Waigeo Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia catherinae
Waigeo Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia catherinae

Waigeo Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia catherinae

The Waigeo Rainbowfish was scientifically described by De Beaufort in 1910. Its scientific name is Melanotaenia catherinae.

The Waigeo Rainbowfish can be at least 10 cm (4 inches) long. The back of the body is bluish or light brown while the lower sides are white. The mid-lateral stripe is unusually wide, sometimes extending over 2.5 scales. Dorsal, anal and caudal fins are all of a reddish shade.

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
The Waigeo Rainbowfish lives in Western New Guinea (formerly known as Irian Jaya). It has only been found on Waigeo, which is an island located in the Raja Ampat Islands archipelago, right between Halmahera and the north-western coast of Papua. The island is also known under the name “Amberi”. The Waigeo Rainbowfish inhabits streams and springs surrounded by rainforest.

Waigeo Rainbowfish is listed as “Lower Risk: least concern” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Keeping Waigeo Rainbowfish in aquariums
The Waigeo Rainbowfish is not very tricky to keep. It can be housed in species aquariums or be combined with other peaceful fish species of roughly the same size. It is very tolerant when it comes to water conditions and is known to adapt anything from pH 6.0 to 8.5. It is however important not to chock the fish by letting the pH-value rock rapidly back and forth between extremes; pick a pH-value and stick to it. The recommended water temperature is 22-28 degrees C (72-82 degrees F). It should however be noted that the Waigeo Rainbowfish has been found in a spring where the water was no warmer than 19 degrees C (66 degrees F).

Breeding Waigeo Rainbowfish
The breeding habits of Waigeo Rainbowfish are very similar to those exhibited by most other members of the genus Melanotaenia. Keep your fish on a nutritious diet that includes live food and house them in a well planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots. Spawning mops or densely grown java moss are appreciated spawning mediums. The adult fish might eat eggs and fry and it is therefore safer to raise the offspring in a separate container. Make sure that the water temperature and chemistry is the same in the rearing container as in the breeding aquarium; you don’t want to chock the offspring. You can feed the fry infusoria and finely ground flake food until they are big enough to nibble at whole flakes and devour newly hatched brine shrimp.

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Other New Guinea Rainbowfishes

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Bulolo Rainbowfish
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Red Rainbowfish
Spotted Rainbowfish
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