Boesemans Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia Boesemani) Species Profile & Care Guide
The Boeseman's rainbowfish is an active, peaceful species and will not pursue smaller tankmates, that and their mouth and throat is too little to be able to swallow them.
These Rainbowfish can be quite nervous and do far better when kept in a shoal of 6 or more. The males will also be inspired to display their best colours in the company of the same species. They can also adapt to most water conditions and are stunning fish making them relatively popular in the community tank.
They have extended deep bodies, an arched back, two dorsal fins, a narrow head and relatively large eyes. The front half of the fish sports deep indigo blue or purple colour and the back half of the males display fiery red with orange and yellow highlights. The two colours then meet in the middle of the body with a few dark greens to blackish vertical stripes. The fins are generally opaque and yellow and edged in white.
|Scientific Name||Melanotaenia Boesemani|
|Other Names||Boesemani Rainbowfish|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||6 - 8 years|
|Temperature||79 - 86 ℉ (26.1 - 30 ℃)|
|PH||6.5 - 8.0|
|GH||10 - 20|
Natural Habitat of the Boesemans Rainbowfish
Boeseman's rainbowfish are found in the mountainous region of Vogelkop Peninsula of western New Guinea, West Papua and Indonesia in Asia where they inhabit the clear or swampy shallow, hard, alkaline waters of Aitinjo, Hain and Ayamaru lakes that are densely vegetated.
The Boeseman's rainbowfish is listed on the IUCN red list as endangered due to environmental damage and over-harvesting. Trade limitations of these fish have been put in place by the local government to restrict over-harvesting and to reduce their mortality.
Other Rainbowfish of interest
Boeseman's rainbowfish are not fussy when it comes to their food.
High quality, flakes, micropellets, green flakes and granules should be the staple of their diet. Intermittent feedings of freeze-dried or frozen food such as mosquito larvae, bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp and tubifex will help the fish to present their best colours and health.
Breeding the Boesemans Rainbowfish
These Rainbowfish are not incredibly hard to breed; however, raising the fry could prove quite tricky.
A separate breeding tank will be required, it will need to be heavily planted with fine-leaved plants, the temperature needs to be raised by a few degrees compared to what they usually have, and the water needs to be slightly hard and alkaline. A small air-powered filter is also advisable; this will provide adequate flow and oxygenation needed.
You can also use Spawning mops as an alternative to plants if these are unavailable.
You will need to condition the Boesman Rainbowfish with protein-rich frozen or live foods for a couple of weeks before spawning.
You will know when the fish are ready to spawn as the males will start to display to each other, and the females will become noticeably plumper. At this point, you should pick the healthiest and best-coloured fish and place them in the breeding tank.
The mating pair will produce for several days. In this time the male will lead the female to a spawning site where the female will lay bunches of eggs and attach them to the available surfaces of plants or equivalent by a small thread and the male will fertilise them. This process will continue until the female is spent of eggs.
It is advisable to check the plants or spawning mop every day for eggs and remove them into a separate grow out tank to avoid them being consumed by the parents, although this is unlikely, for maximum results this is best.
After around 7 -10 days the eggs will hatch into small fry, you will need to feed them tiny invertebrates for about a week until they are free-swimming and able to eat food such as nauplii or brine shrimp.