Melanotaenia maccullochi (MacCulloch’s Rainbowfish)

Family: Melanotaeniidae

Distribution: Typically found in swamps and small, clear creeks, MacCulloch’s Rainbowfish live in a vast region that encompasses northern Australia to south-western Papua New Guinea.  It can be found from Fly River to Bensbach River in Papua New Guinea, and the Queensland coastal plains, in the McIvor River and in the rainforest creeks of the Daintree River in Australia.

PH: 5.5 -7.5

Temperature: 24°C -30°C (75 – 86F)

Hardness: 12 – 16dH

Description: Papua New Guinean MacCulloch’s Rainbowfish are far more colourful than that of the Queensland relatives.  The former displays a bright yellow tint on its body and has black striped fins.  Both types have silvery-white bodies adorned with red-brown stripes.  The Queensland variety has gorgeous red fins to make up for the rather plain body colouration.  MacCulloch’s Rainbowfish can reach a length of 7 cm (nearly 3 inches).

Diet: Give a combination of small meat and vegetable based foods for optimal health.  Live foods can supplement a base of dried or pellet vegetable food.  MacCulloch’s Rainbowfish are typically easy to feed.

Breeding: Breeding is easy.  Change about 40% of the water and plant an extra smattering of java moss or similar.  The breeding pair will lay and fertilize their eggs each morning.  Remove the fry to a separate tank to avoid predation.  Raise your young fry on finely crushed dry food.

Comments: Easy to keep due to their blasé attitude to water quality, MacCulloch’s Rainbowfish display the usual Rainbowfish characteristics of peacefulness and liveliness.  Keep in an 80cm aquarium that provides hiding places, plenty of aquatic vegetation and large areas in which to swim freely.  It is well liked by both beginners and expert aquarists because of their ability to adapt to different types of water chemistry.


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 12:02:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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