Care Guide for Forktail Blue-Eye or Furcata Rainbowfish
Guppies, platies and zebra danies are popular choices because they’re small, lively, and colorful. But if you’re looking for a slightly uncommon fish to liven up your aquarium, let us introduce you to the forktail or furcata rainbowfish.
What is Forktail Rainbowfish, and how do they differ from other fish?
Pseudomugil furcatus hails from the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, where it is often found in clearwater streams that are teeming with plant life. The distinctive fork pattern found on the tail of this rainbowfish, which measures 2 inches (5 cm), is well-known. Because of the yellow tips on their pectoral fins, it almost looks like the fish are waving little pom-poms as they swim around. Like most rainbowfish, the females are less colorful than the males, but we definitely recommend getting 1-2 females for every male. In the presence of females, males display brighter coloration and “spar” with each other in a delightful, circular dance.
Furcata rainbowfish are well-known for their yellow “pompoms”, which they wave frantically while swimming.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Furcata Rainbows
This nano fish is quite the speedy swimmer, so set up a 20-gallon aquarium or bigger to give them plenty of room. They can be kept at temperatures of 75-80°F (24-27°C), with a slightly alkaline pH over 7.0 and a minimum of 5° (90 ppm). Rainbowfish tend to swim in the upper half of the aquarium, so an aquarium hood or lid is a must to prevent them from jumping out. Given their natural habitat, consider creating a forest of live aquarium plants for them to explore and swim between.
A schooling fish, rainbowfish enjoy being surrounded by their own species. To ensure rainbowfish don’t get over-purchased, fish shops often sell male-female rainbowfish pairs. Therefore, it is a good idea to have at least three pairs of rainbowfish (or two males plus four females) in your aquarium.
Can forktail rainbowfish live with other fish? These happy-go lucky fish can co-exist with most peaceful community fish, including corydoras and tetras. However, they may outcompete slow-moving fish during mealtimes, so keep an eye on the food situation to make sure everyone gets a bite. We found that they didn’t bother the adult dwarf shrimp, although they will eat any baby shrimp that is attracted to their attention. Also, we have successfully kept Pseudomugil rainbows in community tanks with a betta fish, but it all depends on the betta’s temperament so be prepared to remove him if necessary.
Furcata rainbows, which are peaceful community fish, do well in planted aquariums.
What Do Forktail Blue-Eyes Eat?
These are small fish with small mouths, so aim for a spread of tiny foods that will give them a healthy variety in nutrients. They are not finicky at all and like to eat:
– Frozen daphnia, cyclops, and baby brine shrimp Xtreme Nano pellets Hikari Micro Pellets Krill flakes Freeze-dried daphnia Easy Fry and Small Fish Food Live baby brine shrimp
How to Breed Furcata Rainbowfish
Pseudomugil Rainbows can be more expensive than other tropical fish and they live for only two or three years. Thankfully, forktail blue-eyes are pretty easy to breed as long as you have both sexes and the fish are not too old. Increase the temperature to about 80°F (27°C) and give them plenty of food to prepare them for breeding. You can also add a DIY yarn-spawning mop, or large floating plants with long roots (e.g. water sprite), that are easy to remove.
A male can mate multiple females every day. This makes it possible to have more females than males. The females will then deposit large eggs in the floating roots or spawning mop. Try checking the spawning media check every day and move the eggs to a separate fry container with an air stone for hatching. Some hobbyists like to add a few drops of methylene blue to prevent the eggs from growing fungus. Depending on the water temperature, the eggs may hatch in 2-3 weeks. The fry should be fed infusoria and vinegar eels. For fast and healthy growth, switch the fry to live baby salt shrimp once they have reached a certain size.
The two females (above) do not have as much yellow coloration on their fins compared to the male (middle).
The care requirements of most other Pseudomugils species, like the Gertrude’s spotted blue rainbowfish and red neon-blue eye rainbowfish Pseudomugil luminatus, are similar. Although we don’t ship live fish, you may check our list of preferred online retailers for information about what they have.