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Celebes Rainbowfish Care Guide or Beginners

Celebes Rainbowfish is a cute little fish that is hard to avoid and can be taken well care of by any intermediate-level fish-keeper.

Though they look tiny and innocent, they tend to be highly active and moody if not adequately treated.

Nevertheless, these fish can be your favorite in enhancing your tank’s beauty due to their attractive look and peaceful nature.

Ladigesi celebes rainbowfish is a native to the streams of Sulawesi, Indonesia. They live up to 4-5 years, depending on the level of care. These fish are peaceful and best kept with non-aggressive groups of 6 to 8 other species. They are only easy to care for if you know how to do so.

Species Overview

Level of CareEasy
AppearanceBrownish-yellow body, with black, two-toned, and lemon-yellow fins with black markings
Life Expectancy4 years
Tank Size50-60 gallon
Tank EnvironmentSoft acidic water conditions with bright lighting and lots of plants
Tank MatesPeaceful but not with fin nippers

Unlike other rainbowfish, Celebes or Marosatherina Ladigesi is generally a slender one. They are found in both brackish and freshwater environments of the Sulawesi river and its estuaries in Indonesia.

These belong to the family of Melanotaeniidae. These fish are also known by other common names, like Celebes sailfish and Celebes sailfin.

This fish has been listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species as a non-vulnerable being.



This cute little fish comes with two dorsal fins. One fin is large and two-toned, while the other fin is tiny and black-colored. Their body color appears differently under different lighting. Usually, they have a brownish yellow-colored body with greenish undertones.

With big eyes and a fantastic neon stripe running along the backbone on their back, they often reflect blue and green colors.

Celebes rainbowfish also seems to be amusing for its interesting pectoral fins. They reflect immense beauty from their black, white, or translucent-tipped pectoral fins. Their other fins have a lemon yellowish color, along with black marks.

Thus, the gorgeous body and fin colors of this tiny species make it worthy enough for adding to your fish collection.


Celebes rainbowfish are not very large when it comes to their growth. They are tiny in size, but their length also depends on how you take care of them.

Generally, the adults grow up to 3-3.2 inches in length. However, this fish can grow up to 5.1-inches if adequately nurtured.

Behavior & Temperament

Celebes rainbowfish is not a creature that will attack others for no reason. They usually remain pretty timid during the first few days of their introduction to the tank. Celebes are generally peaceful and do well with other fish apart from their own species.

Moreover, these schooling fish are not all aggressive but highly active. So, they need enough space for swimming in community tanks.

Besides, these freshwater fish are very easy-going, and all they need is a comfortable aquatic environment and proper food, as they get too moody when they don’t receive food on time.

Celebes rainbow male looking at camera


In the wild areas, this Celebes fish can survive up to 4 years. However, in an aquarium, they can have a lifespan of about 3-5 years if well maintained.

Tank Requirements

Celebes rainbowfish is easy to handle if you know how to do it. And mainly, caring depends on the tank environment they have been kept into.

Albeit they might look like cute little fish, they are no less than any giant fish when it comes to their activity level. And that is why the size of the tank plays a crucial role in their upbringing.

Nevertheless, this fish is very much sensitive to water chemistry. Thus, an aquarist must keep the pH, temperature, and hardness range of water at optimal levels.

These fish do their best and grow much more effectively in tanks that mimic their natural habitat areas. And for doing so, you can incorporate many plants as they seem to be protective elements for these species.

This fish doesn’t prefer highly salty water but can go well with low salinity brackish water conditions.

Apart from that, while choosing the substrate for your tank, it’s better to opt for fine, darker gravel leading to their better coloration. Moreover, a good rate of filtration and intermediate water current will be an excellent combination.

Lastly, to include some beauty in your tank, you can equip a few lighting fixtures. These fish don’t mind a bit of lighting over them or minute sun rays hitting their tank as it makes their color more radiant, amusing both you and your guests.

Tank Setup

If you are a die-hard fish lover and want your fish to be safe and healthy, then there are some measures that you need to consider.

As the aquarium plays a significant role for your Celebes rainbowfish, you need to ensure the following things to have a perfect tank setup.

  • Since these are active fish, a minimum of 20-gallon tanks is a must. However, it is better to have a 50-60-gallon tank to keep your fish with 6 other specimens.
  • You can also opt for a nano tank with small gravel to keep them.
  • As these are pretty sensitive to water quality, it is better to keep the water hardness range between 10-2- dGH.
  • Also, the water temperature must be maintained between 72-82 ℉.
  • The aquarium water must also have a proper pH level, which needs to be kept between 7-and 8.
  • Although they are active swimmers, the water movement is better to be kept moderate so that their speed doesn’t get much affected by the water flow.
  • The tank for them must be covered tightly to prevent them from jumping out.
  • While adding salt to the aquarium, remember these fish are not very salt-friendly; thus, it is better to add only a half teaspoon of salt per gallon.
  • Most importantly, plants’ indulgence is essential in their tank as it helps them bring out their bright colors and gives them enough hiding places.
  • Space is an utmost requirement. Thus, make sure to leave enough swimming places in the aquarium.

Tank Mates

One of the best things about Celebes rainbowfish is that they are very peaceful and don’t believe in violence. Such nature helps them to get well-acquainted with groups of 6 or more other fish species.

However, as they neither attack nor defend themselves, it is better to keep them away from fin nippers. Along with that, semi-aggressive and aggressive fish also seems to be a threat to them.

They can be kept with any peaceful fish in the same tank. Even the invertebrates that are usually considered prey by many for their large size go pretty well with this fish.

As they are schooling fish, it is better to keep them with their own species, or you can also pet them any other fish species that are slow eaters, swimmers, and non-aggressive by nature. So, you can add any of the following tank mates.

  • Livebearers
  • Gobies
  • Halfbeaks
  • Mollies
  • Other rainbowfish

Food & Diet

Foods play a considerable role in the lives of Celebes rainbow fish as they tend to get capricious when not fed properly. Thus, it is essential to prioritize their diet for their better growth and temper as well.

Generally, these are omnivores. Hence, in the wild areas, they feed primarily on plants, worms, and insects. But in a tank, these fish must be provided with a balanced diet that includes processed and live foods to facilitate their good health.

You can treat them with daphnia, tubifex, brine shrimp, or blood worms once a week. Apart from that, you can undoubtedly provide flakes, pellet, frozen foods, and tiny vegetable matters, along with some meaty foods, as they love feeding on them.

Do you want to know a fascinating fact about Celebes rainbowfish? They possess a very small throat. And that is why they must be fed smaller portions of food that can be easily consumed within five minutes. Also, it is necessary to feed them quite often throughout the day.

Celebes Rainbowfish Care

It might not seem easy to take care, but it is not difficult as well. Anyone with intermediary fishkeeping experience can easily manage them.

In the procedure of caring for your little ones, you need to ensure that 25-50% of aquarium water is changed weekly.

Along with that, it is necessary to keep checking the salt content in water and other factors. Due to their high water sensitivity, it is crucial to look after the water filtration rate and cleanliness to avoid any disease or health problems.

Breeding Guidelines

Celebes rainbofish pair

Celebes rainbowfish are those fish that are not at all difficult to breed in captivity.

An accurate tank setup, especially for breeding, maximize their chances of better production.

Thus, in the case of the breeding aquarium, it is preferable to pick a planted one as the male specimen find it spacious for themselves. You can also add long-leaved plants to the tank that would make swimming and chasing more fun for them.

Also, assure that the water’s pH level is slightly salty and soft, as they get to catch their eggs better in such water conditions. You can even add some floating plants, like Milfoil, Java Moss, Cabomba, and Riccia, for better quality breeding of your fish.

Make sure the filtration rate is top-notch as it gets difficult for them to emerge colorfully in unhygienic water conditions.

After successfully breeding the sexes, the males and females of this freshwater fish distribute their eggs in the plants or spawning mop, whichever is available, and then the eggs hatch in a week.

Unlike other fish, one additional thing that you need to do with these fish is to remove the parent males and females from the aquarium before the eggs hatch.

Generally, these fish eggs are larger than their fries. Once hatched, you can feed them commercially-made fry foods.

Make sure not to introduce the baby fish to a huge tank unless they are big enough and cannot be eaten. This entire procedure usually takes around 5 months.

Interesting Facts

So, did you find knowledge about the Celebes fish species interesting so far? Well, then here are some more details about them for you!

  • This active schooling fish thrives well in planted aquariums.
  • The adults, primarily males, come with very colorful and ornate fins.
  • These are the smallest species of the rainbowfish family.
  • They are easily adaptable along with being very hardy.
  • These freshwater fish become good friends with same-sized fish.

Where to Buy?

Celebes are very easy to find in all pet or fish stores. In case you are unable to find them in any of your local stores, you can opt for buying them online. They can be easily found on any online platform at an affordable price.

However, these are comparatively higher in price than a few other rainbowfish species.

Wrapping Up

So, now that you know a lot about Celebes rainbowfish, this fish appears to be quite a fun member to join your family, isn’t it? Though people say they are not good aquarium fish, they can become if you know how to handle them properly.

With their peaceful and friendly behavior, they are one of the perfect choices for intermediaries. All you need to ensure is an appropriate tank setup that mirrors their natural habitat areas and good food so that they live a stress-free life in your home aquarium.