Group of Boesemani Rainbowfish

Boesemani Rainbowfish – Breeding & Care Guide

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Basic Facts

  • Species : Melanotaenia boesemani
  • Minimum Tank Size : 55 Gallons (210 Litres)
  • Care Level : Moderate
  • Water Conditions : 7.0-8.0ph (Moderately hard to very hard)
  • Temperature : 78-86°F (26-30°C)
  • Maximum Size : 4-5 inches
  • Feeding : Omnivorous diet

Boesemani rainbowfish or Boeseman’s rainbowfish are a popular, hardy, easy to keep fish available in the aquarium hobby. Because of their intense colors and peaceful nature they attract the hobbyist. The body of the boesemani’s back half is orange-red and the front half is bluish-grey or purple.

They grow upto 5-6 inches given the right food and water conditions. They are schooling fish and prefer to be in schools of 6 or more rainbowfish and they are also a peaceful community aquarium fish. Boesemani rainbowfish tank mates can be any peaceful inhabitant.

The best part about boesemani rainbow fish is that they do so well in planted aquariums. They show better color, they’re happier and you get better breeding behavior.  

Their natural habitat is usually densely vegetated lakes and rivers in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. As their natural habitats are being destroyed they are in the IUCN Red List.

Bosemani Rainbowfish Tank Size

They should have plenty of swimming room, all rainbowfish even the smallest dwarf rainbows are really suited for longer tanks. In the case of big rainbows like boesemani, at least a 4-foot fish tank. I would generally suggest a 55 gallon tank as a great start. The bigger the better, I love something like a 75 gallon fish tank for a group of boesemani!

Boesemani Rainbowfish Temperature & Ph

These are tropical fish they really prefer temperatures 78F up to 86F. Boesemani adults really like that 86F, it is like your magic number for them, they do very well in 80F. 78F to 80F is fine when they’re young you’ll push them a little warmer as they turn into adults.

They’ll take a really wide PH range though they do prefer slightly harder water. They want a little bit of mineral anywhere from in the Ph range of 6.5-8 is fine.

Sexing Boesemani Rainbowfish

It’s really easy to identify male and female boesemani rainbows. Mature male boesemani rainbows will be larger with intense and brighter colors. Mature females will be dull colored and smaller in size.

When they are Juveniles it will be harder to sex them. As their colors tend to be duller, they get vivid colors when they turn into adults.

Male Boesemani Rainbowfish
Female Boesemani Rainbowfish

Boesemani Rainbowfish Breeding

Boesemani Rainbowfish breeding is a fairly easy task. The suggested ratio is typically one male per two females.

Pairs are perfectly fine as well. I would say an ideal group is something like two males with three females. The tank size should be at least a 20 gallon tank. If you’re only doing like a pair, 20 gallons is fine.

Males and females should be moved to separate tanks and conditioned. The easiest way to condition them for spawning is feeding them high quality live food. Live brine shrimp, frozen blood worms and all that kind of good stuff. When conditioned well, the the amount of eggs they lay will increase and this will increase the juvenile survival rate as well.

After conditioning for about a week. The male and female or your breeding group should be introduced to a separate spawning tank which will be bare bottom.

Usually spawning mops are used as the spawning media. Aquatic plants can also be used. Leaved plants, java moss are guppy grass are good examples for plants used for breeding.

The male and female or your breeding group will be spawning for next few days. The best practice is to leave them spawning for about a week after being conditioned. The trick is to remove the eggs form the parent tank as they may tend to eat fry or eggs as most rainbow fish do.

Removing Eggs

There’s 2 kinds of ways when removing eggs. Either remove them every day or leave them in the tank for a few days up to a week. Rainbowfish are daily spawners so you can continually breed a group of fish. You could literally put a mop in pull eggs the next day and just keep on doing it.

I personally prefer to try to pull eggs daily because it gives me the highest yield of eggs. Some groups are not going to eat eggs out of the mop. Then, I will leave that mop in there for a week. Afterwards I’ll pull it out and move from there.

Raising Boesemani Rainbowfish

So how do we hatch and raise fry? You definitely have to remove the eggs from the parent tank as the adults are going to eat the eggs.

Rainbows are just really like most egg scatterers and they do not care about their young. There’s 2 kind of methodologies here. You can either reuse a cycled tank or you can use trays.

So what does this mean?

Dropping the mop straight into a tank and just let it hatch is the cycle tank method. The tray method is a little different. This would be where you would pick the eggs off the mop and put them into trays. The trays will have fresh dechlorinated water in them.

The eggs are surprisingly tough despite how tiny a rainbowfish egg is. If it is a larger spawn use several trays with 30-50 eggs in each.

Feeding Boesmani Rainbowfish

When the fry hatch in 7-10 days, you need to feed first foods. Food has to be very small, we’re talking like 5 to 50 micron size like golden pearls.

Typically after a week you can use super micro foods like vinegareels and micro worms. In some cases you can use vinegareels right away. These are really great foods for the first 2 weeks.

After 2 weeks you really should move to hatching live baby brine shrimp. The fry really need that high protein high nutrition diet. You can still mix in your golden pearls, your flake eventually when they get bigger.

Crushed up flake, things like Daphne or cyclopses when they start getting to more juvenile sizes. You want to feed these fish three times a day or you could feed them more with light feedings. I like the two to three times a day mark it’s a little easier to manage. And there will be no over feeding, and this keeps your water clean with a good water chemistry.

Boesemani Rainbowfish Growth Rate

With a healthy diet, good water changes and a spacious tank, you will see quick growth in your boesemani fry. It typically takes them 5-6 months to reach the size of 1-1.5 inches. They will show nice colors at this age.

Boesemani rainbowfish juveniles grow at a rapid growth rate. They can spawn at that age as well! That’s why breeding boesemani rainbows is an easy thing for a beginner hobbyist as well.

Boesemani Rainbowfish Price

We can find boesemani rainbowfish for sale at almost any aquarium. They have a decent price compared to other rainbowfish types like Australian rainbowfish, red rainbowfish and turquoise rainbowfish.

Learn about other Rainbowfish Types

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