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Rainbowfish / Melanotaeniinae / Boeseman's Rainbowfish

Boeseman's Rainbowfish, Bicolor Rainbow, Boesemani
Melanotaenia boesemani

Synonyms: None
Physical description:  An elongated species with lateral compression.   The rear edge of the caudal fin is concave and there are two dorsal fins.  Fish begin to develop their colors at 2.4" (6 cm) which intensifies with age.   The front half of the body of the male is bluish with three transverse blue stripes.   A lateral, blue stripe runs from the mouth, through the eye, before fading near the caudal penuncle.   The rear half of the body is orange-yellow.   Females are less colorful.  The first dorsal is blue-green while the second is yellow-orange with a blue and white border.  The caudal fin is yellow-orange as is the anal fin which may have a violet border.
Size/Length: Males to 4.3" (11 cm), females to 3.2" (8 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Inhabits shallow regions of dense vegetation in the Ajamaru Lakes in Irian Jaya (Indonesia).
S:middle, top
Aquarium: A 36" (91 cm) or 35-45 gallon (132-170 L) tank is sufficient.   Use dense plating along the sides and back of the tank, and leave an open swimming area in the center.  
Water chemistry: pH 7-9 (7.2), 6-20 dH (8), 77-86°F (25-30°C)
Social behavior: An active, schooling species suitable for a community tank.  
Suggested companions: Barbs, tetras, danios, Gouramis, other Rainbows, Livebearers
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, crustaceans, worms, insects; flakes
SEX: Males are larger, higher backed, and more colorful with age.  
Breeding techniques: Similar to Glossolepis.   The young are very small and grow slowly.   Start feeding with infusoria for the first week, followed by fine-grade dry food.  After two weeks feed Artemia nauplii.
Breeding potential: 7.  Breeding is moderately difficult due to the problematic feeding of the fry.
Remarks: Boeseman's Rainbowfish was first introduced into the hobby in 1982.  
Difficulty of care: 5.  This active species requires frequent partial water changes to develop its splendid color.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com