Boesemani Rainbowfish – Melanotaenia boesemani
Boesemani Rainbowfish — Melanotaenia Boesemani are kept in environments that resemble their natural habitats in the wild. Sandy substrate, dense vegetation, and bog wood all mimic the native rivers of the Australian Rainbowfish. These tropical beauties are shaped like a typical Rainbowfish with bodies that are long and deep, with arched backs and a narrow head. They have fairly large eyes and two dorsal fins.
The back portion of the fish will boast fiery red with orange and yellow highlighting. The front portion of these fish will be deep purple or indigo blue. The two colors come together at mid-point with a few green or blackish vertical stripes. The female will appear to have similar color distribution and be less intensely colored and more silver color. Fins are opaque and yellow with white outlines.
Common Name: Boesemani Rainbowfish
Scientific Name: Melanotaenia boesemani
Typical Adult Fish Size: 4 inches / 9 cm
Natural Habitat: Southeast Asia, Thailand. They are found in tributaries and waters of Lakes Ayamaru, Hain, and Aitinjo. They live in shallow, swampy areas that are dense with vegetation and feed on small crustaceans, some vegetation and insects.
Ideal Tank Ecosystem: Boesemani Rainbowfish — Melanotaenia Boesemani are a very popular aquarium fish, and don’t require anything special. They make a peaceful community aquarium. Rainbows would be perfect in a planted tank. When housing Boesemani Rainbowfish – Melanotaenia boesemani in captivity, it is necessary to provide them with a longer aquarium featuring a variety of plants. Plenty of room for these fish is needed in order for swimming around as they are very active. They are well known jumpers, that being said, the aquarium you choose should be fully covered to prevent them from jumping out when they are startled.
Recommended Aquarium Capacity: A tank of 50 to 60 gallon aquarium is advised for these large, active swimmers. For a school of boesemani, they require a 150 gallon tank.
Species Compatibility: Tank mates like Molly’s, Guppies, Platys and Tetras which are also peaceful community fish.
Care Level: Beginner+
Aquarium Water Temperature: 23 – 32°C / 73 – 89°F
Aquarium Water pH: Range pH 4.5 – 7.5
Feeding: Omnivorous. Rainbows should be fed once or twice a day and being careful not to overfeed. All the food should be consumed after 2–5 minutes. If there are any leftover foods in the aquarium after a few minutes, it needs to be removed. If it is left in the water, it will cause problems with conditions within your tank. You can use a fine mesh fish net and scoop the extra out. A flake food diet is a great base for the Rainbow, however should be introduced to live/frozen foods. Your Rainbow is able to survive on flake food solely, but live food makes the Rainbow better nourished and thus, healthier. Live or frozen Brine Shrimp is a popular Rainbow fish food. Brine Shrimp is very easy to produce in your home. Bloodworms, fruit flies, microworms, mosquito larvae, daphnia and diced Earthworms are other examples of suitable food for your Rainbow.
Sexing: Male and females differ in color with the males pronouncing a blue and purple head which fades into an orange and yellow posterior, while adult females develop an intense silver coloration that extends the whole of their body.
Breeding: Boesemani Rainbows are not a particularly difficult species to breed as they are an egg scatterer. Rainbow’s deposits its eggs in vegetation or other suitable substrate with Java moss. It’s best spawned in a pair or group comprising a single male and two or three females in a large tank.
Adults can either be added to the spawning tank, leaving them in place for a week or so, until the first fry are seen. Alternatively, the substrate can be observed daily and remove the eggs manually. Males can be aggressive when trying to find a pairing female. Ensure the aquarium has hides/cover for them to escape to for protection. Including plants and other decorative materials can lower the stress levels in your fish.
Other Considerations: They make a great peaceful nature aquarium addition. The juvenile bosemani that are usually available at most pet shops, are pale in color unlike adults. On a good nutritional diet, full color development can take over 12 months. So be patient, you will be rewarded soon enough with one of the most stunning tropical freshwater species available in the hobby.