Turquoise Rainbow (Melanotaenia lacustris)

Turquoise Rainbow

Turquoise or Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish have striking colors, with males having an intense blue color, that make for a great centerpiece in the aquarium. Rainbowfish are known for the characteristic large eyes, black or silver band that runs through the middle scale rows, deeply forked mouth, and two dorsal fins.

This peaceful fish is a schooling fish that should be housed in a planted aquarium with plenty of swimming room. A gravel substrate will add to a good environment and, if dark enough, may intensify the colors of the fish.

All will be happy at a neutral pH and with moderate hardness, but providing values nearer that found in their natural habitat will promote better coloration and possibly breeding behaviors. These fish are happiest in clear water with a reasonably high oxygen content. They enjoy having a strong current to swim into and appreciate the cover of plants, although plenty of swimming room should also be provided.

These fish are egg scatterers that spawn in pairs amongst fine leaved plants. Java moss works well as a a spawning medium. The parents do not eat the eggs but neither do they provide any care. Therefore, it is best to use a separate spawning tank and to either remove the parents after spawning or provide plenty of shelter for fry.

In most species the males are more colourful than females and have longer or more elaborate finnage. Male rainbowfish are also deeper-bodied and larger than the females. When preparing to spawn, male rainbowfish will flash a vivid head stripe. To bring the adults into breeding condition, plenty of frozen foods should be included in the diet.

Exact water quality values are not usually important so long as the water is clean, although providing pH and hardness near to that found in the species natural habitat may help. Frequent water changes and an increase in temperature may also prompt spawning. Many rainbowfish species can hybridise, so it is best to keep only one type, or at least, not closely related species, when breeding. During courtship, the male will show his brightest colors.

An egg layer, Melanotaenia lacustris spawns over moss in early morning or just after dawn in low to moderate lighting. The fry hatch after roughly eight days and should be fed small live foods such as brine shrimp.

Although Tourquoise Rainbows have large mouths, their throats tend to be narrow. Foods fed should be small in size. Their omnivorous diet should include prepared flake, frozen, and live foods.

Compatible: Tetras, Rasboras, Danios, Dwarf Gouramis, Livebearers, Corydoras, Discus, Angels, Barbs, Rainbowfish, Plecos, and Scavenger Catfish of similar size.
Aquarium setup: 72-77°F; pH 6.5-7.2; dH 10-12
Diet: Omnivourous
Size: 4 1/4 in (11 cm)

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