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Best rainbows for me?


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Aug 14, 2019
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I currently have an empty 60 gallon tank (48x18x24) that I plan on stocking with a pair of Geophagus redheads and some Cory's. I want a group of 6-8 schooling fish to complete the stocking but am stuck as to what to get. I am interested in rainbows, specifically red rainbows and Boesmani, so any information on which of these would suit me better would be great, but I'm also open to other ideas of larger (4" or so) schooling fish.


Jan 26, 2008
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Perth, WA
What is the GH (general hardness) and pH of your water supply. This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Most rainbowfish do best in water with a GH around 200ppm and a pH above 7.0.
Melantoaenia boesemani come from hard alkaline water.
Geophagus and Corydoras come from soft acid water (GH below 150ppm and pH below 7.0).

Male Glossolepis incisus are the most aggressive rainbowfish and big males can pick on other fish. Glossolepis pseudoincisus is very similar to G. incisus but nowhere near as aggressive and is a little bit smaller.

You can keep different rainbows together so if you want colour, then get 4 x M. boesemani and 4 x M. lacustris or something like that. Try to keep them in pairs with even numbers of males and females. If you have 3 males then 2 of them will sometimes pick on the third.

The following link has information and pictures on rainbowfish. Have a look through it and see which ones you like.


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