What are your favorite dwarf / small rainbowfish? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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What are your favorite dwarf / small rainbowfish?

Hey everyone,

I am looking to add rainbowfish to my 55g planted community tank. I've never kept rainbows before and am excited to get into them! I went to the fish store the other day and saw some cool young red paskai's that I am thinking of getting. I also really like the look of some bigger growing rainbowfish, especially the Trifasciata, Parkinsoni, and of course Boesemani. I feel like putting the larger growing species in a 55g isn't the most irresponsible things as getting rid of large, beautiful rainbows is probably pretty easy when the time comes. Here are my questions:

1. What are your favorite small or slow-growing rainbowfish?
2. When stocking dwarf rainbowfish like the pseudomugil species, is it okay to get say three of each or do they need to be in a larger group?
3. Is it worth it to get large growing rainbowfish knowing I'll have to get rid of them eventually? Mainly interested in their growth rate as well as if they color before reaching large sizes.
4. I currently have 3 small angelfish, a pair of 1.5" borelli, a pair of samurai gourami, and plan to get venezuelan cory's from a breeder. Will the dwarf rainbowfish or larger growing rainbowfish run into any problems with these fish?

Thanks
-Grimey
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 08:30 AM
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Praecox (neon rainbows) are one of best small normal rainbows, only get 3” max.



Celebes rainbows are pretty awesome as well, about2.5”.



Both really look their best in dimmer light or under floating plants where blue glitter on them really pops.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 09:50 AM
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I think most of the dwarf rainbows prefer harder water than South American fish. My experience with all the ones I tried was that they weren't particularly hardy. Including the two pictured above. Dwarf neon rainbows in particular seem to be weak stock that are very susceptible to disease.

But maybe I just had bad luck.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 02:58 PM
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In a 55G, you can get Boesemani or other Bows no problem.

Most Bows top out at about 4 to 5 inches. More important than the total gallons is the 48" length of the tank, which provides decent swimming room.

They grow slowly, and can take years to get to fully mature size (varies a bit by species).

Praecox are easily the weakest strain that is commonly sold. That being said, they are a beautiful fish with a great shimmer in the right light. Just don't be surprised if they suddenly stop eating and waste away. Very common with Praecox.

Now as to mixing them with Cichlids and Gourami, I wouldn't recommend it myself. Rainbows generally do better with other Rainbows, and you never know what kind of aggression might creep up with the other species.

Personally I would choose one or the other, but to each his own.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 04:40 PM
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I'm a fan of the threadfin rainbowfish (Iriatherina werneri) as small ones go. The males are very showy with one another and they've been perfectly peaceful in my own tanks. I don't think they would be great angelfish or gourami tank mates though. Something beefier might be a better choice.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 06:43 PM
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I only just recently picked up some Gary Lange stock of the neon rainbows (6). Was really an impulse buy at the aquarium society meeting.
I wouldn't normally buy the Praeox due to issues so many have with them, but because these are good genetic stock I couldn't pass them up.

These are my first type of the genus--- behaviors are very different from other fish I have had. They started out very shy and hiding, skittish first week. But, now, will greet me at the front of the tank when see me approach and much calmer overall. Its very endearing. Their colors are beautiful- even now at this early stage. They cluster together very closely as a rule ( again, at this stage as juveniles. Couldn't attest to what they do at later stages) and go out together to explore areas of the aquarium. [They are in a 30 gallon with just a pair of bristlenose plecos.] It is not quite :schoaling behavoir: but, "encouragement in numbers" -haha. They are funny.
Not sure if the sexing between them is considered impossible at this stage ( they are very young); but, there does appear to be some differences within the group I have. I need to do some more reading to identify if what I am seeing is what my gut is telling me is male and female in the group.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I only just recently picked up some Gary Lange stock of the neon rainbows (6). Was really an impulse buy at the aquarium society meeting.
I wouldn't normally buy the Praeox due to issues so many have with them, but because these are good genetic stock I couldn't pass them up.

These are my first type of the genus--- behaviors are very different from other fish I have had. They started out very shy and hiding, skittish first week. But, now, will greet me at the front of the tank when see me approach and much calmer overall. Its very endearing. Their colors are beautiful- even now at this early stage. They cluster together very closely as a rule ( again, at this stage as juveniles. Couldn't attest to what they do at later stages) and go out together to explore areas of the aquarium. [They are in a 30 gallon with just a pair of bristlenose plecos.] It is not quite :schoaling behavoir: but, "encouragement in numbers" -haha. They are funny.
Not sure if the sexing between them is considered impossible at this stage ( they are very young); but, there does appear to be some differences within the group I have. I need to do some more reading to identify if what I am seeing is what my gut is telling me is male and female in the group.
That sounds awesome!! I love fish with any behavior that isn't begging at the tank (although my angelfish get a pass haha). I am really tempted to get some Praecox as I love the look and think a small group would be awesome. I also don't wanna deal with that group dieing though and have my regards with the warnings I am getting. Still torn... tomorrows trips to the LFS is gonna be a toughie.

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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
In a 55G, you can get Boesemani or other Bows no problem.

Most Bows top out at about 4 to 5 inches. More important than the total gallons is the 48" length of the tank, which provides decent swimming room.

They grow slowly, and can take years to get to fully mature size (varies a bit by species).

Praecox are easily the weakest strain that is commonly sold. That being said, they are a beautiful fish with a great shimmer in the right light. Just don't be surprised if they suddenly stop eating and waste away. Very common with Praecox.

Now as to mixing them with Cichlids and Gourami, I wouldn't recommend it myself. Rainbows generally do better with other Rainbows, and you never know what kind of aggression might creep up with the other species.

Personally I would choose one or the other, but to each his own.
Yeah I definitely understand the cichlid / rainbow friction that might occur. I feel like most of the aggression would come from the angels... although they are still quite young I'd maybe be able to enjoy one or two years of peace between the two before I have to start thinking of making some arrangements

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I'm a fan of the threadfin rainbowfish (Iriatherina werneri) as small ones go. The males are very showy with one another and they've been perfectly peaceful in my own tanks. I don't think they would be great angelfish or gourami tank mates though. Something beefier might be a better choice.
Screw the rainbows I want the fish in your avatar!!! Haha jk but a very cool fish you have there. And yes the angels definitely will get more aggressive at some point. I think I have a year before that happens and I bought them with the intention of keeping smaller angels in the tank and giving them away to a bigger home once the time comes. I do have my regards though as angels may be hard to get rid of? They are nice yellow koi's with platinum on them though so I dont think id have an issue
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 08:37 AM
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M. Parva are also nice fish thatís about same size as Boesemani at less than 4Ē.

https://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/auct...ows&1566414066
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I only just recently picked up some Gary Lange stock of the neon rainbows (6). Was really an impulse buy at the aquarium society meeting.
I wouldn't normally buy the Praeox due to issues so many have with them, but because these are good genetic stock I couldn't pass them up.
.
Great find on the Gary Lange rainbows. Was this at the Sac Society meeting? Good thing I wasn't there! Do you think the seller has any more for sale?

I have Praeox rainbows, I've had them for almost 18 months. Puchased them at the LFS, Aquaworkz. Out of nine, I've lost two because they got stuck under a lifted portion of monte carlo and couldn't get out. Otherwise they've been good health wise, no problems, so far I've been lucky as from what I've read the amount of commercial breeding that's occurred has not been good for the species. I really like them, their blue color really shows up in a green aquarium.
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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 08-16-2019 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Grammar
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 04:00 PM
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Screw the rainbows I want the fish in your avatar!!! Haha jk but a very cool fish you have there. And yes the angels definitely will get more aggressive at some point. I think I have a year before that happens and I bought them with the intention of keeping smaller angels in the tank and giving them away to a bigger home once the time comes. I do have my regards though as angels may be hard to get rid of? They are nice yellow koi's with platinum on them though so I dont think id have an issue

Everything varies by location, but adult angels were always in demand when I had a shop. I doubt you would have a hard time rehoming them.

The fish in my avatar is a long finned white cloud. They are just like regular ones, just bred for more color and longer fins. I've had this group for over ten years. Breeding a bunch outdoors now, would love to sell them here but shipping isn't something I'd look forward to.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 05:07 PM
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Great find on the Gary Lange rainbows. Was this at the Sac Society meeting? Good thing I wasn't there! Do you think the seller has any more for sale?

I have Praeox rainbows, I've had them for almost 18 months. Puchased them at the LFS, Aquaworkz. Out of nine, I've lost two because they got stuck under a lifted portion of monte carlo and couldn't get out. Otherwise they've been good health wise, no problems, so far I've been lucky as from what I've read the amount of commercial breeding that's occurred has not been good for the species. I really like them, their blue color really shows up in a green aquarium.
Yes, this was at Sac. society meeting.
Not sure if he has any right away, but he and his wife will. They have a huge breeding operation out of their home.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 05:31 PM
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Yes, this was at Sac. society meeting.
Not sure if he has any right away, but he and his wife will. They have a huge breeding operation out of their home.
I guess I better start attending these meetings!!!

I'm assuming this breeder is someone in Sacramento, and not Gary Lange, correct?


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 05:39 PM
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I guess I better start attending these meetings!!!

I'm assuming this breeder is someone in Sacramento, and not Gary Lange, correct?
You should start attending.

Im thinking of selling some things myself at the auction to get my own breeding program started. Way scaled back from what they do!

Possibly will sell my group of geophagus neambi, which are a rare geophagus that are almost impossible to source in the United States. I paid 150.00 for 3 when purchased- would be nice to sell at auction and bump that sale price up from what I paid.



The breeders for the Rainbows are Sacramento breeders ( long-time members of SAS) who bought these fish directly from Gary Lange when he came through Sacramento and hosted a talk at the SAC Aquarium Society.
Edit: If I am remembering right, I paid about 25.00 for 6 fish.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 11:34 PM
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Hi Grimey,

I have kept three (3) different species of rainbowfish over the last 5 years, all from Gary Lange's stock.

I raised 50 Melanotaenia boesemani 'Lake Aytinjo' from Gary Lange eggs.


Then I kept some 'blue-eye' rainbows, Pseudomugil gertrudae "Aru II"


Last spring I acquired my favorite species to date, Melanotaenia Praecox "Pagai". They are smaller than M. boesemani and larger than P. gertrudae. The M. praecox "school" much better than the other two species and once acclimated add a great visual effect to a tank. I have about 25 of them in my 75 gallon.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 12:05 AM
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I kept a small school of Pseudomugil luminatus I think that is the same as red pasakis (spell?) They were in a community tank. The males were stunning!. If I ever get more time, I would like to keep them in a species tank to try and breed them

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