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Maximum size : 8 cm

Celebes Rainbowfish - Marosatherina ladigesi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Celebes Rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) is a peaceful species that adds a vibrant touch to any community tank while exhibiting fascinating behaviour. These fish tend to be timid by nature and prefer an aquarium with plenty of artificial or natural plant life to provide cover, reducing anxiety that can lead to skittishness. Additionally, they are susceptible to common diseases that could potentially be cured. Therefore, even experienced aquarists may find it challenging to keep this fish healthy, making it all the more crucial to monitor their water conditions and health status closely. It is highly recommended not to house Celebes Rainbowfish with fin nippers, given their intricate and delicate fins, which vary from fish to fish. As males mature, their fins may naturally separate and change length, making distinguishing damage caused by fin nippers is challenging. Rounded edges on the splits are an excellent indication that no harm has been done. However, their elaborate fins also make them more susceptible to certain diseases, such as fin rot, which can strike without warning. To create a harmonious environment, Celebes Rainbowfish should be kept in shoals of at least six to eight individuals, preferably more. This is because the males tend to display their best colours when in the company of other males. In addition, keeping two to three females for every male in the aquarium is recommended. Celebes Rainbowfish possess slender bodies and a stunning blend of blues and gold that make them an attractive species. Their fins are delicate and translucent on mature males, with two dorsal fins featuring a sail-like effect; one small and black, the other larger and two-toned.

Celebes Rainbowfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Discerning between male and female Celebes Rainbowfish is a relatively straightforward task. Typically, males exhibit elongated black ventral and dorsal fins, are slightly larger in size, and display a darker hue than females. Conversely, females are smaller in stature, lack long fins, and generally possess a less vibrant appearance compared to their male counterparts.
Featured Male
Featured Female
Male Female

Quick Facts

Scientific NameMarosatherina ladigesi
Year Described1998
Other NamesCelebes Sailfish, Celebes Sailfin
Max Size8 cm
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

Natural Habitat

The Celebes Rainbowfish is a captivating species, exclusively found near the town of Maros in Bantimurung, Southern Sulawesi, nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Southeast Asia in Indonesia. In their natural habitat, these Rainbowfish thrive in clear, slow-flowing streams encircling foothills and estuaries, ranging from freshwater to mildly brackish water. Typically, they inhabit regions with elevated levels of dissolved oxygen, spending their days seeking refuge amongst the leafy foliage of plants, where they feed on small insects, worms, and vegetable debris.


To breed Celebes Rainbowfish, it is recommended to establish a separate breeding tank furnished with abundant fine-leaved plants or spawning mops, with a temperature set to approximately 22°C. The onset of morning sunshine often serves as a catalyst for these fish to initiate spawning. After an intricate and often vigorously active courtship dance, the eggs are dispersed across the plants or mops. These fish are classified as 'continuous spawners,' signifying that eggs are deposited over a period of days, weeks, or even months. Therefore, following each spawning event, removing the eggs to another tank with matching water conditions is imperative, as the greedy parents may consume them. Subsequent batches of eggs will become increasingly smaller. Typically, the eggs hatch within 7-14 days, with the exact timescale influenced significantly by water temperature. As the fry are minuscule in size, it is essential to offer them appropriately sized foodstuffs. Additionally, frequent partial water changes must be conducted meticulously, as the fry is exceedingly sensitive to environmental changes.

Diet & feeding

The Celebes Rainbowfish is a versatile species, readily accepting high-quality dried foods, such as granules, flakes, and sinking pellets, in the home aquarium. These modern food products are specifically formulated to provide all the necessary nutrients to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements. While additional foodstuffs, such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals, such as mini bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex, offered once or twice a week, can provide additional health benefits, they are not essential for this fish's well-being. In their natural habitat, these fish are omnivorous, consuming a small amount of vegetable matter. While most modern fish foods consider this and incorporate them into their products, supplementing your fish's diet with blanched vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini, is still advisable. It is crucial to avoid overfeeding your fish and promptly remove any uneaten food to maintain optimal water quality within the aquarium.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Celebes Rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) Thumbnail

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