Care Guide for Boesemani Rainbowfish – Tank Setup, Breeding, And More


Care Guide for Boesemani Rainbowfish – Tank Setup, Breeding, and More

Boesemani rainbows are one of the most recognizable and striking rainbowfish. This schooling fish is prized for its unique-looking, bicolored body and is the perfect statement piece for a medium-sized community aquarium. This article will explain how to keep this beautiful species healthy, happy, and in the best color possible.


What is Boesemani Rainbowfish, and how do they differ from other rainbowfish?

Melanotaenia boesemani’s classic rainbowfish profile features a pointed snout and deep-bodied profile. It also has large, distinct, distinctive scales. The males reach 4 inches (10 cm) and have an iridescent front and back. Females are smaller, less colorful, and typically grow to 3 inches (8 cm). They are currently endangered in the wild, so the Boeseman’s rainbowfish sold in the aquarium hobby are all captive-bred. The rainbowfish that you see in the pet shop are usually 5-inch (2.5 cm) juveniles. They look very different from their adult counterparts and have a pale appearance. Although it can take upto a year for rainbowfish to turn color, the rewards are well worth the effort.

How long does a Boesemani rainbowfish live? It depends on how warm they are kept. However, some hobbyists claim that they can last up to 13-15years.

Male Boesemani rainbowfish has the classic orange and blue coloration

How to Set Up an Aquarium for Boesemani Rainbows

This species is found in West Papua and tributaries of West Papua in West Papua. They prefer to live in areas that have lots of vegetation. Thus, they would appreciate a densely planted tank with areas of open space for swimming. In fact, one of their favorite pastimes is traversing back and forth along the entire length of the aquarium, so we recommend getting a fish tank at least 4 feet (1.2 m) in length once they are fully grown. They tend to hang around the middle to top half of the water column, so keep a tight lid on the tank to prevent fish from escaping.

In general, Boesemani rainbow fish are very hardy and can tolerate a broad spectrum of water parameters. They are best kept at tropical temperatures of 75-82°F (24-28°C). Although they can live longer, they will not tolerate higher temperatures. They are able to handle pH 6-8. However, they will also tolerate hard water with 8-20dGH. Seachem Equilibrium or Wonder Shell can be added to tap water to make it more soft.

How many Boesemani rainbowfish should you keep together? A schooling fish should have six or more rainbows from the same species. If possible, mix a few males with females to ensure that the boys show off their best colors to the girls.

What types of fish are compatible with Boesemani rainbows and why? Due to their high activity, we recommend keeping them in a group with other fast swimmers of similar size. This includes other rainbowfish, loaches, barbs, peaceful catfish, gouramis, danios, and medium-sized livebearers. They will eat baby fish, cherry shrimp and any other food that is available if given the opportunity.

Boesemani rainbows are active schooling fish that get along well with other peaceful tank mates.

What does the Boesemani Rainbowfish eat?

Omnivores don’t have to be picky and will eat almost anything in the tank. However, they prefer meatier foods when given the option. You should provide them with a wide variety of fresh, frozen, or live foods for optimal health. Rainbowfish have smaller mouths than their bodies so make sure they are fed appropriate-sized food such as Vibra Bites and Krill Flakes, frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia and Vibra Bites.

How to Breed Boesemani Rainbows

Boesemanis are one of the easier rainbowfish to spawn, but their tiny fry can be difficult to raise. Make sure to have both males as well as females. Then, condition them for breeding by giving them heavier food. Set up a spawning tank with slightly alkaline pH, warmer temperature, and a sponge filter that won’t suck up the babies. Use a DIY spawning mop to place the adults in the tank. To attract a female, the male will grow a white stripe around his head. They will release small batches of eggs each day. After 7-10 days you can either remove them or take the eggs out to stop the eggs from predating the fry.

Feed the infants three to five times per day a small amount of food such as vinegar eels and infusoria. Make sure to change the water frequently and keep it clean. Gradually, introduce baby brine shrimp to your fish. This will allow them to grow quickly and be healthy. Boesemani rainbowfish have a longer grow-out time compared to many other fish, but they are a lot of fun to breed and will one day grow into beautiful adults.

Juveniles Boesemani rainbows are nearly unrecognizable at first because they don’t have their full adult coloration.

You can find Boesemani Rainbows in stock at our recommended online retailers. Also, if you’re looking for a slightly smaller species that fits in a 20-gallon long or 29-gallon aquarium, read about the dwarf neon rainbowfish.