The Neon Rainbow comes from the small, lush jungle streams in Western New Guinea (formerly Irian Jaya), the Mamberamo region of West Papua. They feed on vegetation, insects, small worms and fish eggs.
Though they are small fish they still need a decent sized tank. This is because they do best in groups of 10 or more. It is advisable to keep these rainbow fish in a tank at least 24 inches long and ideally 60 or more litres.
The Neon Rainbow will eat most anything offered, but will almost never eat food off the bottom. Cleaning the bottom is needed more often unless you have good tank scavenging bottom feeders. These rainbows are fairly easy to breed as well.
Neon Rainbows are classic omnivores, quite equally adapted to eating both animal and plant matter in the wild. In captivity they should be fed a high quality flake or pelleted food to maintain good health. Buy foods frequently and in small amounts, as the nutritional value of these products quickly deteriorates. Another large chunk of their diet should be frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae. They also enjoy plant matter so you should have live plants for them to nibble on or use plant based food from time to time. Feed these fish several times a day and only what they can consume in under 5 minutes.
These rainbows will do best and are most effectively displayed in tanks which simulate their natural habitat. A sandy substrate, dense vegetation, and bog wood all echo the native rivers of the Neon Rainbow. As with most of the Rainbow species they are most at home in well planted aquariums. When you choose plants make sure to pick plant that can tolerate the hard, alkaline conditions preferred by this fish.
A rainbow tank can be quite spectacular with the proper technique. Although these adaptable fish would certainly be happy in most conditions, the colour is best displayed with a little planning. A dark substrate and backing on the tank contrasts with the colors and makes them more secure. Floating plants are a great addition to any tank, and the colours are seen well in the shadows. They also need stretches of open swimming areas. At least a third or half the tank should be open water, positioned in the middle to encourage the fish to swim there and give them a chance to show off their colors.
The Neon Rainbow is basically adaptable to life in the community aquarium. They will get along best with other peaceful fish of a similar size. Remember that if you put them in a tank with big hungry fish the Noen Rainbow won’t last long.
Noen Rainbows are schooling fish and the ratio of males to females is very important to keep a reasonable peace among them. Although you can always keep single sex schools, you will see significantly better colouration if both genders are in the tank.
- Species – Melanotaenia praecox
- Common Name – Neon Rainbow
- Origin – Mamberamo region of West Papua New Guinea
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – 6.5 – 8
- Temperature – Tropical and Coldwater 22°c – 26°c
- Breed Type – Egg Scatterer
- Max Size – approximately 6.5cm
- Sex – Un-sexed