Praecox Rainbowfish (Dwarf Rainbow)

Sale price$7.99


The Praecox Rainbowfish, also known as the Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish, is a vibrant and captivating species of freshwater fish scientifically named Melanotaenia praecox. Praised for their stunning colors and peaceful nature, these fish are a delightful addition to community aquariums. Here’s a detailed description of the Praecox Rainbowfish:


Color and Pattern: The Praecox Rainbowfish is renowned for its dazzling iridescent blue body that shimmers under aquarium lighting. Their coloration can range from a bright, neon blue to a softer, more subtle hue depending on their mood, health, and lighting conditions. The fins, especially in males, are often bright red or orange, adding a striking contrast to their blue bodies. Females tend to have slightly duller coloration but are still quite attractive.

Body Shape: These fish have a typical rainbowfish shape with a laterally compressed, elongated body. Their scales are large and reflective, contributing to their iridescent appearance. The dorsal and anal fins are relatively long and often display the same vibrant colors as their bodies.


Adult Size: Praecox Rainbowfish are smaller compared to other rainbowfish species, typically reaching about 2.5 to 3 inches (6.4 to 7.6 cm) in length, making them suitable for a variety of tank sizes.

Habitat and Tank Requirements

Tank Size: Due to their active swimming behavior, a minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a small group. However, larger tanks are preferable to provide ample space for schooling and swimming.

Water Conditions: Praecox Rainbowfish thrive in freshwater with a temperature range of 72-82°F (22-28°C) and a pH range of 6.5-7.5. They prefer slightly soft to moderately hard water. Good water quality and regular maintenance are crucial for their well-being.

Substrate and Decorations: A fine gravel or sand substrate is ideal. These fish enjoy a well-planted tank with both live and artificial plants that provide hiding spots and mimic their natural habitat. Adding driftwood, rocks, and open swimming areas can help create a balanced and stimulating environment.


Feeding: Praecox Rainbowfish are omnivorous and thrive on a varied diet. They should be fed high-quality flake or pellet food designed for tropical fish. Supplementing their diet with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms, as well as occasional vegetable matter like blanched spinach or spirulina flakes, ensures balanced nutrition.

Behavior and Compatibility

Temperament: These rainbowfish are known for their peaceful and social nature. They are active swimmers and often display schooling behavior, especially when kept in groups.

Social Needs: Praecox Rainbowfish do best in schools of at least six individuals, which helps to reduce stress and promote natural behaviors. They are excellent community fish and can coexist peacefully with other small, non-aggressive species such as tetras, rasboras, and other rainbowfish. Avoid housing them with larger, aggressive fish that might view them as prey.


With proper care, Praecox Rainbowfish can live for 3-5 years, with some individuals living even longer in optimal conditions.


Ease of Breeding: Breeding Praecox Rainbowfish in captivity is relatively straightforward. They are egg scatterers and will spawn among fine-leaved plants or spawning mops.

Fry Care: After spawning, it’s best to remove the eggs to a separate tank to prevent them from being eaten by the adults. The eggs hatch in about a week, and the fry can be fed infusoria or finely crushed flake food until they are large enough to eat larger food items.

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