Max Size: 8cm

Celebes Rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi)

Celebes Rainbowfish, Marosatherina ladigesi are peaceful and make great additions to a community tank, providing exciting behaviour to any aquarium.

Celebes Rainbowfish are a little timid by nature. So they would be best kept in an aquarium with plenty of artificial or natural plant life to provide cover and reduce the anxiety that can lead to skittishness.

In addition to being vulnerable to their surroundings, they are prone to various common diseases, which might otherwise be curable. As a result, beginner aquarists may struggle to keep this fish healthy; even advanced aquarists may have difficulty.

It would be best if you did not house Celebes Rainbowfish in a tank with fin nippers. Their fins are so intricate and can vary on each individual. It is often difficult to know whether a fin has been damaged or not because as males mature, their fins may separate and change length naturally. Rounded edges on the splits are an excellent indication not to be alarmed. Unfortunately, their elaborate fins also make them more susceptible to certain diseases such as fin rot, which may come without warning.

These Rainbowfish can be skittish, so they do best in shoals of at least six to eight individuals, preferably more. You will also inspire the males to display their best colours in the company of other males. Ideally, you would want to keep 2 to 3 females for every male.

The Celebes Rainbowfish have slender bodies and a blend of blues and golds, making them especially attractive. Their fins are dainty and translucent on mature males. They have two dorsal fins with a sail-like effect; one is small and black, and the other is larger and two-toned.

Celebes Rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) Video

Celebes Rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi)


Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameMarosatherina ladigesi
Other NamesCelebes Sailfish, Celebes Sailfin
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.0 - 8.0
GH10 - 25
TDS150 - 200
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Celebes 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 Celebes Rainbowfish could include:

Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Congo Tetra(Phenacogrammus interruptus)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively simple to distinguish between male and female Celebes Rainbowfish. Males display elongated black ventral and dorsal fins and are usually slightly larger and darker than females. In contrast, females are smaller, lack long fins and are generally somewhat duller than males.


Breeding the Celebes 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.

Frequently asked questions

Are Celebes Rainbowfish a shoaling species?

Celebes Rainbowfish naturally shoal in the wild; therefore, you should keep them in groups in the aquarium. This will make them less skittish and feel more comfortable and encourage the males to show off their best colours to their conspecifics.

Are Celebes Rainbowfish aggressive?

Celebes Rainbowfish are not aggressive; in fact, they are rather timid. These fish are peaceful to other species but will occasionally bicker with their own kind; therefore, it is advised that you keep 2 to 3 females to every male; this should calm any aggression between rivals.

How big do Celebes Rainbowfish grow?

Celebes Rainbowfish can grow to a maximum of 8 cm in length, with the males usually being slightly larger than females.

What are suitable tankmates for Celebes Rainbowfish?

Ideal tankmates for Celebes Rainbowfish would include other species that favour hard water, such as similarly-sized Rainbowfish as well as livebearers, smaller freshwater gobies and Tetras. You can combine them with more minor, peaceful species such as Mollies, halfbeaks and gobies in a brackish tank.

What should I feed my Celebes Rainbowfish?

You should provide your Celebes Rainbowfish with a balanced diet of dried food such as flakes, granules and micropellets alongside small frozen and live foods such as brine shrimp, mosquito larvae and daphnia. However, make sure you only provide what they can eat in 5 minutes or less.

Where does Celebes Rainbowfish originate?

Celebes Rainbowfish are only found in Sulawesi in Indonesia in Southeast Asia. The waters in their natural habitat are clean, well-aerated and slow-moving, and you should replicate this in your aquarium. These Rainbowfish are now listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN red list; however, fortunately, these fish are now being bred in considerable quantities in the East to safeguard the surviving wild population.

Other Rainbowfish of interest

Banded Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia trifasciata)
Boesemans Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia Boesemani)
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: 22/06/2021 13:54:56 - Updated: 12/08/2022 12:26:47