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New Guinea Rainbowfish

new guinea rainbowfish

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Scientific Name:   Melanotaenia affinis      
Min. Tank Size:   50 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   70-85°F      
pH:   6.5-8.0/8-20°dGH      
Size:   5"     
Diet:   Carnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Other Rainbowfish, Danios, Characins, Barbs and Corydoras.

New Guinea Rainbowfish

Also called the Northern Rainbowfish, the New Guinea Rainbowfish is named for its native environment Papua New Guinea. These fish tend to inhabit a variety of environments including rainforest streams and pools as well as lagoons and swamps. The New Guinea Rainbowfish was one of the first Rainbowfish species introduced into the aquarium trade in large quanitities. The coloration of these fish may vary according to the distribution, but most specimens exhibit a greenish-blue coloration on the back with white on the belly. New Guinea Rainbowfish also exhibit a dark lateral stripe, often with a white or yellow stripe below it.

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, provide your New Guinea Rainbowfish with a densely planted tank decorated with driftwood branches to provide cover. Plant heavy around the sides and back leaving plenty of open swimming space in the middle. A long tank is more suitable than a tall tank as is the case with most Rainbowfish. Position the return from a canister filter at one end of the tank, pointing down the length, to create a flow of water to simulate their natural river habitat. Use fine pea gravel or sand as the substrate to finish off the natural effect. These fish are peaceful in nature but should not be kept with small species because they can be intimidating with their large size and quick movements.


In the wild New Guinea Rainbowfish have been reported to feed on insect larvae, crustaceans, and terrestrial insects-particularly ants. The mainstay of their diet is live foods and offering your Rainbowfish brine shrimp, Daphnia, bloodworms, and even finely chopped fish or earthworms will be eagerly accepted. Feed a high quality dry food as the staple and supplement with live foods 2 to 3 times a week.


New Guinea Rainbowfish are egg scatterers and are best conditioned in groups. The fattest pair from the conditioned group should be introduced into the breeding tank where a slight raise in temperature can help to encourage spawning. The pair may lay a small number of eggs every day, extending the spawning over a period of multiple weeks.

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