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Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish

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Scientific Name:   Melanotaenia lacustris      
Min. Tank Size:   55 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   68-78°F      
pH:   7.0-9.0/10-18°dGH      
Size:   4.5"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Other Rainbowfish, Danios, Characins, Barbs, Gobies, Rift Lake Cichlids and Corydoras.

Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish

Endemic to Lake Kutubu and the River Soro in Papua New Guinea, these fish tend to inhabit areas of thick vegetation. The native environment of this species is very remote and was formed when debris from a volcano blocked off a valley. This environment is currently being threatened by overfishing, though several conservation groups are working for the preservation of the lake. These fish are known for their brilliant blue coloration, though they may also appear turquoise or green in color. Juveniles of the species, which are most often found in pet stores, are significantly less colorful.

Tank Set-up

Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish are best kept in heavily planted tanks that also provide plenty of open space for swimming. These fish prefer minimal water flow, but water quality should be kept high through quality filtration and routine tank maintenance. Like most Rainbowfish, this species is very peaceful in nature but may intimidate smaller fish with their size and quick movements. Because Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish tend to thrive in shoals, they should be kept in groups with six to eight of their own species.


Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish are omnivorous and somewhat easy to feed. They are not picky at all and will accept just about anything offered. But this doesn't mean that their diet should consist of only a budget flake food. For optimum health and coloration feed a high-quality flake/pellet as a staple and supplement several times a week with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, Daphnia etc.


Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish are egg scatterers so the breeding tank should be filled with fine-leaved plants like java moss. A spawning mop could also be used in place of java moss. These fish should be conditioned in groups - in these groups, the females will become round with eggs and the males will display to each other. In the breeding tank, spawning may be induced through a slight raise in temperature. Following spawning, the adults should be removed from the tank to make raising the fry easier. Newborn fry will emerge after approximately 10 -12 days and should be fed infusoria until large enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimp - usually in a week to 10 days.


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