for Your New Australian Rainbowfish
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Name: Rainbowfish come in a variety of species, sizes, and colors. But their name more likely comes from the way they flash their iridescent colors -- apparently at will – especially at breeding time.
Water Conditions: Rainbowfish can adapt to widely varying pH levels. They prefer a pH above neutral. Our 7.5 Des Moines water works great. They also like salt in their water – one teaspoon per gallon. Keep it around 75o although they can stand it colder or hotter. They love the tannic acids and vitamins in Tetra’s Blackwater Tonic. They don’t need this additive, but show better colors when you use it. Rainbows seem to prefer subdued lighting.
Appeal: Action and color add to the pleasure of keeping rainbowfish. Their inexpensive price (for most of them) also adds to their appeal.
Size: Many rainbowfish grow to four or five inches in a big tank. You usually find them for sale at about 1.5 to 2 inches. They show only a hint of their color potential at this size.
Attitude: Fast-swimming, peaceful, hearty eaters about wraps it up. Rainbowfish show off best in planted aquaria.
Foods: Rainbowfish will eagerly eat whatever you feed them. They especially love frozen and live foods. They respond very well to color foods.
Conditioning: If you
decide to breed them, separate the sexes (if possible) and feed them well.
The female rainbowfish will get chubby from the eggs developing inside.
The males develop much brighter colors.
Start warming them up a few degrees.
Breeding: Mix your conditioned breeders in a non-brightly lit planted tank. Add Black Water Tonic to their tank. Keep them well fed. Rainbowfish usually spawn every morning for a week. The eggs stick to the plants (like killifish eggs). Most breeders ignore the eggs. Take out the parents after a week or they will likely eat the hatching fry. Some people say they don’t. Some people say lots of things. I see little reason to believe they wouldn’t eat their eggs also. Keep them well fed.
Saving More Fry: Make a long mop of Orlon or Nylon strands. Attach the strands to a cork or anything that floats. Use this as their spawning site and remove the mop when you have enough eggs. Hatch them in their own 10-gallon tank. Or you can do the same thing with a bunch of hornwort -- with a lot less hassle.
Fry Foods: Baby rainbowfish do best on infusoria. Some breeders feed them the powdered dry foods. After one or two weeks feed newly hatched shrimps or microworms. Add big snails to clean up the excess.
Filtration: Baby rainbowfish fish need clean water. Use an undergravel or sponge filter. Sponge filters clean their water, grow extra food, and prevent scum from building up on the water’s surface.
Summary: Rainbowfish make good additions to nearly any tank. They seldom bother smaller fish. Their speed makes them good mixers with rougher fish – even some of the cichlids. LA.
Carolyn Coffee, Torrington, WY, December 11,
A: If they are nasty to African cichlids, that's just one more point in their favor. I've never seen them pick on African cichlids, but I'll add your comments to my Australian Rainbowfish page. LA
Some Turquoise Rainbowfish:
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