Melanotaenia affinis (New Guinea Rainbowfish)

Family: Melanotaeniidae

Distribution: Melanotaenia affinis are found across Northern New Guinea from Oomsis River to West Papua.  Commonly found in the Markham, Ramu and Sepik rivers, their preferred habitat includes clear rainforest streams, swamps, pools and lagoons abundant in vegetation and submerged logs.

PH: 6.0 – 7.0

Temperature: 21°C -27°C (70 – 80F)

Hardness: 3 – 16dH

Description: The attractive New Guinea Rainbowfish has different colouration depending on location and water conditions.  Olive, brown, blue, silver, white or red body colours, orange or dark stripes and yellow to translucent fins are some of the varied colourations you might see.  Even the shape of the fish is determined by location and water chemistry.  New Guinea Rainbowfish grow up to 13cm (5 inches).

Diet: A nutritious varied omnivorous diet will keep your New Guinea Rainbowfish in good form.  Use dried food as a base and supplement with live or frozen food.  They are not picky eaters and will even nibble at lettuce or spinach.

Breeding: Breeding the New Guinea Rainbowfish can be successful and quite simple if you follow their usual water requirements, and mimic the natural habitat during the abundant wet season.

Get your breeding pairs into condition by feeding them larger quantities of live food.  Set up a separate breeding tank with lots of fine leaved plants, like java moss, or spawning mops.

The eggs should be removed to a separate tank to avoid predation.  Feed on baby brine shrimp or similar and keep them separate until they are ready to rejoin the community tank.

Comments: The hardy New Guinea Rainbowfish is generally easy to keep because they are used to variances in water quality and conditions.  Use their natural environment as a template for your aquarium – include hiding spots, gentle water movement and plentiful aquatic vegetation.    Change at least 25% of the water on a weekly basis.  A tank sized at  48″ x 12″ x 12″ (120cm x 30cm x 30cm) and around 110 litres is suited for the energetic New Guinea Rainbowfish, making sure that there are large areas provided for open swimming.


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 11:26:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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