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Melanotaenia trifasciata - Jewel Rainbowfish, Banded RainbowfishMagyarul / Hungarian
Melanotaenia trifasciata - Jewel Rainbowfish, Banded RainbowfishMelanotaenia trifasciata - Jewel Rainbowfish, Banded RainbowfishMelanotaenia trifasciata - Jewel Rainbowfish, Banded RainbowfishMelanotaenia trifasciata - Jewel Rainbowfish, Banded RainbowfishMelanotaenia trifasciata - Jewel Rainbowfish, Banded RainbowfishMelanotaenia trifasciata - Jewel Rainbowfish, Banded Rainbowfish
  • Scientific name: Melanotaenia trifasciata
  • Synonyms: Rhombosoma trifasciata (Rendahl, 1922)
  • Common name: Jewel Rainbowfish, Banded Rainbowfish
  • Group: Rainbowfish
  • Distribution: North Australia
  • Size: 13-15 cm
  • Biotope: Found across a variety of habitats, including swamps, lakes and rivers, but most commonly seen in clearwater shady streams and tributaries with rocky bottom, usually under the floating vegetation or among submerged logs and branches.
  • Social behavior: Very peaceful, active schooling fish, but can disturb smaller or slow-moving fish with its rapid movements and relatively large size. Also skittish, so they should be kept in a small group of 6-8 species.
  • Diet: Omnivorous; In nature they feed on aquatic insects and algae, and they unfussy eaters in aquarium too, will accept everything from small live foods to flakes.
  • Breeding: Quite easy
  • Tank: Minimum 110 litres
  • Population: 6-8 fish for 200 litres
  • Decoration: Needs a tank with dense vegetation and open areas for swimming. The dense aquatic vegetation make the fish more secure, and they can hide among the plants when frightened. Water movement can be slow to moderate.
  • Temperature: 24-33 °C
  • pH: 6.5-8.0
  • Hardness: 8.0-20.0 dGH
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
Description: In nature the Banded Rainbowfish have at least 30 color varieties depending on locality, and it's very important that the different morphs are not mixed in the aquarium, as they will interbreed and debase the bloodline of the color morph. These different forms are often distinguished by the addition of the name of collection locality being added to the scientific name of the fish. Dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are normally yellow or red. A conspicuous, horizontal blue-black stripe runs from the snout, through the eye, and to the caudal fin. Banded Rainbowfish have big eyes and two dorsal fins. The two most common color forms are the Standard and the Goyder River morph. The first form has a golden coloration on bottom, olive green on top with a strong black band running horizontally through the fish to the eye, and the fins are orange and red. The second color form is from Goyder river, where the base color is golden orange with perly white scales, giving the fish an almost spotted appearance. It also has the dark horizontal band, but the fins are blood red with black outlines.

As with many other rainbowfish, adult specimens are rarely seen for sale, and it's the much drabber juvenile fish that are almost always offered in local fish stores. A well balanced diet and some patience is needed, as the fish require at least 12 months to develop the full adult coloration. These fish are great for beginners as they can tolerate many different water conditions.

Mature males are larger and their overall color pattern is more intense than females, but also have much deeper body and develop longer dorsal and anal fins. Populations from the Queensland rivers of Pascoe, Claudie and McIvor do not develop the characteristic deep body shape, they have more streamlined body.
In their natural habitat Melanotaenia trifasciata are aseasonal spawners, breeding continously at intervals throughout the year, however a peak in reproductive activity is usually during the early wet season, when there are more food in the waters. Their breeding tank should be at least 80 cm long, and contain slightly hard, alkaline water with a pH of around 7.5 and a temperature of 27-29 °C. A small air-powered filter will be enough for them. Place a few clumps of fine-leaved aquarium plants such as Java Moss to the tank. Before breeding, condition the fish with plenty of live foods, thanks to this the females will appear noticeably plumper, and males will display to each other almost constantly. Select the fattest, best-coloured pair for spawning and place them to the breeding tank. The pair will spawn for a period of several days, laying batches of eggs each day. Large females usually produce 50 golden colored eggs per day, while smaller females shed only 20-30 eggs per day, producing overall 200 and 500 eggs. The eggs are attached by adhesive threads to aquatic plants or artifical substitutes. Although the adults rarely eat the spawn, it's easier to collect the eggs, and raise the fry in a separate aquarium. Depending on temperature the eggs hatch in 7-12 days after spawning and the fry should be fed with infusoria or liquid fry food until they are large enough to eat small live foods such as brine shrimp nauplii. Sinking pellet foods are not good, as the fry usually search for food very close to the water surface.
Adrian R. Tappin - Rainbow fishes - Their care & keeping in captivity
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