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Boesemans Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia Boesemani)

The popular Boeseman's Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia Boesemani, is an active, peaceful and exciting large rainbowfish species that can make a great addition to any community aquarium.

A shoal of at least six Rainbowfish is ideal since these fish can be nervous when kept in smaller numbers. When other males of the same species surround them, the males display their best colours when they spare in pursuit of female attention.

They have extended deep bodies, an arched back, two dorsal fins, a narrow head and relatively large eyes.

The front half of this Rainbowfish is deep indigo blue or purple, while the back half is 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.


Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Boesemani Rainbowfish
Boesemani Rainbowfish
Boesemani Rainbowfish
Boesemani Rainbowfish
Boesemani Rainbowfish
Boesemans Rainbowfish
Boesemans Rainbowfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameMelanotaenia Boesemani
Other NamesBoesemani Rainbowfish
OriginsIndonesia, Papua New Guinea
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan6 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.0
GH10 - 20
79 - 86℉
26 - 30℃


In the home aquarium, the Boesemans Rainbowfish will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

2 interesting tank mate ideas for the Boesemans Rainbowfish could include:

Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Denison Barb(Sahyadria denisonii)

Sexual Dimorphism

There are apparent differences between male and female Boesemans Rainbowfish regarding sexual dimorphism. For example, males are larger, more extensive and have brighter colouration than females. In breeding mode, they also display a mating band on their forehead and a much greater body than females.


Breeding the Boesemans Rainbowfish is straightforward once these fish are happily established and settled into your aquarium. You will need a mature pair or group of males and females, along with a spawning mop, preferably floating at the top of the aquarium downwards to the substrate.

Despite spawning year-round, Rainbowfish lay many eggs at the beginning of the rainy season. In addition, temperature increases, and live and frozen foods often encourage spawning.

Check your spawning mops daily for any eggs that have been deposited and either remove the eggs from the mop or, better still, remove the entire mop to avoid contamination of the Rainbowfish eggs.

Tip: Have several spawning mops at hand so you can place a fresh spawning mop into the aquarium while you wait for the eggs to hatch on the other mop/s.

Place the spawning mop with eggs still attached into a separate small cycled aquarium with a sponge filter for flow, and add a few drops of Methylene Blue (Methylene Blue helps prevent fungal infections of eggs).

Your rainbowfish Eggs will hatch within 7 to 18 days, depending on the species and the temperature. We recommend 27°C = 80.6°F for the fastest development of fry.

Once the Rainbowfish fry hatch, they absorb their yolk sacs quickly and become free swimming, moving towards the water's surface. Once the fry reaches the water's surface, you can start feeding. We recommend feeding on Micorworm (the most straightforward live food to culture) and decapsulated brine shrimp egg powder several times a day while being careful not to overfeed and pollute the water column.

After a week or two, you can start to add newly hatched brine shrimp, but this isn't necessary to achieve a high success rate in our experience.

Rainbowfish fry grows slowly, so you should expect to wait several months before the fry is large enough to be added to the adult colony.

Other Rainbowfish of interest

Banded Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia trifasciata)
Celebes Rainbowfish(Marosatherina ladigesi)
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia praecox)
Forktail Blue Eye Rainbowfish(Pseudomugil furcatus)
Honey Blue Eye Rainbowfish(Pseudomugil Mellis)
Ivantsoffs Blue Eye Rainbowfish(Pseudomugil ivantsoffi)
View all Rainbowfish
Date Added: 01/09/2020 - Updated: 12/08/2022 12:13:35