The red neon pseudomugil is a beautiful fish which appears to glow internally, as if there are some embers showing through translucent skin. Their bodies are mostly this glowing orange, but there is a brilliant electric blue iridescent stripe that runs on the top of their body, and lovely transparent orange fins that are spotted with tiny dots. The males have an opaque yellow-orange lobe on each of their pectoral fins, and white tips to the tail fin, while females are much more monochromatically orange through their entire body and finnage. Originally discovered in Timika, the capital of Western Papua. These tiny dwarf rainbowfish are among the smallest of the Pseudomugil genus, with the largest of them barely reaching 1 ½ inches, but much more commonly capping out around a single inch or so. The species was only introduced to the hobby in 2011, making it a new entry in the long list of species that are available for aquarists to keep, but its naturally gorgeous coloration and finnage makes it easy to see why it has seen such an explosion in popularity.
These fish are collected from an inland lake(s) on the island, and they are typically found in areas that are shaded by riparian vegetation, so a heavily planted tank with botanicals can be recommended, since that will most mirror their natural habitat. Our fish are captive bred in Europe, but due to their newer introduction to the hobby there has been less work done with them, and so softer water will be preferred. They seem to thrive in fairly neutral water, and harder water is not a problem either, as long as you are able to ensure that the water is both clean and highly oxygenated, as these little fish often dart around. Also ensure that they are not put into an aquarium with an immature filter, as they are fairly sensitive to drastic swings in water conditions, even amongst other Pseudomugil.
These fish are okay in a community aquarium, but they are fairly small mouthed, so you might find them outcompeted by other species quite easily. One option to keep them is to have an all Pseudomugil display, since you should be able to keep most Pseudomugils together in the same water, with the exception of some larger collection points of signifers possibly. Do keep in mind that if this display includes both males and females of different species, do not sell any potential offspring, as Pseudomugils can hybridize, which typically results in a rather boring fish that is also sterile. All in all, these are lovely fish, and when keeping multiple species of rainbows together in a single tank, it brings a whole new dimension to the term “rainbow fish”. These shoaling fish do NOT ship individually bagged.
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