Community Fish Spotlight: Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish (Pseudomugil ivantsoffi) - Tank-Bred!

Community Fish Spotlight: Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish (Pseudomugil ivantsoffi) - Tank-Bred!

Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish: An Aquatic Delight

Rainbowfish enthusiasts and aquarists alike often find themselves drawn to the captivating beauty and vibrant colors of these freshwater gems. Among the diverse array of rainbowfish species available in the aquarium trade, one species stands out for its striking appearance and engaging behavior: Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish, scientifically known as Pseudomugil ivantsoffi. Let's delve into the enchanting world of Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish and explore why it's a fantastic addition to any community aquarium.

Meet Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish

Originating from the tropical waters of Papua New Guinea, Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish is named after renowned Australian ichthyologist Dr. Walter Ivantsoff. This species belongs to the family Pseudomugilidae and is distinguished by its iridescent blue eyes, vibrant colors, and graceful swimming movements. Tank-bred specimens are readily available in the aquarium trade, making them accessible to hobbyists worldwide.

Physical Characteristics

Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish exhibits a slender body adorned with shimmering scales that reflect light in hues of blue, green, and silver. Its most distinctive feature is its bright blue eyes, which add an enchanting allure to its appearance. Mature males often display more intense colors and elongated fins compared to females, showcasing their breeding readiness and vitality.

Temperament and Tank Compatibility

Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish are renowned for their peaceful temperament, making them an ideal choice for community aquariums. These fish possess a gentle nature and typically coexist harmoniously with a diverse range of tankmates, fostering a tranquil and balanced aquatic environment.

They are particularly compatible with other peaceful fish species that share similar temperament and activity levels. Rainbowfish enthusiasts often find success housing Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish alongside other rainbowfish species, creating a visually stunning display of colors and patterns. Additionally, tetras, rasboras, and small catfish make excellent tankmates, complementing the graceful movements and vibrant colors of the rainbowfish.

However, it's crucial to exercise caution when selecting tankmates to ensure compatibility and prevent potential conflicts. Avoid housing Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish with aggressive or fin-nipping species that may cause stress or harm to these peaceful fish. Aggressive tankmates can disrupt the harmony of the aquarium environment and compromise the well-being of the rainbowfish.

Furthermore, consider the size and swimming patterns of potential tankmates to ensure adequate space and minimize territorial disputes. Providing ample hiding spots and visual barriers can also help alleviate stress and promote peaceful cohabitation among tankmates.

By carefully selecting compatible tankmates and creating a conducive environment, aquarists can enjoy observing the serene interactions and dynamic beauty of Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish alongside their community companions. With proper planning and consideration, the aquarium becomes a captivating oasis of aquatic life and natural harmony.

Tank Requirements

Setting up an ideal habitat for Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish is relatively simple, ensuring they thrive and display their natural behaviors to the fullest. These fish flourish in tanks that closely mimic their natural environment, characterized by lush vegetation, ample swimming space, and hiding spots for security.


Creating an appealing and functional aquascape is essential for the well-being of Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish, providing them with both shelter and aesthetic enrichment. These fish thrive in environments that closely resemble their natural habitat, characterized by abundant vegetation and natural decor elements.

Live Plants:

Incorporating a variety of live plants is key to establishing a thriving ecosystem for Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish. Plants such as Java ferns, Anubias, and Vallisneria not only enhance the visual appeal of the tank but also serve practical purposes. Dense vegetation provides hiding spots and shelter for the fish, reducing stress and promoting natural behaviors. Additionally, live plants contribute to water quality by absorbing nitrates and oxygenating the water, creating a healthier environment for the fish.

Driftwood and Rocks:

Adding driftwood and rocks to the aquascape further enhances the natural aesthetic and provides additional hiding places for Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish. Driftwood offers surfaces for algae growth, which serves as a supplemental food source for the fish and encourages natural grazing behavior. Rocks can be arranged to create caves, crevices, and overhangs, providing refuge for the fish and adding visual interest to the tank.

Natural Decor Elements:

In addition to live plants, driftwood, and rocks, incorporating other natural decor elements can enhance the overall aesthetic of the aquarium. Natural decor items such as botanicals, leaf litter, and dried seed pods not only add visual interest but also release beneficial tannins into the water, creating a more natural and realistic environment for the fish. These natural decor elements can also provide additional hiding spots and grazing areas for Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish, further enriching their habitat.

By carefully designing an aquascape that incorporates live plants, driftwood, rocks, and other natural decor elements, aquarists can create a visually stunning and functional environment for Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish. Not only does a well-planted tank enhance the beauty of the aquarium, but it also promotes the health and well-being of the fish, allowing them to thrive and exhibit their natural behaviors to the fullest.

Tank Size:

To accommodate the natural behaviors and activity levels of Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish, a tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended for a small group of these fish. Larger tanks offer more swimming room and opportunities for the fish to explore and exhibit their natural behaviors. Providing ample space also reduces territorial conflicts and promotes a harmonious environment among tankmates.

Water Parameters:

Maintaining stable water parameters is crucial for the health and well-being of Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish. The recommended temperature range is between 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C), reflecting the tropical conditions of their native habitat. Additionally, maintain a pH level between 6.7 and 7.8 to ensure optimal health and physiological functioning. Regular water testing and monitoring help ensure that water parameters remain within the desired range, promoting the overall well-being of the fish.

Filtration and Water Flow:

Adequate filtration is essential for maintaining water quality and oxygenation in the aquarium. A gentle water flow is preferred, as Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish are not strong swimmers and may struggle in strong currents. Consider using a canister filter or sponge filter to provide efficient filtration without causing excessive turbulence.

By creating a well-planted aquarium with ample swimming space and stable water parameters, aquarists can provide an optimal environment for Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish to thrive and flourish. With proper care and attention to detail, these captivating fish will showcase their vibrant colors and graceful movements, delighting aquarists and enthusiasts alike.

Habitat Disturbance: Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish are sensitive to habitat disturbance caused by human activities, such as deforestation, pollution, and habitat destruction. These threats pose significant challenges to their survival in the wild, emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts and responsible aquarium trade practices to preserve their natural habitats and genetic diversity.


Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish are omnivorous by nature, meaning they consume both plant and animal matter. Providing them with a diverse and balanced diet is crucial for their health and vitality in the aquarium setting.

High-Quality Flake or Pellet Food:

A staple diet for Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish consists of high-quality flake or pellet food specially formulated for tropical fish. These foods typically contain a blend of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals essential for overall health and growth. Ensure that the food particles are small enough for the rainbowfish to consume easily.

Supplemental Live or Frozen Foods:

While flake or pellet food forms the foundation of their diet, offering occasional live or frozen foods adds variety and nutritional enrichment. Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish eagerly consume live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia, which are rich in protein and essential nutrients. These treats mimic their natural diet and stimulate their natural hunting instincts.

Feeding Frequency:

Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish are active feeders and benefit from multiple small meals throughout the day. Mimicking their natural feeding behavior in the wild, where they forage continuously for small insects and plant matter, ensures they receive adequate nutrition and remain healthy. However, be mindful not to overfeed, as excess food can lead to water quality issues and health problems. Feed only what the fish can consume within a few minutes, removing any uneaten food to prevent fouling the water.

Observation and Adjustments:

It's essential to observe the feeding behavior of Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish and adjust their diet accordingly. Monitor their appetite, growth, and overall health regularly. If any fish appear lethargic or show signs of malnutrition, consider adjusting their diet or consulting with a knowledgeable aquarist or veterinarian for guidance.

By providing a varied and nutritious diet, aquarists can ensure the health, vitality, and vibrant coloration of Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish in the aquarium. With proper feeding practices and attention to dietary requirements, these charming fish will thrive and delight aquarists with their lively antics and graceful presence.

Natural Habitat:In their native habitat of Papua New Guinea, Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish inhabit slow-moving streams, shallow rivers, and forested pools with dense vegetation. They are often found in areas with overhanging vegetation and submerged roots, where they seek refuge and forage for food.


Breeding Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish in captivity is achievable with proper care and attention. Create breeding conditions by providing a separate breeding tank with dense vegetation and gentle filtration. Condition the fish with a varied diet rich in protein, and gradually lower the water level while slightly increasing the temperature. Spawning usually occurs among plants, with females laying adhesive eggs. Once spawning is complete, remove the adults to prevent them from consuming the eggs, and raise the fry on a diet of infusoria and powdered fry food.

Egg Scattering Spawning: Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish are egg scatterers, meaning they do not exhibit parental care for their eggs or fry. Instead, females release adhesive eggs among fine-leaved plants or substrate, where they adhere until hatching. This reproductive strategy allows for greater reproductive success and genetic diversity in the wild.


Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish is a captivating and delightful addition to any community aquarium. With their mesmerizing colors, peaceful temperament, and engaging behavior, they add vibrancy and life to aquatic setups of all sizes. Whether you're an experienced hobbyist or a novice aquarist, consider adding Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish to your tank and experience the joy they bring to your underwater world.

Q&A Section:

Q: How big are the Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish?

A: Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish typically grow to a maximum size of around 2 to 2.5 inches (5 to 6 centimeters) in length. These fish are considered small to medium-sized freshwater species, making them suitable for a variety of aquarium setups.

Q: How fast do rainbow fish grow?

A: The growth rate of rainbow fish can vary depending on factors such as water quality, diet, and genetics. In optimal conditions with proper care and nutrition, rainbow fish can grow relatively quickly during their juvenile stage. However, growth rate tends to slow down as they reach adulthood, with most rainbow fish reaching their full size within six to twelve months.

Q: Can rainbow fish live alone?

A: While rainbow fish are social creatures that thrive in the company of their own kind, they can also adapt to solitary living if necessary. However, keeping rainbow fish alone may not provide them with the social interactions and stimulation they need for optimal health and well-being. It is generally recommended to keep rainbow fish in groups of at least six individuals to promote natural behaviors and reduce stress.

Q: Are rainbow fish schooling?

A: Rainbow fish are not strict schooling fish in the traditional sense, but they do exhibit shoaling behavior, especially in the wild and in aquariums with conspecifics. Rainbow fish often form loose groups or shoals, where they swim and forage together, providing safety in numbers and facilitating social interactions. Keeping rainbow fish in groups helps reduce stress and promotes natural behaviors.

Q: What are common diseases that Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish get?

A: Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish are susceptible to various common freshwater fish diseases, including bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasitic infestations. Poor water quality, stress, and inadequate diet can weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to illness. Regular water changes, maintaining stable water parameters, and providing a balanced diet can help prevent common diseases in Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish.

Q: Could I keep Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish with Neocaridina or other small freshwater shrimp?

Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish are generally peaceful fish and can coexist with small freshwater shrimp species like Neocaridina or Caridina shrimp. However, there is always a risk that rainbowfish may prey on smaller shrimp, especially if they are hungry or if the shrimp are very small. Providing ample hiding spots and dense vegetation can help minimize potential conflicts and provide the shrimp with refuge from the fish. Additionally, closely monitoring their interactions and removing any aggressive individuals can help ensure the well-being of both the fish and the shrimp in the aquarium.


For more detailed information about Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish, including care requirements, compatibility with other tankmates, and specific recommendations for creating an ideal aquarium environment, be sure to check out the product listing on Aquatic Arts' website. Our comprehensive product listings provide valuable insights and tips to help you make informed decisions about adding Ivantsoff's Blue Eye Rainbowfish to your aquatic community. Dive deeper into the world of these captivating fish and discover all you need to know to create a thriving aquarium ecosystem. Visit Aquatic Arts today to explore our extensive collection of high-quality aquatic life and accessories.