Neon Rainbowfish, also known as the Melanotaenia praecox, is a popular freshwater aquarium fish that is native to the freshwater streams of the Papua New Guinea rain forest. The Neon Rainbowfish is a colorful and lively species that is popular among both novice and experienced aquarists. In this article, we will explore the appearance, natural habitat, behavior, reproduction and lifespan, diet, and how to keep it in an aquarium at home.
The Neon Rainbowfish is a small, colorful fish that can reach a length of up to 5 cm (2 inches). The male Neon Rainbowfish is more colorful than the female, with a bright blue-green at times purple body and a bright red tail. The female is less colorful and has a more subdued coloration. Both sexes have a silver-colored belly.
The Neon Rainbowfish is native to the freshwater streams of Papua New Guinea, where it lives in shallow waters with moderate to fast-moving currents. They prefer well-oxygenated water with plenty of aquatic vegetation and rocky substrates.
The Neon Rainbowfish is a schooling fish that prefers to live in groups of at least six or more individuals. They are active swimmers and spend most of their time swimming in the middle and upper levels of the water column. They are peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful fish species.
Reproduction and lifespan
The Neon Rainbowfish is an egg-laying species that spawns in groups. They can be bred in an aquarium with a breeding tank of at least 40 liters (10 gallons). The female can lay up to 200 eggs, which hatch in about a week. The fry should be fed small amounts of brine shrimp or other small live foods until they are large enough to eat flakes.
The Neon Rainbowfish is an omnivorous species that will eat both live and prepared foods. They should be fed a varied diet that includes high-quality flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp or daphnia. It is important to avoid overfeeding as this can lead to health problems and water quality issues.
Keeping Dwarf Rainbowfish in an aquarium at home
The ideal tank size for the Neon Rainbowfish is a minimum of 75 liters (20 gallons) for a small group of six individuals. A larger aquarium of 190 liters (50 gallons) is recommended for a larger group of ten or more individuals. The water temperature should be kept between 22-26 °C (75-81 °F), with a pH range of 6.5-7.5. The aquarium should have plenty of plants and hiding places, and a moderate to strong water flow.
|Type of aquarium
|Up to 5 cm / 2 inches
|Papua New Guinea
|Ideal tank size
|Minimum 75 liters / 20 gallons
|Ideal water temperature
|22-26 °C / 75-82 °F
|Varied diet of high-quality flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp or daphnia
|Yes, prefers to live in groups of at least six or more individuals