Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Southwestern Connecticut, USA
I'm currently keeping several Melanotaenias: turquoise, splendida, trifasciata, herbertaxelrodi, boesemani, and praecox, all of the "floridensis" races . . .
I've fallen pretty hard for the 'bows, bright colors, active swimming, clean lines - oh, and did anyone mention how _quickly_ those colors can change? The only things I can remember seeing which changes colors so fast are cephalopods. (Octopus and squids) I've seen a turquoise rainbow go from blue-green to metallic pumpkin orange and back to blue-green in less time than it took you to read this sentence.
My 'bows aren't at all fussy about food. Frozen blocks? Yum! That's cause for a feeding frenzy that'd look good on "Shark Week". Flakes? Micro-pellets? Charge 'em at the surface and take 'em like a trout! Big algae wafers? Wait directly above them, half an inch from the substrate, while the corys & plecos work 'em over - then periodically grab them and thrash 'em, picking up the smaller bits before anyone else has a chance!
They're pretty in the evening, but at their best in the mornings.
Praecox are the smallest of the ones I've got, full grown at about 6-8cm, trifasciata will grow the largest eventually, though the biggest in my tank now is a M. splendida inornata at about 5 inches or so. (Don't let the inexpensive Australian rainbows in your LFS' tank fool you into thinking these are plain silvery fish - under better conditions, they'll reward you with purple scales and orange lines between, yellow and red fins with thick black margins. Gorgeous fish on a budget!)