Celebes Rainbowfish

Celebes Rainbowfish
Species NameMarosatherina ladigesi
Common NameCelebes Rainbowfish
Care LevelModerate
Lifespan5-7 years
Adult Size3 inches (7.6 cm)
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons
Temperature75°F – 82°F (24°C – 28°C)
Water ConditionspH 7.0-8.5, dGH 8-12

About the Celebes Rainbowfish – Species Summary

The Celebes Rainbowfish, scientifically termed Marosatherina ladigesi, is a shimmering tropical freshwater fish native to the central parts of Sulawesi (formerly known as Celebes) in Indonesia. Its unique appearance, marked by iridescent scales and elegant fins, has made it a favorite choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Named after its place of origin, this rainbowfish stands out for its ethereal beauty and playful nature, proving to be both a visual delight and an engaging pet.

Celebes Rainbowfish Lifespan

Celebes Rainbowfish typically live for 5 to 7 years under proper care in captivity. Their lifespan can be influenced by various factors, with the quality of care, water conditions, and diet being the most pivotal. Regular health checks and swift intervention at any sign of disease or discomfort can also impact and potentially extend their longevity.


The Celebes Rainbowfish, in its full glory, displays a breathtaking spectrum of colors. Its body is sleek and slender, adorned with shimmering scales that range from blue to silver, giving it an almost ethereal glow. One of the most distinctive features of this species is its forked dorsal and anal fins, which are edged in black and white, adding to its graceful profile. The males often exhibit more vibrant colors and possess more elongated fins than the females.

Average Size

Fully grown Celebes Rainbowfish usually reach an approximate size of 3 inches (7.6 cm). However, size can vary based on factors like genetics, diet, and overall health.

Celebes Rainbowfish Care

Tank Size

For the Celebes Rainbowfish, a minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended. If you’re planning on keeping a school of them or incorporating other species, a larger tank would be necessary to provide ample swimming space.

How To Set Up Their Tank

Recreating a natural environment is crucial for the well-being of the Celebes Rainbowfish. This involves incorporating a fine, dark substrate complemented by dense aquatic plants, driftwood, and some open swimming areas. Floating plants can be added to diffuse direct light and provide shaded areas, which the fish tend to enjoy.

Lighting Requirements

Moderate lighting suits the Celebes Rainbowfish best. While they appreciate some diffused sunlight, it’s essential to ensure the tank doesn’t overheat or encourage excessive algae growth.


A pH level ranging between 7.0 to 8.5 provides an optimal environment for these radiant swimmers.


The Celebes Rainbowfish thrives in temperatures between 75°F and 82°F (24°C and 28°C).

Water Parameters

Soft to moderately hard water, with a hardness ranging from 8 to 12 dGH, is preferred. Routine water testing to ensure nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels are within safe limits is vital.

Disease Potential

Like most aquarium fish, the Celebes Rainbowfish is susceptible to common freshwater diseases, including Ich. A proactive approach in maintaining water quality, coupled with regular observation for signs of stress or illness, can mitigate most health risks.

Food & Diet

Being omnivores, their diet consists of both plant-based foods and small organisms. They happily consume high-quality flake food, but for optimal health, this should be supplemented with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. Occasional plant matter or vegetable supplements can also be beneficial.

Behavior and Temperament

Celebes Rainbowfish are active swimmers known for their peaceful and social nature. They flourish best in schools, where their synchronized swimming and playful antics can truly be appreciated.

Tank Mates

They coexist well with similarly-sized, non-aggressive fish. Ideal tank mates might include other types of rainbowfish, tetras, and non-aggressive barbs. Avoid keeping them with larger or predatory fish that might view them as prey.


Breeding the Celebes Rainbowfish can be a rewarding endeavor. When ready to spawn, the male will perform a dance to attract the female. Post-spawning, it’s a common practice to move the eggs to a separate tank, ensuring their safety. Once hatched, providing the fry with a nutritious diet, such as infusoria, promotes healthy growth.

Celebes Rainbowfish FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)