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Sulky Male Boesemans Rainbowfish

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Offline Loubaa

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Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« on: November 16, 2018, 07:01:30 PM »
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Hi Rainbowfish lovers

I hope you can help with a bit of advice... I bought 3 Boesemans for my 125l tank. Initially I was advised by LFS that a male and 2 females would be fine but the male basically chased the girls all the time and the females spent most of their time hiding in the plants. So I went back to LFS who (this time) said you need an equal number of males and females. Getting a new boy has stopped the chasing, but the original boy seems really depressed - even a week later he won't come to the surface for food and seems listless. He still eats but waits for food to float down to him. Interestingly his colour is better though!
I also introduced 6 baby tiger barbs. I know about the nipping, but LFS said if I get enough they won't nip and should be alright with Rainbows. The barbs completely ignore the rainbows and vice versa. Is my original boy just smarting about the affront to his masculinity?
All the other fish are active. I do about a 20% water change weekly and all my levels are good. The tank is heavily planted. It's a 125l.

Thanks for any advice you can give!  :D

Offline Sue

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2018, 07:14:20 PM »
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What are the dimensions of your tank? It could be that it is a bit cramped for maturing boesemans - they need a tank at least 120 long x 30 cm wide. My old 125 litre was just 82 cm long so if yours is anything like that it is too small for these rainbowfish and that will stress them. They should also be kept as a group of at least 6 to 8, with more being better - but not if your tank is less than 120 cm long.
How hard is your water? These fish need a minimum of 10 dH/180 ppm. If your water is softer than that, this will also be stressing them.


Tiger barb are indeed one of the nippiest fish around, but when people say they keep it within the shoal if there are enough of them, they mean a minimum of 10 with 15+ being safer. 6 tiger barbs is not enough to keep their nippiness to themselves.


And I would up your water changes to 50% a week. It's not just about ammonia nitrite & nitrate but about removing other things we can't measure. If the rainbows are stressed by being in a too-small tank and too small a group (and perhaps water that is too soft) they will be releasing stress hormones. These should not be allowed to build up. Add to this the possibility that the tiger barbs are stressing all the other fish in the tank....

Offline Loubaa

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2018, 07:22:25 PM »
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Hi Sue, thanks for your reply. I was worried that you might say the tank is too small... LFS said the Rainbows would be OK and then I went on Aquadvisor and I see that it is probably too small.

Since there is no chance in me getting a new tank anytime soon maybe I need to return the rainbows - if the shop will take them. It is an independent and well-respected LFS, but I am starting to wonder about the expertise.

The water is pretty hard so in theory -with a big enough tank - they should be fine. I would be happy to stick with tigers and have a bigger shoal - I would rather the fish were happy - and alive! But feel a bit aggrieved about the advice I have been given.  >:(

Offline Loubaa

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2018, 07:23:43 PM »
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By the way, dimensions are 81L x 31D x 50H


Offline Sue

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2018, 08:08:24 PM »
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I'm afraid the tank is too small for them.


Never believe anything a shop tells you. Most of them haven't a clue so they make things up to get a sale. Yes, there are some good shops but they are few and far between.
If they'll take them back, there are rainbows suited to your tank with dwarf rainbows, Melanotaenia praecox, being the obvious one. Half a dozen, mixed males and females.


(As a side issue, we are in the process of updating the Fish Profiles on here. They were written many years ago and are in need of updating to current thinking. After replying to your first post I checked Boesemani rainbows and realised we haven't done the rainbow section yet  :-[ )

Offline Loubaa

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2018, 11:58:59 AM »
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Looks like a bigger tank. Aquadvisor suggests 90cm as a minimum - what do you think?

Offline Sue

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2018, 12:04:30 PM »
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Boesemans are big fish. I would ignore AqAdvisor and go with more knowledgable sites which give 120 cm as the minimum length. I would not like to see a 10 cm, fast swimming fish in less than this.

Offline Loubaa

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 08:48:10 PM »
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Hmm if I'm going to uptank may as well do it properly....
The advice out there for Boesemans Rainbow is sparse and contradictory. Apart from here, who gives trustworthy info?
Today I did some weeding to give more open space as some of my plants have become rather too successful. The tigers are still ignoring the rainbows -  they are about a third of the size and seem totally disinterested.
The rainbows are about 4-5cm at the moment. Unfortunately I think they will have to stay in that tank for at least the next few months - even if I get a new tank now I'll need to cycle it and probably wouldn't chuck all of them in as first fish.
I will just have to keep an eye on them and hope for the best!
 ???

Offline Sue

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2018, 08:58:47 PM »
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There are two reliable sites, both written by scientists rather than people who just keep fish. The first just deals with the actual fish (size, water preference) and does not deal with how to keep them.
http://www.fishbase.org/search.php
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/

This is another good site just for rainbowfish, but again it doesn't include things like tank size.
http://www.rainbowfish.angfaqld.org.au/Melano.htm

Offline Matt

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Re: Sulky male Boesemans Rainbowfish
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2018, 11:03:30 PM »
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If you moved the filter over to the new tank 2ith the fish then you would not have to go through the cycling process again  ;)

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