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Rainbowfish / Melanotaeniinae / Jewel Rainbowfish

Splendid Rainbowfish, Cape York Rainbowfish, Pink-tailed Rainbowfish
Melanotaenia splendida splendida

Synonyms: Aristeus fitzroyensis, A. rufescens, Nematocentris splendida, Strabo nigrofasciatus
Physical description: Similar to M. splendida australis except in size and coloration.   The coloration of fins and the body are highly variable within this sub-species.   The back is gray brown to silver blue, while the belly is yellow-gray.  The flanks are generally bluish-silver with a violet iridescence.   A faint, dark blue band runs from the eye to the caudal fin.  Some fish may have several orange lateral stripes also marking the flanks.   The base of the fins is light blue with an orange and black border.   The caudal fin is marked with red spots.   The gill cover is marked with an orange spot.  Females have more subdued colors.  
Size/Length: To 6" (15 cm)
Similar species: See M. splendida australis.
Habitat: Australia; from Queensland to the Cape York Peninsula.   Occurs in a wide range of habitats.
S: middle
Aquarium: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm) is sufficient.   Follow recommendations under M. splendida australis.
Water chemistry: pH 6.5-8 (7.0), 8-18 dH (12), 68-77°F (20-25°C)
Social behavior: As for M. splendida australis
Suggested companions: As for M. splendida australis
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, crustaceans, worms, insects; flakes
SEX: Males have pointed anal and dorsal fins, are higher backed with age, and are more colorful.
Breeding techniques: As for M. splendida australis
Breeding potential: 6.  Breeding is not difficult.
Remarks: Fish are sexually mature from 2.4" (6 cm).
Difficulty of care: 5.  This species requires frequent partial water changes to prosper.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com