are a family of small, colorful, freshwater fish that are indigenous
to Africa, Australia, Madagascar, New Guinea, and other South Asian
Islands. Rainbowfish can vary in size (1" to 6") and belong
to the family Melanotaenia, the blue-eyed rainbows to the family Pseudomuglidae,
the Rice fish to the family Orziatidae and the Silversides to the family
Atherinidae. They inhabit streams, creeks, lakes, and brackish waters.
Rainbowfish are normally very active swimmers, and are often very hardy
and fit well in many community tanks. Depending on the species, pH requirements
can vary from 6.5 to 8.0 and temperatures should be maintained between
25 to 28° C. Good filtration and regular partial water changes are important.
With a few exceptions all these fish like medium hard to hard water
and the pH on the Alkaline side of neutral. Good water quality is a
must and as the quality decreases the coloration on the fish tend to
fade and get washed out.
Rainbowfishes have very similar breeding habits, their food requirements
are similar, and adapt to a wide range of water chemistry. All are of
good-natured temperament and will live harmoniously, more or less, with
one another. Rainbowfish is a schooling fish and should be kept in groups
consisting of at least six individuals, preferably not less than 10-15.
This is not only beneficial for the fish, it is also much more beautiful
to look at a large school of shimmering Rainbowfish than one or a few
shy individuals that spend most of their time hiding. Keeping several
males together will also make them develop more vibrant colors, since
they need to compete with each other for female attention. Juveniles
often show little of their stunning adult colors. The natural habitat
of Rainbowfish is filled with aquatic plants and they will therefore
appreciate a planted aquarium with some open space available for these
active and energetic fishes to swim around in. A good plant to use is
the Java moss as it is native to the region and can also serve as a