Rhadinocentrus ornatus

14. November 2022

An absolute rarity among the rainbowfish relatives is the ornate rainbowfish Rhadinocentrus ornatus. Within the genus Rhadinocentrus there is only one species, of which however several local variants exist. The reasons for the rarity of this fish in the hobby are that it is a subtropical species, so in the long run it needs certain seasonal variations in temperature (16-17°C on the one hand and 26-28°C on the other) and the water chemistry in its natural habitat, which is unusual for rainbowfish. There, the water is usually soft and acidic. Of course, the animals do not die if they are kept in normal tap water at the usual 25°C, but in the long run this is nothing and the reason why strains of the beautiful fish are lost again and again. Since there are no exports from Australia, its home country (it occurs from Fraser Island (southern Queensland) southward to Evans Head (northern New South Wales)), it can take many years before animals are available again for the hobby once a strain has become extinct.

These very slender, somewhat nervous fish absolutely must be kept in a group of at least 10, preferably 20 or more specimens. They grow to a length of 6-7 cm, are absolutely peaceful and do not harm plants. As plant spawners they show their full color only in well planted tanks and this most likely early in the morning when the sun rises; in our photo tank we cannot realize this well; of course we have the ambition to provide you with pictures of courting males yet, but this may take some weeks; by then we have probably already sold the fish. That’s why we decided to present them here already.

For our customers: the fish have code 453401 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer