Red rainbowfish

Aquarium fish: Red rainbowfish (Glossolepis incisus)
Size: 15 cm
Origin: New Guinea
Water temperature: 22-26 ° C
Aquarium volume: 112 l

Red rainbowfish (Glossolepis incisus) – freshwater aquarium fish from the rainbow family with a characteristic red coloration.


New Guinea . The species inhabits Lake Sentai and the surrounding backwaters in Papua.

Characteristics and disposition

One of the most popular rainbow fish found in aquariums. In nature, it grows up to about 15 cm in length.

Body elongated, laterally flattened. Fat hump appears in older males. Characteristic large eyes and two dorsal fins. It dyes after 5-6 cm in length. Color of the body uniform with areas of metallic shimmering scales.

The males have an attractive red color, the shade of which depends on the conditions and the mood of the fish. It is worth mentioning that in cooler water all males in the group will be red, while in warmer water only the dominant individual. In the absence of a female, the color of males may be faded and dull. Females are usually inconspicuous, brown and olive in color. Red rainbowfish fish are shoal fish.

It is recommended to keep more than 6 individuals in a larger group – in a 1: 1 ratio or with a slight majority of females. Only one sex can be kept in a smaller group. Males often compete with each other without harming themselves, unless they are not provided with hiding places.

Nutrition and feeding

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.


Red rainbowfishs look best against the background of a reservoir densely planted with vegetation, with a dark ground and not too brightly lit. Too bright light can be diffused by e.g. floating plants. These fish also need open swimming areas and areas where males can compete with each other. They require high-quality water (20% weekly water changes recommended) and moderately strong current.

The fish are gentle , but their dimensions and mobility may be disturbing to smaller or slower species. Good company will be similarly sized rainbow , tetras, zebrafish , barbs, cichlids and cuirass .


The reproduction of red irises is quite easy . The spawning tank should be at least 75 cm long. Slightly hard, alkaline water approx.

7.5 pH and temperature 23-25 ​​° 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 reproduction, we feed the adult fish 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. An adult female can lay about 50 eggs, but usually less.

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 about a week. The fry in the first days require micro-foods in the form of plankton.

After a week, they can be given artemia and shellfish larvae. The falling food will not be appropriate because the fry swim near the surface of the water. The young are sensitive to changes in water quality, therefore small changes are necessary every day.


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