September 23

Care for Madagascar Rainbowfish: Size, Lifespan, Tank Compatibility, and More


Madagascar Rainbow fish is one of the most beautiful freshwater fish among all rainbow fish species. This freshwater fish is also sometimes known as Madagascan rainbow fish. So, here in this article, we will discuss all “Care for Madagascar Rainbow fish: Size, Lifespan, Tank Compatibility, and More.”

Let’s continue

Madagascar Rainbow fish are a few of the highly agile and active small species. So, these fish species also require some additional tank requirements. To accommodate the high activity level of Madagascar Rainbow fish, the aquarium should be designed with a large open area at the front. However, it is also essential to provide hiding places for the fish in the form of vegetation at the aquarium’s back and sides. They are excellent jumpers; always use a lid that fits snugly on the fish tank to prevent this from happening, and ensure that the water is well-oxygenated by using an oxygen pump and sponge filter.

Madagascar Rainbowfish

Species Overview

Even though the Madagascar rainbow fish is generally considered to be one of the most peaceful kinds of rainbow fish, it is possible for them to be aggressive with smaller tankmates. They are an excellent addition to the tank because, if cared for properly, they will develop stunning patterns that are a reflection of their silvery scales, and they will do this. When maintained in groups, they offer a lot of excitement for the keeper to monitor, which is a positive point. Also, they are tolerant of a larger range of water parameters in comparison to species of fish that are more sensitive to changes in these characteristics. They should be kept in groups of at least eight individuals, and as a result, a moderate to enormous tank should be used to house them.

Origin And Distribution

This species of fish, known by its scientific name Bedotia madagascarensis or Bedotia geayi (old scientific name), is native to Madagascar. Typically, it may be discovered in the crystal-clear streams and canals that can be found to the north of Manambalo Creek and farther up the Ivoloina River on the island of Madagascar in Africa.

Appearance & Colors

The fish has a robust but relatively small dorsal fin and a long and thin body. Their mouths and eyes are both rather huge, and their coloring can range from grayish to silvery. The body has an overall tone that is somewhere between brown and light yellow, with a light blue shine to it. When they move their dorsal fins, they display a more complex range of colors, making them aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes, a bright blue stripe runs throughout the entirety of the fish’s body from head to tail.

How Do You Tell a Male from a Female Rainbow Fish in Madagascar?

Adult males display a noticeably higher degree of ornate coloring in the dorsal fins compared to adult females, and males generally have more vibrant coloration. On the other hand, females have larger bodies and less coloration.

madagascar rainbow fish lifespan

Madagascar Rainbow fish Size

The length of an adult Madagascar Rainbow fish may reach up to 5.7 to 5.9 inches if proper nutrition is provided.

Madagascar Rainbow fish Lifespan

The life expectancy of a Madagascar Rainbow fish is nine to eleven years (only if proper care is provided). Water quality, nutrition, and handling significantly impact Madagascar fish lifespan.

Behavior & Temperament

The Madagascar Rainbow fish is not known to be aggressive against other fish and thrives in community aquariums with other fish of similar size and temperament.

It will be stressful for them if they are housed in a tank with aggressive fish that nibble at their fins. Do not house them with fish that are either too small or move too slowly since this will make it impossible for them to compete for food and result in malnourishment.

It is advised to retain only one specimen of this species in each tank since the adult males of this species can become violent against one another and possessive of their territory. Always ensure they are kept with peaceful tankmates who are the same size as them and have a similar temperament.

They are generally calm fish that will not annoy any of the tank’s other inhabitants, and they prefer hiding among vegetation with a dense cover of leaves. They won’t have any problems adjusting to living in a community aquarium with other docile species of a similar size.

Madagascar Rainbow fish Care

In general, the Madagascar Rainbow fish is a resilient species that is capable of adjusting to a wide variety of environmental circumstances. However, they need a tank that has a large number of plants and stones so that they can hide whenever they want.

    Water Conditions And Parameters

    The water conditions and tank settings are highly crucial factors to consider while caring for your Madagascar Rainbow fish. It guarantees that the fish live in the finest environment that can be provided for them, promoting their development and growth.

    When preparing a tank for them, you must always consider the following requirements.

    •   Water Movement: Moderate to fast
    •   pH: 4.7 – 7.6
    •   Temperature: 75 – 89 °F (24 – 32 °C)

    Madagascar Rainbow fish Tank Size

    The Madagascar Rainbow fish thrives in moderate to fast-moving water, which may be created by stocking your tank with pebbles or driftwood. This fish requires a tank of at least 30-50 gallons.

    The Madagascar Rainbow fish is unsuitable for most micro tanks since it needs a giant aquarium than those.

    Madagascar Rainbow fish Tank Setup

    The Madagascar Rainbow fish is a fish of moderate size, and as a result, they demand spacious aquariums. They can’t reproduce in such a restricted space. Creating an environment suitable for your Rainbow fish to live in is of equal importance as creating an environment ideal for any other tank

    The health of your Madagascar Rainbow fish is affected by several factors, including the substrate, vegetation, pebbles, and driftwood, as well as the type of oxygen filtration.

    Common Diseases And Prevention

    Here are some of the most common diseases that affect Madagascar rainbow fish:

    White Spot Disease (Also known as ICH)

    Many rainbow fishes suffer from ICH or white spot disease. A parasite causes the illness in this disease, which manifests as white spots all over the body. The treatment consists of giving the patient medicine (such as Ich-X), changing the water as required, and treating any secondary infections that may have developed due to open sores. 

    Skin Flukes

    Clamped fins and tiny black spots on the skin are the common signs of this condition. You’ll most likely need a magnifying glass to view these spots. If you keep your tank tidy and remove any potential sources of stress, you can quickly treat and avoid this, too.

    Hole in the head disease

    Affected Rainbow fish with this disease may often show signs of depression in the area around the head, in addition to losing their appetite and becoming listless. Antibiotics are the standard course of therapy for Hole in the Head Disease; however other procedures may be necessary.

    Parasitic infestations

    The Madagascar Rainbow fish is susceptible to a parasite called Hexamita.  This parasite causes weakness and a loss of appetite.

    If you find this parasite in your tank, chances are the tank conditions are subpar. The greatest defense against this parasite is a healthy tank environment.

    Bacterial infections

    Although bacterial infections in this type of fish are uncommon, they can occur if the aquarium environment is not maintained correctly. Having hazy eyes, pinched fins, or a lack of activity are all signs of a bacterial illness.

    madagascar rainbow fish male and female

    Gender Differences

    The distinctions between male and female specimens of Madagascar Rainbow fish are hard to spot. Generally, males are distinguishable from females by their more vibrant coloring and distinct fins, while females have a duller overall appearance.

    Madagascar Rainbow fish Diet And Feeding – What do Madagascar Rainbow Fish Eat?

    Madagascar Rainbow fish are omnivorous, so they can easily consume flakes, pellets, finely leaved plants, freeze-dried refrigerated, or live food as part of a diet.

    Give the fish only as much food as they can consume in one to two minutes, and feed them a tiny quantity twice or three times a day.

    Madagascar Rainbow fish Tank Mates – What Fish can Madagascar Rainbow Fish Live With?

    These fish can live with many other freshwater fish species, including the following:

    •   Mollies
    •   Danios
    •   Cory catfish
    •   Swordtails
    •   Tetras
    •   Rasboras
    •   Barbs
    •   Platies

    Fact: Never put brine shrimp or any other small shrimp with Madagascar Rainbow fish because Madagascar rainbow fish can easily consume them as being omnivorous.

    Final Thoughts

    The Madagascar Rainbow fish, commonly known as Bedotia geayi madagascar rainbow fish, is a stunning fish known for its calm and quiet attitude. As long as you feed them appropriately and clean the tank consistently, taking care of them is simple.

    Madagascar Rainbow fish FAQs

    How Big Does A Madagascar Rainbow Fish Get?

    As mentioned above, the maximum length to which the Madagascar Rainbow fish can grow or Madagascar Rainbow fish full grown size is 5.7-5.9 inches.

    How Long Do Madagascar Rainbow Fish live?

    The average lifespan of a Madagascar Rainbow fish is five years. Under ideal conditions, however, a properly cared-for Madagascar Rainbow fish may survive for up to 9-11 years in a tank.

    How Many Madagascar Rainbow Fish Should I Get?

    Due to their sociable nature, Madagascar Rainbow fish do best when maintained in groups of at least eight of their own species. However, in the wild, they like to stick together in groups of twelve, which may be excellent considering the huge/unlimited space.

    What Part Of Tank Do Madagascar Rainbow fish Swim?

    The Madagascar Rainbow fish love to swim at the top or in the middle portions of the aquarium. Occasionally, they may swim much closer to the ground, but they are not bottom dwellers.

    Are Madagascar Rainbow Fish Aggressive?

    Although the Madagascar rainbow fish is generally considered to be one of the more calm species, they may become violent with tankmates of a smaller size.

    Why did Madagascar Rainbow Fish Get Darker?

    They get darker due to two reasons:

    •   They are suffering from any disease.
    •   Light reflection or changing light intensity can change the color of our eyes.

    Are Madagascar Rainbow Fish Easy To Take Care Of?

    The Madagascar Rainbow fish is a species that can coexist peacefully with a wide variety of other kinds of small bottom-dwelling fish, making it a reasonably simple pet to care for.

    Where Can I Buy A Madagascar Rainbow fish, And What’s the Cost?

    You can buy these fish online from any authentic seller, or you can buy them from nearby pet/fish stores. They usually cost between $10 to $40.


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