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.
- Axelrodi Rainbowfish – Melanotaenia Herbertaxelrodi
- Boesemani Rainbowfish – Melanotaenia Boesemani
- Turquoise Rainbowfish – Melanotaenia Lacustris
- Threadfin Rainbowfish – Iriatherina Werneri
- Praecox Rainbowfish – Melanotaenia Praecox
- Celebes Rainbowfish – Telmatherina Ladigesi
- Madagascan Rainbowfish – Bedotia Madagascariensis
- Blood Red Molly – Poecilia Latipinna
- Silver Molly – Poecilia Sphenops
- Black Molly – Poecilia Sphenops