Care Guide for Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish – Housing, Food, and Breeding
The neon dwarf rainbowfish, a beautiful fish of almond shape with a dazzling blue sheen that flashes in the light, is incredibly rare. This tough species is active and can be paired with many calm and semi-aggressive tank buddies. This beginner-friendly rainbowfish is easy to care for.
What are Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish and How Do They Work?
Melanotaenia pracyx is a rainbowfish that measures 3 inches (8cm) in length. It can be found in rivers and tributaries of New Guinea’s rainforest. The males have a shiny blue body with red-orange fins, whereas the females have a silvery body with yellow fins. They are a small Melanotaenia species and relatively affordable for rainbowfish. You can buy them for $5-$7.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Neon Rainbowfish
Since they are a fast-swimming fish, we recommend keeping them in a longer aquarium, such as a 20-gallon long or 29-gallon tank at the minimum. Dwarf neon rainbows are native to tropical areas and can be kept at 74-80degF (23-25degC). Although they can handle a wide range in pH and GH, they prefer harder water. Our tap water is quite soft so we use crushed coral to buffer pH and add mineral supplements (e.g. Wonder Shell or Seachem Equilibrium). This will increase the GH.
Neon rainbows look amazing in planted aquariums, and taller plants can help block line of sight when the males are tussling with each other. Just make sure the foliage doesn’t get too overgrown because rainbowfish like to have open areas to freely swim.
How many praecox Rainbows should you keep together? Rainbowfish are schooling fish that need at least six of the same species. While males are more brightly colorful than females, make sure to keep at least 1-2 females for every male to minimize their squabbling. Plus, males display their best colors and get a shiny stripe on their heads when they show off in front of females.
How can dwarf rainbowfish live with other fish? Their deeper bodies and fast speed make them a good choice for many tank mates of similar size. They can be peaceful or aggressive, depending on their temperament. They have been kept with angelfish and pearl gouramis as well as tetras and corydoras catfish. They will eat your cherry shrimp but they tend to leave the larger amano shrimps and filter shrimp alone.
What do Praecox Rainbowfish Eat?
These fish are easy to care for and will eat anything that is put in their tank. We prefer to feed them small foods that can float or sink, such as brine shrimps, frozen cyclops and nano pellets. They love bloodworms, flakes and fish food. The key is to provide a variety of foods to ensure they receive a well-rounded diet with all the necessary nutrients.
How to Breed Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Rainbowfish are egg scatterers and do not require any parental care. Rainbowfish can spawn daily if they are fed properly and have fish of both genders. But, the tiny 1mm eggs can produce difficult-to-reach fry. A floating spawning mop is placed in the tank. This allows the adults to lay eggs in the yarn strands. After a few days, fill a catch cup with water from the breeding tank and hang it on the inside of the tank in order to keep the water warm. Place the spawning mop full of eggs inside the catch cup and add an air stone to keep the water well-oxygenated. Breeders may add a few drops or even a few cherryshrimp to the eggs to stop fungal growth.
The eggs should hatch in about a week, and the fry must be fed 3-5 times a day with very miniscule foods – like infusoria, vinegar eels, microworms, and powdered fry food. Frequent water changes are also necessary to keep the water quality high. After two weeks, the rainbowfish fry should be large enough to eat live baby brine shrimp, which is the best food to ensure healthy and fast growth of the babies.
We love the neon dwarf rainbow for its iridescent scales, energetic behavior, and compact size as one of the smallest Melanotaenia rainbowfish. Check out our list to find the best online vendors if your local fish market doesn’t stock them. If you are looking for a smaller species, check out our care guide for the forktail-blue-eye rainbowfish.