Melanotaenia boesemani

Boeseman’s Rainbowfish

09/04/2021 Off By Andy Ptyushkin

Boeseman’s Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia boesemani), also known as the Boesemani Rainbowfish, is a species fish family Melanotaeniidae.

Melanotaenia boesemani is endemic Ayamaru Lakes and their tributaries in a mountainous region of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, West Papua, Indonesia.

The specific name-boesemani, is in honour of Dutch ichthyologist Marinus Boeseman, the collector of the type specimens.

Melanotaenia boesemani is also available in the aquarium hobby, where it is prized for its excellent colours and peaceful demeanor. The colour pattern is completely different from most other forms of rainbowfish, as it has a half orange-red rear and a bluish-grey or purple front which in some specimens is almost defined perfectly. Melanotaenia boesemani will often grow to lengths that exceed 10 cm (3.9 in) if given the right food and water conditions. Like most rainbowfish they are capable of adjusting their colour intensity. Their colour intensity may be a sign of mood or health. Generally more intense is seen during night time. They are kept best in groups due to their community and friendly nature and can be easily kept with many different species of fish, including some tetras. They are a relatively hardy fish that prefer weakly alkaline pH conditions. Good tankmates include other rainbowfish, barbs, tetras, corydoras, snails, gouramis, danios, discus, guppies, swordtails, and loaches. However, smaller freshwater shrimps in the genera Caridina and Neocaridina may be viewed as prey. Ghost shrimp, vampire shrimp, Amano shrimp and bamboo shrimp can live with them. Always adult shrimps are added first then baby rainbowfish. Care must be taken to give hiding places for shrimp and open spaces for rainbowfish.

Lake Ayamaru

Lake Ayamaru

This species, like most rainbows, looks most at home in a planted aquarium. Provide areas of dense vegetation, along with some open areas for swimming. Other decor is not particularly important. The choice of plants should reflect the slightly hard, alkaline conditions preferred by the fish. Filtration and tank maintenance should be very efficient to encourage the male fish to develop their spectacular colouration.

Very peaceful, but can disturb smaller or slow-moving fish with its rapid movements and relatively large size. Good tankmates include other similarly-sized rainbowfish, characins, danios, barbs, and catfish such as Corydoras. It can also be kept with many species Rift Lake cichlid, due to its water requirements.

Boesman’s Rainbowfish can be quite skittish and do far better when kept in a shoal of at least 6-8, preferably more. The males will also be encouraged to display their best colours in the company of conspecifics. Obviously a suitably-sized aquarium would be required for a very large group.