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This profile was written by GunMan an active contributor to the site.  

Papua New Guinea


Glossolepis incisus

Glossolepis incisus



    This rainbow is a very popular choice because of its’ deep blood red coloring!

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 4.75 inches (12 cm) females slightly smaller. Some report size up to 6 inches (15 cm)
    Tank: 35 gallons when young. Adults will need 75+ gallons for school.
    Strata: All. Anywhere there are open swimming waters.
    PH: PH recommendation 7.0 – 8.0
    Hardness: Medium hardness, 9 to 19° dGH
    Temperature: 72°F to 77°F (22°-25° C)


    Order: Atheriniformes (silversides)
    Class: Actinopterygii
    Family: Melanotaeniidae
    Genera: Glossolepis
    Species: incisus

Common name:

    Red Irian Rainbowfish, Red Rainbowfish, Irian Jaya Rainbowfish.

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Oceania: Lives only in Lake Sentani in Irian Jaya.


    Listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN list.
General Body Form:

    They are shaped almost like an American football with fins on the back side! They have the typical rainbowfish big eyes and forked mouth.


    Males have the blood red color on their body accented with silvery scales. Females are a duller olive color with gray fins. Age, health, mood, water quality, temperature, and rank in the school depend on how brightly or darkly red colored he will be. Sometimes when the water is cooler, all males have the deep red color. When the temperature in the tank is warmer, only the dominant males will get the dark red coloring.


    Because Red Irians are very active fish, you have to make sure that the tank is open enough for their active lifestyle. Any plants in the tank should be rooted firmly in case one of these fish decides to browse the plants. When these fish are spooked, they tend to jump so make sure you keep a tight lid on the tank. If you cannot keep up with a 25%-50% water change weekly, you will be seeing poor coloration in these fish.

    AGlossolepis incisus - Female


    These fish are omnivorous, but they are used to eating a meaty diet. The key in this fish’s diet is variety. Live foods should be prepared to feed at least twice a week. If live foods are unavailable, you can defrost frozen foods for a substitute. Red Irians’ color profits from eating flake foods with carotene and other dyes.


    Densely vegetated areas with bog type wood.


    Put a pair of the best Red Irians in a tank, and feed them more and higher quality food then you normally would. Once the female has produced the eggs, the male puts on an amazing display of colors, and directs the female to the spot where they will spawn, and then they rest. The site that they pick should be removed with the eggs because they will be eaten if you do not take the eggs. The couple will keep doing this for a continued amount of days. Put them back in their original tank when you think the female is getting tired, or the egg count has fallen drastically. The fry will hatch after about a week, and are very small and require infusoria or a liquid fry food until they are old enough to eat live food. This is the most difficult part because the fry remain small until around 2 months, and require very clean water the entire time. A problem with rainbowfish is that in a fish tank, if you have more than one species of rainbowfish in a tank, they can be prone to crossbreeding. Even though you might think crossing a Red Irian and maybe a Threadfin would be very pretty, the produce is almost always very colorless and sometimes weak. A good idea would be to not keep different species of rainbows in one tank, and keep the blood line clear of any crossbreeding. Disease: Prone to the same diseases as other rainbows.


    Most Rainbows are prone to skin flukes, parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.), ichthyobodo infection, parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.), bacterial infections (general), and bacterial diseases

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.








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