Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish

Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish Melanotaenia praecox

Type of Animal:

Vegetated areas & areas w/ submerged roots/logs in swiftly flowing clear soft waters w/ temps of 72-82 F & pH of 6.5-7.5 (slightly acidic to slightly basic): streams, tributaries off main rivers, swamps/marshes surrounding tributaries/main rivers, rivers

Mamberamo River basin of West Papua

Bright blue iridescent bodies & colorful fins, males brighter w/ deeper bodies, males have red fins, females have orange-yellow fins

Small shrimp, shrimp fry, brine shrimp, worms, plant matter, small rainbowfish fry (including own species), insects, insect larvae, Daphnia, fish flakes, fish pellets, algae, fish eggs

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums, zoos, & aquaculture. Captive breeding reducing demand for wild-caught fish. Restrictions on trade of wild-caught fish.

Schools of 6-30 w/ more females than males

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: School

7-10 days 

Life Span:
3-5 years

Body Length:
Male: 2.5 in
Female: 2 in

Tail Width:
Male: 0.75 in
Female: 0.7 in

Also called Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish, Dwarf Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon Praecox Rainbowfish, Turquoise Rainbowfish, Peacock Rainbowfish, & Diamond Rainbowfish.
Color intensity can be sign of mood/health.
Like other rainbowfish, they’re very active swimmers.
Dorsal/ventral fins lend stability in swimming while tail/caudal fin helps it propel through water. Pectoral fins for locomotion & side to side movement.
Spawning lasts a few days w/ female laying new fertilized eggs each day.
Females scatter hundreds of eggs on vegetation.
Males often show better coloration in presence of females/other males & male competition often results in better breeding.
Fry spend much of their time very close to surface.
Best coloration often seen at sunrise.
After female produces eggs, male displays & directs female to spawning site.
Sometimes hybridize w/ related species in captivity.

Fun Fact(s):
These fish breed easily in captivity but raising fry can often be quite difficult.
These fish secrete mucus through skin providing protection against infection/parasites.
When spooked/startled, they will jump.
One of the most popular rainbowfish species in home aquariums. They 1st became popular in aquarium trade in 1990s.

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