OR­NATE RAIN­BOW FISH

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Fish In The Shops -

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.

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