ORNATE RAINBOW FISH
Most rainbowfish tanks are dominated by heavyset wedges like Melanotaenia and Glossolepis species, and the smaller ones go overlooked. Pity, because species like this Rhadino centrus ornatus are just dying to make an awesome rainbow project for someome.
Rhadino centrus is monotypic, which means it has just the one species. This is a small beast, hitting around 5–6cm in most tanks, with rare, hump-headed and pale brutes reported up to 10cm.
Despite being a single species, there are many regional variants, swinging from those with blue bodies and orange fins, through plainer examples with golden heads and dappled navy flanks, to bright orange bodies and black trim.
It comes from Eastern Australia, where it lives in nutrient poor, acidic swamps and bogs (what the locals calls ‘wallum’ land) as well as streams under cover of trees, and heaving with leaf litter. Populations are pretty abundant.
The swamp fish come from water that is stained a deep, rusty brown, with correspondingly low ph values — down to 3.9ph. Submerged plants are rare at best, and even algae fails to grow in the light-starved habitat. With so little underwater life, they scoff surface falling insects mainly, so a few wingless fruit fly cultures as food might be a good idea.