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.