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Remarks: There are many variants of M. australis, and they were once considered subspecies of M. splendida. Western Rainbows are found in slow-moving streams out of the main channel through much of northwestern Australia, where they congregate near floating vegetation for cover.
The fish are omnivorous and should be fed a quality flake food with supplemental proteins such as baby brine shrimp. They require clean water but tolerate a wide variety of water parameters. By providing frequent water changes, you will be rewarded with nearly continuous spawning attempts. Melanotaenia species deposit eggs in weedy areas (often mimicked by a yarn mop) and the eggs hatch 7-10 days later. Eggs can be harvested for hatching in separate tanks to avoid predation. Most Rainbows show their best colors at sunrise, when the males display their bright fins for potential mates. Having more females than males will allow for proper color displays and avoid any unwanted aggression towards lone females.
Scientific Name: Melanotaenia australis
Common Name: Western Rainbowfish
Max Size: 4"
Region of Origin: Oceania
Captive Bred or Wild: Captive Bred
Compatibility: Schooling fish, livebearers, rainbowfish, small catfish. Peacock Gudgeons and Panda Garra are a great choice.
Tank Mate Options:
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