Rainbowfish are named for the effect that is created when light reflects off these iridescent fish. Natural lighting and a dark substrate can intensify the effect and create an even more dramatic presentation.
The Red Neon Blue Eye Rainbowfish, Pseudomugil luminatus , are rare aquarium freshwater fish that are among the smallest Rainbowfish varieties. A schooling fish, they are considered nano fish because they only reach sizes of about 1.5” at maturity. Stress is reduced when they are kept in schools of six or more. Doing so may also heighten the male fishes’ coloration, as coloration is intensified as they compete for females.
With slender bodies in bright orange with a yellow undertone, they have brown markings scattered throughout their bodies and fins. Adding to their coloration is a horizontal blue stripe along their back and the characteristic blue ring around their eyes. Both males and females are highly colored and have two dorsal fins, with the first significantly smaller than the second and is more of a filament than a fin.
Part of the Actinopteri class of ray-finned fishes, they are found in their natural habitat in Indonesia living in rainforest rivers and streams. Because of their nano size, they can live in freshwater aquariums that are 10 gallons in size (or larger depending on the size of the school). A well planted aquarium that includes floating plants, as well as driftwood or other décor for hiding replicates their natural environment. If interested in breeding, moss should also be included for egg-laying. Water conditions should be in the following ranges: pH balance between 6.5-7.5 and water temperature between 64°F-79°F.
An egg layer, the female Pseudomugil luminatus spawns eggs on moss throughout the course of several days after mating. Males may mate with more than one female. The fry hatch after six or seven days and require small pieces of live food. If a breeding tank is not used, expect to lose some of the young as these Rainbowfish will eat both eggs and fry.
Because of this, along with their small size, they are routinely outcompeted for food by other fish, so a species-only tank environment should be considered. Their throats are small and narrow, so the foods they are fed should be small in size. Omnivores, their diet should include prepared flake, frozen, and live foods.
Approximate purchase size: 3/4” to 1 1/2”