Re: [RML] Newbie Rainbow keepers!

Chen Leong (cleong at
Wed, 07 Jan 1998 10:13:51 +1100

Hi Julie,

Welcome to the list. Hope you will gain much knowledge from other members
of the list as I have.

>Except for a few other small fish (zebra danios, etc) we're planning on
>keeping mainly rainbows and we probably won't buy any more but rather try
>and breed the ones we have. They are already spawning daily but I've yet
>to figure out how to make an effective mop for the eggs and I don't even
>know what an egg would look like! I heard that I should be careful, that
>my austrailian and neons might try and interbreed. Any ideas on how to
>avoid this?

I make my spawning mops from acrylic wool (yarn), by winding the wool
around the vertical side of a VCR cassette, about 30-40 times. I snip the
strands of wool at the top. I then tie the middle section of the strands to
a bottle cork. This will give you strands of approximately 20-22 cm in
length. Whilst the colour of the wool probably doesn't matter too much (I
have seen others use bright pink, red, yellow), I prefer to use dark green
to give it a more "natural" look. The eggs laid by the rainbows are small,
about 1mm in diameter and are clear. As the fertile eggs develop, they go
a darker colour. The infertile eggs turn white due to fungus, and should be
removed as soon as spotted.

Rainbows will interbreed if kept in the same tank together. If you do not
want crossbred fish, you will need to put the breeders into a separate
tank. Once the eggs are laid, the breeders can be returned to the
community tank, and the spare tank used for raising the fry. You should
also note that whilst you have "Australian" rainbows, you may well have
different species, and even within the one species, say Melanotaenia
Trifasciata, there are around 30 different tribes (colour variations due to
the different rivers or creeks they come from). As aome would say, "Know
your stream, and keep them clean".

If you want more information on the different types of rainbows, you should
go to Adrian Tappin's website, which is an excellent source of information
and pictures. From there you can find links to other good rainbow sites.
Adrian's website is


Chen Leong