Care Guide for Boesemani Rainbowfish – Tank Setup, Breeding, And More

Photo of author


Care Guide for Boesemani Rainbowfish – Tank Setup, Breeding, and More

One of the most striking and recognizable rainbowfish is the Boesemani rainbow. This schooling fish is prized for its unique-looking, bicolored body and is the perfect statement piece for a medium-sized community aquarium. This article will explain how to keep this beautiful species healthy, happy, and in the best color possible.

What are Boesemani Rainbowfish?

Melanotaenia boesemani’s classic rainbowfish profile features a pointed snout and deep-bodied profile. It also has large, distinct, distinctive scales. Males can reach 4 inches (10cm) in length and have an iridescent, blue front half and an orange back half. The females are more colorful and have a shorter body. They usually measure around 3 inches (8cm) in length. They are currently endangered in the wild, so the Boeseman’s rainbowfish sold in the aquarium hobby are all captive-bred. The rainbowfish that you see in the pet shop are usually 5-inch (2.5 cm) juveniles. They look very different from their adult counterparts and have a pale appearance. They can take up to one year to develop color, so it is worth the wait.

How long does a Boesemani rainbowfish live? It depends on how warm they are kept. However, some hobbyists claim that they can last up to 13-15years.

Male Boesemani rainbowfish in classic blue and orange colors

How to Set Up an Aquarium for Boesemani Rainbows

This species is found in mountain lakes and tributaries in West Papua, Indonesia and usually dwells in the shallower areas where lots of vegetation grows. They would love a well-tended tank with plenty of swimming space. In fact, one of their favorite pastimes is traversing back and forth along the entire length of the aquarium, so we recommend getting a fish tank at least 4 feet (1.2 m) in length once they are fully grown. Fish tend to hang around the top and middle of the water column so make sure to keep the tank closed.

Boesemani rainbowfish can be kept in a variety of water conditions and are extremely hardy. They are best kept at tropical temperatures of 75-82°F (24-28°C). Although they can live longer, they will not tolerate higher temperatures. They are able to handle pH 6-8. However, they will also tolerate hard water with 8-20dGH. Seachem Equilibrium and Wonder Shell are good options if your tap water is soft.

How many Boesemani rainbow fish should be kept together? As a schooling fish, aim to get six or more rainbows of the same species if possible. You should also try to get a mixture of males and females, as this will allow the boys to show their best colors to the girls.

What types of fish are compatible with Boesemani rainbows and why? Due to their high activity, we recommend keeping them in a group with other fast swimmers of similar size. Other rainbowfish include loaches, barbs and peaceful catfish. They can also be kept with gouramis, danios and medium-sized livebearers. They will eat baby fish, cherry shrimp and any other food that is available if given the opportunity.

Boesemani rainbows are active schooling fish that get along well with other peaceful tank mates.

What do Boesemani Rainbowfish Eating?

They aren’t picky eaters, and will eat whatever is in their tank. But they will choose meatier foods if offered the choice. You should provide them with a wide variety of fresh, frozen, or live foods for optimal health. Rainbowfish have smaller mouths in proportion to their bodies, so feed them appropriate-sized foods – such as krill flakes, Vibra Bites, frozen bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp.

How to Breed Boesemani rainbows

Boesemanis are one of the easier rainbowfish to spawn, but their tiny fry can be difficult to raise. Start by making sure you have both males and females, and condition them for breeding with heavier feedings. A spawning tank should be set up with a mildly alkaline pH, warmer temperatures, and a sponge filter to prevent the babies from getting too much. Place the adults in the prepared tank with a DIY spawning mop. The male will form a white stripe on the top of his head and perform a shimmying dance in order to attract a woman. Each day they will release a small batch of eggs, and after 7-10 days, you can either remove the parents or remove the eggs to prevent the adults from predating on the fry.

Feed the infants three to five times per day a small amount of food such as vinegar eels and infusoria. To get rid of any food that may have been ingested, keep the water clean by making small and frequent water changes. Eventually, graduate them to eating baby brine shrimp, which will help them to grow fast and healthy. Boesemani Rainbowfish takes longer to mature than many other fish. But they are great fun to breed, and will one day become beautiful adults.

Juveniles Boesemani Rainbows are almost impossible to recognize at first, as they don’t have full adult coloration.

Check out our preferred online retailers list to find the best Boesemani rainbows. Also, if you’re looking for a slightly smaller species that fits in a 20-gallon long or 29-gallon aquarium, read about the dwarf neon rainbowfish.