Kamaka Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia Kamaka)
Kamaka Rainbowfish are a peaceful and hardy species making them ideal for the beginner aquarist. Kamaka Rainbowfish will thrive in a community aquarium. However, these Rainbowfish tend to do best in a well-planted aquarium, especially if you would like to encourage breeding.
You should maintain these fish in groups of 6 or more individuals as they are a shoaling species in nature. Ideal tankmates for the Kamaka Rainbowfish could include other Rainbowfish, larger Tetras, Rasboras and peaceful Cichlids. These fish will also be fine with Catfish, Loaches, Gudgeons and Garras. In addition, these Rainbows will not bother smaller tankmates, as their mouth and throat are too narrow to swallow them.
Kamaka Rainbowfish will need a reasonably spacious aquarium as they are an active species they need space to swim around. These Rainbowfish are also excellent jumpers, so it is essential that you have a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium.
The Kamaka Rainbowfish has a silvery-blue colouration on the upper portion of their body, changing to a silvery-white on the lower half. The upper half of the body of males are usually flecked with silver, and their scales have narrow dark outlines that become more pronounced on two midlateral scale rows, forming a blue to blackish midlateral stripe on the posterior part of their body, including the caudal peduncle.
You may also notice a blue to blackish patch between the upper rear corner of the eye and the region under the pectoral fin, especially on mature males. In addition, the dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins on these fish are a whitish colour; their second dorsal and caudal fin are translucent with a bluish hue, and their pectoral fins are also transparent.
|Scientific Name||Melanotaenia Kamaka|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||5 - 8 years|
|PH||7.0 - 8.5|
|GH||5 - 20|
|KH||8 - 12|
|72 - 82℉|
22.2 - 27.8℃
Kamaka Rainbowfish are only known from Lake Kamakawaiar, West Papua, in Indonesia. Lake Kamaka is a clearwater lake containing a muddy substrate and patchy aquatic vegetation. It is situated just under 5km away from the coast and is surrounded by forested limestone hills. Kamaka lake does not appear to have any streams leading off it, and the drainage is more than likely subterranean.
Other Rainbowfish of interest
What to feed the Kamaka Rainbowfish
Kamaka Rainbowfish are not picky about what they eat and will accept most foods offered to them. However, it would be best to feed these Rainbowfish a balanced diet of good quality dried food such as pellets or flakes alongside frozen and live foods such as bloodworm, brine shrimp and tubifex.
Regular feedings of both will help your fish to exhibit their best condition and colours. However, it would be more beneficial to feed your fish 2 to 3 times a day, remembering only to provide them with what they can consume in 5 minutes or less.
How to Sex the Kamaka Rainbowfish
It is relatively straightforward to differentiate between the male and female Kamaka Rainbowfish. The males are much more vibrantly coloured than females and have much more profound and more extensive bodies. In contrast, the females often exhibit a thin midlateral stripe, extending from the eye to the base of the caudal fin, whereas the male's line is somewhat thicker.
How to Breed the Kamaka Rainbowfish
It would be better if you set up a separate breeding tank containing soft acidic water, a sponge filter, and, most importantly, a few fine-leaved plants. But, of course, a spawning mop or two will work just as well.
You will then need to add a group of Kamaka Rainbowfish into the breeding tank; a ratio of two females to three males is ideal. It would be best if you conditioned the group with live and frozen foods. Remember, you are trying to mimic the flood season's bounty so feed more and higher quality food than you usually would.
Once the female has produced eggs, the males will display a fantastic show of intense colours and then direct the female to the spawning site, fertilise her eggs, and then rest. You should then remove and replace the spawning mop or plants after spawning has occurred, or the parents may eat the eggs if given a chance.
The fish will repeat this process daily for several days, with regularly decreasing numbers of eggs produced. It would be better to remove the parents when egg numbers drop or if the females start to show signs of fatigue.
Around 7 to 14 days later, depending on the temperature of the water, the eggs will hatch into fry. You will need to initially give the fry infusoria or liquid fry food until they are big enough to eat small live foods like baby brine shrimp or microworm. The fry can be quite challenging to raise until they reach around two months old.