Axelrod's Rainbowfish - Chilatherina axelrodi
Axelrod's Rainbowfish  - Chilatherina axelrodi

Axelrod's Rainbowfish - Chilatherina axelrodi

The Axelrod's Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Allen in 1980. Its scientific name is Chilatherina axelrodi.

Axelrod's Rainbowfish can reach a length of over 10 cm. The females have silvery bodies and look rather plain next to the more colourful males. The male fish is bluish-grey above his mid-lateral line and silvery-white below. The mid-lateral line is blackish and broken into a row of large blotches. There are also several dark vertical bars present on the lower side of the body. The fins are transparent, except for the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins which are yellowish.  

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
Axelrod's Rainbowfish lives in the north-western part of Papua New Guinea. The typical habitat is a narrow slow-flowing stream with somewhat turbid water. The surrounding environment is rainforest, but the water is still fairly non-shadowed. The water temperature is around 26 degrees C (78 degrees F) and the water is alkaline.  

Keeping Axelrod's Rainbowfish in aquariums
Axelrod's Rainbowfish is not hard to keep and can be recommended even for beginners. The aquarium should be at least 150 L (40 gallons) and not very densely stocked. Axelrod's Rainbowfish can be kept in species aquariums or be combined with other friendly fishes of roughly the same size. Try to mimic the natural habitat of the fish when you set up the aquarium and use plants to create a lot of hiding spots. Keep the water temperature around 26 degrees C (78 degrees F) and the water slightly alkaline, from pH 7.5 to 7.8. Provide your Axelrod's Rainbowfish with a varied diet. You can for instance use dry prepared food as a base and supplement with regular servings of live food. In the wild, Axelrod's Rainbowfish eat a lot of filamentous algae and it must therefore be given the opportunity to ingest vegetable based food in the aquarium as well. Supplement natural algae growth with algae based flakes or similar.

Some aquarists have reported how a few hours of natural sunlight each day have made their Axelrod's Rainbowfishes develop more vibrant colours.

Breeding Axelrod's Rainbowfish
Axelrod's Rainbowfish is not difficult to spawn in aquariums, but it can be a bit tricky to keep the fry alive. Provide your adult fish with a nutritious diet that contains plenty of live food and give them a suitable spawning medium, e.g. java moss or spawning mops. During the breeding period, the female fish can deposit up to 30 eggs each day. The safest course of action is to move the spawning medium with the attached eggs to a separate container in order to avoid predation. If you keep the water temperature at 26 degrees C (78 degrees F), the eggs will normally hatch within 12 days. It is very important to keep the water quality up, because the fry are really sensitive. Also make sure that the water stays within the recommended pH range (7.5 to 7.8). You can feed the fry infusoria and egg yolk until they are big enough to eat newly hatched brine shrimp and flake food.

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

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
Van Heurn’s  Rainbowfish