Silver Rainbowfish - Chilaterina crassipinosa
Silver Rainbowfish - Chilaterina crassipinosa

Silver Rainbowfish - Chilaterina crassipinosa

The Silver Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Weber in 1913. Its scientific name is Chilaterina crassipinosa. It was first collected for scientific purposes by the Dutch North New Guinea Expedition in 1903.

The Silver Rainbowfish can reach a length of roughly 13 cm (5 inches). Just as the common name suggests, the body of this fish is silvery. On the upper and lower edges of the caudal fin, you can see a faint streak. The Silver Rainbow is quite similar to the Bulolo Rainbowfish (Chilaterina bulolo), but the Bulolo Rainbowfish has a blunter snout. The Silver Rainbow can also be distinguished on its tall first dorsal fin and on how the distance between its eyes is shorter.

The adult male Silver Rainbowfish is adorned with narrow orange striping; there is one stripe between each row of scale along the sides of his body. Dorsal and anal fins are of a pale yellow shade.

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
The Silver Rainbowfish lives in northern New Guinea. It has been found in the river systems of Markham, Gogol, Ramu, Sepik, Pual and Mamberamo.  Along the coast, you can also encounter Silver Rainbowfish in some of the small independent drainages.

The typical Silver Rainbowfish habitat is a clear stream where the bottom consists of sand, gravel or rocks. These streams flow through forested terrain, but Silver Rainbowfishes are known to congregate in parts of the streams that are fairly non-shaded (probably because they want to feast on algae). The surrounding terrain consists of hills and mountains and the Silver Rainbowfish has been found up to 600 meters (1,969 feet) above sea level.   

The Silver Rainbowfish is not included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is still abundant throughout its natural range.

Keeping Silver Rainbowfish in aquariums
Silver Rainbowfish is not a common aquarium species. It was collected for the aquarium hobby in 1978 by Allen and Parkinson, but is still not a frequently kept rainbow, especially not outside Australia.

Try to resemble its natural environment as closely as possible in the aquarium. Use gravel or sand as substrate and include a lot of stones and rocks in order to create hiding spots. Keep the water temperature in the 23-28 degrees C (73-82 degrees F) range. The water should be alkaline, from pH 7.5 to 8.0.

Wild Silver Rainbowfishes are omnivores and feeds chiefly on small insects, such as ants that have fallen into the water, and filamentous algae that they graze from rocks. It is important to provide them with a similar diet in the aquarium. Include stones in the set up and promote natural algae growth. The natural algae growth should be supplemented with algae based food. In addition to this, give your Silver Rainbowfish small live foods. You don’t have to set up your own ant farm in the kitchen; meaty food like insect larvae and tiny crustaceans are just as good.

Breeding Silver Rainbowfish
As far as we know, Silver Rainbowfish has not been bred in aquariums yet.

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Other New Guinea Rainbowfishes

Axelrods Rainbowfish
Bleher’s Rainbowfish
Bulolo Rainbowfish
Higlands 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
Pima River Rainbowfish
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Fly River Rainbowfish
Red Striped Rainbowfish
Van Heurn’s  Rainbowfish