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Melanotaenia boesemani


Click on the image to get the high resolution picture. Photo G.J.Reclos/MCH

Melanotaenia boesemani

Also called the "boesemani rainbow" fish this nice little creature belongs to the family Melanotaeniidae (Rainbowfishes) and was firstly described by Allen and Gross in 1980. It is a peaceful, very active schooling fish - something to be remembered when planning your tank population. The sight of a large school of these fishes (12 or more) swimming in a well planted tank is breathtaking. The fish is particularly suitable for the Dutch style aquariums because of its contrasting colors and its tolerance to plants. Will spend most of its time in the open, occupying the middle and top zones of the tank. Usually the females are less vividly colored and smaller than males. The fish will spawn continuously in the right water conditions which call for a pH around neutral (6.8-7.2) and normal hardness. The fish originates from New Guinea (mainly) where it is found in alkaline waters (pH 9.2-9.5). This species is relatively rare in its natural habitat (mainly inhabiting lakes). It should be kept in a rather warm water (27-30 C). The male will reach a final size of 10-11 cm while the female will get somewhat smaller (8-9 cm). The fish is a good jumper so the tank cover should remain always closed. Will feed on almost any commercially available food and will develop its splendid coloration after 12 months. Live food is also recommended 2-3 times per week.

Irawan Husada, a fellow hobbyist from Indonesia contributed those superb photos of the fish. This amazing fish comes from Irian jaya (part of New Guinea) which is also part of Indonesia  

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