Pima River Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia pimaensis
Pima River Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia pimaensis

Pima River Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia pimaensis

The Pima River Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Allen in 1981. Its scientific name is Melanotaenia pimaensis. The species was first collected by Allen and Parkinson from the Pima River in 1980.

This species can reach a length of at least 9 cm (3.5 inches). The body is olive or brown on the back, while the sides are silvery blue. A prominent blackish mid-lateral stripe runs along the entire body, and there is also a thin orange stripe between each row of scales.

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
The Pima River Rainbowfish has only been found in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea where it lives in the headwaters of the Purari River system. More specifically, the species is known from the Pima River at the junction with the Tua River. This area is located north and east of Lake Kutubu.

The typical Pima River Rainbowfish habitat is a mountain stream located in a valley at an elevation of 700-1000 meters (approximately 2300-3280 feet). The surrounding landscape is covered in rainforest. The water in the stream is clear and rather fast flowing with rapids and small waterfalls. The Pima River Rainbowfish normally avoids the rapid parts of the stream and congregates in backwaters and along the banks where the current is less powerful.

The Pima River Rainbowfish is listed as “Data deficient” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Keeping Pima River Rainbowfish in aquariums
The Pima River Rainbowfish is very rare in the aquarium hobby. If you manage to obtain Pima River Rainbowfish for your aquarium, keep the water alkaline (around pH 7.5) and the water temperature around 26 degrees C (79 degrees F). Try to mimic the natural habitat of the fish when you set up the aquarium. Use rocks and driftwood to create hiding spots in the aquarium. The Pima River Rainbowfish is an omnivore species and must therefore be given both vegetable- or algae based food and meaty protein rich food to stay healthy and retain its beautiful colours. You can for instance use flake food for herbivores or omnivores as a base and supplement with frequent servings of live food, e.g. brine shrimp and insect larvae.

Breeding Pima River Rainbowfish
There are no reports about breeding Pima River Rainbowfish that we know of, but its breeding habits are believed to be similar to those exhibited by the closely related Melanotaenia affinis.

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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

Tami River Rainbowfish
Ramu Rainbowfish
Lake Wanam Rainbowfish
Threadfin Rainbowfish
Northern Rainbowfish
Ayamaru Rainbowfish
Angfa Rainbowfish
Arfak Rainbowfish
Boeseman’s Rainbowfish
Corona Rainbowfish
Waigeo Rainbowfish
Serong Rainbowfish
Goldie River Rainbowfish
Lake Tebera  Rainbowfish
Irian Jaya Rainbowfish
Strickland Rainbowfish
Yapen Rainbowfish
Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish
McCulloch’s  Rainbowfish
Mayland’s Rainbowfish
Misool Rainbowfish
Mountain Rainbowfish
Ogilby’s Rainbowfish
Oktedi Rainbowfish
Parkinson’s Rainbowfish
Lake Kurumoi Rainbowfish
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Fly River Rainbowfish
Red Striped Rainbowfish
Van Heurn’s  Rainbowfish