Bronze and Orange Rainbow
The Bronze and Orange Dwarf Rainbow is also known as the Ramu Rainbowfish and is a recent import from Papua, New Guinea. Maximum size is about 3 inches. Although it is a very slow grower, they can be bred at about 1 inch and are a good candidate for smaller community tanks, being active and peaceful. Males are very colorful with brown and orange colors on the sides and a prominent dark horizontal stripe with orange below. Breeding males have short black vertical lines that come and go according to their mood. Males are larger, deeper bodied, and have most of the color. They eat a variety of foods but are not especially heavy eaters. 73 to 80 degrees is a good temperature range for them. They do not seem overly hardy, so good water quality and nutritious foods are important.
The Ramu Rainbowfish breeds quite readily. Eggs are laid in a dark colored nylon mop and can be picked and placed in a hatching pan with aged tapwater and a drop or two of 5% methylene blue per quart. In about a week they begin hatching. Next is what I found to be the hardest part in raising this fish. Even though I got plenty of newly hatched fry, They were extremely tiny and had very small mouths. This necessitated their needing infusoria for 2-3 weeks! Even using a 20 gallon tank to raise them in, I never got more than 1 or 2 dozen fry to survive to be able to eat newly hatched brine shrimp. My results in a smaller tank would probably have been worse. I was using small amounts of APR Formula and egglayer Liquifry to feed them, and even though I was doing some water changes, these foods pollute quickly. Once the fry reach the stage where they can consume baby brine shrimp, they grow steadily, but very slowly. It is many months before they are mature enough to breed.
I recommend that others try to keep and breed this fish. It is colorful, small, peaceful, active, and easy to breed. It is a good fish to gain experience raising very tiny fry. Many species of fish require infusoria as a first food, and are often branded “difficult” only because of that.