50 Shades of Rain­bow

Clubpets - - OTHERCRITTERS -

It can’t be de­nied that these mes­meris­ing aquatic crit­ters can cap­ture just about any­one’s at­ten­tion thanks to their rain­bow coloured scales.

Whether you’re a life­time lover of fish or look­ing to get a new pet for the family, the Rain­bow­fish is a beau­ti­ful ad­di­tion to any house­hold.

The Rain­bow­fish is family to small, colour­ful, fresh­wa­ter fishes, which are na­tive to north­ern and eastern Aus­tralia, New Guinea and parts of South­east Asia. There are more than 70 species of the Rain­bow­fish grouped into sev­eral dif­fer­ent fam­i­lies, but the largest of Rain­bow­fish genus, Me­lan­o­tae­nia, de­rives from the an­cient Greek melano (black) and tae­nia (banded); when trans­lated, this means “black­banded” — a ref­er­ence to the of­ten strik­ing lat­eral black bands that run along the bod­ies of those in the Me­lan­o­tae­nia genus. The Rain­bow­fish got their name from their looks, which con­sist of bright, iri­des­cent coloura­tions that change shades in dif­fer­ent light set­tings. Re­cently, it seems that this species has gained pop­u­lar­ity amongst aquar­ists for both their beauty and rel­a­tively mild na­ture. In gen­eral, the Rain­bow­fish are very peace­ful and make ex­cel­lent ad­di­tions to ex­ist­ing aquar­ium com­mu­ni­ties.

The Rain­bow­fish comes in a mul­ti­tude of colours de­pend­ing on the type of species. The most com­mon ones that people usu­ally see on the mar­ket have blue-green bod­ies with silver tints and pink bel­lies and clear or red-or­ange fins. De­pend­ing on their species, the Rain­bow­fish can also be more sil­very, have a bright red tail and pelvic fins, or be a mix of blue and red. The av­er­age length of a Rain­bow­fish is about 10-15 cen­time­tres long with thin bod­ies.

While these colour­ful fishes are known for their tech­ni­colour looks, they are not born that way. Rain­bow­fish hatch from eggs that are laid and fer­tilised in plants. Once hatched, they ap­pear sil­ver­white in colour, and as they grow older, they will start to take on the vi­brant hues for which they are named af­ter. Gen­er­ally, male Rain­bow­fishes grow to be­come more colour­ful than their fe­male counterparts, and their av­er­age life­span is be­tween 5 to 6 years, though they may live longer if cared for prop­erly.

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