Dwarf Neon Rainbow Fish  - Melanotaenia praecox
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Dwarf Neon Rainbow Fish - Melanotaenia praecox

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Melanotaenia praecox

Dwarf Neon Rainbow Fish


Native Location: New Guinea, Indonesia

Climate: Tropical

Maximum Size: 3.2″ (8cm) in the home aqaurium

Temperament: Friendly and suitable for community aquarium

Diet: Omnivorous, readily accept most foods

Breeding: Fairly easy

Temperature Range: 73-82°F (23-28°C)

Preferred pH Range: 6.8-7.5

Minimum Aquarium Size: 60cm x 30cm x 30cm / 50 litres +

Potential Tankmates: Can be kept in groups of the same species. Small peaceful fish such as Corydoras, small tetras and most Apistogramma

Care Level: Easy


The Dwarf Rainbow Fish are simply gorgeous. When they are swimming in a group and the light catches them, you can really see why they are called ‘Neon’ Dwarf Rainbows. They are a very active fish that swim almost non-stop in the upper central area of the aquarium. A great way to inject colour and energy into your fish tank for sure.

Found primarily in the faster flowing river tributaries amongst the aquatic vegetation and fallen branches. To provide the perfect aquarium setting, it is strongly advised to add lots of plants. A variety of tall plants such as Amazon Swords along with Vallisneria would provide a nice contrast between the bright blue rainbow fish and the light green leaves. Additionally bog wood, branches and other natural decorative materials can be added to create a nice aquascaped aquarium.

When it comes to feeding your Dwarf rainbow Fish, its very simple. They eat pretty much everything. We strongly advise a mixed diet of live, dry and frozen food. Offering live foods like blood worm, daphnia plus quality dried food with krill and other natural colour enhancing ingredients to get the brightest, most active fish to enjoy.

If you wish to breed these fish, you should first set up a separate aquarium. Like other Rainbow fish, They are egg scatterers and as such, the breeding tank should have aquatic plants with long leaves. To insure you have a breeding pair, first observe the whole group of fish in their main aquarium. Begin to raise the temperate slowly to the higher side of the range and increase the foods with more live foods if possible. To select the male, look for the brightest fish, to select the female, pick the one with the roundest stomach.

Once in their own breeding aquarium, they will spawn for several weeks. During this time, regularly check the leaves of the plants for eggs, removing them as you find them and placing them into another aquarium to allow them to hatch. The fry will need a suitable live food to begin with which can often be a problem. The ideal food is infusoria then brine shrimp and so on.

All in all, the Dwarf rainbow Fish are a great shoaling fish for any peaceful community aquarium. If you have not tried them before, we highly recommend giving them a go.

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