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Melanotaenia ajamaruensis, Male

Aquarium Bred and Raised

Melanotaenia ajamaruensis

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Details -

Natural Range: Kaliwensi River, Soum river

Source: Aquarium Bred and Raised

Estimated size at shipping: 2"

Max Size: around 4-5"

Sold as: Male


While named after Lake Ajamaru, M. ajamaruensis doesn't actually reside there. They come from rivers west of the lake that don't actually connect to it. Their coloration is very similar to M. boesemani, but can easily be differentiated by scale and ray counts.

Peaceful, active fish. Rainbowfish are generally hardy and easy to care for. Rainbowfish are truly unique in that the males of most species have a bright iridescent strip running from the top of the mouth up over the ridge of the back and continuing to the dorsal fin. Males frequently "flash" this bright strip on-and-off in absolutely stunning displays. When they flash, it looks like a neon light is being turned on and off. This, combined with the amazing coloration of many species, is something truly special that is not to be missed. Fortunately, these fish display and flash frequently.

Unfortunately, many, if not most, rainbowfish are critically endangered because their habitats are being destroyed by rapid industrial expansion. The pattern has been that as soon as roads are built that allow explorers access to new rainbowfish species, industry follows and the habitats disappear in short order. The habitats of many populations have disappeared, seemingly overnight. There are no effective government controls to mitigate this and the cycle of habitat destruction is not going to stop anytime soon. Gladly, almost all rainbowfish available for sale in the USA are bred and raised in aquariums and not collected from the wild. However, if these captive populations are ever lost, many of these fish will disappear. The more of us who keep these jewels, the higher the probability they won't completely disappear from the earth.

Setup Considerations:

Most rainbows of the Melanotaenia, Glossolepis, and Chilatherina genre grow to 5" - 6," maybe even more on the largest species. Many people successfully keep rainbows in tanks that are around 3 feet can be done. However, these fish are rapid swimmers and do best in a tank that is at least 4 feet long (the length of a standard 55 gallon aquarium). If your tank is smaller, we would recommend sticking to the dwarf species which top out at around 3-3.5" or less. Alternatively, looking into the closely related Pseudomugil genus (commonly called Blue Eyes) might yield the perfect species for a small aquarium.

Diet: Omnivore

Rainbowfish are easy to feed. They are not picky and will greedily and rapidly eat most standard aquarium foods. However, they can develop problems when fed large, hard food. So, we find it best to feed "soft" foods like flakes, frozen foods, Repashy, and the like. If pellets are fed, they should be very small (think Xtreme Nano or Hikari Micropellet size) or softened by being soaked in water before they are fed.

Ratings & Reviews:

Location: Wyoming, United States

Shipping: Please review checkout for final shipping options based on items selected, quantity, and groupings. Heat or cold packs will be included as needed at no extra cost.

  • UPS Next Day Giant: Fits 40 for $69.99
  • UPS Next Day Large: Fits 20 for $49.99
  • UPS Next Day Medium: Fits 9 for $45.99
  • UPS Next Day Small: Fits 5 for $39.99

Find details about our shipping process in our FAQ. For example, we ship most orders on the following Monday or Wednesday.