Lake Tebera Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia herbertaxelrodi) Species Profile & Care Guide
Lake Tebera Rainbowfish is a beautiful coloured fish that becomes more colourful as it ages. In the aquarium, these fish are peaceful, active and lively. However, it would be beneficial for your fish if you provide them with plenty of swimming space alongside dense patches of vegetation or other hiding spots.
These Rainbowfish are shoaling fish that you should keep in groups of 6 to 8 individuals; otherwise, they can be pretty skittish. The males will also be inspired to display their best colours in the company of their own kind.
You can keep Lake Tebera Rainbowfish with other similarly-sized Rainbowfish, Barbs, Danios, Characins, and peaceful Corydoras. These fish have also been housed with Rift Lake Cichlids in a community aquarium.
These Rainbowfish have bright yellow bodies with a greenish tinge decorated with a bluish to black mid-lateral stripe that begins just before the eye and moves to the base of the caudal fin. Their caudal, dorsal and anal fins can be either red or yellow in colour. Significant male individuals usually are very deep-bodied.
|Scientific Name||Melanotaenia herbertaxelrodi|
|Other Names||Axelrodi Rainbowfish, Yellow Rainbowfish|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||6 - 8 years|
|Temperature||68 - 79 ℉ (20 - 26.1 ℃)|
|PH||7.5 - 8.0|
|GH||10 - 15|
Natural Habitat of the Lake Tebera Rainbowfish
Lake Tebera Rainbowfish is endemic to the Tebera Lake basin in Papua New Guinea and its bordering streams, ponds, swamps, springs and marshes that are surrounded by rainforest-covered mountain slopes. They inhabit the clear, slow-flowing, densely vegetated areas both in the lake itself as well as the surrounding tributaries.
Other Rainbowfish of interest
Lake Tebera Rainbowfish are unfussy, omnivorous species that will accept most dried food such as flakes, granules and micropellets alongside high-quality algae-based food such as green flake as well as frozen and live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae and daphnia. Regular feedings will help to ensure the fish exhibit their best condition and colours. In addition, these fish also thoroughly enjoy eating duckweed.
Sexing the Lake Tebera Rainbowfish
It is effortless to distinguish males from female Lake Tebera Rainbowfish if they are in spawning condition; otherwise, it can be tricky.
Spawning males develop a white or intense blue stripe that begins at the first dorsal fin and extend over the neck to the tip of the snout, and the entire head of the male turns almost entirely black, and the rest of the body turns a bright yellow with red fins.
Males are also more brightly coloured and more extensive than females and develop deeper bodies with longer anal and dorsal fins.
Breeding the Lake Tebera Rainbowfish
Lake Tebera Rainbows are easy to breed. They are egg scatterers and will readily deposit their eggs amongst the vegetation and substrate.
You will need to set up a separate breeding tank and fill it with fine-leaved plants or Java Moss; spawning mops will also work just as well. The water needs to be slightly hard and alkaline, and the temperature needs to be between 72 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These Rainbowfish do not do well well in soft, acidic water conditions. You will not need substrate; however, you will need a small air-powered sponge filter to provide the pair with water movement and oxygenation.
You should then condition the group with plenty of live and frozen foods until you notice the females becoming plumper and the males starting to display to one another. Once you have chosen the fattest female and the most colourful male, you should place them in the breeding tank.
You can induce spawning by raising the water temperature in the breeding tank by a few degrees, at which point the pair will lay several batches of eggs daily for several weeks. Then, the eggs will be attached to the plants or moss by a tiny thread.
Although the parents will typically not eat the eggs, it's much easier raising the fry if you remove the eggs daily and introduce them into a rearing tank.
Depending on the water's temperature, the eggs will usually hatch in around 7 to 13 days. At that time, the fry will need Infusoria until they can accept microworms, baby brine shrimp or commercially prepared fry foods. Sinking foods are inappropriate because the fry will tend to stay very close to the water's surface.