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September 08, 2011

Welcome back to the second half of our Rainbowfish edition newsletter!

Last week I covered the main family of Rainbowfish which included Melanotaenia boesemani “Boeseman’s Rainbowfish”, Glossolepis pseudoincisus “Millennium Rainbowfish”, Melanotaenia lacustris “Turquoise Rainbowfish, and Melanotaenia trifasciata “Goyder River Rainbowfish”. This week’s adventure continues through Australia, New Guinea, and the Indonesian islands with the sub-family Blue Eye Rainbowfish. These brightly colored fish are another great addition to smaller aquaria. They do not harm plants, are peaceful, and are full of energy that will make you smile every time you look into your tank. Like always, let’s begin by setting up an aquarium based around these terrific animals!

One of my favorite aquarium setups has always been longer tanks. One of the best to set up has got to be the Aqueon 33 gallon long aquarium. Measuring 48x13x12 inches, this tank is beautiful when done right! Laying down some ADA Amazonia substrate and mixing it with basic aquarium sand I would recommend placing Amano branch wood throughout to replicate fallen down sticks along a river side. You should add a few caves under all the wood for our last fish to feel at home. After this you can place various Cryptocoryne species among all the corners and background to draw the fish to the center of the tank. After adding an Aquaticlife T-5 HO dual lamp fixture and getting the CO2 system bubbling a layer of Baby Tears (Micranthemum umbrosum) can be placed among the bottom. For the very back of the aquarium I would recommend planting Rotala wallichii to gain some nice reds. Planting Christmas Tree Moss (Vesicularia montagnei) all along the branch wood will provide more cover and spawning sites for the Blue Eyes. I would filter this aquarium with the Eheim Classic 2215 to give a little extra filtration. All of these plants and products are available through our store so feel free to inquiry about them. The tank has been running for a month and the bacteria has taken hold. All the tests have come out perfect-time to add some fish!

First described in 1911 by Weber, the Pseudomugil gertrudae “Spotted Blue Eye Rainbowfish” was found at the Aru Islands of eastern Indonesia by the Dutch. Reaching just about 1.5”, the body is colored white and has an intricate pattern of narrow dark scale outlines. The fins are yellow and covered with small black dots. Males have elongated dorsal and pelvic fins that they will display to each other in hopes of attracting ripening females for courtship. The natural habitats can be anywhere from densely shaded rainforest streams to lily lagoons. P. gerturdae can tolerate a pH value of anywhere from 5.2 to 6.7 in the natural environment. In a home aquarium I would recommend a neutral pH value. Feeding should be small foods like daphnia or baby brine shrimp well supplementing with high quality flake to ensure overall health. A small group of these would be a great first addition to the aquarium!

Pseudomugil gertrudae

One of the most popular Blue Eye Rainbowfish was collected in 1953 by Van Deusen near a village in Pumani in Papua New Guinea. Pseudomugil furcata “Forktail Blue Eye Rainbowfish” would then take another three decades before being found again in Safia. P. furcatus does have a max size of 2.4”, but normally does not obtain this size in a tank. Most fishes will reach just under 2” in a home aquarium. Males of the species display bright yellow edges on all of the fins with a clear to white body well females are typically less colored than males. Like the previously mentioned Pseudomugil, feeding is just the same. However, these fish prefer more alkaline waters and the pH should not fall below 7. One more group for the 33 long to brighten it all up!

Pseudomugil furcata

Though these are not part of the Blue Eye Family, but rather the Rainbowfish family, its small sized makes for a perfect addition to the biotope. Discovered in an irrigation ditch in Western New Guinea, Iriatherina werneri “Threadfin Rainbowfish” was described by Meinken in 1974 and then was entered into the European trade. Back then only males were offered in order to keep the value of the fish up. Today both males and females are available in the hobby as Asian and European fish farms have made the species regular available. The Threadfin Rainbowfish grows to around 1.5” and the body is brown with silver reflections. Populations that are found in New Guinea appear somewhat darker than those of the Australian fishes. Males grow thread-like filaments where the fish gets its common name. The dorsal and the caudal fins on the boys are red to yellow well females typically will have no color with shorter fins. Feeding and keeping this fish is the same as above. Gathering a few pairs of these will certainly make for some beautiful colors in the tank!

Iriatherina werneri

Living under all of these beautiful Blue Eyes and Rainbowfish is Tateurndina ocellicauda “Peacock Gudgeon”. Originally from Papua New Guinea these fish can be found living in rainforests where they form loose shoals. Males can reach up to 3” in length well females stay just slightly smaller. There isn’t much in sexual dimorphism other than males will grow a “hump” on their forehead. T. ocellicauda shows striking coloration with its blue body that has red lines running vertically and the fins have red and orange fringes. The face is covered in red lines and dots and there is an eye spot just in front of the caudal fin. These fishes are generally peaceful among themselves. However take care during spawning as males can become territorial against other males. They will accept a variety of foods, but feeding live or frozen foods will really bring out their color. Try a group of these for that 33 long and you won’t be disappointed!

Tateurnida ocellicauda

That concludes both parts of the Rainbowfish and Blue Eyes for this week’s newsletter. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. If any of you would like to learn or hear about certain fish please don’t hesitate to ask! As always be sure to check out the products link for the current master list. I would also like all of you to know that next Wednesday, the 14th, The Wet Spot will not be shipping fish. I ask that all of you can please order around this day. Thanks again and until next week’s adventure!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager