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Boeseman's Rainbowfish

boeseman's rainbowfish

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Scientific Name:   Melanotaenia boesemani      
Min. Tank Size:   40 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   78-86°F      
pH:   7.5-8.5/10-25°dGH      
Size:   4"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


A school of at least 6 of the same species is recommended. Possible tankmates would include other Rainbowfish, Danios, Barbs, Characins, Rift Lake Cichlids and Corydoras.

Boeseman's Rainbowfish

One of the most popular Rainbowfish in the aquarium hobby, the Boeseman's Rainbowfish are known for their bright coloration. These fish are native to Indonesia and can be found in only a single area called Ajumaru which contains three lakes. Adult Boeseman's Rainbowfish exhibit a brilliant orange color on the back half of their bodies, while the front half is usually blue-gray. The body may also exhibit a series of narrow, dark-colored bars. Males of the species tend to be more colorful than females and full coloration may take up to 12 months to fully develop. The juvenile specimens seen in dealers tanks are very drab and, for this reason, may often be overlooked by the inexperienced aquarist. These fish truly are a diamond in the rough!

Tank Set-up

Boeseman's Rainbowfish tend to be found in the clear, shallow waters of lakes where the vegetation is dense and the water is hard and alkaline. In the home aquarium, replicate these water conditions and provide plenty of open space for swimming, as these are an active species. Also, the males of the species are most likely to display their best coloration in clean, well-filtered water. A tight lid is also recommended since jumping is not out of the question for this fish!


They are largely unfussy when it comes to eating. However, in addition to a quality flake, they should also be given live and frozen foods to ensure optimum health and coloration.


Breeding Boeseman's Rainbowfish is relatively easy, though the fry can be difficult to raise. These fish should be conditioned in groups using live and frozen foods. For the best results, select the fattest, most colorful pair and move them to a breeding tank kept at a pH around 7.5 and a temperature between 80 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Though adults of the species may not eat their own young, raising the fry may be easier in a tank separate from the parents.

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