Rainbow - approx 1.5cm
Picture for ref. only
Temperature: 22 – 30 °C
pH: 5.0 – 8.0
Hardness: 18 – 215 ppm
Best kept in a densely-planted tank and an excellent choice for the carefully-aquascaped set-up. The addition of some floating plants and driftwood roots or branches to diffuse the light entering the tank also seems to be appreciated and adds a more natural feel. If you wish to raise fry alongside the adults the addition of a fine-leaved aquatic moss such as a Taxiphylum sp. is advisable (see ‘Reproduction’).
Filtration does not need to be particularly strong as it mostly hails from sluggish waters and may struggle if there is a fast current. Do not add this fish to a biologically immature aquarium as it can be susceptible to swings in water chemistry.
Feeds on floating or suspended phytoplankton, diatoms, and other zooplankton in nature, and in the aquarium must be offered items of a suitable size for its tiny mouth. Ideally much of the diet should comprise live foods such as Daphnia, Moina, Artemia nauplii, micro worm, copepods, etc., although small/crushed floating dried foods are also accepted.
Very peaceful but not suitable for the general community aquarium since it’s easily outcompeted for food and the long fins of mature males may be nipped at by certain common species. It’s best maintained alone or alongside fishes of comparable size and disposition such as Pseudomugil spp., or if geography isn’t an issue Microdevario, Danionella, Eirmotus, Trigonostigma, pygmy Corydoras, small loricariids such as Otocinclus spp., and freshwater shrimp of the generaCaridina and Neocaridina are also suitable.
It’s a shoaling species by nature and really should be kept in a group of at least 6 specimens, ideally 10 or more. Maintaining it in such numbers will not only make the fish less nervous but result in a more effective, natural-looking display. Males will also display their best colours and some fascinating behaviour as they compete with one other for female attention.