Van Heurn's Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia vanheurni
Van Heurn's Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia vanheurni

Van Heurn's Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia vanheurni

Van Heurn's Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Weber & Beaufort in 1922. Its scientific name is Melanotaenia vanheurni. It was found in 1920 by a Dutch zoologist and explorer named Van Heurn.

This large rainbowfish can reach a length of almost 20 cm (7.9 inches). The body is brown or olive coloured on the back, while the lower sides are yellow. The body is adorned with a distinct blue-black mid-lateral stripe, and yellow or white stripes run along the upper and lower margin of it.

When the male fish is ready to spawn, he will show a pulsing golden glow on top of this head.  

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
Van Heurn's Rainbowfish inhabits small creeks and tributaries in the Mamberamo region of northern West Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya). It has only been found in the Dorrman River and the Taritatu River (formerly known as Idenburg River). It seems to favour clear rainforest streams and has never been encountered in large turbid rivers, including the Mamberamo River. The typical Van Heurn's Rainbowfish habitat has slow or relatively swift flowing water and the bottom consists of rocks or sand. The temperature stays within the 25-28 degrees C (77-82 degrees F) range and the water is alkaline, from 7.1 to 7.5.

Van Heurn's Rainbowfish is listed as “Data deficient” in the  IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Keeping Van Heurn's Rainbowfish in aquariums
Van Heurn's Rainbowfish is not a commonly kept aquarium fish. Before you decide to get one, remember that it grows really big compared to most other rainbowfishes and therefore needs a larger aquarium. It is a peaceful species that can be kept with its own kind only in a species aquarium or be combined with other non-aggressive species in a community aquarium. Keep the water a bit alkaline, from pH 7.1 to 7.5, and the water temperature around 27 degrees C (81 degrees F).

Breeding Van Heurn's Rainbowfish

As far as we know, Van Heurn's Rainbowfish has not been bred in aquariums

Didn't find the info you were looking for? Register for free and ask your question in our Aquarium forum !

Our knowledgeable staff usually responds to any question within 24 hours

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
Pima River Rainbowfish
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Fly River Rainbowfish
Red Striped Rainbowfish