Goldie River Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia goldiei
Goldie River Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia goldiei

Goldie River Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia goldiei

The Goldie River Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Macleay in 1883. Its scientific name is Melanotaenia goldiei. The species was first collected from the Goldie River in the 1880’s and is therefore called Goldie River Rainbowfish even though it is found in many other rivers, creeks and swamps throughout southern New Guinea.

The Goldie River Rainbowfish can reach a length of roughly 14 cm (5.5 inches). The body is brownish with a coppery hue on the back, while the lower half of the body is white. A lot of the scales on the lower half of the body have a dark outline, especially in the breast region. The fish is decorated with rather broad dark blue mid-lateral stripe. On the upper half of the body, a narrow coppery or orange coloured stripe is present between each row of scales.

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
The Goldie River Rainbowfish inhabits streams in the southern part of New Guinea. It can be found at elevations from 100 meters (328 feet) to 1000 (3281 feet) meters above sea level. Its geographical range is really big and this is one of the most widely distributed rainbowfishes in New Guinea. You can find them all the way from the Port Moresby district in Papua New Guinea to Etna Bay in Western New Guinea (Irian Jaya). The species is also present at the Aru Islands, a group of roughly 95 low-lying islands situated in the Maluku province of eastern Indonesia.

The Goldie River Rainbowfish has adapted itself to a wide range of different habitats and can for instance be found in both large rivers and tiny creeks, as well as in swampy environments and backwaters. The typical Goldie River Rainbowfish habitat is a clear stream that flows through a hilly landscape covered in dense rainforest. This species seem to prefer deeper pools.

The Goldie River Rainbowfish is listed as “Not Evaluated” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Keeping Goldie River Rainbowfish in aquariums
The beautiful Goldie River Rainbowfish is an appreciated aquarium species and it is not very tricky to keep. Despite this, it is still fairly rare in the hobby. Try to resemble its natural habitat when you decorate the aquarium and include a lot of plants. Hiding spots are very important; the fish can easily become stressed and shy in a barren aquarium. In the wild, Goldie River Rainbowfishes congregate near sunken trees and submerged branches and they will therefore appreciate drift wood in the aquarium. Keep the water temperature in the 25-28 degrees C (77-82 degrees F) range. The water should be alkaline, from pH 7.1 to 7.8.

Breeding Goldie River Rainbowfish

The Goldie River Rainbowfish has been spawned in both groups and pairs. The males can be very aggressive towards the females and a group should therefore consist of at least 2-3 females for each male. If you want to keep a pair only, ideally pick a large female. Regardless of which method you choose, ample amounts of good hiding spots must be present in the aquarium. In order to avoid predation, move the spawning medium with the eggs to a separate container. The spawning medium can for instance be densely grown java moss or a spawning mop. The eggs will normally hatch within a week if you keep the water temperature in the upper part of the recommended range. You can feed the fry infusoria and finely ground flake food. If kept in suitable water conditions they will grow rapidly and soon be large enough to eat newly hatched brine shrimp and nibble on whole flakes.  

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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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Waigeo Rainbowfish
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Lake Kurumoi Rainbowfish
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