Care Guide for Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish – Housing, Food, and Breeding
The neon dwarf rainbowfish is a beautiful, almond-shaped fish with an iridescent blue sheen that flashes under the light. This tough species is active and can be paired with many calm and semi-aggressive tank buddies. Learn how to care this rainbowfish, which is beginner-friendly.
What is Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, and how do they differ from other rainbowfish?
Melanotaenia pracyx is a rainbowfish that measures 3 inches (8cm) in length. It can be found in rivers and tributaries of New Guinea’s rainforest. The males have a shiny blue body with red-orange fins, whereas the females have a silvery body with yellow fins. These fish are one of the smallest Melanotaenia varieties and can be bought for around $5-$7.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Neon Rainbowfish
Since they are a fast-swimming fish, we recommend keeping them in a longer aquarium, such as a 20-gallon long or 29-gallon tank at the minimum. Dwarf neon Rainbows are a tropical species that can tolerate temperatures between 74 and 80 degrees F (23 to 27 degrees C). Although they can handle a wide range in pH and GH, they prefer harder water. Since our tap water is relatively soft, we like to use crushed coral to buffer the pH and mineral supplements (e.g., Wonder Shell and Seachem Equilibrium) to increase the GH.
Neon rainbows look amazing in planted aquariums, and taller plants can help block line of sight when the males are tussling with each other. Just make sure the foliage doesn’t get too overgrown because rainbowfish like to have open areas to freely swim.
How many praecox Rainbows should you keep together? Rainbowfish are schooling fish that need at least six of the same species. For males to be able to communicate with each other, they need at least one female. Plus, males display their best colors and get a shiny stripe on their heads when they show off in front of females.
What fish can live with dwarf rainbowfish? With their deeper-bodied profile and quick speed, they can go well with many similar-sized tank mates, ranging from peaceful to semi-aggressive temperaments. We have kept them with angelfish, pearl gouramis, tetras, corydoras catfish, and smaller cichlids. While they will make a meal out of your cherry shrimp, they seem to leave larger amano shrimp and filter shrimp alone.
What are Praecox Rainbowfish’s Favorite Foods?
These omnivorous fish can be very easy to keep and will happily eat any food you put in the tank. We like to give them smaller foods that float or slowly sink – such as frozen cyclops, brine shrimp, and nano pellets. They also love bloodworms and flakes as well as live fish foods. The key is to provide a variety of foods to ensure they receive a well-rounded diet with all the necessary nutrients.
How to Breed Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Rainbowfish are egg scatterers that do not show any kind of parental care. Rainbowfish can spawn daily if they are fed properly and have fish of both genders. But, the tiny 1mm eggs can produce difficult-to-reach fry. To allow the adult to lay their eggs, we like to place a floating mop or spawning mop inside the tank. Fill a catch cup with water from your breeding tank, and place it inside the tank. To keep the water oxygenated, place the spawning mop with eggs in the catch cup. Breeders may add a few drops or even a few cherryshrimp to the eggs to stop fungal growth.
The eggs should hatch within one week. The fry need to be fed very little food, like vinegar eels, microworms and infusoria. To maintain high water quality, frequent water changes are essential. The rainbowfish fry should reach the size of a baby brine shrimp after two weeks. This is the best food for healthy and rapid growth.
The neon dwarf rainbow is a favorite because of its energetic behavior, iridescent scales and small size. If your local fish store doesn’t carry them, check out our list of preferred vendors to buy them online. However, if you’re looking for an even more petite species, read our care guide on the forktail blue-eye rainbowfish.