Parkinsons Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia parkinsoni)
The Parkinson's Rainbowfish is a beautiful fish with lots of personalities. They have proven to be very hardy and an excellent fish for beginner aquarists as long as their needs are met. These are peaceful, active fish that will do well in most community tanks. They are playful but good-natured fish and get along well with other larger peaceful fish.
You should maintain Parkinson's Rainbowfish in a group of 6 or more individuals due to their shoaling nature. As an active and relatively large-growing species, much swimming space is required, so it is essential to house them in aquariums at least 4 feet long or larger.
You can house Parkinson's Rainbowfish with most other community fish; however, the best tankmates for these fish could include other Rainbowfish, larger Tetras, Barbs, Danios, Dwarf Cichlids, and Catfish. It would be best if you didn't combine these Rainbowfish with extremely shy or quiet fish as they are very boisterous and will probably outcompete them for food.
The ideal aquarium setup for these fish would include a darker substrate and plenty of aquatic plants, making sure you leave plenty of room for them to swim around. The addition of dried leaf litter will help to mimic their natural environment. You will also need to make sure you have a tight-fitting lid on the aquarium, as these fish are excellent jumpers.
The body of the Parkinson's Rainbowfish is slender and long, but with age, the body deepens and the back arches. The front half of the body is a silvery blue, and the back half has blotchy or striped areas of broken orange colouration that extends through to the fins. The fins of adult males are bright orange with dark edges.
The orange will light up in a well-lit aquarium to give it a gorgeous fiery, almost volcanic glow. The orange markings are unique to each individual; although this form is considerably less common, a geographical colour variant displays yellow colouration in place of orange.
|Scientific Name||Melanotaenia parkinsoni|
|Other Names||Orange Rainbowfish|
|Origins||Papua New Guinea|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||5 - 8 years|
|PH||6.5 - 8.5|
|GH||8 - 25|
|70 - 79℉|
21.1 - 26.1℃
Photos of the Parkinsons Rainbowfish
You can find Parkinson's Rainbowfish in the Kemp Welsh River and the Milne Bay on the southern coast of eastern Papua New Guinea; however, these fish could be widespread within this region. They inhabit lowland streams and small pools surrounded by grass and patchy rainforest. The substrate in these habitats usually consists of fallen trees and branches.
What to feed the Parkinsons Rainbowfish
Parkinson's Rainbowfish are not particularly fussy when it comes to what they eat. Therefore, it would be best to provide them with high-quality dried food such as flakes, micropellets, green flakes and granules as the staple diet, giving them intermittent feedings of live, freeze-dried or frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, bloodworm, daphnia, brine shrimp, and tubifex. A varied diet will help your fish present their best colours and keep them healthy.
How to sex the Parkinsons Rainbowfish
It is easy to differentiate between the male and female Parkinson's Rainbowfish. Males will be slightly larger, deeper bodied, and have more intense colours than the female, and some males also develop large extended dorsal and anal fins with a ragged appearance. In contrast, females are slightly smaller and have a duller appearance than males.
How to breed the Parkinsons Rainbowfish
You should set up a separate breeding tank with a sponge filter and plenty of fine-leaved plants. A spawning mop will also work just as well. You should then introduce a pair of healthy adult rainbowfish into the breeding tank and condition them with lots of live or frozen foods. Remember, you are trying to imitate the bounty of the flood season, 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 lead the female to the spawning site, spawn, and then rest.
You should then remove the spawning mop or the plants if any eggs are noticed; otherwise, the parents will consume them if given a chance. It would be best to replace the plants or the mops as the fish will repeat this process daily for several days, with the number of eggs produced becoming less.
You should remove the parents when the egg numbers start to fall or if the females start to show signs of fatigue.
The fry will hatch around a week later, depending on the temperature. You should start to feed the fry with infusoria or a liquid fry food immediately until the fry is able to can eat small live foods like baby brine shrimp or microworm.
The fry can be a challenge to raise, but after a few attempts, you will learn what conditions suit them best, and it becomes a lot easier. The fry grows relatively slow and requires clean water during the entire process, so water changes every two days at least is essential.