Maximum size : 7 cm

Kamaka Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia Kamaka : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Kamaka Rainbowfish (melanotaenia kamaka), known for their peaceful nature and remarkable hardiness, are a captivating choice for beginner aquarists. These resilient beauties thrive in community aquariums, although they truly shine in well-planted setups, particularly if breeding is your aspiration. To ensure their well-being, it is recommended to keep Kamaka Rainbowfish in groups of six or more, as they exhibit their true nature as shoaling species. When selecting tankmates for these magnificent Rainbows, consider the company of other Rainbowfish, larger Tetras, Rasboras, and peaceful Cichlids. Additionally, Catfish, Loaches, Gudgeons, and Garras will also make suitable companions, as Kamaka Rainbowfish possess no interest in harassing smaller tankmates, thanks to their narrow mouths and throats.

Creating an adequate environment for Kamaka Rainbowfish entails providing them with a reasonably spacious aquarium that accommodates their active nature and love for swimming freely. In addition, it is crucial to secure a tight-fitting lid, as these Rainbowfish possess impressive jumping abilities. Finally, marvel at the breathtaking appearance of Kamaka Rainbowfish, as their upper bodies exhibit a striking silvery-blue hue, gracefully transitioning to a beautiful silvery-white on their lower half.

Males boast silver flecks adorning their upper bodies, accentuated by narrow dark outlines that become more prominent in two midlateral scale rows. These intriguing markings converge to form a mesmerizing blue-to-blackish midlateral stripe that stretches from the posterior part of their body to the caudal peduncle. Keep a keen eye for a distinctive blue-to-blackish patch between the upper rear corner of their eye and the region beneath the pectoral fin, particularly noticeable in mature males. Delight in the ethereal beauty of their whitish dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins, while the translucent second dorsal and caudal fins exhibit a captivating bluish hue. Completing their majestic appearance, the pectoral fins gracefully remain transparent, lending an aura of elegance to these enchanting Kamaka Rainbowfish.

Kamaka Rainbowfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the male and female Kamaka Rainbowfish is a relatively straightforward task. The males boast a remarkable display of vibrant colours, far surpassing the more subtle hues exhibited by the females. Additionally, the males possess a more pronounced and robust physique compared to their female counterparts. Notably, a distinguishing feature is the presence of a distinct midlateral stripe, which extends from the eye to the base of the caudal fin. While the male showcases a noticeably thicker line, the female's midlateral stripe appears more slender in comparison.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameMelanotaenia Kamaka
Year Described1996
Other NamesNone
Max Size7 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 7.0 - 8.5
GH 5 - 20
KH 8 - 12
Ideal Temperature
72 - 82
22 - 27

Natural Habitat

Kamaka Rainbowfish are exclusively found in the enchanting waters of Lake Kamakawaiar, located in the pristine region of West Papua, Indonesia. This remarkable lake offers a captivating glimpse into the natural habitat of these Rainbowfish. Lake Kamaka is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, revealing the striking beauty of its inhabitants. The lake's substrate consists of a muddy composition, adorned with intermittent patches of aquatic vegetation that add a touch of serenity to the surroundings. Nestled amidst a picturesque landscape of forested limestone hills, Lake Kamaka stands as an oasis of tranquillity, with no visible streams flowing outward. Instead, the lake's drainage system is believed to operate underground, adding an air of mystery to this extraordinary aquatic ecosystem.


Setting up a dedicated breeding tank is highly recommended to optimise the breeding success of Kamaka Rainbowfish. This specialised environment should consist of soft, acidic water, facilitated by the presence of a sponge filter to ensure proper water quality. Including fine-leaved plants that serve as potential spawning sites is equally crucial. Alternatively, the utilisation of spawning mops will also suffice to fulfil this purpose.

Introduce a carefully selected group of Kamaka Rainbowfish into the breeding tank, aiming for an ideal ratio of two females to three males. Prioritise the conditioning of this group with a diet rich in live and frozen foods. Recreate the abundance of nourishment experienced during the flood season by providing a generous quantity of high-quality sustenance. This deliberate approach aims to mimic the optimal conditions necessary for successful spawning.

Once the female Rainbowfish produces her eggs, an awe-inspiring spectacle unfolds as the males adorn themselves with vibrant colours, directing the female towards the chosen spawning site. Fertilisation of the eggs transpires under the attentive gaze of the males, followed by a period of rest. Therefore, it is imperative to promptly remove and replace the spawning mop or plants after each spawning event to prevent the parents from consuming the eggs opportunistically.

This intricate ritual will repeat daily for several days, gradually decreasing the quantity of eggs produced. Monitoring the declining numbers or signs of fatigue in the females will indicate the appropriate time to remove the parents from the breeding tank. Then, approximately 7 to 14 days later, contingent upon water temperature, the eagerly awaited moment arrives as the eggs hatch, giving way to the emergence of vibrant fry.

To nurture the delicate fry during their initial stages, provide them with infusoria or liquid fry food until they attain sufficient size to consume small live foods, such as baby brine shrimp or microworms. It is important to note that raising the fry can pose challenges, particularly during their first two months of development. Therefore, diligence, patience, and attentive care are imperative to ensure their successful growth and development during this critical period.

Diet & feeding

Kamaka Rainbowfish exhibit a versatile palate and readily accept various food options. While they are not overly selective, offering a well-rounded diet is crucial for their optimal health and vibrant colours. A balanced feeding regimen should include high-quality dried food, such as pellets or flakes, supplemented with frozen and live food sources like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and tubifex. Regular and frequent feedings, approximately 2 to 3 times a day, will help maintain the fish's overall condition and showcase their vibrant colours. It is important to ensure that the amount of food provided can be consumed within a 5-minute timeframe, preventing overfeeding and maintaining water quality.

Other Rainbowfish of interest