Sepik Rainbowfish - Glossolepis multisquamata
Sepik Rainbowfish - Glossolepis multisquamata

Sepik Rainbowfish - Glossolepis multisquamata

The Sepik Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Weber & De Beaufort in 1922. Its scientific name is Glossolepis multisquamata .

The Sepik Rainbowfish can reach a length of roughly 14 cm (5.5 inches). The ground colour can be reddish, greenish, olive or brown and the body is decorated with narrow stripes between each row of scales. The stripes can be yellow, orange or red. Most specimens have blackish or greenish fins, but they can also be reddish. The exact colouration of body and fins will vary a lot and is affected by factors such as locality and water quality. 

Older males are normally very deep-bodied.

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
The Sepik Rainbowfish inhabits the floodplains of northern Papua New Guinea and Western Papua (Irian Jaya). It lives in the northern rivers, including Mamberamo, Ramu and of course Sepik. It is primarily found in side-channels, lagoons, ox-bow lakes, isolated river arms and similar habitats where the water is not fast moving. This species is known to appreciate swampy environments. The typical Sepik Rainbowfish habitat receives a lot of sunlight and the water is turbid. The sunlight doesn’t only promote algae growth; it leads to a dense aquatic plant life as well. The fish is also provided shelter by submerged trees, reeds and other types of vegetations along the shores.

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

Keeping Sepik Rainbowfish in aquariums
The Sepik Rainbowfish should be kept in an aquarium that resembles the natural habitat of this fish, i.e. a well planted aquarium with plenty of space. Keep at least 2-3 females for each male. A group of Sepik Rainbowfish can be combined with other friendly species of similar size, provided of course that they appreciate the same conditions. Keep the water temperature in the 26-30 degrees C (79-86 degrees F) range. Unlike many other rainbowfishes, this species needs acidic conditions and should not be kept in alkaline water. The ideal pH-value is 6.2-6.8. In the wild, the Sepik Rainbowfish feeds chiefly on small vertebrates but it will probably also ingest minor amounts of algae and vegetable matter. Try to mimic this in the aquarium. You can for instance feed it dry food for omnivores combined with frequent servings of live meaty foods such as brine shrimp.

Breeding Sepik Rainbowfish
The Sepik Rainbowfish will normally attain sexual maturity within its first year. Getting the Sepik Rainbowfish to spawn is not difficult, provided of course that it is kept in a well planted aquarium and given nutritious food. Include a suitable spawning medium in the set up, such as densely grown java moss. Just like many other rainbows, the Sepik Rainbow normally spawns during the early morning hour. The female will release a small number of eggs each day. If you want to increase the chances of a high survival rate, move the java moss with the eggs to a separate container since the adult fish might eat eggs and fry. The eggs will normally hatch within a week (but it can take up to 10 days if the temperature is low). You can feed the fry infusoria until they are big enough to eat newly hatched brine shrimp and powdered flake food.

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