Glossolepis wanamensis (Lake Wanam Rainbowfish)

Family: Melanotaeniidae

Distribution: Another of the critically endangered Rainbowfish, The Lake Wanam Rainbowfish is found in Lake Wanam, a small lake located above the Markham River Valley in Eastern Papua New Guinea.  Its preferred habitat includes clear, shallow waters that are abundant in plant life and sunlight.

PH: 7.5 -8.0

Temperature: 26°C -30°C (79 – 86F)

Hardness: 10-18gH

Description: Graduating from orange to blue/green anteriorally, the male Lake Wanam Rainbowfish colouration doesn’t disappoint.  Metallic green backs and variations of turquoise to black fins continue to delight any Rainbowfish enthusiast looking to brighten up their aquarium.  Lake Wanam Rainbowfish can reach a length of roughly 13 cm (5.1 inches).  These species have very large distinctive fins in comparison to other members of its family.

Diet: As with the majority of other rainbows, a combination of high quality vegetable based food with meaty treats will keep the omnivorous Lake Wanam Rainbowfish in optimal health.


Start the breeding process by getting your Lake Wanam Rainbowfish pairs into condition by feeding them large amounts of meaty live and plant-based foods.

Set up a separate breeding tank with lots of fine leaved plants, like java moss, or provide artificial spawning mops.

The incubating period can be quite long and last up to 14 days. After hatching, the fry should be removed to a separate tank to avoid predation.  Feed on crushed algal flake or baby brine shrimp, and keep them separate until they are ready to rejoin the community tank.   Growth rate is usually slow so be patient.


The Lake Wanam Rainbowfish need careful attention after handling and transportation.  Nurse them back to health with meticulous attention to water quality and diet.  They will continue to be extremely sensitive to changes in temperature and water chemistry for the rest of their lives.

Keep your tank dense in aquatic plant life and provide areas for open swimming and hiding spots.  House your Lake Wanam Rainbowfish in no less than a 100L (26 gallon) aquarium.

With their trademark non-aggressive natures, they will do well in a community aquarium.


Recommended Compatible Species:

Rainbowfish are a great community species in terms of their temperament and apart from other Rainbowfish species they also live happily with most Tetra species (particularly the Neon Tetra and Black Tetra). They are also great tank mates with Discus, CorydorasCatfish  (particularly Corydoras Sterbaiand Corydoras aeneus) Angelfish, Clown loach, the common Guppyand Platy and most Gourami(such as the Blue Gourami and Dwarf Gourami like the Honey Gourami) Also can live happily with most Danio(particularly the Zebra Danioand Pearl Danio)  and also many Killifish make great tank mates. One thing you should take into consideration when housing rainbows with these recommended species is the water quality. Temperature and Hardness are similar but P.H. can be quite different, although it is not ideal, if you keep your water at a P.H. of 7 this should keep your community happy.

Rainbowfish are schooling fish and should be kept in groups consisting of at least six individuals, preferably no less than 10-15. Mix it up with enough females to give them a rest when the males are on the chase, but provide enough males to bring out their vibrant colours when they are in competition for female attention. Whilst this is beneficial to the health and wellbeing of the fish, a large school is rewarding for the aquarist because a school of iridescent Rainbowfish is more dramatic to the eye than a few shy fish peeking out from behind dense vegetation.

Originally posted 2009-11-22 11:14:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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