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 and what do they look like?
Melanotaenia boesemani’s classic rainbowfish profile features a pointed snout and deep-bodied profile. It also has large, distinct, distinctive scales. The males reach 4 inches (10 cm) and have an iridescent front and back. 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. Rainbowfish found at pet shops are typically 5-inch (5-cm) juveniles. These fish look quite different to their adult counterparts. Although it can take upto a year for rainbowfish to turn color, the rewards are well worth the effort.
What is the lifespan of Boesemani rainbowfish? Depending on the water temperature you keep them at, they can live for about 5-8 years on average, although some hobbyists have reportedly kept them alive for up to 13-15 years.
Male Boesemani rainbowfish has the classic orange and blue coloration
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Boesemani Rainbows
This species is found in West Papua and tributaries of West Papua in West Papua. They prefer to live in areas that have lots of vegetation. 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. They tend to hang around the middle to top half of the water column, so keep a tight lid on the tank to prevent fish from escaping.
Boesemani rainbowfish can be kept in a variety of water conditions and are extremely hardy. They prefer tropical temperatures between 75-82degF (24 to 28 degC). They can go warmer, but higher temperatures tend to shorten their life span. They are able to handle pH 6-8. However, they will also tolerate hard water with 8-20dGH. Seachem Equilibrium or Wonder Shell can be added to tap water to make it more soft.
How many Boesemani rainbowfish should you keep together? A schooling fish should have six or more rainbows from the same species. 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 kind of fish can live with Boesemani Rainbows? We recommend keeping them with other fast swimmers with similar sizes. These include rainbowfish, loaches and barbs as well as peaceful catfish, gouramis and danios. They will eat baby fish, cherry shrimp and any other food that is available if given the opportunity.
Boesemani rainbows can be active schooling fish and get along with peaceful tank mates.
What do Boesemani Rainbowfish Eat?
These omnivores are not picky eaters and will happily eat anything you drop in the tank, but they do prefer meatier foods if given 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. Make sure to have both males as well as females. Then, condition them for breeding by giving them heavier food. You will need a slightly alkaline pH and warmer temperatures to spawn the babies. Place the adults in the prepared tank with a DIY spawning mop. The male will develop a white stripe on his head and do a shimmying dance to attract a female. 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. Make sure to change the water frequently and keep it clean. Gradually introduce them to baby brine shrimp to help them grow quickly and stay 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.
To get your own Boesemani rainbows, check out our list of preferred online retailers to see what they have in stock. 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.