Care Guide for Forktail Blue-Eye or Furcata Rainbowfish
Many people gravitate towards guppies, platies, and zebra danios sold at major pet store chains because they are small, energetic, 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, and how do they differ from other fish?
Pseudomugil fucatus comes from the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. Clearwater streams are teeming in plant life and it is frequently found there. The 2-inch (5-cm) rainbowfish is well-known for its bright blue eyes and yellow fins. It also has a distinct fork pattern on its 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. Males will display more color and dance in circles when they are surrounded by females.
Furcata rainbowfish are well-known for their yellow “pompoms”, which they wave frantically while swimming.
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 are able to tolerate temperatures between 75-80degF (24-25degC), slightly alkaline pH levels above 7.0, and GHs of at least 5 deg (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.
They are a schooling fish and love being surrounded with 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.
What fish can live with forktail rainbowfish? These happy-go-lucky fish can live with almost any peaceful community fish of similar size, such as corydoras, tetras, and rasboras. Slow-moving fish may be outcompeted by them at mealtimes. So make sure you keep an eye out for food to ensure everyone gets a piece. We found that they didn’t bother the adult dwarf shrimp, although they will eat any baby shrimp that is attracted to their attention. Also, we have successfully kept Pseudomugil rainbows in community tanks with a betta fish, but it all depends on the betta’s temperament so be prepared to remove him if necessary.
Furcata rainbows, which are peaceful community fish, do well in planted aquariums.
What are Forktail Blue Eyes Eating?
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 love to eat and are not fussy.
– 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. To condition the fish for breeding, raise the temperature to 80 degrees F (27 degrees C). 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. Afterward, the females will deposit a few large eggs in the spawning mop or floating plant roots. 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. The eggs can hatch within 2-3 weeks depending on the temperature of the water. The fry should be fed infusoria and vinegar eels. When they reach adult size, you can switch to live baby brine shrimp to promote healthy and rapid growth.
The two females (above) do not have as much yellow coloration on their fins compared to the male (middle).
Most other Pseudomugil species – such as red neon blue eye rainbowfish (Pseudomugil luminatus) and Gertrude’s spotted blue eye rainbowfish (Pseudomugil gertrudae) – have similar care requirements, so look for the type of nano rainbowfish that strikes your fancy. While we do not ship live fish, you can check out our list of preferred online retailers to see what they have in stock.