How to take care of Australian rainbow Fish?

We will talk about Australian rainbow fish care in this blog post. We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat, types,lifespan, tank set-up, water parameters and healthcare, etc. Everything you need to know about Australian rainbow fish care will be briefly discussed.


In this blog

  • Key specifications of australian rainbow fish
  • Why is Australian rainbow fish care important?
  • How many Australian rainbow fish should you start with as a newcomer?
  • Habitat of australian rainbow fish
  • Types of australian rainbow fish
  • Different strains or colors of australian rainbow fish
  • General and physical attributes of australian rainbow fish
  • Australian rainbow fish lifespan
  • Australian rainbow fish tank set-up
  • Australian rainbow fish diet and feeding requirements
  • Australian rainbow fish healthcare and health conditions
  • Australian rainbow fish daily care and Bi-weekly care tips
  • Summary

How to take care of Australian rainbow Fish?

You can take care of your Australian rainbow fish by doing the following:

  • Australian rainbow fish are popular for their leaping ability,so it’s important to cover their tank with a hood or a lid.
  • Clean the tank structures and flora or plants regularly.
  • Feed them small portions 2-3 times a day by rotating their diets.
  • Avoid overfeeding and remove uneaten food from the tank to avoid unstable water parameters.
  • Observe their swimming patterns and feeding behavior daily.If they are showing inactivity or not eating properly then shift them to another tank for some days until they become normal again.
  • Check all the vital parameters and all the tank equipment daily. Replace equipment if they are not working properly.
  • Use gravel siphons everyday to remove uneaten food and debris under the gravels without disturbing the beneficial bacteria which harbors in the gravels.

Bi-weekly care tips for australian rainbow fish

  • 25-30% water should be changed weekly and replaced with fresh dechlorinated water 
  • Water testing should be done monthly to check pH and ammonia-nitrates levels in the tank.If there are more ammonia and nitrates in the tank then it indicates poor water conditions due to bioaccumulation.
  • Always quarantine live food for a few weeks before feeding them to avoid various infections they carry right from wild to the pet shops.

Key specifications of Australian rainbow fish

Scientific name Rainbowfish fluviatilis 
HabitatConservation statusEndemic to Australia Not listed
Lifespan5 years 
DietOmnivorous (surface feeders)
Body sizeBody shapeColorSexual dimorphism4.3 inches in lengthElongated Yellow and silverYes 
Another namesMurray river rainbowfishCrimson spotted rainbowfishBlue eyes
Optimum temperatureOptimum pHWater hardness70F-79F6.5 to 8.58-25 dGH/dKH
TemperamentBeginner / experienced Very peaceful and energeticGreat beginner fish
Care levelEasy to moderate
Tank size and set-upTank type (Prefered)Male to female ratio 30 gallons (minimum)Heavily planted community tank1:1
Preferred plants/decorationsLive plants 
CompatibilityOther peaceful fish
Number of australian rainbow fish species found Almost 50-100 varieties (captive breeding) of rainbow fish are there and australian is one among them.
Breeding temp
Egg scattering (5-10 eggs per day)Ease of breeding is moderate72F

Why is Australian rainbow fish care important?

Australian rainbow fish are hardy,sturdy, low maintenance and easy to care for species in aquarium settings.

Any hardy species can become sick when they are not getting the ideal environment like their original habitat.

So, even Australian rainbows can succumb to such infections if they are not given proper care and supervision.

How many Australian rainbow fish should you start with as a newcomer?

As a newcomer only two to three Australian rainbows can be introduced to the aquarium initially.Once the cycle is established additional Australian rainbows can slowly be added.

They should be kept in a group of 6 by maintaining the male and female ratio in the tank.

Habitat of Australian rainbow fish

  • Natural habitat- Endemic to Australia
  • Fish type- Freshwater fish
  • Australian rainbow fish are found near river beds and logs in their natural habitat.

Types of Australian rainbow fish

There are almost 50-100 varieties of rainbow fish known in the wild and Australian rainbows is one among them.As such no data is available on the types of Australian rainbow fish yet.

Different strains or colors of Australian rainbow fish

  • Australian rainbows are slightly less colorful species of rainbows.They are mostly silver coloured and have streaks of yellow and orange on their body.
  • Juveniles are silver with yellow streaks but as they mature the male fish will develop a shiny turquoise pattern on their dorsal side and really stand out.
  • Male Australian rainbowfish are more colorful than females.

General and physical attributes of Australian rainbow fish

  • Male Australian rainbowfish are larger than females.
  • Size of male australian rainbowfish – 3.3 inches in length
  • Size of female australian rainbowfish- 2.8 inches in length
  • Body shape – elongated body,with large eyes and a small head.
  • Number of fins – 2 dorsal fins and a pointed anal fin

Australian rainbow fish lifespan

Australian rainbow fish can live upto 5 years or more depending on the amount of care they are getting.

If you are maintaining their water parameters and feeding schedule then surely they will live even longer than 5 years and above.

Australian rainbow fish tank set-up

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrateWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Tank size for australian rainbow fish

  • Minimum tank size for small school of Australian rainbow fish – 30 gallons,30 inches in length (114L).
  • A 50 gallons tank can keep 6-10 Australian rainbows together. 
  • Set up their tank with dechlorinated water
  • Australian rainbow fish spend their time in the middle region and the top region of the tank.
  • Australian rainbow fish are fast and active swimmers so leave an open space for them to swim around in the tank.
  • Australian rainbow fish are great jumpers,so cover the tank with a hood or a lid.

Light intensity for australian rainbow fish

  • Moderate lighting is sufficient for Australian rainbows.
  • Expose them to sunlight for 2-3 hours daily to see their beautiful colours.They look more vibrant during morning hours.

Substrate/decoration for australian rainbow fish

  • Substrate is optional in Australian rainbows aquariums.If you are keeping bottom dwellers with them then you can go ahead with substrate of your choice.
  • A two and half inch sandy substrate and small gravels can make a good substrate for Australian rainbowfish tanks.
  • A dark gravel substrate will intensify their colors.
  • Bogwood or artificial logs acts as hiding spots
  • Rock work or rock structure acts as hiding spots

Water parameters for australian rainbow fish

  • Water quality is extremely important to the health of Australian rainbow fish.
  • Australian rainbow fish thrive well in pristine water conditions.
  • They can tolerate differences in pH and degree of hardness.
  • Nitrates and ammonia levels – zero ppm
  • High quality efficient filtration system is needed in their tank.
  • A circulating pump and a siphon tube is needed in their tanks to remove debris and uneaten food from the gravels.

Temperature for australian rainbow fish

  • Ideal temperature for australian rainbow fish – 70F-79F
  • Good thing about Australian rainbow fish is they can adjust in different temperature conditions. 
  • Australian rainbow fish will start losing their color if there are unnecessary temperature fluctuations in the aquarium.
  • Australian rainbow fish will become inactive and sick if the ideal temperature is not maintained.
  • Aquarium heaters are required in cooler regions and where the temperature is below room temperature.

Tank plants for australian rainbow fish

Australian rainbow fish prefer heavily planted vegetation.Choose freshwater plants which can tolerate water hardiness suitable for Australian rainbow fish.

Replicate their original habitat by adding live floating,anchored plants and fake plants to make them feel home away from home.

Make sure to arrange the tall plants to the sides and back of the tank, so that you can enjoy seeing them shoaling together.

  • Java moss and java ferns
  • Guppy grass
  • Water wisteria

Tank mates for australian rainbow fish

Australian rainbows get along well with peaceful and non aggressive species.They follow other fish around in the tank but they will never attack anyone.They are fast swimmers and this may intimidate slow swimmers.

Best tank mates:

  • Other rainbow fish
  • Gouramis – dwarf and pearl 
  • Tetras – rosy tetra,cardinal,neon,bloodfin and green neon tetras
  • Plecos 
  • Guppies
  • angelfish 
  • Corydoras 

Australian rainbow fish diet & feeding requirements

  • Australian rainbow fish are omnivores in nature and a well balanced protein diet consisting of plant matter and meaty diet will keep Australian rainbow fish happy and healthy.
  • Feeding frequency- Feed them in small portions  2-3 times a day by rotating their diets.You can rotate their diets for better results.
  • If you are too busy to feed then you can purchase automatic fish feeders from pet stores to feed your australian rainbows.
  • Maintain the flake food to meaty food percent like 75% flake food and 25% meaty food in their diet for better growth.
  • Kindly don’t overfeed them.Overeating can upset their stomach and it also increases the biomass.
  • Increase in biomass can change the water parameters which can affect their health.
  • An overweight fish will face difficulty during breeding, so moderate eating several times a day is advisable. 
  • Always remove uneaten food from the tank with the help of a gravel siphon.

Food for australian rainbows:

  • Plant matter based diet- Ground vegetables
  • Live and frozen food – brine shrimp, chopped bloodworms,white worms and mosquito larva  etc
  • Pellets
  • High quality omnivore flakes, color flakes, spirulina flakes
  • Betta treats 

Australian rainbow fish healthcare/health conditions

Australian rainbows are mostly disease resistant fish due to their hardiness and can tolerate different water conditions.

But if they are not getting the pristine water conditions,they may fall sick and get freshwater disease.But the good thing about them is they are resilient in nature and recover quickly.

Common freshwater fish disease are:

  • White spot diseases or ich
  • Velvet disease 


  • Australian rainbow fish are beautiful schooling and shoaling fish and should be kept in a group of 6.Maintain male to female ratio in the tank.They look happier and flashy in larger groups.
  • Australian rainbows do great in decently planted tanks with lots of hiding space and open areas for swimming.
  • Australian rainbows are very hardy and sturdy fish but remember this even a very hardy fish can die from poor water conditions.
  • Australian rainbow fish are budget friendly & are recommended for both beginner/advanced aquarists.

Frequently asked questions on Australian rainbow fish care

Are Australian rainbow fish aggressive in nature?

Australian rainbows are very peaceful fish and a great addition to the community aquariums.Males get aggressive with each other if they are competing for the attention of female Australian rainbows.So you have to be little bit careful if you are keeping male and females together.

Is it difficult to feed Australian rainbow fish ?

No,it is not difficult to feed Australian rainbow fish, they are not picky eaters and accept whatever you feed them from meaty food to vegetables to commercially prepared food.