Last update: August 30, 2021

Australian Rainbowfish

It is no secret that people want to keep their aquariums as colorful as possible. While there is indeed a huge passion for growing fish, the aesthetic appeal of the fish tank is an important thing. Apparently, there are a couple of ways to make your aquarium colorful. One, you can resort to lighting methods and other aesthetic accessories. For instance, some people recommend placing corals and aquatic plants in the tank. Combined with the suitable lighting options, your tank would look amazing. Two, you can fill your aquarium with fish types like the Australian rainbowfish.

Australian rainbowfish is a common name you may come across while searching for some colorful-looking fish for your aquarium. Among newbies and experienced fishkeepers, the species has built its reputation of being a valuable addition. However, you may be wondering whether Australian rainbowfish is worth all the hype. More importantly, you may want to know how difficult it is to keep the rainbowfish in your tank. Also, if you have already decided to get some Australian rainbowfish for your tank, you must be concerned about the potential aquarium buddies and other types of compatibility.

Well, we had the same doubts when we got started with our aquariums. It is one reason why we made this comprehensive guide to Australian rainbowfish. In this guide, we will cover different aspects of how you can color your aquarium using this fish type. Before we talk about the specifics of the fish, we shall give you an introduction to Australian rainbowfish.

What is Australian Rainbow Fish?

Australian Rainbow Fish

Australian rainbowfish is, as its name suggests, a fish type that originated in Australia. They get the second part of their name because of their colorful body. The fish, especially the male ones, are noted for the variety of colors on their skin. In short, these fish can add so many colors to your aquarium. However, color is not the only reason why people prefer getting Australian rainbowfish for their aquariums. First of all, these fish are easy to care for. You do not have to be an expert fishkeeper to include rainbowfish in the tank.

Furthermore, the fish has a peaceful temperament, which is more important than you think. It means the fish is adaptive to the environment and does not attack other plants or fish in the aquarium. Among other things, it becomes a practical aspect when it comes to feeding. So, you do not have to worry about the Australian rainbowfish taking up resources from other plants/fishes. Nor do you have to worry about frequent fights between rainbowfish and other species. From the point of a first-time fishkeeper, these pointers are pretty impressive.

There are also a few other things you should know about the Australian rainbowfish. For instance, the fish follow an omnivore diet and are compatible with an impressive variety of species. Furthermore, if you have a fish tank with a capacity of more than 50 gallons, you can easily accommodate Australian rainbowfish into it. Last but not least, you can keep them in the best health if you can maintain a tank temperature of 72F to 75F. In the same way, you have to maintain a pH level of 7.0 to 8.3 as well. We will talk about the requirements for Australian rainbowfish in the following sections.

At this point, it must be clear to you that Australian rainbowfish is easy to take care of. However, it does not mean that you can put the fish in the tank and forget about them. Instead, you should have a clearer idea of how they grow and how you can enhance the same growth. By the way, Australian rainbowfish is also known by different names, such as ‘Blue Eyes.’ You can also find the same species under terms like the Murray River rainbowfish and the crimson-spotted rainbowfish. The names would vary based on the environment.

If we look at the origin of the fish, you will know that they are schooling fish in nature. That is, these fish tend to arrange themselves in big groups near riverbanks and logs. As such, though, you can find them in rivers, streams, ponds, etc. Another interesting thing about Australian rainbowfish is that they have adapted well to lower interior temperatures. Therefore, the fish can survive in multiple areas during the winter season without the need for migrations. Long story short, the Australian rainbowfish is an excellent choice for aquariums, even if we judge by their ability to adapt.

We believe you have a clear idea about Australian rainbowfish. So, now, we will move forward and answer the common questions people have about growing and taking care of Australian rainbowfish in an aquarium — the freshwater aquariums, of course.

How Big Do Australian Rainbow Fish Get?

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Are you wondering whether your aquarium can conveniently accommodate Australian rainbowfish? Well, to understand whether it is the case, you have to understand the maximum size an Australian rainbowfish can achieve on a typical day.

The maximum size an Australian rainbowfish can reach is around 4.0 inches. Considering that these fish have a relatively high lifespan of up to 5 to 8 years, the size seems quite okay. We will talk about the lifespan of the fish later. Now, keep in mind that each Australian rainbowfish can be as large as 4.0 inches if you provide the right set of resources. Not all subspecies may achieve the size at all times.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, you should consider the maximum size while selecting the capacity of the tank. For instance, it is recommended that your fish tank must have a total of more than 50 gallons if you want to cultivate Australian rainbowfish in it. Depending on the number of Australian rainbowfish you want to add, you will have to increase the volume.

In short, Australian rainbowfish can get pretty big, in case you are wondering.

Are Australian rainbowfish Aggressive?

No, Australian rainbowfish are not aggressive.

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As we mentioned earlier, Australian rainbowfish have a peaceful temperament. It means you do not have to worry when you put Australian rainbowfish alongside other species in your aquarium. At the same time, you have to keep in mind that Australian rainbowfish can stay active in the aquarium. They do not remain idle or cause problems. Due to the dynamic nature, you can have a pretty active aquarium when mixing rainbowfish with other species. There are some takeaways when we consider the different aspects of the fishkeeping process.

For instance, the male parties of the Australian rainbowfish will become more careful and attractive in the course of time. It happens because the male fish want to attract females for mating purposes. Therefore, if you can maintain a healthy combination of male and female Australian rainbowfish, your fish tank will look impressive for the most part. Because they are not aggressive, you can expect the congregation to live relatively peacefully as well. We hope you remember that these fish have a somewhat calmer origin. They are used to being in communities near riverbanks and logs.

Long story short, you do not have to worry about the aggressive nature of Australian rainbowfish when you have to select aquarium mates or combinations. However, we will talk about the compatibility aspect of Australian rainbowfish later.

What Do Australian Rainbow Fish Eat?

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Feeding Australian rainbowfish is easier than you think. As we mentioned in the introduction, these fish can consume a variety of food items, being omnivores. Therefore, the fish can survive based on meat-based food items and vegetable items. By the way, before we tell you what Australian rainbowfish eat, we have to take into account the fact that there are two types of Australian rainbowfish. Both these types have different preferences when it comes to food intake. So, you have to double-check the Australian rainbowfish type you have before providing the right food for your Australian rainbowfish group. The groups we are talking about are known as Melanotaeniids and Pseudomugilids.

If you have Australian rainbowfish from the first category, you can easily feed them Color Flakes, Spirulina Flakes, Betta Treat, and Aqueon Tropical Flakes. Of course, you can use tablets and pellets to feed the fish as well. It is a great idea to include meaty food and vegetable substances in the diet of the fish. However, when it comes to the second category, you have to change the food pattern a little. Along with pellet/flake foods, you should include frozen and live food in the diet. Only then can you expect the fish to have the best colors and body patterns. It is also essential to understand the feeding patterns of Australian rainbowfish before you start providing food.

First, you will have to provide food that the Australian rainbowfish can consume in less than 5 minutes. It is not a good idea to leave the food untouched for more than 5 minutes. In that case, the food may go to waste, which is something you do not want. Similarly, you can decide to feed your fish once or twice a day. If you think the fish consume food quickly, you may want to reduce the quantity and increase the number of feeding sessions. As you may know, you cannot expect the Australian rainbowfish to survive if you do not follow a stable feeding pattern.

By the way, because Australian rainbowfish are not aggressive, the fish do not attack other species in your fish tank. However, it is applicable only when your feeding sessions are on time. We cannot predict what an Australian rainbowfish would do if it were underfed. In that case, the fish may start attacking smaller fish/plants you have in the tank. So, of course, it would not be a recommended scenario. Therefore, you must keep your fish fed adequately if you want to have a colorful aquarium that you have seen on ads and expert videos.

Our Rainbow Fish Easy to Keep?

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Yes, compared to other types of fish you may consider for your freshwater aquarium, you do not have to be worried about taking care of Australian rainbowfish. They do not require specific care of any kind from the fish-keeper. Instead, the fish can easily survive in different conditions, even when combined with various plants and fish species. Therefore, compatibility would not be a problem when you add some Australian rainbowfish to your aquarium. This aspect itself makes Australian rainbowfish a suitable choice for those who are new to fishkeeping and aquarium management.

As we mentioned earlier, you do not have to worry about feeding Australian rainbowfish, either. The fish can quickly adapt to the feeding environment and food types. Because they are omnivores, Australian rainbowfish can survive on vegetarian and meaty food. Therefore, if you cannot find frozen or live food in the area, you can provide the fish something from the vegetarian side. It is also worth noting that Australian rainbowfish are not aggressive. It means the fish would not try to get food from other plants or fish. Therefore, there are fewer chances of the fish-eating other plants, either.

We also consider the tank conditions before stating that Australian rainbowfish are easy to keep and care for. The recommended temperature for Australian rainbowfish is between 72F and 75F, and you can keep the pH levels between 7.0 and 8.3. Here is the interesting thing, though. Australian rainbowfish is one of the very few species that have grown accustomed to changing temperatures. Therefore, even in case of an unexpected change in the temperature, the fish would survive. In real life, it means that innocent mistakes are not going to cost the entire aquarium.

Rainbowfish are easy to keep and easy to maintain in good health. Therefore, even some of your mistakes would not impact the growth and expansion of this fish, which is something we cannot say about other species of aquarium-focused fish. However, we must mention that you have to spend a good amount of money to get your hands on Australian rainbowfish. Because of their rare availability, you may have to pay extra for getting a genuine group of Australian rainbowfish. But, of course, it is better than getting duped by some semi-authentic breeds.

What Is the Average Lifespan of Australian Rainbowfish?

The lifespan of Australian rainbowfish is set at 5 years if we consider the average numbers. However, based on how well-maintained your aquarium is, the numbers may vary between 4 to 8 years. For example, if you can ensure the best growing environment for Australian rainbowfish, you can expect the fish to keep living for 8 years, which is no small number. On the other hand, if you are barely fulfilling the requirements, the numbers would stoop down to less than 5 years.

Once again, the subspecies you choose will determine the average lifespan of the Australian rainbowfish. You cannot expect all sub-species to perform in the same way. It is also one of the reasons why you should get Australian rainbowfish from a trusted source.

Best Aquarium Buddies for Australian rainbowfish

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As we mentioned earlier, compatibility is not an issue when it comes to growing Australian rainbowfish. However, it does not mean that you can choose random aquarium buddies for Australian rainbowfish. Because even though Australian rainbowfish are not aggressive per se, other fish types and plants may disrupt the growth and existence of the Australian rainbowfish community. Therefore, you have to take care of the following aspects while choosing the best mates for Australian rainbowfish.

Because of their non-aggressive behavior, you can mix Australian rainbowfish with a variety of species. For instance, you can add peaceful barbs, rasboras, catfish, danios, cichlids, Kribensis, etc., to the aquarium. As long as these are non-aggressive versions, you do not have to worry about anything. However, there are a few things you should know about numbers. First, you have to ensure that there is a good number of Australian rainbowfish in your tank. Otherwise, some docile variants of the fish may face problems from other fish.

Here is the easiest thing to do. If you have introduced Australian rainbowfish to the tank, you can check with an aquarium expert to understand which fish types are the best for Australian rainbowfish. In this way, you do not run the risk of mixing two potential fighters. By the way, you should also make sure that the ratio between the male and female Australian rainbowfish is optimal in the tank. If not, you may come across problems with breeding.


Don’t you think Australian rainbowfish are so easy to take care of? With the right tank environment and a strategic feeding pattern, you can expect this fish to grow quite impressive. By the way, are you confused about any other aspect? Do let us know through your comments.


Ian Sterling

Ian Sterling, founder of, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website,, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.

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