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H. Zell, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Boeseman’s Rainbowfish, whose scientific name is melanotaenia boesemani, is a small freshwater tropical fish that is popular due to its stunning coloration. This fish is also referred to as Boesimani Rainbowfish, and they belong to the family of Melanotaeniidae. This fish is found in a limited range in Indonesia, and it is only found in three lakes and their tributaries. They are easy to take care of, and this makes them more likable. Their family contains many different species of rainbows, and that is why it is named so for their colors. They enjoy the tropical climate and spend most of their time in the shallow lakes in Indonesia, where they originate from. This species is, however, bred widely in captivity and can easily be found in pet shops, and they are very affordable at an average price of 5 to 10 dollars. If you are interested in having wide knowledge on how to feed and take care of these fish, then this article is the ultimate guide;


Scientific NameMelanotaenia boesemani
Colour:Blue heads with red rears  
Size:Up to 4.5 inches
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Temperature:70°F to 79°F
Lifespan:5 to 8 years
Water Conditions:pH 7.0 to 8.0  
Tank Mate CompatibilityPeaceful community
Care Level:Easy


Since the geographical range of the Boeseman’s Rainbowfish is narrow, it means that the number of species they encounter naturally is low. You are, therefore, not limited to the species that are only found in its natural habitat, but you can also pick any other tank mate as long as they are peaceful. They are already peaceful, and therefore there is no need to get worried about them fighting the others. However, they are larger and move rapidly and therefore can scare slow-moving or skittish fish. This should therefore be considered when deciding the tankmate you are choosing for them. The ideal tank mates for the species should be either of the same size or bigger. Some of the ideal choices include;

  • Tiger barbs
  • Danios
  • Large Tetras
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Rasboras
  • Other Rainbowfish

You can also consider some Rift Lake Cichlids since they have similar water preferences. Due to their peaceful nature and the small mouths that they have, it means that you can choose invertebrates as tankmates too. Ghost shrimps or Assassin snails can also make good additions by officering a completely different aesthetic. These fish are generally matched to a peaceful community aquarium.

We have discussed the compatible tankmates that one ought to choose from, but there are also the bad tank mates that you should always avoid putting together with your Boseman’s Rainbowfish. As said earlier, they are large and might scare away the little ones such as;




Madhav dam, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just as the name, suggests there is a reason why they are called rainbow. These fish are a species having two halves in their coloration. They have warmer tones making the up the rear, such as red, yellow, and oranges. The front side has cooler tones such as purples, blues, and greens. These species have a vibrant band of bluish-gray scales with a purple hint along the front part of the body. There is a colored orange-red on the rear with a smidge of yellow. These two hues blend in the middle, and this results in some green or thin black stripes. The male is more colored compared t their female counterparts. The females have the same coloration but somehow fade a little with an intense silver. This can be seen in the fins, which in the case of females appear almost opaque or yellow.

Their body shape is flat oval, and their tailfin pokes out on the rear. The rest of their fins are not as predominant, and they do not protrude out of their body. Thie head is narrow shaped, and it points on the front. They also have larger eyes and smallmouth. The color variations depend on different factors. They can be as a result of the health of the fish, and even the moods or when they are ready to mate. Whenever the fish is sick, the colors are a little dull, and therefore you should be kept to notice while when they are healthy, the colors are intense. During the nighttime, they appear brighter. This fish at about 2.5 inches in length; that is when these vibrant hues start to show.


The Boesemen’s Rainbowfish originates from Lake Ayamaru and its tributaries Hain and Ayamaru. Thye is found in Asia. Thye prefers living in the tropical climate. They live in shallow waters and areas that are densely vegetated. This fish species has of late become very popular across the world, and it is mainly preferred due to its excellent colors and peaceful nature. Another reason it has spread across many parts is that they are easy to take care of and easy to learn how to take care of. They are also affordable despite the fact that they do not have one origin. The process is as low as 5 dollars, and this encourages more people to buy them.


The average length of a mature Boeseman’s Rainbowfish is 4.5 inches. The females grow bigger than the males, and therefore, the males are usually at between 3 to 3.5 inches, with the females going up to 4.5 inches. The color features start to develop at the length of 2.5 inches. Due to their size, the fish will need a well-spaced tank so that they can swim freely.


When a Boeseman’s Rainbowfish is well taken Acer of and brought up under the optimal condition, it can live for a period of between 5 to 8 years. There are also some instances where some fish have outlived their threshold and stayed more than eight years under good care. When they are well taken care of, it reduces any chance of health conditions, and the fish will always be strong. There are also some instances where the fish die before even attaining four years, and this is mainly caused by poor maintenance habits that lead to health issues and causes death.


Thye is naturally peaceful, but having more than one male in the same tank might bring some aggression. During the mating season, they are even capable of injuring each other. These fish are generally moderately hardy, but they are shy on their own, but in a group of 5 to 6, they are active and happy. To prevent stress which might result in discoloration, you must provide a large shoal. Despite the fact that they are compatible with most breeds of fish, it is advisable to keep them with similar breeds. What it means the tank mates should not overpower them in terms of size. You should also not pay the with fish of clashing nature. The aggressive fish need to be kept away since they themselves do not pose any other behavioral threat.



The ideal size of the tank for keeping these fish is 30 gallons. It is a hardy and durable species, and a school of about six can live and thrive in a 30-gallon tank. This fish is also an active jumper, and therefore the tank should be at least 30 inches long. If you provide a tank that is smaller than this, it might end up stressing the fish due to lack of enough room. Always remember that this fish is active a; therefore, it will need enough space to swim around in. With every extra fish, you add the size of the tank should be increased by 5 gallons. The tank should always be bigger, and any tank that is 30 or more gallons is fine. Thye is also suitable for a nano tank.


The Boeaseman’s Rainbowfish does not have any strict requirements for the fitter types. All you need is an efficient filter with good water movement. This is especially important for the male fish, which develop their colors better.


This fish species belongs to swampy, vegetative water, and that is what everyone who keeps it should desire to replicate. To make this fish feel at home, you should use a sandy, mixed gravel substrate.


A school of 5 to 6 Boeseman’s Rainbowfish can live in a 30 gallons tank comfortably. However, this fish is an active swimmer as well, and it is always advisable to provide a larger tank. Overcrowding always leads to stress. The tank size should always be put into consideration whenever you want to add a fish to the school.


It is advisable to always provide the Boeseman Rainbowfish with some decorations in the tank so that they can have a place to hide. You should consider the plants and other factors to ornate the tank. You can choose to use either artificial plants or live ones. For the water that you settle for, you should try to provide different colors and leaf shapes so as to make the tan more appealing. The fish also use the plants as good spawning sites. The prided plants should be of different varieties so as to give the fish the natural habitat feel.

Some of the plants you should consider includes;

Red tiger lotus

Java Fern

Rotala Macrandra

Ludwiga Ovales

The plants that you choose should be able to withstand the alkaline condition of water in the tank. You can also add some other decorations such as rocks and bogwood, but you should not overdo them so as to save space.

There are also some bad plants that should not be put in the tank. These are plants that do not have small leaves or spawning or spindly mops. They leave no space for the movement of the fish.



The ideal water temperature for boeaseman’s rainbow fins is between 70 to 79 degrees F. The ideal temperature for breeding is 72 degrees. This fish is tropical, and therefore the temperature should not go below the given range, and in case it goes, it will cause a lot of discomfort to the fish. If the tank is in a cold room, you can use a heater to warm the water. The water should be changed on a weekly basis depending on the water density. It is mandatory to replace at least 25 to 50 percent of the water in the tank.


Despite the fact that these fish are hardy and are easy to take care of, they will fall sick if the water quality is poor. This can also happen whenever the flow of water is too slow or too fast. The best water flow for these fish to thrive should be moderate. They will tend to gather in the middle of the water in an open space in the aquarium.


The ideal ph. the level for the Boeseman’s rainbow fish should be between 7 to 8.0. Thie natural environment is warm and therefore the ph. level should not fluctuate. They will not do well in soft, acidic conditions.


The ideal water hardness for this fish is between 10 to 20 DGH. This fish cannot tolerate brackish water at all, and therefore it is important to get the correct water hardness.


This fish needs moderate lighting, and it will thrive. Since this fish is a tropical one, the aquarist can try, if possible, to plan the sunlight that will hit the tank for an hour or two each day. Not only will this be of help to the fish, but it will also give the viewer an opportunity to witness their brilliant colors in all their glory.


As stated earlier, these fish are good jumpers, and therefore if, as an aquarist and you are not kept enough, they might jump rapidly and come out of the tank. It is therefore important to cove the tank using the lid, which also protects the tank from pollution.


As an aquarist, you should never use any chemical bases product to clean the tank. These fish do not generate a lot of water, and therefore fairly regular or alternate cleaning is enough. Cleaning and doing it in the right manner are important to the precious fish and other animals living in the tank. It helps the fish to remain free of stress and healthy. To clear filters, checking the temperatures of water and just an application of a soft piece of cloth from time to time is enough.


Boeseman’s Rainbowfish are omnivores. Thye feeds on insects, small crustaceans, and even some vegetation.

They should be fed with high-quality flakes since they need a good amount of nutrition. A good diet is also critical in developing their coloration; it is advisable to use a mix of living and processed food. Some of the live food to feed them include the;

Water fleas


Tubifex Worms

Brine shrimps, among others

You can also feed them on dry foods such as pellets and flakes. They are quite efficient, and they provide the needed nutrients. Since they are omnivores, it means they also feed on vegetables, and someone should feed them on small pieces of spinach or zucchini. Though they eat vegetation too, they should leave most of your live plants untouched, limiting themselves to plant debris that breaks away.


The Boseman’s Rainbowfish should be fed small portions of food at regular intervals. The rule is to provide them with only what they can finish in a minute at least twice a day. The portion control helps you to prevent them from overfeeding. When they overfeed, these overwork their digestive system, and they end up stressed.


The process of breeding these fish is quite easy. It just needs to follow certain optimal conditions, and you need to be very careful. The optimal conditions are a separate breeding tank, hard and acidic water with a ph. of 7.7. You need to maintain a temperature o 72 degrees F and a regular feeding process with live foods. You will also need short plants with the same features. Before the process can start, the breeding tank needs to be set up with a sponge filter, or there should be plants with a spawning mop to cover. The next step is to introduce one or two females in the tank conditioned to live foods and plant foods. In order to get better results, you can feed them with better quality foods than the ones used. After a few hours, you can now introduce two to three miles into the breeding tank.

The spawning period takes about two weeks. During this period, the females will lay eggs among the tank plants, which will then stick on the leaves. After the females have laid eggs, the males will tend to showcase display o colors. They will direct the female into the spawning site and spawn and take a rest. After the spawning, the spawning plants must be removed and replaced; otherwise, they risk being eaten. If not by the parents, by the other tank mates. This fish does not show any sign of parental instincts. This is why they will try to eat their own eggs immediately after they are scattered. It is at this point that the aquarist must act swiftly and separate them from the eggs. The adult fish will exhibit this same behavior for a few days, dairy. This will be decreasing the number of eggs produced.

To ensure that the gees are safeguarded, one has to ensure they put them in another tank with the same parameters. Here the eggs can develop and hatch. This whole process takes seven to12 days. Once the fry has hatched, they ought to be fed infusoria or liquid food until they can eat small live foods by themselves. The fry grows at a slow rate, and therefore the process of feeding them can be tiresome. They need clean water conditions throughout the time that they are at least two months old. Note that you should not use the sinking food to feed them since they are mainly found near the water surface.

You should also beware of crossbreeding since it can result in rainbow fish losing their r coloration or producing other undesirable results.


To differentiate between the male and female rainbow fish, we must notice the difference in their colors and their sizes. As stated earlier, grown rainbow fish can go up to 4.5 inches; males have a deeper and larger body than females. One can also be able to tell the sex by just observing their color and the above-mentioned differences.


The Boesemani Rainbow fish is at the risk of getting all the common freshwater diseases, one of which is ich. This disease is also known as white spots, and it is caused by ectoparasite. The parasites cause the fish to break out white spots across its body, lose its appetite, and in some instances, develop cloudy eyes. Once you notice your fish is showing any other signs, you should quarantine them immediately.


There are five ways that you can prevent diseases from your tank. They are;


The Boesemani fish with great genetic makeup are more disease resistant. They also spot brighter, more attractive colors. For this reason, it is important to always t the fish from a reputable pet store.


It is important for the equalists to always treat each new fish as a potential disease carrier because some may already be infected from the shop. You, therefore, need to quarantine them before introducing them to the established tank.


Just like the one fish, the secondhand equipment might be potential disease carriers. Therefore, before you can start to use them, you need to isolate and sanitize them thoroughly you kill any pathogens they might be harboring.


When the water in the tank is clean and the water conditions are within the recommended range, you rarely have an issue with your fish getting sick. The reason for this is that the pathogens cannot thrive in pristine water conditions.


The other way to ensure that you protect your fish from any diseases is by feeding them with high-quality food. Additionally, you should pay attention to the amount of food you give them at a go and how many times you feed them. Overfeeding the fish is as dangerous as underfeeding.


Are the Boesemani Rainbow fish freshwater fish?

Yes, these fish are usually freshwater fish that originates from Asia. Thye prefers living in shallow waters with dense vegetation.

Does the Boeseman’s Rainbowfish eat algae?

 Yes. These fish are omnivores, and they eat algae, planktons, and small insects’ larvae, among others.

Do Boeseman’s Rainbow fish breed easily?

Yes, these fish breed so easily. All you need is t meet the tank requirements as discussed in this guide, and everything else will be fine.

Why are my Boesemani Rainbowfish changing colors?

Changing color in this fish is normal in the Rainbowfish. The change in color might have a different meaning; for instance, it might be an indication that the fish is not healthy, stressed, or is being chased by tank mates. A long-term change in color could mean that the parameters are wrong, and you need to keep checking water using the water testing kit.


Boeseman’s Rainbowfish is an excellent fish for beginners since they are hardy, flexible fish that require minimal effort to take care of. Their gorgeous, vibrant blend of colors makes them an interesting site to stare at, and this is why they should always be the top choice for every aquarist. The keeping of this fish comes with many advantages. As a beginner or an experienced equalist, we hope that this guide has helped you to get sound knowledge of how to take care of these fish species in the best way possible.

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