Care Guide for Forktail Blue-Eye or Furcata Rainbowfish
Many people gravitate towards guppies, platies, and zebra danios sold at major pet store chains because they are small, energetic, and colorful. But if you’re looking for a slightly uncommon fish to liven up your aquarium, let us introduce you to the forktail or furcata rainbowfish.
What is Forktail Rainbowfish?
Pseudomugil fucatus comes from the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. Clearwater streams are teeming in plant life and it is frequently found there. The 2-inch (5-cm) rainbowfish is well-known for its bright blue eyes and yellow fins. It also has a distinct fork pattern on its tail. The yellow tips of their pectoral fins make it look almost like the fish are waving little pompoms as they move about. The females of rainbowfish are less colorful that the males. However, it is recommended to get 1-2 females per male. Males will display more color and dance in circles when they are surrounded by females.
Furcata rainbowfish have yellow “pom-poms,” which they wave in their swimming.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Furcata Rainbows
This nano fish is quite the speedy swimmer, so set up a 20-gallon aquarium or bigger to give them plenty of room. They enjoy temperatures between 75-80degF (24-27degC), slightly alkaline pH above 7.0, and at least 5deg (90 ppm) GH. Rainbowfish tend to swim in the upper half of the aquarium, so an aquarium hood or lid is a must to prevent them from jumping out. Given their natural habitat, consider creating a forest of live aquarium plants for them to explore and swim between.
They are a schooling fish and love being surrounded with their own species. To ensure rainbowfish don’t get over-purchased, fish shops often sell male-female rainbowfish pairs. Therefore, it is a good idea to have at least three pairs of rainbowfish (or two males plus four females) in your aquarium.
Can forktail rainbowfish live with other fish? These happy-go lucky fish can co-exist with most peaceful community fish, including corydoras and tetras. Slow-moving fish may be outcompeted by them at mealtimes. So make sure you keep an eye out for food to ensure everyone gets a piece. We found that they didn’t bother the adult dwarf shrimp, although they will eat any baby shrimp that is attracted to their attention. Also, we have successfully kept Pseudomugil rainbows in community tanks with a betta fish, but it all depends on the betta’s temperament so be prepared to remove him if necessary.
Furcata rainbows, which are peaceful community fish, do well in planted aquariums.
What Do Forktail Blue-Eyes Eat?
These fish are small and have very small mouths. Therefore, they should be fed a wide variety of foods that provide them with healthy nutrients. They don’t seem to be fussy and enjoy eating.
Frozen daphnia and cyclops Xtreme Nano Pellets Hikari Micro Pellets Krill Flakes Freeze-dried daphnia and small fish food Live baby brine Shrimp
How to Breed Furcata Rainbowfish
Pseudomugil Rainbows can be more expensive than other tropical fish and they live for only two or three years. Thankfully, forktail blue-eyes are pretty easy to breed as long as you have both sexes and the fish are not too old. Raise the temperature to around 80degF (27degC) and feed plenty of food to condition them for breeding. Also, you can add a DIY yarn breeding mop or large floating plant that has long roots (e.g., water Sprite) to make it easy to take down.
Males can mate with multiple females per day. This is one reason why you may get more females than men. The females will then deposit large eggs in the floating roots or spawning mop. You can check the spawning medium every day, and then transfer the eggs to a separate container with an airstone for hatching. To prevent eggs from growing fungus, some hobbyists add a few drops to methylene blue. The egg’s hatching time will vary depending on the water temperature. The fry should be fed infusoria and vinegar eels. When they reach adult size, you can switch to live baby brine shrimp to promote healthy and rapid growth.
The fins of the females (above and middle) are not as yellowed as those of the males.
Most other Pseudomugil species – such as red neon blue eye rainbowfish (Pseudomugil luminatus) and Gertrude’s spotted blue eye rainbowfish (Pseudomugil gertrudae) – have similar care requirements, so look for the type of nano rainbowfish that strikes your fancy. Although we don’t ship live fish, you may check our list of preferred online retailers for information about what they have.