Dwarf Neon Praecox Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox), Tank-Bred
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The Dwarf Neon Praecox Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox) is one of the most popular and colorful rainbowfish species. It lives in very large schools in areas with dense vegetation, so it is an ideal candidate for the planted aquarium and appreciates floating plants in its habitat. As an adult, this rainbowfish's body features iridescent scales in several different shades of blue, accented with bright red fins. As with most rainbowfish, mature males display the brightest coloration, particularly while competing/posturing with other males. Females also possess the same attractive coloration, but to a lesser extent.
The Dwarf Neon Praecox Rainbowfish is generally peaceful with other fish species of similar size, but smaller shrimp fry may fall prey. Its mouth and throat are relatively small for its body size, so it might be possible to keep it with adult dwarf shrimp. All other invertebrates (including larger Amano, Bamboo, and Vampire Shrimp) should be compatible with no problems.
The most intense color will be displayed when this fish kept in schools of 6 or more (including multiple males) in a heavily planted, spacious aquarium to ensure that subdominant males are not overly harassed by dominant males. As with many rainbowfish, darker substrate will also often result in better coloration. The Dwarf Neon Praecox Rainbowfish is very easy to feed and will accept most high quality dry foods, but also requires various frozen and live foods in its diet for optimal health and coloration.
- Active, schooling community fish that thrives in planted aquariums
- Compatible with many invertebrates
- Adults display brilliant red and blue coloration
- Active and easy to feed
- Temperature: 73° - 82° F (23° - 28° C), although 72° - 82° F is optimal
- pH: 6.8 - 7.5
- KH: 8 - 12 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 20 gallons
- Diet: Omnivorous. High quality dry foods will be accepted, but should be supplemented often with small, meaty frozen and live foods.
- Social behavior: Schooling/shoaling, should be kept in as large of groups as possible. Dominant males may attack or kill subdominant males in small aquariums. Peaceful with most other comparably-sized fish.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to New Guinea, Indonesia.
- Average adult size: 2.5 - 3.2 inches (6.4 - 8 cm)
- Average purchase size: .5 - 1 inch (1.2 - 2.5 cm)