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Dority's Rainbowfish

(Glossolepis dorityi)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-82° F, KH 10-20, pH 6.5-7.8
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Australia, Grime River system of NW Papua. Lake Nenggwambu & Kali Biru Lake   • Family: Melanotaeniidae
• Species: Rainbowfish   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Dority's Rainbowfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Dority's Rainbowfish (Glossolepis dorityi) originate from the heavily planted tropical waters of Australian Lakes and Rivers, primarily the Grime River system of NW Papua, Lake Nenggwambu or Kali Biru Lake. They are a schooling species that does much better within the aquarium environment when they are kept in schools of at least 6 individuals or more. Juvenile Rainbows tend to have relatively dull colors that brighten and develop into a much more vivid coloration as an adult.

The top male in the group will display the brightest colors, with subordinate males displaying less red coloration and more silver. Male and females differ in coloration as well, with the males exhibiting a silvery in color with multiple zig-zag red stripes running horizontally through their bodies. The upper half of the body being less colorful with stripes than the lower, except during courtship, when they become even more intense in color. Females are mostly silver, and lack these red colored stripes. The males also have the distinctive elongated posterior rays on the first dorsal fins, that over laps the second dorsal, while the females first dorsal does not, or just slightly touches the second dorsal fin.

Many aquarium keepers have found that keeping Rainbow fish in aquariums with darker substrate and plenty of live plants works to bring out the full intensity of the Dority's Rainbowfish fishes coloration. Another benefit of keeping this species in a school is that the males will compete with one another for the females in the group, which they do by exhibiting the brightest coloration that they can muster.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Dority's Rainbowfish in the home aquarium.

When housing Rainbows in the home aquarium it is important to provide them with a longer (4 feet or larger) aquarium that has areas of plants and plenty of room for these active swimmers to move about. They are also well known jumpers, thus their aquarium should be well covered in order to keep them from jumping out of the aquarium when startled.

Dority's Rainbow are schooling fish and should be kept in groups (6 or more individuals) as they would live this way in the wild. Keeping single individuals is likely to cause the fish a lot of stress which will lead to poor coloration and more than likely a shorter lifespan. Another important aspect to keeping Dority's Rainbow fish is to provide them with plenty of planted areas within the aquarium, which will simulate their natural habitat and provide them with cover when needed.

Like most all tropical species, the Dority's Rainbow needs stable water conditions and good filtration and plenty of water aeration to provide high levels of dissolved oxygen. Rainbow fish prefer well planted warm alkaline waters, thus aquarium plants should be chosen that will thrive in alkaline waters with a pH range of 7.0 to 8.0.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Dority's Rainbowfish and provide a healthy diet.

Rainbowfish are an omnivorous who will readily consume a wide variety of commercially available foods. In order to provide them with all the nutrients and minerals that they need to maintain a healthy immune system, they should be fed foods that contain both meaty and plant based material. A variety of flake, small pellet, frozen and freeze-dried fish foods fed 2 to 3 times per day is ideal.

Dority's Rainbowfish have relatively small mouths and throats, thus should be fed smaller foods that they can easily swallow. Live or freeze-dried bloodworms are a great treat for a school of Red Rainbows to supplement their normal diet.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Dority's Rainbowfish in the aquarium environment.

They can be bred as a mated pair or by keeping groups with 2 to 3 females per male. While they can breed in a community aquarium, a hobbyist will have greater success by keeping them in a breeding aquarium that is setup specifically to facilitate the conditions that the Dority's Rainbowfish prefers for breeding.

The breeding aquarium should be somewhere between 12 to 20 gallons in size, with a thin layer of gravel substrate and plenty of java moss, spawning mop or similar items. If spawning mops are used, make sure that they reach the bottom of the aquarium since rainbowfish are accustomed to spawning near the the substrate. Proper aeration is required, but additional filtration should be avoided. Removal of any left over foods should be removed, with plenty of small water changes to keep water quality high.

Dority's Rainbowfish breed like most all other rainbowfishes, where they are easily bred when kept in a proper breeding tank containing either live plants or spawning mobs on which they can deposit their eggs. After successful breeding, fry can reach adulthood when kept with adult specimens and in higher flow aquariums; however, their chances increase greatly if the fertilized eggs are removed and raised in a tank with less water flow and not adults who will often eat fry.

When fry hatch they will be roughly 4 mm long and will fall to the bottom of the aquarium after hatching where they will stay for a day or two before they swim to the surface. Aeration or water flow should be kept very gentle once the eggs have hatched and the fry begin consuming their yolk sacs and then rise to the surface of the aquarium.

Once they rise to the aquariums surface, they can be fed infusoria or liquid fry food. As the fry grow bigger, you can give them newly hatched brine shrimp, microworms or finely crushed flake food. It is important to keep the water quality up in the fry rearing tank and remove all uneaten food after each feeding and carry out small and frequent water changes as large water changes can shock the fry. Feed the new born fry only very small food items like infusoria or liquid fry food. After a few weeks the small fry will be able to take finely crushed flake, baby brine shrimp or similar items.

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