Max Size: 15cm

Red Rainbowfish (Glossolepis Incisus)

The Red Rainbowfish is one of the more significant varieties of their kind. They are hardy, peaceful and active fish, the only drawback with this fish is the fact that it can disturb slow-moving, smaller fish with its rapid movements and relatively large size.

This species of Rainbowfish can be quite skittish and do much better when kept in a school of 6 or more. The males will also be spurred to display their best colours in the company of the same species. Red Rainbowfish is a beautiful fish that can adapt to various water conditions making them extremely popular in the community aquarium.

The Red Rainbowfish sports a long, slender body with a highly arched back and a very thin head. They have big eyes, a deeply forked mouth and two dorsal fins. The males display a dazzling blood-red body and fin colour. The body is emphasised with silver scales.

Tank Mates for the Red Rainbowfish

1 ideal tank mate ideas for the Red Rainbowfish include:

Denison Barb(Sahyadria denisonii)
Quick Facts
Scientific NameGlossolepis Incisus
Other NamesSalmon-red Rainbowfish, Red Irian Rainbowfish, and New Guinea Red Rainbowfish
OriginsPapua New Guinea
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan6 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.0 - 8.5
GH10 - 20
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃

Photos of the Red Rainbowfish

Red Rainbowfish
Red Rainbowfish
Red Rainbowfish
Red Rainbowfish

Natural Habitat

The Red Rainbowfish is found only in Lake Sentani and its connecting streams in the Northeastern region of West Papua New Guinea, near the city of Jayapura.

The area they inhabit is relatively hilly, so the streams tend to have very clear, warm water and rapidly moving currents, as well as dense vegetation and bogwood.

The Red Rainbowfish is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

The reason for this is because it is susceptible to the human population growth of this area. Like all Rainbowfish, they are sensitive to water changes, and the introduction of humans in the region brings with it pollutants and waste that get put into the waters.

What to feed the Red Rainbowfish

The Red Rainbowfish is not meticulous when it comes to their food.

High quality, micropellets, flakes, granules and green flakes should be the primary source of their diet. Periodic feedings of freeze-dried or frozen food such as mosquito larvae, tubifex, bloodworm, brine shrimp and daphnia, will help the fish to exhibit their most desirable colours and well-being.

How to sex the Red Rainbowfish

It is straightforward to determine the sexual variations between males and females. The males have a much higher back, only display the red colouration, have longer fins and are much more territorial than the females, whereas the females are an olive-brown colour and are much calmer.

How to breed the Red Rainbowfish

These Rainbowfish are not incredibly challenging to breed when you know-how.

A separate breeding tank will be needed, this should be densely planted with fine-leaved plants, and the temperature will need to be raised by a few degrees opposed to what they usually have. The water wants to be slightly hard and alkaline. A little air-powered filter is also advisable; this will provide enough flow and oxygenation needed.

You can also use Spawning mops as an alternative to plants if these are not available.

You will need to condition the Red Rainbowfish with protein-rich live or frozen foods for a couple of weeks prior to spawning.

You will know when the fish are ready to spawn as the males will display an astonishing show of intense colours, and the females will become noticeably plumper. At this point, you should pick the healthiest and best-coloured fish and place them in the breeding tank.

The courting couple will produce for several days. In this time the male will lead the female to a spawning area where the female will lay clusters of eggs and attach them to the available surfaces of plants or equivalent by a little thread and the male will fertilise them. This manner will continue until the female has used up all her eggs.

It is expedient to check the plants or spawning mops every day for any eggs and remove them into a separate tank for them to grow in to avoid them being eaten by the parents, although this is doubtful, for the most outstanding results this is best.

After about a week the eggs will start to hatch into small fry, you will need to feed them liquid fry food for about a week until they are free-swimming and able to eat food such as nauplii or brine shrimp.

The fry is relatively tricky to raise until they are around two months old. They grow quite slowly and need clean water during the whole process.

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: 02/09/2020 - Updated: 02/02/2022 16:34:45