Care Guide for Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish – Housing, Food, and Breeding
Neon dwarf rainbowfish is an attractive, almond-shaped fish that has an iridescent sheen under the sunlight. This tough species is active and can be paired with many calm and semi-aggressive tank buddies. This beginner-friendly rainbowfish is easy to care for.
What are Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish?
Melanotaenia praecox is a 3-inch (8 cm) rainbowfish found in streams and tributaries of the New Guinea rainforest. The males have a bright blue body and red-orange fins. The females have a silvery, yellow body and fins. These fish are one of the smallest Melanotaenia varieties and can be bought for around $5-$7.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Neon Rainbowfish
Since they are a fast-swimming fish, we recommend keeping them in a longer aquarium, such as a 20-gallon long or 29-gallon tank at the minimum. Dwarf neon Rainbows are a tropical species that can tolerate temperatures between 74 and 80 degrees F (23 to 27 degrees C). Although they can handle a wide range in pH and GH, they prefer harder water. Our tap water is quite soft so we use crushed coral to buffer pH and add mineral supplements (e.g. Wonder Shell or Seachem Equilibrium). This will increase the GH.
Neon rainbows look amazing in planted aquariums, and taller plants can help block line of sight when the males are tussling with each other. The foliage should not become too dense as rainbowfish prefer to swim in open spaces.
How should praecox rainbows be kept together? Rainbowfish require at least 6 of the same species. For males to be able to communicate with each other, they need at least one female. Plus, males display their best colors and get a shiny stripe on their heads when they show off in front of females.
Can dwarf rainbowfish be kept with another fish? Because of their deep-bodied and quick speed they can get along with many other similar-sized tank mates. Their temperaments range from calm to aggressive. We have kept them with angelfish, pearl gouramis, tetras, corydoras catfish, and smaller cichlids. While they will make a meal out of your cherry shrimp, they seem to leave larger amano shrimp and filter shrimp alone.
What are Praecox Rainbowfish’s Favorite Foods?
These omnivorous fish are very easy to feed and will eagerly devour anything you drop in the tank. We like to give them smaller foods that float or slowly sink – such as frozen cyclops, brine shrimp, and nano pellets. They also love bloodworms and flakes as well as live fish foods. The key is to provide a variety of foods to ensure they receive a well-rounded diet with all the necessary nutrients.
How to Breed Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Rainbowfish are egg scatterers and do not require any parental care. Rainbowfish can spawn daily if they are fed properly and have fish of both genders. But, the tiny 1mm eggs can produce difficult-to-reach fry. A floating spawning mop is placed in the tank. This allows the adults to lay eggs in the yarn strands. To keep the water warm, fill a cup with water from the tank. The spawning mop should be full of eggs. To maintain the water’s oxygen, add an air stone. To prevent fungal growth, some breeders add a couple of drops of methylene blue or even a few cherry shrimp to help clean the eggs.
The eggs should hatch within one week. The fry need to be fed very little food, like vinegar eels, microworms and infusoria. Regular water changes are necessary to maintain a high water quality. Two weeks after hatching, rainbowfish fry will be large enough for them to consume live baby brine shrimp. This is the best food available to promote healthy and quick growth.
The neon dwarf rainbow is a favorite because of its energetic behavior, iridescent scales and small size. You can find them at your local fish shop, or you can order them online from our preferred vendors list. Forktail blue-eye rainbowfish is a small species. However, you can read our care guide.