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

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

The Boesemani rainbow is one of the most distinctive and easily recognized 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 are Boesemani Rainbowfish and what do they look like?

Melanotaenia boesemani has the classic rainbowfish profile with its pointed snout, deep-bodied profile, and large, distinct scales. The males reach 4 inches (10 cm) and have an iridescent front and back. The females are more colorful and have a shorter body. They usually measure around 3 inches (8cm) in length. They are currently endangered in the wild, so the Boeseman’s rainbowfish sold in the aquarium hobby are all captive-bred. Rainbowfish found at pet shops are typically 5-inch (5-cm) juveniles. These fish look quite different to their adult counterparts. 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 can be found in West Papua’s mountain lakes and tributaries. It usually lives in shallower areas with lots of vegetation. This species would enjoy a tank that is densely planted and has plenty of space to swim. 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. Keep them in the water column’s middle and top, as they tend to stay there.

Boesemani rainbowfish can be kept in a variety of water conditions and are extremely hardy. We like to keep them at tropical temperatures between 75-82degF (24-28degC). They can go warmer, but higher temperatures tend to shorten their life span. They can handle pH levels of 6-8 and 8-20, even though they were originally raised in mildly alkaline water. Seachem Equilibrium and Wonder Shell are good options if your tap water is soft.

How many Boesemani Rainbow fish should you keep together? Try to get six or more of the same species as possible when you are a schooling fish. Also, try to put together a mix of slightly more females than males because then the boys will display their best colors as they show off to the girls.

What fish can live with Boesemani rainbows? Because of their high activity level, we suggest keeping them with other fast swimmers of a comparable size. These include rainbowfish, loaches and barbs as well as peaceful catfish, gouramis and danios. If they have the chance to, they will eat baby fish and cherry shrimp.

Boesemani Rainbows are active schooling and peaceful fish that get along with their tank mates.

What does the Boesemani Rainbowfish eat?

They aren’t picky eaters, and will eat whatever is in their tank. But they will choose meatier foods if offered the choice. 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 is one of the easiest rainbowfish to spawn. However, raising tiny fry can prove difficult. Start by making sure you have both males and females, and condition them for breeding with heavier feedings. You will need a slightly alkaline pH and warmer temperatures to spawn the babies. Use a DIY spawning mop to place the adults in the tank. The male will develop a white stripe on his head and do a shimmying dance to attract a female. You can remove the parents each day or the eggs after 7-10 days. This will prevent the adults predating upon the fry.

Three to five times a day, feed the newborns a diet of powdered fry food, vinegar eels, infusoria, and other miniscule foods. Make sure to change the water frequently and keep it clean. Gradually introduce them to baby brine shrimp to help them grow quickly and stay healthy. Boesemani Rainbowfish takes longer to mature than many other fish. But they are great fun to breed, and will one day become beautiful adults.

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

Check out our preferred online retailers list to find the best Boesemani rainbows. 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.