Arfak Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia arfakensis
Arfak Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia arfakensis

Arfak Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia arfakensis

The Arfak Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Allen in 1990. Its scientific name is Melanotaenia arfakensis.

The Arfak Rainbowfish can be roughly 10 cm (4 inches) long. The body is light purple with silvery reflections and a bluish mid-lateral stripe. Between each horizontal row of scales, you can see a yellow to orange stripe. The fins are transparent with a light purple or bluish cast. The caudal fin is decorated with black upper and lower margins. The second dorsal fin has a thin white margin and a sub-marginal black band.

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
The Arfak Rainbowfish lives in the western part of Western New Guinea (formerly known as Irian Jaya). It has been found in streams on the Prafi Plains, a valley where the Prafi River deposits soil and sediments. To the west, you will find the Arfak Mountains.

The Arfak Rainbowfish has been listed as “Vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 1996. Between 1994 and 1996, it was listed as “Rare”. The Arfak Valley has experienced an influx of new people since it was designated a government centre of transmigration and is today inhabited by large numbers of migrants. The habitat is currently threatened by land clearings and invasive species.  

Keeping Arfak Rainbowfish in aquariums
The Arfak Rainbowfish is not a common aquarium species and little is know about its requirements. Try to mimic its natural environment as closely as possible in the aquarium. The recommended water temperature is 24-28 degrees C (75-82 degrees F).

Keep your Afrak Rainbowfish on a varied diet. It might survive on dry food alone, but if you want it to thrive you should also give it live food. You can for instance cultivate your own brine shrimp and insect larvae and combine with high-quality flake food. 

Breeding Arfak Rainbowfish
As far as we know, the Arfak Rainbowfish has not been bred in aquariums yet. Its breeding habits are believed to be similar to those exhibited by the other members of the genus Melanotaenia.

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Other New Guinea Rainbowfishes

Axelrods Rainbowfish
Bleher’s Rainbowfish
Bulolo Rainbowfish
Higlands Rainbowfish
Silver Rainbowfish
Barred Rainbowfish
Lorentz’s Rainbowfish
Sentani Rainbowfish
Red Rainbowfish
Spotted Rainbowfish
Sepik Rainbowfish

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Serong Rainbowfish
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Lake Kurumoi Rainbowfish
Pima River Rainbowfish
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