FIA is community supported website. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.

Madagascar Rainbowfish Care, Lifespan, Breeding & More

What are your ideas about adding rainbow-hued fish to your tank? Tempting, right! Madagascar Rainbowfish is an excellent choice for aquariums with their charming look and calm temperament.

These are best cared for in a 30-gallon tank with slightly alkaline hard water. These fish are usually found in Madagascar and come with a rainbow hue on their body. You can pet them with other quiet fish. They extend up to 5.9 inches and live for 5-11 years.

Species Overview

Level of CareEasy
AppearanceRainbow hue with a yellowish-brown tint
Life Expectancy5-11 years
Tank Size30-gallon
Tank EnvironmentSlightly alkaline hard water with dense vegetation
Tank MatesPeaceful

Madagascar Rainbowfish is one of the most exotic fish of rainbowfish, which are very easy to care for in a home aquarium. They look pretty tempting with a rainbow hue on their body.

Their scientific name is Bedotia geayi, were first discovered in 1907. Besides, they are well-known with a common name like Red-tailed Silverside.

It is a family member of Bedotiidae and comes with two other genera like Betodia and Rheocles.

They are inhabitants of the clear and swiftly moving Mananjary river in Madagascar. The ecology of bedotia madagascarensis ​is quite distinctive by nature, and they are primarily developed as river fish.


Madagascar rainbowfish comes with a long and slender body, along with a short and strong dorsal fin.


The body of these fish species comes with a pale yellowish-brown hue with a very light blue sheen. Their dorsal fin has much more depth. And that is why it looks too nice to look at their swinging dorsal fin pairs.

You can also spot a very heavy, dark blue band running through the entire length of their body that comes with a second tainter and shorter band underneath it.


They are usually not so big in size. They grow moderate in length and extend up to 5.9-inches or 15.01 cm. And owing to their size, you can easily house them in any medium-capacity aquarium.

Behavior & Temperament

You can call them peaceful ones. They are not much aggressive and do not cause harm to other fish. Instead, they are sweet and soft by nature.

But to make them stay comfortable, it is better to keep them in groups of at least 6 buddies. They are usually schooling fish by nature. Thus, they enjoy the company of their own types in groups compared to the other ones in the aquarium.

However, they are occasional squabblers. But not at all harmful. You can easily add them to your fish tanks to enjoy their funny behavior.


The life span of this fish species is not too short; instead, it is moderate to any other aquarium fish.

In their natural habitat, they easily live up to 5 years. But with proper feeding in aquariums with flake food, they can even survive for 11 years or more. Make sure the maintenance of the aquarium is top-notch for your bedotia madagascarensis.

Tank Requirement

It is usually a schooling fish and remains very active throughout the day. Thus, you need to ensure that you are setting up a proper and top-notch aquarium for them.

It is essential to create a suitable aquatic environment in the tank to care for your Madagascar Rainbowfish. The aquarium needs to be a bit long.

The aquarium needs to have a good swimming area, along with sturdy plants, to offer shade regions to your fish. Also, you need to opt for a proper filtration system for the aquarium so that the water remains highly oxygenated.

Décorate the aquarium with tank-safe rocks and other décor products. Besides, it is better to opt for a dark substrate for these fish as they feel more secure. It is essential to add a tight-fitting cover to the aquarium so that they cannot jump away.

Tank Setup

It is essential to acquire a top-notch aquarium setup. But are you wondering how to do so?

Well, here are a few tips that you can follow to facilitate a proper aquarium setup for your Madagascar rainbowfish.

Tank Size

Pick a minimum tank size of up to 30-gallon to let your fish hover around safely. If you want to keep adults or full-grown ones with other tank mates, you can opt for a 100-150 gallon aquarium.


Add a darker substrate of sand and gravel mix for the aquarium.


The lighting in the tank needs to be moderate enough. However, it is equally important to add some shaded areas in the aquarium to take good care of your fish.


Maintain the temperature of the aquarium within 72-77 ℉.

Water Parameters

This fish species usually prefers slightly alkaline water parameters. Thus, keep the pH range within 6.5-8.5

It is better to keep the water moderately hard. So, maintain the hardness range within 8-25 dGH.


It is better to keep the water movement moderate. And for doing so, incorporate multiple powerheads in the aquarium.

Tank Mates

There is no doubt that Madagascar rainbowfish are very peaceful by nature. Also, as they do not nip dorsal fin, they can be easily kept with any other fish. Thus, they are a great one to add to any community tank.

However, while picking tank mates for this fish, make sure they have a similar temperament and activity level. Also, they need to be identical in size.

Now, as these fish live in their own groups, they will not interfere in other tank mates’ lives when kept in a community tank. But make sure there are enough places for them to swim about freely.

Besides, these are not at all venomous by nature. Also, these fish are speedy swimmers.

While keeping them with slow swimming fish, keep in mind that these fish can make the slow swimmers feel much nervous. So, choose tank mates accordingly.

If you are keeping them with semi-aggressive fish, then you need to monitor them regularly. In case you spot any signs of aggression, it is better to replace them. Also, remember never to house these with any aggressive fish as they can be a real threat to them.

So, here are a few suitable tank mates that do well with Madagascar rainbowfish.

  • Large barbs
  • Characins
  • Peaceful cichlids
Madagascar rainbowfish pair

Food & Diet

Do you know what is the best part of caring for Madagascar Rainbowfish? As they are omnivores, they will readily eat anything that serves them a healthy diet.

Thus, in the aquarium, they are effortless to feed. They will easily consume any small insects or plants.

However, while deciding on the diet, make sure to add high-quality pellet or flake food. Occasionally, give it live prey to ensure that they are retaining their natural behavior.

Some suitable foods are bloodworms, tubifex worms, brine shrimp, or water fleas. For a healthy change in the diet of this fish, you can add foods like algae wafers or veggies.

Their diet must also include meaty foods as they show better color when they are served with proper protein-rich fish food. Also, they will readily accept any live or frozen foods.

Besides, it is better to feed with a supplement at least twice per week to maintain good health.

So, are you wondering how often you should feed this fish species? Well, giving them several feedings per day instead of one large meal would be suitable.

Madagascar Rainbowfish Care

Madagascar rainbowfish are very easy to care for. However, they require well-maintained aquariums for their proper care. You need to perform regular water changes properly.

Also, the water in the aquarium needs to be very clean. It would be better to perform at least 25-50% of water change per week.

They are very active swimmers and jumpers. Thus, it is vital to ensure that you have a secure cover on the top of the aquariums.

In general, Madagascar rainbowfish are much hardy; thus, diseases may not turn up if you keep them in well-maintained aquariums. But diseases often tend to occur due to other tank décor products that possess bacteria and parasites.

These fish are usually much prone to diseases like skin flukes, parasitic infestations, and ICH.

It is essential to ensure that you are quarantining the fish properly in another established aquarium to maintain their health.

Breeding & Reproduction

Breeding Madagascar rainbowfish is very easy. And for accomplishing the task, make sure the breeding aquarium contains moderately hard and alkaline water.

These tanks need to be reasonably large with at least 24-inches in length. To stimulate males and females for breeding, it is essential to maintain a good amount of water current.

Adding finely-leaved plants and a sponge filter will be excellent for facilitating a proper spawning tank.

A pair of males and female rainbowfish usually spawn continuously for a few weeks. The females lay a few large brown eggs. Typically, the eggs hatch after a few weeks.

However, these Madagascar Rainbowfish bedotia males and females usually tend to ignore their eggs and fries. And that is why breeders must separate the fries from these males and females specimens and take good care of the little ones.

The fries grow slowly. Right after hatching from the egg, they feed on the sac of their egg yolk at an initial stage. Eventually, they can be provided with liquid fry food or infusoria.

Nevertheless, it is better not to give the fries brine shrimp at their initial stage. As they grow a bit older, they will start accepting brine shrimps.

Though breeding is very easy, it is crucial to take care as they are very sensitive during this phase of their lives.

Interesting Facts

Well, there exist quite a few fun facts regarding Madagascar Rainbowfish. Do you want to know them? Then check out the interesting information given below.

  • In their wild habitat, these fish inhabit near an altitude of 500 meters above sea level.
  • The male fish come with brighter colors than their female counterparts. They possess a very exotic color effect on their tails.
  • The female ones tend to be a bit paler than the male specimens.
  • The color of male rainbowfish enhances with their growing age, and it becomes brightest when they are full-grown adults.
  • The male specimens often fight among themselves to catch the attention of the females.
  • This fish species love to dwell in fresh and clean water conditions.
  • Remember never to overfeed your Madagascar rainbows.

Where to Buy?

Madagascar Rainbowfish species are readily available at any aquarist shop. They are sometimes commercially known as Madagascar Rainbowfish.

However, these fish species are a bit rare in availability. Also, due to the captivating unique look of these fish, they are a bit costly but worth buying.

Final Thoughts

Madagascar Rainbowfish are usually very easy to care for even though they are a bit rare in availability. You can easily keep a group of these fish in the tank with clean water. Also, for their healthy growth, provide them rich-oxygenated water using a proper filtration system.

Even though you are a beginner, you can opt for these fish to keep and take care of them in your home. But make sure that you are performing a proper amount of water changes regularly for their better health.