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Maximum size : 15 cm

Madagascar Rainbowfish - Bedotia madagascarensis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Madagascar Rainbowfish (Bedotia madagascarensis) is a captivating fish that will add a touch of colour to any community aquarium. Its adaptability to different water conditions and peaceful nature make it a great choice for aquarists of all levels. These fish are known for their attractive body shape, which is elongated and slender, with short but sturdy fins. The body colour is a subtle yellowish-brown with shimmering silver scales and a delicate blue hue. However, what makes them stand out is the prominent dark blue band that runs along their entire length, complemented by a second shorter bar below it. Male Madagascar Rainbowfish sport black fins at the base, which then fade into striking red and eventually end with a black edge. On the other hand, females have transparent fins or sometimes a milder version of the male's fin colouration. There are also various regional colour variants that make them an exciting addition to any collection. Although these fish are easier to care for and breed than other Rainbowfish, they are better suited to more experienced aquarists. To keep them healthy, frequent water changes are necessary to maintain pristine water conditions, and a conventional filter and well-oxygenated water are essential. Keeping them in groups of six or more will bring out their sociable and friendly nature, making them a delightful addition to your aquarium.

Madagascar Rainbowfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is a simple task to differentiate between male and female Madagascar Rainbowfish. Typically, adult males boast a more extensive range of colours and have more colour in their fins than females. Conversely, females are plumper and less colourful than males, especially when carrying eggs.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBedotia madagascarensis
Year Described1903
Other NamesRed-Tailed Silverside, Madagascan Rainbow Fish, Zona
Max Size15 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.5
GH8 - 25
TDS0 - 268
72 - 77
22.2 - 25

Natural habitat

The Madagascar Rainbowfish is not only a stunning and captivating species but also an incredibly important one. This fish is endemic to the Mananjary River, located on the stunning island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa. You can find these fish in small flowing streams and lower stretches of rivers that drain into the coastal lagoons and lakes, often in shaded areas of the water. They typically inhabit altitudes of around 500 meters above sea level, adding to their unique and captivating nature. However, despite their captivating beauty and importance, the Madagascar Rainbowfish is facing threats due to habitat modification and rapid deforestation. As a result, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed this species on the Red List of Threatened Species as vulnerable. It is our responsibility to ensure the survival of this species by protecting their natural habitats and supporting conservation efforts.

How to breed the Madagascar Rainbowfish

The breeding of Madagascar Rainbowfish in an aquarium environment is a relatively straightforward process that requires some patience and attention to detail. To initiate spawning, you should place a small group consisting of one male and two or three females into a well-established aquarium. It's important to note that males can become quite aggressive during the spawning process, so the tank should be heavily planted with fine-leaved plants, driftwood roots, and some floating plants for cover. Females will lay several large brown eggs daily amongst the plants continuously over several months until spawning is completed. The eggs are attached to the plants by fine threads, and you can either remove them daily and place them in a grow-out tank or leave them with the adults until they hatch. The eggs typically hatch around 6 or 7 days after spawning, at which point you can offer the fry infusoria, rotifers, paramecia, or commercial powdered fry food. After about a week, they should be big enough to consume newly hatched brine shrimp. It's important to note that the fry are incredibly vulnerable to fluctuations in water parameters and are considered challenging to raise. To avoid any issues, minimal water changes are advised until they are a lot bigger. You should also avoid performing any water changes during the early stage, for at least a couple of weeks.

Diet & feeding

In the controlled environment of an aquarium, feeding the Madagascar Rainbowfish is not a complex task. To maintain their optimal health and well-being, it is recommended to provide them with high-quality pellet or flake food as the main part of their diet. However, to add variety and ensure a well-rounded nutritional intake, live foods such as tubifex worms, bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp can be offered as a supplement. It is advisable to feed them live food at least twice a week and substitute with frozen alternatives if necessary. It is crucial to avoid overfeeding, as this can lead to digestive problems and water quality issues. These fish should be fed twice daily, with only enough food provided that they can consume in less than 5 minutes.

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