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Eastern Rainbowfish – Melanotaenia lacustris

East­ern Rain­bow­fish – Melan­o­tae­nia splen­di­da are a beau­ti­ful fresh­wa­ter fish dis­play­ing nat­u­ral­ly vibrant assort­ed col­ors. The body is pale with a bluish-green to olive green and yel­low tones and grad­ing to a white col­or on their low­er sides. Their hor­i­zon­tal scale rows are sep­a­rat­ed by a slim red­dish to orange stripe. On the side of the body, the scales will show a bluish-green to yel­low­ish-red to a soft lus­ter sur­face of pur­ple. Mid-lat­er­al stripes may appear to be fad­ed black to a deep yel­low­ish ante­ri­or. The region of the Rain­bows’ body between the end of the anal fin and the base of the cau­dal fin will be tones of bluish-green to brown­ish-green. Col­or­ing is high­ly vari­able and depends on the moods of fish, water con­di­tions, para­me­ters and their diet. Females and juve­niles have plain sil­very bod­ies. Their fins are either translu­cent or only faint­ly col­ored, unlike the brighter col­or tones of males. Oth­er body stripes can be blue, red, green or yel­lows.

Com­mon Name: East­ern Rain­bow­fish

Sci­en­tif­ic Name: Melan­o­tae­nia splen­di­da

Typ­i­cal Adult Fish Size: 6 inch­es / 15 cm

Nat­ur­al Habi­tat:
These beau­ti­ful fish can be found in Aus­tralia across a vari­ety of habi­tats, like swamps, streams, lagoons and rivers. East­ern Rain­bow­fish are typ­i­cal­ly found under cov­er of aquat­ic veg­e­ta­tion or oth­er debris, like sub­merged logs.

Ide­al Tank Ecosys­tem: East­ern Rain­bow­fish – Melan­o­tae­nia splen­di­da are a very pop­u­lar aquar­i­um fish and are a fish that don’t require a lot. A peace­ful com­mu­ni­ty fish. Rain­bows are def­i­nite­ly a fish to con­sid­er intro­duc­ing into a nature aquar­i­um or plant­ed tank. When hous­ing East­ern Rainbow’s in cap­tiv­i­ty, it is impor­tant to pro­vide them with a longer aquar­i­um that has sev­er­al plants and ide­al room to mean­der through the aquar­i­um. They are also well known jumpers, thus their aquar­i­um should be well cov­ered in order to keep them from jump­ing out of the aquar­i­um when star­tled.

Rec­om­mend­ed Aquar­i­um Capac­i­ty:
55 gal­lon / 240 litre

Species Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty: Peace­ful com­mu­ni­ty tank mates like Molly’s, Gup­pies, Plat’s and Tetra’s.

Care Lev­el:
Inter­me­di­ate

Aquar­i­um Water Tem­per­a­ture: 23 – 32 / 73°C – 89°F

Aquar­i­um Water pH:
Range pH 4.5 – 7.5

Feed­ing: Your fish should be fed twice per day, being care­ful not to over­feed. Allow your East­ern Rain­bow­fish to con­sume their food in a cou­ple of min­utes. Ensure that all the fish in your fresh­wa­ter aquar­i­um are all get­ting foods. Any left­over food needs to be scooped out of the aquar­i­um water with a fine mesh fish net. Leav­ing left­overs in the tank will cre­ate prob­lems with water con­di­tions and the health of your fish com­mu­ni­ty. Pro­vid­ing sole­ly flake food is a great base diet for the Rain­bows’. How­ev­er, sup­ple­ment­ing live foods will increase the health, col­or­ing and longevi­ty in life of your fish. Frozen foods such as brine shrimp or blood­worms is pop­u­lar as brine shrimp is very easy to pro­duce at home. Blood­worms, fruit flies, microworms, daph­nia and diced Earth­worms are alter­na­tive exam­ples of suit­able food for your Rain­bow.

Sex­ing: Mature males are larg­er and appear brighter in col­or than females. They will devel­op a much deep­er body than females as they grow, and devel­op longer dor­sal and anal fins.

Breed­ing: 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 tank.

In nature, they spawn in wet sea­son. The eggs are rough­ly 1.5 mm (0.05 inch­es) long and will nor­mal­ly hatch with­in a week if you keep the water tem­per­a­ture in the rec­om­mend­ed range. Can release up to 200 eggs in one week. The adults can be added to spawn­ing tank and left in that tank for a week or so, until the first fry are noticed. You can also check sub­strate dai­ly for eggs and remove them man­u­al­ly. Males can be aggres­sive when pair­ing with females. Ensure lots of cover/hides for the fish, for exam­ple, plants, drift­wood, man­zani­ta, rocks.

Oth­er Con­sid­er­a­tions: Pop­u­lar fish in the nature aquar­i­um hob­by.

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