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Rainbowfish / Melanotaeniinae / Jewel Rainbowfish

Jewel Rainbowfish, Three-stripe Rainbowfish, Banded Rainbow
Melanotaenia trifasciata

Synonyms: Rhombosoma trifasciata
Physical description: The coloration, pattern, and body shape is variable in this species depending on its origin.  Generally the body is elongated and laterally compressed with an arched back.   There are two dorsal fins, and the anal fin has a long base.  A conspicuous blue-black stripe runs from the snout, through the eye, and to the caudal fin.  Another similar stripe may be present near the belly.
Size/Length: To 4.7" (12 cm)
Similar species: Melanotaenia goldiei, M. herbertaxelrodi
Habitat: Australia; inhabits rivers in Queensland (Cape York Peninsula) and the Northern Territory.
S: middle
Aquarium: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm) with a capacity from 35 gallons (132 L) is sufficient.   Follow suggestions under M. splendida australis.
Water chemistry: pH 7-8 (7.5), 8-20 dH (12), 75-86°F (24-30°C)
Social behavior: An active, but peaceful species that should be maintained in a school.
Suggested companions: Rainbowfish
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, crustaceans, worms, insects; flakes
SEX: Males are more colorful and has pointed anal and dorsal fins.
Breeding techniques: Similar to M. splendida australis.
Breeding potential: 5.  Breeding is fairly easy in the right tank.
Remarks: Due to the wide variation of coloration, pattern, and body shape, more than one species may make up M. trifasciata .
Difficulty of care: 4.  This species requires frequent partial water changes.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com