Physical description: An elongated species with moderate lateral compression. The dorsal fin is set far back on the body, near the caudal fin. The Celebes Halfbeak possess an immovable lower jaw that curls around, so that the tip faces towards the rear of the fish. The upper jaw, which can be moved up and down, is smaller and shorter. The coloration varies, depending on where the specimen is found. Usually the body is silvery-green to silvery-brown. The fins are red with a black fringe around them. The iris may be bright green in color. A red and green line extends across the lower jaw back through the body.
Size/Length: Females to 4" (10 cm), males to 2.7" (7 cm)
Similar species: N. liemi snijdersi
Habitat: Shallow areas of fast-flowing fresh water streams with elevations from 2,000 to 4,000 feet (615-1230 m) in Southeast Asia; Celebes (Sulawesi) in Indonesia.
Aquarium: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm) with a volume of 35-40 gallons (132-151 L) is recommended. Follow suggestions for D. pusillu s.
Water chemistry: pH 6.5-8 (7.3), 4-12 (8), 75-81°F (24-27°C)
Social behavior: A fairly good community fish to be combined with peaceful fish of the lower swimming levels. Combine one male with two or three females. Keep in groups of five or more.
Suggested companions: Colisa , Corydoras , Celebes Rainbowfish ( T. ladigesi ), other livebearers.
FOOD: Live; insects, mosquito larvae, small crustaceans, worms; flakes.
Sexual differences: Male is slimmer, smaller, and more colorful with an andropodium
Breeding techniques: Condition the fish with Artemia, Drosophila , and mosquito larvae. A water temperature of 75-79°F (24-26°C), a water hardness of 4-6 dH, and a pH of 6.5 is recommended. Pregnancy lasts anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. From 9 to 15 young are born, each measuring about 1.5 cm (0.6"). The young or parents should be removed, for the parents will eat brood. Start feeding with Artemia and powdered foods.
Breeding potential: 6. Breeding is easiest in soft water.
Remarks: A sub-species, Nomorhamphus liemi snijdersi, has been identified. It is found in central Celebes and differs from Nomorhamphus liemi liemi in that it has more black on all flanks and less red on its body.
Difficulty of care: 6. This species requires well maintained water and a diet of live foods.