freshwater community4


Dwarf Rainbowfish

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Scientific Name:   Melanotaenia praecox      
Min. Tank Size:   30 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   74-82°F      
pH:   6.5-7.5/5-15°dGH      
Size:   2.5"      
Diet:   Omnivore
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Other Rainbowfish, Danios, Characins, Barbs, Gobies, Dwarf Cichlids and Corydoras Catfish.

Dwarf Rainbowfish

Also known as the Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish and the Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, this is a stream-dwelling species endemic to the Mamberamo region of West Papua or Western New Guinea. Dwarf Rainbowfish can be found in flowing streams as well as still ponds. Because they can be found in a variety of habitats, this species is highly adaptable in the home aquarium. Like most Rainbowfish, the males can be easily distinguished from the females by the brighter coloration as well as the longer anal and dorsal fins. Males are a bright neon blue with reddish colored anal, caudal and dorsal fins.

Tank Set-up

Dwarf Rainbowfish are peaceful in nature, making them excellent additions to the peaceful community tank. For a more stunning display, however, consider a species tank with a school of 15 or more. Although Dwarf Rainbowfish are adaptable and can thrive in a variety of conditions the recommended setup would be a densely planted tank that closely mimics their natural habitat. The ideal setup would be heavily planted around the back and sides of the tank and decorated with driftwood roots and branches to provide plenty of cover and a sense of security. Ample space for swimming should also be provided since the Dwarf Rainbowfish is very active.


Most Rainbowfish are not picky eaters and the Dwarf Rainbowfish is no different. Although they will readily eat just about anything offered the recommended diet would be a high-quality flake or pellet as a staple and supplemented several times a week with live and/or frozen foods. Brine shrimp, Daphnia, and bloodworms are all good choices. Feed a diet consisting of a variety of foods on a regular basis to promote the best health and coloration.


Breeding Dwarf Rainbowfish is easily accomplished in the home tank. However, the adults will eat the eggs so you may want to consider a separate tank for raising the fry. The breeding tank should be kept at a pH around 7.5 and at a temperature between 80 and 84 degrees Farenheit. Because these fish are egg scatterers, the breeding tank should be filled with plenty of fine-leaved plants, like java moss, in which the female can deposit her eggs. Hatching time for the eggs is usually around 10 - 12 days. Newborn fry can be fed infusoria or baby brine shrimp until large enough to start accepting a high quality flake.

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