Boeseman’s rainbowfish

Aquarium fish: Boeseman’s rainbowfish (Melanotaenia boesemani)
Size: 11 cm
Origin: New Guinea
Water temperature: 25-29 ° C
Aquarium volume: 110 l

Boeseman’s rainbowfish (Melanotaenia boesemani) – beautifully colored, durable aquarium fish from the rainbow family, recommended for beginners.


Boesman rainbows come from New Guinea . The species lives primarily in the calmer, coastal zones of lakes and backwaters in the Ayamaru Lake District.

Characteristics and disposition

The male of this species reaches 11 cm in length. It is intensely colored.

The front part of the body is blue, while the back and back fins are iridescent yellow-orange. Intensive coloration appears only 12–15 months after birth. In adult males, a fatty hump appears. Females grow up to 8 cm and are yellow or greenish in color. The Boeseman’s rainbowfish fish is a social, shoal fish that likes to swim in the water.

It is recommended to keep at least 6-8 individuals of this species in the aquarium. In a larger group, males will be more likely to show their coloration.

Nutrition and feeding

They are not picky fish. In the aquarium, they ingest most of the available dry, frozen and live food. Regular administration of the latter has a positive effect on their coloration.


The 110 liter aquarium is the minimum for these rainbow fish. Due to their size and mobility, however, a 200 liter tank with plants along the side and rear walls is recommended to give the fish ample swimming space. Plants should, first of all, tolerate hard, alkaline water, which is preferred by fish. The sandy ground, dense vegetation and decorations made of the roots most accurately reflect their natural environment. The aquarium must be covered to prevent the fish from jumping out.

Weekly water changes of 25% are also recommended.


Breeding boeseman’s rainbow, just like the rest of this family, is quite easy . However, rearing the fry can be problematic. The spawning tank should be at least 80 cm long. Slightly hard, alkaline water approx.

7.5 pH and temperature 26-28 ° C. Place small-leaved plants in the aquarium, e.g. Java moss or an artificial aquarium mop. A small aeration filter will ensure adequate oxygenation and water flow. A substrate is not necessary.

Before the planned spawning period, adult fish should be fed abundantly with live and frozen food . When the females will be fuller and the males will take on more intense colors, we choose the thickest female and the most beautiful male and transfer them to the spawning tank. Often times, a slight increase in temperature can encourage fish to spawn. The steam is wiped away over a period of several days, scattering the spawn daily. The roe grains stick to the surface with small threads.

Parents tend to eat the eggs . It is recommended to regularly check the plants or mops and transfer the eggs found (preferably plant parts) to a separate aquarium or container (water must come from the breeding aquarium). Depending on the temperature, hatching takes 7-12 days. The fry in the first week require micro-foods in the form of plankton. Then artemia and shellfish larvae can be fed to them.

The falling food will not be appropriate as the fry swim near the surface of the water. The young are sensitive to water quality deterioration, therefore small changes are necessary every day.


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