserved for spacious aquariums (minimum 350 liters / 77 Imp gal / 92 Us gal for 8 individuals).

As for the water, it likes the clear waters with strong current. For filtration, do not skimp! Provide a flow of at least 3 times the volume of the tank, which will allow a good surface current and highly oxygenated water. Also carry out regular water changes, up to 30% weekly. With a good quality of water, you should see the colours of your fish reveal their maximum luster. On the other hand, if you see your fish standing at the bottom of the aquarium without moving, check the water parameters as it is surely uncomfortable with its quality.

Excellent jumper, you need imperatively to cover the aquarium of your Melanotaenia Boesemani, or you risk to find it dried on the ground.

The aquarium of this fish will have to be very planted to resemble its natural environment. Favour large-leafed plants (Echinodorus, Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne) and floating plants (Ceratopteris, Ceratophyllum, Pistia). Watch out for tender plants that it might try to nibble on. Be sure to leave enough free space for swimming: promote the plantations on the periphery.

Good to know

Good to know

Find all additional information!

Highly prized for its beautiful colours, this fish will only fully possess them around the age of one or more. Moreover, the male can force on its colours to sew a female. It also seems brighter at the beginning of the day. Males have a frontal band that can change colour: it varies from olive green to orange to purplish blue.

This fish is unfortunately threatened with extinction in its natural environment because of collections for the aquarium hobby. As a result, we strongly recommend that you only buy farmed fish.

You may find it quite dull at the pet shop, but under good conditions it should be looking good soon.

There is a super-orange variety of this species.

Alternative species

Alternative species

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