Rainbowfish Profiles

  • 01 of 08

    Axelrods Rainbowfish

    Axelrods Rainbowfish
    Axelrods Rainbowfish. Shirlie L Sharpe

    Hailing from the land down under, Rainbowfish have become hugely popular in the last couple of decades, due to their beautiful colors and peaceful nature. New species are regularly being discovered and offered for sale in the aquarium trade.

    Rainbowfish are believed to have evolved from the same evolutionary line as the marine silversides species. In fact, some Rainbowfish still favor a brackish environment, and a few live in a fully marine environment. All species of Rainbowfish have two separate dorsal fins that are narrowly separated. Another distinguishing feature of Rainbowfish is the fact that they lack a lateral line.

    Most species of Rainbowfish are schooling fish, a fact that is often overlooked by owners. They also enjoy a well-planted habitat (preferably live plants) as well as live foods. In their native habitat, they are known for keeping the mosquito population under check.

    • Scientific Name: Chilatherina axelrodi
    • Family: Melanotaeniidae
    • Origin: New Guinea
    • Adult Size: 4 inches (10 cm)
    • Social: Peaceful, suitable for community tanks
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller
    • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
    • Diet: Omnivore, eats from surface
    • Breeding: Egglayer
    • Care: Easy to Intermediate
    • pH: 7.5 - 7.8
    • Hardness: up to 15 dGH
    • Temperature: 77-81 F (27-30 C)
    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Boeseman's Rainbowfish

    Boeseman's Rainbowfish
    Boeseman's Rainbowfish. Shirlie L Sharpe
    • Scientific Name:Melanotaenia boesemani
    • Family: Melanotaeniidae
    • Origin: New Guinea
    • Adult Size: 4 inches (10 cm)
    • Social: Peaceful, suitable for community tanks
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller
    • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
    • Diet: Omnivore, enjoys live foods
    • Breeding: Egglayer
    • Care: Intermediate
    • pH: 7.0
    • Hardness: 8-15 dGH
    • Temperature: 81-86 F (27-30 C)
    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Desert Rainbowfish

    Desert Rainbowfish
    Melanotaenia splendida tatei Desert Rainbowfish. Shirlie L Sharpe
    • Scientific Name:Melanotaenia splendida tatei
    • Family: Melanotaeniidae
    • Origin: Australia
    • Adult Size: 4 inches (9 - 10 cm)
    • Social: Peaceful schooling fish
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller
    • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
    • Diet: Omnivore
    • Breeding: Egglayer
    • Care: Intermediate
    • pH: 6.0 - 8.0
    • Hardness: up to 30 dGH
    • Temperature: 68-86 F (20-30 C)
    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish

    Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish
    Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish. Shirlie L Sharpe
    • Scientific Name: Melanotaenia lacustris
    • Family: Melanotaeniidae
    • Origin: New Guinea
    • Adult Size: 5 inches (12 cm)
    • Social: Peaceful schooling fish
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller
    • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
    • Diet: Omnivore
    • Breeding: Egglayer
    • Care: Intermediate
    • pH: 7.0 - 8.0
    • Hardness: up to 10 dGH
    • Temperature: 68-75 F (20-24 C)
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Lake Wanam Rainbowfish

    Lake Wanam Rainbowfish
    Lake Wanam Rainbowfish. Shirlie L Sharpe
    • Scientific Name:Glossolepis wanamensis
    • Family: Melanotaeniidae
    • Origin: New Guinea
    • Adult Size: 3 inches (8 cm)
    • Social: Peaceful
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller
    • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
    • Diet: Omnivore
    • Breeding: Egglayer
    • Care: Intermediate
    • pH: 7.5 -7.8
    • Hardness: >10 dGH
    • Temperature: 79-86 F (26-30 C)
    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Madagascar Rainbowfish

    Madagascar Rainbowfish
    Madagascar Rainbowfish. Shirlie L Sharpe
    • Scientific Name:Bedotia geayi
    • Family: Bedotiidae
    • Origin: Madagascar
    • Adult Size: 6 inches (15 cm)
    • Social: Peaceful
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller
    • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
    • Diet: Omnivore
    • Breeding: Egglayer
    • Care: Intermediate
    • pH: 7.0 - 7.5
    • Hardness: >10 dGH
    • Temperature: 68-75 F (20-24 C)
    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Neon Rainbowfish

    Neon Rainbowfish
    Neon Rainbowfish. Shirlie L Sharpe
    • Scientific Name:Melanotaenia praecox
    • Family: Melanotaeniidae
    • Origin: New Guinea
    • Adult Size: 2.5 inches (6 cm)
    • Social: Peaceful
    • Lifespan: 3-4 years
    • Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller
    • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallon
    • Diet: Omnivore
    • Breeding: Egglayer
    • Care: Intermediate
    • pH: 6.5 - 7.0
    • Hardness: soft
    • Temperature: 75-82 F (22-28 C)
    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Red Rainbowfish

    Red Rainbowfish
    Red Rainbowfish. Shirlie L Sharpe
    • Scientific Name:Glossolepis incisus
    • Family: Melanotaeniidae
    • Origin: New Guinea
    • Adult Size: 6 inches (15 cm)
    • Social: Peaceful
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller
    • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallon
    • Diet: Carnivore
    • Breeding: Egglayer
    • Care: Intermediate
    • pH: 7.0 - 7.5
    • Hardness: 18-25 dGH
    • Temperature: 72-79 F (22-24 C)