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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Y'all were so good with suggestions on my bottom feeder that I think I'll just bring my rainbow dilemma here as well :)

I'm setting up a 55g that will be moderately planted with really branchy driftwood. I've always been drawn to rainbows but never had the tank for anything but the little guys (gertrudes, celebes, signifers, etc.), so this is going to be their tank. Problem is, I can't decide which type I want! I know they are active fish, so I don't want something that gets so big that they don't seem to have adequate swimming room. I've looked at dwarf neons, kamakas, emeralds, milleniums, etc. and just flat can't make up my mind! Boesemani, madagascan, and McCullochs don't really do much for me, but I pretty much like everything else I see and there is obviously not room in a 55 to keep them all ;)

So, what are your experiences? Which varieties do you like the best? Which ones did you dislike? Which would be best suited to the size and type of tank I'm setting up?
 

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my personal favorite are turquoise rainbows. I have two, they are at least 6 years old by now. I started them in a skinny and tall 30 gallon hexagon, they swam vertically but swam a lot. Now they are in a 46 gallon long and they swim horizontally and vertically and all over. They are a male/female pair and so the male flashes his nose colors all the time at her and she subtly puts him in check when she isn't in the mood to be wooed. They constantly get in the way when im trying to take pictures of plants, and they are all over me when I do a water change. mine are I would say full grown at 3-4" so not the biggest of the rainbows I would say but they were happy in any tank ive had them in.
 

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Bosemani would be my favorite and turquoise follow up in a close 2nd place. What is it about Bosemani that don't do it for you? ....dont let their appearance in a store affect your decision. I've never seen a good looking one in a store, but they color up nicely at home!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Turquoise are definitely in the running. I've seen some absolutely stunning local-bred bosemanis, there's just something about them... Kind of like discus for me - I think they're gorgeous in other peoples tanks, but not what I want for mine.
 

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Hi JustJen,

+1 for Jacklyn's recommendation for the Turquoise or Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia lacustris); the males are especially good looking when they get the iridescent line down their foreheads and 'flash' for the females.

Currently I AM raising about 40+ Melanotaenia boesemani “Aytinjo” fry which are about 1/2" long currently. They will be going in my newly set up 75 gallon.

Melanotaenia lacustris


Melanotaenia boesemani “Aytinjo”
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Roy, those are some gorgeous fish!

Substrate will either be black sand or eco (depending on whether I decide to use the sand that's already in my garage or fork over the money for eco), so dark substrate won't be an issue regardless of what direction I go in.
 

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If you can find any pygmy rainbows (Melanotaenia pygmaea) they would do great in a 55. I keep a school of 4 in my 55g with 6 madagascars, a few ottos, and my cherry shrimp culls.
I second these little guys. They stay small, probably one of the smallest of the Melanotaneia species. You could do quite a large group in a 55g
I also like M.Nigrans, M.herbertaxelrodi. M.Kamaka, M. lacustrus, and m.bosmani.

really, its hard to go wrong with a species of bow. If you want the most bang for your buck, find a reputable breeder with a known genetic line. the LFS ones usually are more bland than the pure breed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I really like the pygmy guys! And some of the others you listed!

Now, does anyone have a good source for some of this stuff? My local store has had a few of these in in the past (and nice ones) but it's hit and miss and I know from when my friend had kamakas ordered in that it can take them months sometimes for their sources to have some of the special stuff available. Same with AB - I've seen some, but it's hit and miss. Would much prefer to find a reputable breeder to buy from.
 

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I second these little guys. They stay small, probably one of the smallest of the Melanotaneia species. You could do quite a large group in a 55g
I also like M.Nigrans, M.herbertaxelrodi. M.Kamaka, M. lacustrus, and m.bosmani.

really, its hard to go wrong with a species of bow. If you want the most bang for your buck, find a reputable breeder with a known genetic line. the LFS ones usually are more bland than the pure breed.
One comment on that -- i keep an eye on the Boesemani that come into Petsmart in my area. 9 times out of 10 nothing catches my eye and I pass, but everyone once in awhile I get a great fish for $9. You can find them at the chain stores, just infrequently and you have to be patient (and then you also need to quarantine them).
 

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I really like the pygmy guys! And some of the others you listed!

Now, does anyone have a good source for some of this stuff? My local store has had a few of these in in the past (and nice ones) but it's hit and miss and I know from when my friend had kamakas ordered in that it can take them months sometimes for their sources to have some of the special stuff available. Same with AB - I've seen some, but it's hit and miss. Would much prefer to find a reputable breeder to buy from.
See if any of your LFS order from SunPet. They have had pygyms (and a few other harder-to-find bows) on their stocking lists recently.
 

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I really like the pygmy guys! And some of the others you listed!

Now, does anyone have a good source for some of this stuff? My local store has had a few of these in in the past (and nice ones) but it's hit and miss and I know from when my friend had kamakas ordered in that it can take them months sometimes for their sources to have some of the special stuff available. Same with AB - I've seen some, but it's hit and miss. Would much prefer to find a reputable breeder to buy from.
go to www.rainbow-fish.org. All of the big name bow people hang out there, they sell egg mops and juvies In the Eggchange. You can get some good quality ones there for sure.
 

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One comment on that -- i keep an eye on the Boesemani that come into Petsmart in my area. 9 times out of 10 nothing catches my eye and I pass, but everyone once in awhile I get a great fish for $9. You can find them at the chain stores, just infrequently and you have to be patient (and then you also need to quarantine them).
The only problems I have with them is that there is a very good chance they are a hybrid of some sort. The Florida farms are not all to careful with species breeding with other species. Which is why you end up with more dull fish. but hey, if they look good grab them. My Herbertaxelrodi are a LFS fish, its a damn hard specie to get ahold of a good genetic line.
 

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If you're near the DFW area I have 2 turquoise rainbows that need to be re-homed. You can have them for free if you like. I inherited them from someone who took their tank down. I put them in my 36 gallon and I think it's a bit too small for them. Plus I'm going to be moving soon and need to consolidate some of my tanks in the process. PM me if you're interested.
 

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Definetly turqiose. When they are young they don't have as much color but ad they get older, dang! They are some beautiful fish. Make sure they have lots of swimming spaces and good filtration. Mine color you very well after a big water change. Also try keep them in groups of 4 or more.
 
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