Melanotaenia fluviatilis, Castelnau, 1878
Origin:Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, in the Murray-Darling systems.
Etymology: fluviatilis(L.); river
Synonyms: Aristeus fluviatilis, Melanotaenia splendida fluviatilis, Nematocentris fluviatilis.
First European import: Germany, 1927.
Description: See pictures.
Care: A group of these fish can be kept in larger tanks of 1 meter. The water should be soft to medium hard with a neutral or slightly alkaline pH, well filtered, with lots of oxygen. Because of this it's better to keep the temperature in the lower regions, around 22-23 degrees. Densely planted sides and back of the tank are recommended, as well as a dark soil and some floating plants. In such a setup fully grown fish will become a beautiful display of color.
Feeding: Omnivorous, live , frozen and flake food.
Size: Up to 10 cm.
Breeding: Easy. The fish will spawn in the community tank, but for a succesfull spawn it's better to add a group to a breeding tank. Raising the temperature to 25 degrees in combination with frequent small waterchanges will induce spawning. Some sunlight can also be beneficial. Plants like Cabomba are used to deposit the eggs. Spawning usually occurs in the morning, up to 200 eggs are scattered among the plants by each female. The eggs hang by a thread, and hatch in approximately a week at 25 degrees. It's best to reduce the amount of light, either no light or a thick layer of floating plants, or else the eggs will not hatch.
Sexual dimorphism: Males have a poibty dorsal and anal fin, and are more colorful.(red lines on the caudal base)
Prices: 7-10€ a pair.
Picture references:All pictures E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)
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