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Boesemani Rainbow

Boesemani Rainbow

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Melanotaenia boesemani

Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical
to the image provided




Known only from the Ajamaru Lakes region in the
central Vogelkop Peninsula, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, and from the Aitinjo Lake,
which is located approximately 20 km Southeast of the Ajamaru Lakes.

Sexual Dimorphism

Males are larger, deeper bodied & more
colourful, displaying a mating stripe on the forehead when in breeding dress.

Maximum Size

13cm (5.1")

Water Parameters

Will acclimatise to a wide range of conditions. pH:
6.5-8.0, dH: up to 20 degrees.


26-30 deg C (79-86 deg F)




No special requirements



A large shoal of Boeseman's Rainbowfish makes for an
outstanding display in a large planted aquarium. With their unusual
half-and-half natural colouring of blue and yellow/orange, they really are a
sight to behold when observed moving through plant cover. Boeseman's
Rainbowfish are best maintained in groups of 6 or more of their own kind, and
the more you can keep together, the merrier. The tank itself should be at least
4ft long with heavy planting along the back and sides with an open swimming
area in the centre. Their natural habitat comprises areas of very dense
vegetation, and although they will adapt to most conditions, slightly alkaline
water is preferable. Clean well-filtered water should be provided at all times,
and tight fitting coverslides must be used as these fish are accomplished
jumpers. As with many other Rainbowfish species, the juveniles can look
comparatively drab to the absolutely stunning adult fish, and so are all too
often overlooked in the shops. However, once settled into the security of the
planted aquarium, these young specimens will soon begin to colour up, revealing
their true adult beauty. Boeseman's Rainbowfish are a peaceful species and will
not bother smaller tankmates, as their mouth/throat is too narrow to be able to
swallow them. Ensure that potential tankmates are happy at the slightly higher
temperatures that this particular Rainbowfish enjoys. Sadly, the Boeseman's
Rainbowfish is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
This is due to fluctuations in water levels/conditions in the natural habitat
and over-fishing. The vast majority of the specimens offered for sale in the
shops these days are captive bred. May also be seen on sale as Boesemani



Flake, green flake, micropellets, and small frozen foods
such as mosquito larvae and daphnia.



A separate good-sized breeding aquarium should be set up
with 75% mature tank water and 25% of dechlorinated fresh water, along with a
substrate of marbles. A small air-driven sponge filter (with a mature sponge)
should be added to give gentle circulation and filtration. The temperature
should be set at 28 deg C. A conditioned pair should then be acclimatised
across to the breeding aquarium, which should be furnished with plenty of
fine-leaved plants/Java moss clumps. After a time, the male will swim in front
of the female, displaying the mating stripe on his forehead. He will then begin
to drive the female over the plants, utilising the whole length of the tank.
The eggs will be scattered over the plants a few at a time. These fish are
known as 'continual spawners' which means that the spawning activity takes
place over several days/weeks, even months in some cases. This can present
problems to the aquarist in that some adult fish may begin to consume the eggs
as they are scattered. Many fishkeepers have found the eggs to be remarkably
tough and have had great success in siphoning them out into another aquarium
(containing matching water from the spawning tank) or else using spawning mops,
which, when having caught a number of the eggs, can be moved to a separate tank
(again with matching water) and replaced with a new mop, as and when each
series of eggs are deposited. The eggs will usually hatch in 6-8 days
(dependent on temperature) and once free-swimming, the tiny fry can be offered
infusoria, moving onto larger foodstuffs as they develop.