Max Size: 8cm

Celebes Rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi)

Celebes Rainbowfish are peaceful and make great additions to a community tank, providing exciting behaviour as they swim around. However, these fish can be delicate. Celebes Rainbowfish are a little timid by nature and need an aquarium with plenty of plant life. Once they are comfortable, they do not appreciate much moving around. They are very sensitive to their surroundings and may often die of common, otherwise curable diseases. Even advanced aquarists can struggle to keep this fish healthy; therefore, these fish are not suitable for beginner aquarists.

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 mean that they are more susceptible to certain diseases such as fin rot, which may come without warning. Therefore you must always have the appropriate medications to hand.

These Rainbowfish are relatively small in size. Therefore, good tankmates can include other species that prefer hard water, such as similarly-sized Rainbowfish, freshwater gobies and livebearers. Then, in a brackish aquarium, you can combine them with more minor, peaceful species such as gobies, mollies and halfbeaks.

Like some other Rainbowfish species, they can be rather skittish and will do much better when kept 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 conspecifics. It would be better if you kept 2 to 3 females for every male.

Celebes Rainbowfish have slender bodies with colour blends of blues and golds that are rather charming to the eye. 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.

Their other fins are lemon yellow with black markings. Their pectoral fin may have black or white tips, or they can be entirely translucent. These fish also have long filaments flowing out from the tail fin. You can find additional interest on the back half of the fish, which is translucent enough for an organ sac to be apparent. You may also notice a blue stripe along the sideline.

Tank Mates for the Celebes Rainbowfish

2 ideal tank mate ideas for the Celebes Rainbowfish include:

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

Photos of the Celebes Rainbowfish

Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish
Celebes Rainbowfish


Celebes Rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi)

Natural Habitat

You can only find Celebes Rainbowfish near the town of Maros in Bantimurung, Southern Sulawesi in Indonesia in Southeast Asia. These Rainbowfish inhabit clear, slow-flowing streams around foothills and estuaries, ranging from freshwater to mildly brackish water. You can usually find them in areas that have high levels of dissolved oxygen, and they spend most of their day hiding amongst the leaves of plants, where they consume small insects, worms or vegetable debris.

What to feed the Celebes Rainbowfish

Celebes Rainbowfish are omnivorous and feed on insects, worms and vegetable matter in the wild. These Rainbowfish are easily fed in captivity, and they will accept most dried, frozen and live foods.

You should provide your Rainbowfish with a balanced diet, and this should include live and processed foods such as flakes and granules to sustain good health. Buy prepared food in small amounts frequently as the nutrition in these products quickly deteriorates.

It would also benefit your fish if you tret them to live foods like tubifex, bloodworm or daphnia once a week as this will make them happier and result in the best colour and condition of your fish. However, it would help to remember that their throats are relatively small; therefore, you need to feed them smaller foods. It is advised to feed your fish several times a day and only give them what they can consume in under five minutes.

How to sex the Celebes Rainbowfish

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

How to breed the Celebes Rainbowfish

Celebes Rainbowfish are not a tricky species to breed, being an egg scatterer. However, the fry can prove somewhat challenging to raise in the early steps.

The breeding aquarium will need to be at least 18 inches long and contain slightly hard, alkaline water with a temperature of 72 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH of around 7.5. A small air-powered filter will provide your fish with sufficient current and oxygenation. It would be best to fill the tank with fine-leaved plants such as java moss, although spawning mops work just as well, and substrate will not be required.

It would be better if you conditioned a group of adult fish in a separate aquarium with plenty of live or frozen fare. Then, when they are ready, the females will appear noticeably plumper, and the males will display to each other continually. You should then select the fattest, most colourful pair and introduce them into the breeding tank.

Decreasing the temperature by a few degrees can often encourage spawning.

The adult pair will usually spawn for several weeks, laying groups of eggs each day. They will attach t their eggs onto surfaces by a tiny thread. It is recommended that you check the plants or mops regularly and remove any eggs you notice to a raising tank containing water from the breeding tank; otherwise, if given a chance, the parents will eat them.

The eggs will generally hatch within 5 to 10 days later depending on the temperature. The miniature babies will initially require infusoria-type foods until they become free-swimming around a week later. At this time, they will be able to accept foods such as baby brine shrimp. Sinking foods are not advised as the fry tend to stay very close to the water's surface.

Frquently asked questions about the Celebes Rainbowfish

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: 02/02/2022 16:25:47