Care Guide for Forktail Blue-Eye or Furcata Rainbowfish
Guppies, platies and zebra danies are popular choices because they’re small, lively, and colorful. But if you’re looking for a slightly uncommon fish to liven up your aquarium, let us introduce you to the forktail or furcata rainbowfish.
What is Forktail Rainbowfish?
Pseudomugil furcatus hails from the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, where it is often found in clearwater streams that are teeming with plant life. This 2-inch (5 cm) rainbowfish is known for its glowing blue eyes, yellow fins, and distinct fork pattern on the tail. Because of the yellow tips on their pectoral fins, it almost looks like the fish are waving little pom-poms as they swim around. Like most rainbowfish, the females are less colorful than the males, but we definitely recommend getting 1-2 females for every male. In the presence of females, males display brighter coloration and “spar” with each other in a delightful, circular dance.
Furcata rainbowfish are known for their yellow “pom-poms” that frantically wave while they swim.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Furcata Rainbows
This nano fish is quite the speedy swimmer, so set up a 20-gallon aquarium or bigger to give them plenty of room. They can be kept at temperatures of 75-80°F (24-27°C), with a slightly alkaline pH over 7.0 and a minimum of 5° (90 ppm). Rainbowfish tend to swim in the upper half of the aquarium, so an aquarium hood or lid is a must to prevent them from jumping out. Given their natural habitat, consider creating a forest of live aquarium plants for them to explore and swim between.
A schooling fish, rainbowfish enjoy being surrounded by their own species. To ensure rainbowfish don’t get over-purchased, fish shops often sell male-female rainbowfish pairs. Therefore, it is a good idea to have at least three pairs of rainbowfish (or two males plus four females) in your aquarium.
Can forktail rainbowfish live with other fish? These happy-go lucky fish can co-exist with most peaceful community fish, including corydoras and tetras. They can outcompete slower-moving fish at mealtimes so make sure to keep an eye on food situations to ensure everyone has a chance to eat. In our experience, they did not bother the adult dwarf shrimp, but they will happily eat any baby shrimp that happens to attract their notice. We have also successfully kept Pseudomugil Rainbows in community tanks together with a Betta fish. However, it all depends upon the temperament of the betta so be ready to remove him if necessary.
Furcata rainbows, which are peaceful community fish, do well in planted aquariums.
What do Forktail Blue-Eyes eat?
These are small fish with small mouths, so aim for a spread of tiny foods that will give them a healthy variety in nutrients. They are not finicky at all and like to eat:
– Frozen daphnia, cyclops, and baby brine shrimp Xtreme Nano pellets Hikari Micro Pellets Krill flakes Freeze-dried daphnia Easy Fry and Small Fish Food Live baby brine shrimp
How to Breed Furcata Rainbowfish
Pseudomugil Rainbows can be more expensive than other tropical fish and they live for only two or three years. Forktail-blue-eyes are easy to breed, provided you have both the sexes and that the fish is not too old. Raise the temperature to around 80degF (27degC) and feed plenty of food to condition them for breeding. Plus, add a DIY yarn spawning mop or large floating plant with long roots (e.g., water sprite) that is easy to remove.
Each male can mate with multiple females each day, which is another reason to get more females than males. After mating, the females will lay a few eggs in the spawning mop. For hatching, make sure to check the spawning media every day. A few drops of methyleneblue can be added to the eggs to stop them from developing fungus. Depending on the water temperature, the eggs may hatch in 2-3 weeks. Feed the fry a diet of infusoria, vinegar eels, and powdered fry foods. When they reach adult size, you can switch to live baby brine shrimp to promote healthy and rapid growth.
The fins of the females (above and middle) are not as yellowed as those of the males.
Other Pseudomugil species, such as the red neon blue-eyed rainbowfish (Pseudomugil lumitus) or Gertrude’s spotted rainbowfish (Pseudomugil gertrudae), have similar care requirements. So make sure you choose the nano rainbowfish that interests you. Although we don’t ship live fish, you may check our list of preferred online retailers for information about what they have.