Max Size: 7cm

Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia maccullochi)

Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish are relatively popular amongst hobbyists as they are very peaceful, reasonably small and hardy and can adapt to both alkaline and acidic conditions.

You can keep Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish in a species only aquarium or house them together with other small and non-aggressive fish in a community aquarium. It would be best if you did not keep it with aggressive species because it will have difficulty fending for themselves.

Like other Rainbowfish, these can be quite skittish and do much better when kept in a shoal of 6 or more as this will encourage the males to display their best colours when they are in the company of their species.

It is popular amongst hobbyists as it is very hardy and can adapt to both alkaline and acidic conditions.

Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish generally have brownish bronze colouring on the upper half of the body and brownish to white colour on the lower half of the body. They typically have seven or eight lateral body stripes, some may be continuous, and others are broken, especially when they are young. Their head and lips are a brownish-grey colour, sometimes with a hint of white or orange.

They have a small reddish-orange mark on the upper operculum. Their fins range from light yellow to an orangey-red near the base changing to darker orange almost red across the outer half of the fin, sometimes displaying a series of brown spots or occasionally lines near the lowest part of the second dorsal and anal fins.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameMelanotaenia maccullochi
Other NamesMacculloch's Rainbowfish, Dwarf Rainbowfish, Red-finned Rainbowfish
OriginsAustralia, Papua New Guinea
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH8 - 15
68 - 86℉
20 - 30℃

Photos of the Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish

Redfin dwarf rainbowfish
Redfin dwarf rainbowfish
Redfin dwarf rainbowfish
Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish

Natural Habitat

The Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish are endemic to northeastern Queensland extending from Hope Vale, Cape Flattery and the McIvor River area in the north, through an isolated population in the lower Daintree River area. They also come from Cairns south to the Cardwell area as far south as Camp Creek in Southwestern Papua New Guinea in Northern Australia.

They inhabit a wide range of biotopes such as clear, flowing streams and creeks, still muddy ponds stained with tannins and grassy, lowland swamps. The water chemistry also varies widely across these habitats, making this an adaptable species. Seasonal conditions influence the natural habitats of this species. These fish usually gather around shallow water areas with low turbidity typically comprising of a dense cover comprising submerged or emergent vegetation such as logs and branches as well as aquatic vegetation.

What to feed the Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish

Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish is an unfussy eater and will accept most high quality dried foods such as Flakes, green flakes and micropellets as well as frozen and live foods such as mosquito larvae and daphnia. It is better if you give these fish regular small feedings as this will help to ensure the fish stay healthy and exhibit their most desirable colours.

How to sex the Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish

It is relatively easy to differentiate male and female Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish. Mature males are far more colourful than the females and have longer anal and dorsal fins, as well as having more resonant bodies than females. Also, males colours intensify when in breeding condition with more prominent body stripes and intense red fin colouration.

How to breed the Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish

The Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish is relatively easy to breed; however, raising the fry could prove quite tricky.

You will require a separate breeding tank, and you should heavily plant this with fine-leaved plants. You will need to raise the temperature by a few degrees compared to their average temperature, and the water will need to be somewhat hard and have some alkaline in it. A small air-driven filter is also advisable; this will provide adequate flow and the oxygenation that is required. You may also use Spawning mops as an alternative to plants if these are not available.

You will need to condition the fish with frozen or live foods that are high in protein for a couple of weeks before spawning. Remember, you are trying to mimic the flood season so feed them more than usual with a higher quality food than you usually would.

You will be able to recognise when the fish are ready to spawn as the males will start to show off to each other, and the females will become noticeably fatter. At this point, you should pick the best-coloured male and the healthiest female and place them in the breeding tank.

The mating pair will continue to produce for several days. To start the process the male will lead the female to a spawning area, here, the female will lay clutches of eggs and attach them to the accessible surfaces of plants or equivalent by a tiny thread, and the male will fertilise them. This manner will continue until the female is spent of eggs.

It is advisable to check the plants or spawning mops daily for eggs if you do notice any remove them and place them into a separate grow out tank to avoid them being consumed by the parents. However, this is unlikely, but for maximum results, this is the most fitting way.

Usually, between 7 and 12 days later the eggs will hatch into little fry, you will need to feed them infusoria type foods for roughly a week until they become free-swimming and can eat food such as brine shrimp or nauplii.

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: 25/11/2020 - Updated: 02/02/2022 16:35:15