Max Size: up to 7 cm

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.


Kamaka Rainbowfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameMelanotaenia Kamaka
Other NamesNone
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.0 - 8.5
GH5 - 20
KH8 - 12
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Kamaka 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.

Sexual Dimorphism

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.


Breeding the Kamaka 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.

Other Rainbowfish of interest

Banded Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia trifasciata)
Boesemans Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia Boesemani)
Celebes Rainbowfish(Marosatherina ladigesi)
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia praecox)
Forktail Blue Eye Rainbowfish(Pseudomugil furcatus)
Honey Blue Eye Rainbowfish(Pseudomugil Mellis)
View all Rainbowfish
Date Added: 10/11/2021 11:30:09 - Updated: 12/08/2022 12:39:22