Dwarf rainbowfish

MELANOTAENIA PRAECOX cropped, marked as in the public domain, details on Wikimedia Commons

The dwarf rainbowfish originates from the waters of New Guinea. It is one of the most colourful of the rainbow fish family, whereby the colouring is naturally used to deter enemies and also describes the mood, spawning time and state of health.

As peaceful freshwater shoal fishes they are found in oxygen-rich and fast flowing waters. Because the dwarf rainbowfish belongs to the group of schooling fish, it should always be kept with at least 6-10 other conspecifics.

What distinguishes dwarf rainbowfish?

dwarf rainbowfish are with a size of 5 – 6 cm much smaller than other family members, which makes them particularly popular aquarium fish. For this reason they are also preferred and bred in the largest numbers.

Appearance and typical characteristics of the diamond rainbow fish

  • The dwarf rainbowfish has a laterally flattened body, whereby the high back with the pointed head and the large eyes clearly identifies the fish as rainbowfish
  • The rather small and slightly upper mouth shows thickened lips
  • His twill shows a neon to turquoise blue colouring with a metallic shimmering sheen
  • The dorsal, caudal and anal fins are dark red, its ventral fins are red or silvery blue and its pectoral fins are silvery blue
  • The male dwarf rainbowfish are with a maximum of 6-8 cm somewhat larger than the slightly smaller females
  • In the aquarium the diamond rainbow fish reaches an age of approx. 4-6 years
  • A large aquarium with a lot of free space, because the dwarf rainbowfish likes to swim for a long time
  • As in its natural environment there should be a light current
  • Create individual, densely planted areas that can be used as spawning grounds
  • To be kept in groups with at least 6-10 conspecifics
  • Mixed sex and socialization with other small, non-aggressive fish is possible

Gender differences

The dwarf rainbowfish lives up to its name with its blaze of colour. The male fish in particular are somewhat more intensively coloured. While the female dwarf rainbowfish usually only have yellowish-orange fins, those of the males are more red in colour. In addition, the males are generally slightly longer and more high backed than the females.

Water values for dwarf rainbowfish

  • Temperature: approx. 23°-27° C
  • PH value: 7.0-8.0
  • dGH: 5°-15°
  • Aquarium: at least 200 litres
  • Water region: preferably middle, but also upper water layers

Species-appropriate food and nutrition for diamond rainbow fish

Although the dwarf rainbowfish is an omnivore, it prefers live food such as insects and insect larvae. Artemia, dry flakes and frozen food are also available in a variety of forms.

The advantage of live food is in the colour intensity, which is increased. The addition of small amounts of common or sea salt also promotes the well-being of the fish.

The ideal aquarium for the dwarf rainbowfish

dwarf rainbowfish are by nature extremely eager to swim and prefer a light current as in their natural environment. The dwarf rainbowfish is particularly happy about an open swimming space and densely planted areas that are also used as spawning grounds.

As a schooling fish, the dwarf rainbowfish should also be kept in a group of at least 6 - 10 conspecifics. Keeping the dwarf rainbowfish in a mixed-gender group with male and female dwarf rainbowfish does not present any problems. However, care should be taken that no aggressive and too large fish swim in the aquarium. As dwarf rainbowfish prefer to swim in the middle area of the aquarium, they can be socialized with surface and bottom-oriented conspecifics without any problems.

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