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10 Different Types of Rainbowfish

A rainbowfish inside an aquarium.

The rainbowfish is a small colorful freshwater fish from the Melanotaeniidae family. They are natives in the various freshwater habitats of Raja Ampat Islands in Indonesia, islands in Cenderawasih Bay, New Guinea, eastern Australia, and northern Australia.

The rainbowfish is considered the omnivorous fish because their diet consists of all sorts of food such as algae, insect larvae, and crustaceans. These fishes are also popular aquarium fishes because of their unique colors.

1. Australian Rainbowfish

Australian rainbowfish

Australian rainbowfish are very easy to care for and grow up to four inches in length. They are usually silver and yellow in color, and they originate from Australia, hence their name.

Also known as the Murray River rainbowfish, it is a schooling fish that prefers a heavily planted environment, although not one that is so dense that the fish are unable to swim around freely.

Rainbowfish usually need an aquarium that is at least four feet in length because they love to swim in a lot of water. They are omnivores and are sold as young fish, around one to two inches in size.

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2. Axelrodi Rainbowfish

Axelrodi rainbowfish grow to around four inches long and are usually blue in color. They are easy to care for and have great temperaments, and they prefer foods such as live foods and flakes. They are egg layers and the males are more brightly colored than the females.

If you want to add diversity and beautiful colors to your aquarium, this is a great fish to start with, and if you use a dark-colored gravel the natural color of the fish will intensify.

3. Boesemani Rainbowfish

Boesemani rainbowfish

These fish are usually one to two inches in size when they are young and have narrow throats and largemouths. They usually come in the colors blue or orange, and they are omnivores. The males have a bluish-purple head and an orangish-yellow posterior, while the females are not quite as colorful.

This type of fish has a peaceful temperament and needs a lot of room to swim in, so your aquarium should be at least four feet in length. They live on a diet of mostly prepared flakes and live foods, and they are often farm raised in countries such as Thailand.

4. Celebes Rainbowfish

Celebes rainbowfish

Originating from Indonesia, Celebes rainbowfish have peaceful temperaments and are easy to care for. They grow up to around three inches in length, and they need a lot of room to swim in, so don’t count on a tank that holds less than 20 gallons of water.

They are usually black in color, and if you use natural lighting their color intensifies. Since the Celebes rainbowfish is sensitive to changes in the environment, you should keep its water conditions as steady as possible. They also have a diet of foods such as live foods, flakes, and algae.

5. Eastern Rainbowfish

Eastern rainbowfish

Eastern rainbowfish are usually silver or yellow in color, and they get up to approximately four inches in length. They are easy-going, easy-to-grow fish, and they are also called the Splendid rainbowfish.

They are omnivores that prefer to have live foods and plant matter in their diet, and they need a tank that holds at least 50 gallons of water in order to swim around freely. This is a captive-bred fish originating in the United States, and it is an egg layer that needs a separate breeding tank.

6. Praecox Rainbowfish

Praecox rainbowfish

Also called the Dwarf Neon rainbowfish, they have two dorsal fins and unusually large eyes. They are omnivores, but should only be fed small pieces of food due to the size of their mouths. This type of fish is an egg layer that should be kept at a temperature of around 75ᵒ Fahrenheit, in which case it will hatch after about a week.

They only get to around three inches in size, and they are easy to care for with easy temperaments. Most of these fish come from areas such as Malaysia.

7. Pseudomugil Rainbowfish

Pseudomugil rainbowfish

Pseudomugil rainbowfish is a little different than other types because they are difficult to take care of and have aggressive temperaments. They come in a wide assortment of colors and only get around two inches in length, so they are very attractive fish that are also fun to have around.

Coming mostly from New Guinea and Australia, the Pseudomugil rainbowfish are schooling fish whose males are bigger and have larger dorsal fins than the females. They are omnivores and need tanks that hold at least 20 gallons of water.

8. Red Irian Rainbowfish

Red Irian rainbowfish

A beautiful redfish with a good disposition and which is easy to care for, the Red Irian rainbowfish hails from Australia and grows to roughly four inches in length. Its males are brightly colored and its females are a silvery color.

They need a tank with a minimum of 50 gallons of water, and they look great next to gravel that is dark in color. They are a very active fish, and the males get duller in color when females aren’t around. Red Irian rainbowfish are omnivores that prefer a diet of live foods and prepared foods.

9. Threadfin Rainbowfish

Threadfin rainbowfish

What makes the threadfin rainbowfish a little unique in that the males have long threads which extend from their anal and dorsal fins. This is a schooling fish that does well in an aquarium with a lot of plants in it.

It has a peaceful disposition and takes a moderate amount of care, and it grows to roughly two inches in length. Coming mostly from Asia and Australia, the threadfin rainbowfish is long and narrow, and they prefer diets of prepared food and live foods that are small in size.

10. Turquoise Rainbowfish

Turquoise rainbowfish

Turquoise rainbowfish start out around one or two inches but can get as long as four inches. They are a teal-blue color and have good temperaments, making them very easy to care for. They are egg layers that spawn in low to moderate lighting, and they can eat frozen foods, live foods, and flakes, provided they are small in size.

Like many other types of rainbowfish, turquoise rainbowfish need tanks with at least 50 gallons of water, and they love aquariums with lots of plants and a lot of room to swim in.

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