Mayland's Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia maylandi
Mayland's Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia maylandi

Mayland's Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia maylandi

Mayland's Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Allen in 1982. Its scientific name is Melanotaenia maylandi.

Mayland's Rainbowfish can become at least 13 cm (5.1 inches) long. The adult male is olive green or brownish on his back, while the lower part of the body is of a silvery white shade. The body has a diffuse bluish mid-lateral stripe which is punctuated by blotches. Between each horizontal scale row on the side, there is a thin narrow stripe.

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
Mayland's Rainbowfish lives in the Mamberamo region of Western New Guinea (formerly known as Irian Jaya). It has only been collected from a narrow creek located roughly 2 km (1.2 miles) upstream from Lake Holmes (Danau Bira) in the lower part of the Mamberamo system. The creek is situated 450 meters (1475 feet) above sea level in a hilly terrain. It is surrounded by dense shadowing rainforest vegetation. The bottom is rocky.

Mayland's Rainbowfish is listed as “Lower Risk: least concern” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Mamberamo River valley is renowned for its astounding biodiversity. In the 1990s, the Indonesian Government planned to build a large hydroelectric dam that would submerge much of the valley, but this planned was never put into action since it was hampered by the financial crisis that occurred in Indonesia at the end of the 1990s. Today, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Cenderawasih University, and Conservation International are carrying out biological assessment of the Mamberamo area.

Keeping Mayland's Rainbowfish in aquariums
Mayland's Rainbowfish is a rare species in the aquarium hobby. It is not hard to keep, but it is hard to come by in the aquarium trade. The natural environment of this fish is cumbersome to access which makes export difficult. If you manage to come by Mayland's Rainbowfish, keep it in slighthly alkaline water. The water temperature should be around 26 degrees C (79 degrees F). Try to mimic the natural shadowy habitat of the Mayland's Rainbowfish by dampening sharp aquarium lights, e.g. by using floating plants. Use rocks, driftwood or similar decorations to create sheltered spots in the aquarium.  

Mayland's Rainbowfish is an omnivore species that needs both vegetable based food and meaty food in the aquarium. You can for instance use dry prepared foods for herbivores or omnivores as a base and supplement with frequent servings of live food such as brine shrimp and insect larvae.

Breeding Mayland's Rainbowfish
As far as we know, Mayland's Rainbowfish has not been bred in aquariums. Its breeding habits are believed to be similar to those exhibited by Melanotaenia affinis since they are closely related. Mayland's Rainbowfish is an egg laying species and it will most likely be able to use java moss or spawning mops as spawning medium in the aquarium. The safest course of action is to move the eggs to a separate rearing container. You can probably feed the fry infusoria and finely powdered flake food to begin with, and then give them newly hatched brine shrimp and whole flakes as they grow bigger.

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