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Rainbow Fish

Rainbow Fish

About Rainbow Fish
The rainbow fish belongs to a family of small, colorful, freshwater fish. They can be found in northern and eastern Australia, New Guinea and in the Southeast Asian islands. Many of these species have derived their generic name Melanotaenia from the Ancient Greek Melano meaning black and taenia meaning banded. The most exciting characteristic of rainbow fish is their coloring. The female gets attracted by a courtship stripe that appears on most of the male species at the time of courting and spawning. These bright stripes vary in color depending on the species. Some of the females have a finer stripe than the males. Rainbow fish has compressed body, forming an elongated diamond shape. Rainbow fishes generally measure less than 12 centimeters (4.7 inch) in length. Some of them measure less than 6 centimeters (2.4 inch), whereas one species, Melanotaenia vanheurni, measures up to 20 centimeters (7.9 inch). They are found in a wide range of freshwater habitats, including rivers, lakes, and swamps. They are known to spawn all year round and they lay a large number of eggs at the start of the local rainy season. The eggs hatch in 7 to 18 days. Rainbow fish are found to be omnivorous and feed on small crustaceans, insect larvae, and algae.

Rainbow Fish History
The rainbow fish were first described in 1843.At that time, they were referred to as sunfish. These rainbow fishes have been harbored in aquariums since the early 1900s. Moreover, they have become very popular among modern aquarium. "Rainbow fishes of Australia and Papua New Guinea" in 1982 by Gerald Allen and Norbert Cross, are the two famous publishing, which gave rainbow fish the reputation of their own.

Rainbow Fish as Pets
Rainbow fish are also very popular aquarium fish with blue eyes (genus Pseudomugil). Rainbow fish are generally omnivores and eat all types of live, fresh and flake food. They also like to feed on white worms, blood worms and brine shrimps. Some pet store gives food which contains a carotene dye to enhance the fish's color. Rainbow fish are schooling fish and thus like to live in groups. Therefore, it is better to keep them in a group of 8 to 10. They need open swimming space and its better to keep them in a 20-gallon tank. The fish which are 6 cm to 12 cm can be placed in a (50 to 60) gallon tank while the fish ranging in size from (12 cm to 15 cm) can be placed in a 150 gallon tank. The rainbow fish should be kept in a quiet location with fine lighting because they easily get startled. There are varieties of rainbow fish, which can be chosen for the aquarium. One has to take care that there is at least one male or female of each kind. The males of the red rainbow fish posses a rich color when females are present. The banded rainbow fishes have several color variations. These omnivorous fish gets these colors from highly diversified diet.

Rainbow Fish Breeding
Rainbow fish lay eggs throughout the year round in their native habitat. These fish can be easily bred and also their fry are not hard to rear. Eggs of these species are often airmailed to Europe and United States. And this makes the fish available beyond Australia and New Guinea. Rainbow fish readily breed, when there is water change in an aquarium. They also spawn regularly in a community tank.