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Sepik Rainbowfish (Glossolepis multisquamatus)

Photo of: Sepik Rainbowfish (Glossolepis multisquamatus)
 

Scientific Name(s): Glossolepis multisquamatus

 

Common Name(s): Sepik Rainbowfish

 

Family: Melanotaeniidae

 

Species Type: Rainbowfishes

 

Maximum Size: 7 inches

 

Life Span: 10 years

 

Natural Habitat: New Guinea River (Sepik River)

 

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

 

Tank Region: Middle to top of tank

 

Possible Tank Mates: Community fish that do not resemble the sepik rainbowfish in coloration.

 

Description: As a river fish the Sepik rainbow appreciates a little current and high oxygenation. A well decorated and planted aquarium with open swimming areas is preferred. Has no real need for shelter however and is a truly spectacular display fish. Water quality must be of at least average standard though this is by no means the most sensitive rainbowfish as regards water quality. As with most rainbowfish this species is vulnerable to mycobacterium infections, and good quarantine must be observed, particularly when aquiring wild specimens. Adult specimens are fast moving, and constantly swimming fish requiring an aquarium of at least four feet in width. There is a certain amount of controversy surrounding the variability of this species, so much so that it has been suggested that a reclassification of the species might be necessary. The author has provided a photographic example of the primary candidate for archetypal identification, although a slighter bodied, more silver variant with reticulation patterns on the fins is favored by some. This is a difficult fish to positively identify, even among rainbowfish aficionados.

History about the Sepik Rainbowfish


In 1979, while collecting in the Sepik River, Gerry Allen collected a number of live rainbowfishes and brought them back to Australia, where they were subsequently bred and distributed in the hobby. He later identified them as Glossolepis multisquamatus. Unfortunately, due to the limited number of wild specimens initially collected the quality of existing hobby stocks has deteriorated considerably, and most specimens available in the hobby no longer look like the original fish (particularly Australian stock). In 1992, Heiko Bleher collected a number of Glossolepis specimens from the Mamberamo River area in West Papua. It is unclear whether these specimens represent an undescribed species or perhaps just a colour variation of Glossolepis multisquamatus. The interesting thing is that they may be the real Glossolepis multisquamatus and that the Sepik fish previously distributed in the hobby may in fact be a new species. We will have to wait some time before someone in the scientific arena has a good look at these fish before we will know for sure. Therefore, it is advisable not to interbreed these two varieties. The Mamberamo fish is currently being bred and distributed in Australia under the common name of "Red-eyed Tiger Rainbowfish". In Europe, it is generally known as Glossolepis sp. (Mamberamo).

 

Temperature Range: 76°F - 86°F

     
60°F
65°F
70°F
75°F
80°F
85°F
90°F

 

pH Range: 7 - 8

     
pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0

 

Hardness Range: 10° - 20°

     
10°
20°
30°
40°

 

Breeding Information: Easy to breed thanks to its promiscuous nature, at least two males and a three or more females are ideal for breeding. A stable shoal will give the best results as a strict social heirachy is enforced. Only dominant animals will have the opportunity to mate. Males will spar and display while females watch in the mornings. Females will lead males to planted areas and a "shimmy" between the two sexes will result in egg fertilisation over greenery. Egg hatching times are variable from a few days to over a week. Eggs and fry are usually removed to prevent the adults from predating on them in captivity. Young can be raised on all the usual tiny foods, liquifry and decapsulated brineshrimp cysts. Breeding may take place throughout the year. Sexual maturity can be reached in around 4 months.

 

Sexing Information: Males tend to be more colorful than females. Females tend to have a silver body with slight coloration, while males are highly variable in colors including red, yellow, orange, green, silver and black. Both sexes have a dark indistict stripe down the lateral midbody, although females are even less distinct. Juveniles are paler than adult males, looking rather like females at first glance.

 

Diet: Omnivorous - Does well with floating pellet or flake foods, but diet should also include some live foods such as insect larvae, worms and small insects.

 

Temperament: Generally peaceful but may dominate other smaller rainbowfishes.

 

Common Diseases: None specific to species, but does require very good water quality.

 

This Sepik Rainbowfish profile has been viewed 2985 times.

 



Rainbowfishes


Author

Keith Pardee

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