Freshwater Fish

Top Tips In Caring For The Red Neon Rainbow Fish

The red neon rainbow fish has a vibrant red/orange color, making it an attractive addition to aquariums. This colorful but small aquatic fish is rare, so you have to learn the proper ways of caring for them if you want to enjoy them longer.

Beautiful is an understatement to describe this nano fish breed with the scientific name Pseudomugil Luminatus classified under the subfamily Pseudomugilinae.

The latter was derived from “Pseudo,” which means false, and “Mugil,” which means mullets. The breed resembles the mullet fish in physical shape, but they are not related.

Aside from red neon rainbowfish, it is also commonly called Blue Eyes or Red Neon Blue-Eyed Fish. You will understand why when you see them swimming in the water as their blue eyes glow when stuck with light.

The fish can grow from one inch to two inches – making them small but awesome-looking water creatures.

More About The Red Neon Rainbow Fish

The fish has a slender body with two dorsal fins. They are considered sexually dimorphic, which means you can quickly identify a male rainbowfish from a female one.

In the wild, they thrive best in freshwaters and brackish bodies of water. Brackish waters are the kind that is a little more saline than freshwater but not as salty as seawater. 

You can expect to see this family of fishes in their natural homes of rivers, streams, and other bodies of water in the hot and tropical regions of New Guinea and Indonesia.

This breed varies in colors from light neon orange to bright red. There are also breeders claiming to be proud owners of the breed with bright deep red hues.

How To Identify A Male From A Female Fish?

Rainbowfish barely show many colors during their juvenile days, but their colors become more evident as they grow older. Females have the paler coloration of neon orange and red, while males have bright neon orange to deep red pigments. Males have long, slender-shaped bodies, while females tend to be shorter and plumper.

Male fish bears a more distinct blue coloration line along with their upper bodies and around their eyes.

You can also identify their sexes by observing their fins. Male rainbow fish have longer and overlapping dorsal fins than females, which are shorter and mostly do not overlap.

Top Factors To Consider When Breeding Red Neon Rainbow Fish

The breed belongs to the Rainbow Family, known for its colorful bodies and fanning fins. The deep flashing coloration of this breed never fails to wow whoever sees them. Despite the fish’ natural colors with bright hues and shades, you can choose to enhance their coloration by doing the proven fishkeeping methods for rainbowfishes.

Here are only some:

Good Diet

These blue-eyed rainbowfishes are omnivores. You can feed them with different food, including vegetables and meat-based products, like frozen woodworms, zooplanktons, and high-quality flake or pellet diets. 

You can also give them live food items, such as small brine shrimps, mosquito larvae, daphnia, and some cyclops, which are excellent protein sources to help build a good mass. You can interchange the food they eat.

However, ensure that you only give them tiny pieces of food. They are too small in size, which explains their small mouths, so you have to break the food to make it safe to consume for the breed.

When it comes to servings, giving them portions they can finish within three to five minutes of eating three times a day is recommended.

Since they only eat food found at the water’s surface, avoid giving them food that sinks in the water. It is always best to remove leftovers in the tank after they’ve finished eating.

Using A Darker Substrate Or Background

Your fish tank substrates count a lot with the pigmentation of fish you produce inside your fish tank. Substrates act as color enhancers for fishes. 

Putting them in fish tanks with darker substrates enhances the coloration of these blue-eyed breeds.

They tend to glow and show off their neon orange or deep red colors in darker substrates compared to when they are in lighter ones. Their streaks of blue tend to be more radiant in a colored base and background.

There are different kinds of substrates available, which you can choose to put inside your aquarium. Substrate refers to the tiny pebbles or pieces of rocks and sand you put at the base of the aquariums. 

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They serve as the tank bases and provide added aesthetics to the fish tanks. They offer a bed of nutrients if mixed with substances beneficial to fishes and plants. They also provide support for the roots of the aquatic plants.

Sandlike substrates are more refined and lighter in color. While pebbles and smaller gravel may range from shades of golden brown to black, some are artificially tinted with brilliant hues of pink, blue, or green.

Some fishkeepers may prefer pebbles rather than sand because of their bigger size than sand which may eventually suck up in the filter and cause some damage to it.

Others prefer to use finer substrates to prevent the fish from damaging their scales and fins because they sometimes tend to scratch their bodies against these substrates.

Provide Denser Plants

Plants provide the fish in the aquarium with enough oxygen during the day, which boosts their energy as they swim. Plants also give them additional activity while floating around the aquarium. They provide places where they can hide and interact with other creatures in the tank.

Some plants you can try putting in the fish tanks with rainbowfishes include moss, feathered plants, and ferns. You can also add synthetic plants, like the spawning mop. The latter is an excellent place to catch the eggs your fish may lay. 

You can also add floating plants to the aquarium to provide the creature with shade. Plants also help keep the acidity level in the tank stable and safe for your fish.

Keeping The Tank At Proper Temperatures

Room temperatures are best for this breed. They do not require heaters, especially when the weather is fair where you are. They are also adaptable and do not have much difficulty fitting into a new environment.

They will easily thrive and get along with other water creatures when you transfer them to a new tank. This breed is best kept at water temperatures of 23 to 30 degrees C or 73 to 86 degrees F.

Water Quality

Water quality is one of the most significant factors your need to ensure in raising and breeding Luminatus. They will thrive well in water with an acidity of 6.5 to 7.5; thus, putting them in slightly acidic rainwater is good. 

You can keep the water’s alkalinity level within the range of one to five. The general hardness of water (GH) should be between five to fifteen, considered soft. 

Ensuring that you keep all the water factors correct will make your fish healthy and enjoy their environment. 

Living With Other Breeds

Blue-eyed fish can thrive well with other breeds of small fishes in the same tank. They are not aggressive and are generally peaceful. 

They do not attack other fish except for some breeding purposes. Male fishes tend to show their more radiantly colored and vibrant looks when competing with other males.

They are also fast swimmers, so they enjoy the company of the same breed as fishes that tend to swim slowly.

It is not recommended to keep them with breeds, including Bettas and cichlids that tend to be aggressive. You must also keep them away from fishes with long fins like fin nippers and threadfins for their safety.  

Pseudomugil luminatus

Breeding Of Red Neon Rainbow Fish In A Tank

These nano fishes have a hatching rate of almost 100 percent in captivity. Upon laying eggs, the female Luminatus barely care for their eggs. They are sometimes considered egg scatterers. 

When trying to breed this fish, it will help to put more food because it will allow them to concentrate on spawning rather than food hunting. They also tend to eat the existing eggs they had laid within the tank if hungry.

It will help put a trio proportion inside the tank to ensure breeding success. Having one male for every two females is good. While having two or three trios in a standard fish tank is a pleasant environment for breeding them.   

Most breeders would put a spawning mop or synthetic twines of yarns inside the tank, which can catch and protect the eggs laid by female rainbowfishes.

Suppose you have several breeding projects at once; it is best to have some fry hatching systems. You can use DIY breeding systems, which materials you can get from your local aquarium equipment store. 

You can also improvise on the available items found in your home. You only have to make sure to get them done to keep the eggs safe.  

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Once the eggs have hatched, you can add some moss to the hatching system to enhance the growth and activity of the fries. After hatching, you can start feeding the baby Luminatus to help them grow faster. 

The best food you can give for the little fries is live baby brine fish. It will keep the baby fish healthy by providing enough protein nutrients for their growth.

Most rainbowfish breeders prefer to make a specie tank that they use in breeding rainbowfish with the same attributes.

Breeders would rather preserve the attributes and prevent alteration than can happen when they breed them with other rainbow fishes or nano fishes within the same tank. 

Other Things To Know When Breeding And Keeping Neon Rainbow Fish

New fish breeders have so many questions when starting with the venture. Here are some of the most asked questions, including the answers to give you a push to give breeding rainbowfishes a go:

How Many Neon Rainbow Fish Should Be Kept Together?

This breed is best kept together in a group of six or ten or even more. In the wild, they are considered shoaling fish, but at the same time, they are found in large schools too. 

They can mingle and live with other fish species but can also thrive with big groups moving together at the same direction and speed. 

The housing requirements are not that sophisticated for this breed. A pack with six fishes can live comfortably in a 10-gallon aquarium. 

However, a bigger-sized tank is better for wider swimming space and spawning. It is also best to keep them together with several male fishes because they tend to show more coloration when competing with the other males in the group. 

How Long Can A Neon Rainbow Fish Live?

The Luminatus has a life span of around one year to 18 months in the wild. In captivity, they have a more extended living period due to controlled environmental conditions, nutrition, and the lesser tendency to be eaten by other preying fish. This breed can live two years or longer in captivity.

Can Rainbow Fish Live Alone?

A rainbowfish can live alone, especially in smaller fish tanks, but they thrive well if joined by other fish. They are usually active and inclined to shoal with other fishes and school with their kinds. 

They are generally peaceful and do not attack other breeds. Male Luminatus become more colorful if allowed to live with other male fishes in a tank.

What Do You Name A Rainbow Fish?

Giving names is not just an enjoyable activity with dogs and cats. You can also try doing it with your friends in the aquatic world.

According to Rover, a website for pet names, the top ten names for male fishes are Nemo, especially for clownfish, Jack, Captain, Bubble, Finley, Blue, Moby, Bubba, Squirt, and Shadow. For female fishes, the top names include Goldie, Dory, Ariel, Angel Minnie, Jewel, Nessie, Penny, Crystal, and Coral.

You can use the different spectrums of a rainbow in naming the fish. You can also use the names of Snow White’s dwarves since they are tiny.

What Is The Most Undersized Rainbow Fish?

The Dwarf rainbowfish is the smallest specie of its kind. The fish’s body is tiny, but the eyes are large. They grow to a maximum length of two inches or less. The female species is smaller than the male and tend to be more silvery in color. 

Can Rainbowfish Live With Bettas?

These two fish species are commonly kept together by fish lovers because of the brilliant colors they possess. However, these two breeds do not go well together in a single tank. 

Breeds like Bettas are aggressive, while the families of rainbowfishes are known to be peaceful and do not attack other fishes.

When trying to start an aquarium project, it is best to ask for basic information from an aquarium expert regarding the breeds that you can put together.

Pseudomugil sp. 'red neon'

What Other Species Of Fish Can Live With Rainbowfishes?

The other species of fish that can live well with rainbowfishes include angelfish, barbs, corydoras, catfish, danios, platies, mollies, and rasboras. They are also peace-loving fishes and do not commonly attack other fishes. 

How Big Does A Rainbow Fish Get?

Rainbow fishes range from the small breeds to the most significant kinds that reach up to 20 centimeters or 7.9 inches. Most species are within the maximum length of 12 centimeters or 4.7 inches.

Smaller species include the Blue-Eyed Rainbow Fish, Dwarf rainbowfish, and the threadfin rainbow-fish, with an average growth size of 2 1.5 to 2 inches.

How Long Does A Rainbow Egg Hatch?

A rainbow fish is not that delicate to breed. They spawn all year round and lay many eggs in vegetation available in their environment. Their breeding is favorable during the rainy seasons, and you can expect eggs to hatch within 5 to 18 days after laying. 

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Feeding them right and enough are some of the techniques used to breed them in activity. Enough nutritious foods allow them to focus on their spawning rather than food hunting during their breeding time.

What Are Some Harms That Rainbow Fish Experience In The Wild?

Rainbow fishes are found in great schools of fish in their natural habitat. They usually live in swamps, rivers, and streams, and they prefer fresh water and brackish water as their habitat. 

The introduction of many aggressive breeds of fish like the eastern mosquitofish, tilapia, and the cichlids in their environment affected their population severely.

Pollution also significantly impacted the survival of these gentle, small, and colorful fish species.

What Is So Special About Rainbowfishes?

Rainbowfishes are endemic to New Guinea, Indonesia, and the North of Australia. They are peace-loving in their disposition. 

As they age, their color appears to be more radiant and glowing, especially when it comes to male fishes. They use this coloration to attract female rainbowfishes, which aid in their spawning and breeding. 

What Are Some Cautions I Need To Know When Taking Care Of This Fish? 

The breed is not that delicate to care for, but they are susceptible to changes within their environment, so it is best to add them only in matured tanks.

What Are Substrates, And What Substrate Is Suitable For Luminatus?

Substrates are the sand, gravel, and pieces of pebbles placed at the bottom of the fish tanks. They are usually used as the base for aquariums, and they provide rooting for the aquatic plants in the tank. 

They can also be a source ground for algae and some nutrients for the fishes and plants. Their color ranges from light to dark. For rainbowfish putting them in darker hues of substrates allows their neon red-orange hue to glow more.

Are Rainbowfish Jumpers?

Yes, these fishes are jumpers. They tend to jump out of their tanks. One practical way to prevent this is by placing a lid on the top of the tank. 

Having a denser floating plant will prevent them from going out. It is best to make their environment suitable for them. 

If you allow them to live with other fish breeds, you should give them less aggressive companions. It is also best to maintain good water quality and avoid loud sounds. 

You can also give them a more significant space for hiding. Adding a few natural clean ornaments to the tanks and preventing them from too much exposure to light will help them love the home you have for them and not try to escape from it.

What To Do If The Fish Jumps Out Of The Tank?

If the fish jumps out of the tank, pick them up immediately but cautiously and put them back inside the container. You can also choose to put them inside a smaller container to have the chance to observe them longer. 

You can check their fins or other parts that may be susceptible to damage because of the impact they had from jumping. Fish has the quality of resilience and can stand impact, if not too much. 

How Much Do These Fish Cost?

The cost of the fish depends on the breeders. To give you an idea, many breeders offer them from $35 to 50 for a pack of 6 fish.

red neon rainbowfish care


The Red Neon Blue Eyed rainbow fish is one delightful specie that you can keep in your fish tank. It is adaptable and easy to care for and breed. It fills your eyes with a lovely view when you look at them.

Their bright neon orange to deep red colors are very calming, especially when they appear to be in contrast with dark substrates or darker fish tank backgrounds.

They are peaceful breeds and would love to live in densely planted fish tanks, suitable for laying their eggs. They feed well on live foods like baby brine shrimp and mosquito larvae. They also like to have flakes and frozen worms for a more diverse nutritious diet.

Their environment, food, and the company they keep significantly affect their coloration. This breed is known to be shoaling and schooling fish, so it is better to let them live with companions.

You will have fun caring for these fishes because they are easy to breed and hassle-free to take care of.


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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