On this page I will give an example of a set up you might want to try. For statistics on many individual fish, click on any fish picture. To view a list of plants suitable for the home Aquaria visit the Plant Statistics page.



Australia / New Guinea river.

    A tank for the Rainbows of Papua New Guinea, where shallow slow moving sandy rivers dominate the landscape. A species Biotope.

Caption: High and handsome
Photo from: The Complete Aquarium



Boesman’s Rainbow


Cryptocoryne wendtii



    The size of the tank is not overly important, what is important is that it be long as the rainbows like to school and are an active fish species. A standard 55 gallon or the less common 40 gallon long will do fine. You can even go as short as 36 inches if you want to cut back some.


    1. Because the Rainbows inhabit sandy rivers the substrate should be a fine gravel with a gentle slope at one end. Do not use an undergravel filter as the depth of the gravel will inhibit its’ effectiveness. A power filter is best and put on one end can simulate the flow of a river. You can use selectively placed rocks but no bog wood, as the current would be impaired. Plant the tank heavily as the Rainbows are more at home with it. Remember to leave plenty of running room for the fish.

Here are some plants that can be used, all are not native but should work out fine.



  • Polygonum attenuatum
  • Ludwigia octovalvis
  • Pseudoraphis spinescens
  • Cynodon dactylon
  • Cyperus carinatus
  • C. conicus
  • C. vaginatus
  • C. javanicus
  • Ipomoea sp



  • Hydrilla verticillata
  • Myriophyllum verrucosum
  • Aponogeton Crispus
  • Najas tenuifolia
  • cryptocoryne wendtii



  • Salvinia molesta
  • Spirodela oligorrhiza
  • Nymphoides indica


    There should be water movement and a small flow power filter can be used. The lighting should be bright but not overly intense. Two standard full spectrum tubes will be sufficient as the tank is fairly shallow.

Water Requirements

      1. The water should be low to medium in Hardness with a pH between 6.5 and 7.0, A temperature of 75


      (24 degrees C)can be maintained with a standard aquarium heater.

Fish and Invertebrates

These are New guinea species, but you can add or substitute the Australian species as well.

  • Glossolepis incisus –Red Rainbowfish
  • Melanotaenia affinis –New Guinea Rainbow
  • Melanotaenia boesmani –Boesmans Rainbow
  • Glossolepis wanamensis –Emerald rainbow
  • Melanotaenia goldiei –Goldie River Rainbow
  • Melanotaenia lacustris –Turquoise Rainbow
  • Melanotaenia splendida rubrostriata –Red-Striped Rainbow
Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish, Turquoise Rainbowfish 




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