Lake Tebera rainbowfish Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 23, 2022

The Lake Tebera rainbowfish is a beautiful and peaceful freshwater fish that is perfect for community tanks. They are relatively easy to care for and are very active, making them a great addition to any tank.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Lake Tebera rainbowfish care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Lake Tebera rainbowfish (Melanotaenia teberae) are a freshwater species of fish that are endemic to a single lake in Papua New Guinea.

This species was only discovered in 2006, making them a relatively new addition to the aquarium scene.

They are found in Lake Tebera which is a crater lake that’s located at an altitude of 915 meters. This lake is surrounded by rainforest and is relatively isolated, which has helped to keep the water quality high and the fish population healthy.

The Lake Tebera rainbowfish are a peaceful species that do well in aquariums with other peaceful fish. They are not known to be aggressive toward their own species or other tank mates.

The main draw of these fish is their bright colors. They are a popular choice for freshwater aquariums because they add a splash of color and interest.


Lake Tebera rainbowfish

The Lake Tebera rainbowfish is an absolutely stunning freshwater fish. As their name implies, they’re rainbows!

These fish are very colorful, with the males being the most impressive. Males have a deep blue body that fades into a light blue towards their belly. Along their sides, you’ll find a electric yellow stripe.

This stripe is bordered by a black stripe on each side. The fins on males are also very colorful. You’ll find the same electric yellow coloration on their dorsal, anal, and caudal fins.

The females are a bit more subdued in color. Their bodies are a light blue, with a silver hue along their sides. The fins are mostly clear with a slight yellow tint.

Both sexes have a long and slender body shape that’s very hydrodynamic. This helps them swim quite quickly in short bursts.


Lake Tebera rainbowfish have an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years. However, individuals that are well cared for can live up to 10 years in captivity.

As with any other animal, the lifespan of Lake Tebera rainbowfish can be shortened by poor living conditions. Things like poor water quality, lack of food, or too much stress can all lead to an early death.


The largest size attained by Lake Tebera rainbowfish is 10 cm (4 in) SL.


Tank Size

The minimum tank size for Lake Tebera rainbowfish is 30 gallons. If you’re looking for a peaceful community fish, this is a great option. They’re known to be one of the more docile rainbowfish species.

Even though they’re not known to be aggressive, they are still a schooling fish so you’ll want to keep at least 5 or 6 fish together. That being said, the more the merrier when it comes to these fish so if you have the room, we recommend going up to a 50 or 60 gallon tank.

Water Parameters

The Lake Tebera rainbowfish is a beautiful freshwater fish that’s perfect for the beginner aquarium. They’re relatively easy to care for and don’t require special water conditions.

While they will do fine in a wide range of water parameters, they do prefer slightly acidic water with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. The water should also be on the softer side with a hardness of 5 to 10 dGH.

As for temperature, the Lake Tebera rainbowfish does best in water that’s between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Water Temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • pH Levels: 6.5 to 7.0
  • Water Hardness: 5 to 10 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Lake Tebera rainbowfish are a peaceful species that do best in a community tank. When it comes to setting up their habitat, you have a few different options.

One of the most important things to consider is the size of your fish. These guys can grow to be pretty big (up to 6 inches in length), so you’ll need to accommodate for that.

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 50 gallons for each fish. So, if you want to keep a school of 6 fish then you should have a 300-gallon tank.

The other thing to consider is the type of fish you want to keep with them. Lake Tebera rainbowfish are a peaceful species, so you’ll want to avoid anything that’s known to be aggressive.

As for the inside of their tank, we recommend a classic gravel substrate. You can use something else if you want, but gravel is always a good choice.

When it comes to plants, these fish aren’t particularly picky. They’ll nibble on soft-leaved plants but generally leave them alone. So, feel free to add whatever you want!

Driftwood and rocks are always a nice addition to any freshwater tank. Lake Tebera rainbowfish will appreciate having some places to hide, and these can also help break up the line of sight in the aquarium.

Common Diseases

While the Lake Tebera rainbowfish is a rather hardy and disease-resistant fish, that doesn’t mean that they can’t get sick.

There are a few common diseases that these fish are susceptible to, the most common being ich.

Ich is a very common freshwater fish disease that presents itself as white spots on the body of your fish. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

The good news is that ich is relatively easy to treat. There are many different products on the market that will effectively kill the parasites that cause this disease.

Another disease that these fish can get is fin rot. This is an infection that eats away at the fins of your fish, and if left untreated it can be fatal.

The best way to prevent your fish from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable habitat. A well-maintained tank with high-quality water conditions is the best way to keep your fish healthy and disease-free.

Behavior & Temperament

The Lake Tebera rainbowfish is a peaceful community fish that does best in a group. It’s an active swimmer and will often be seen chasing after its tank mates or swimming in the middle of the water column.

When it comes to diet, the Lake Tebera rainbowfish is an omnivore. In the wild, it feeds on a variety of things, including insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. In captivity, you can give them a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, live, and frozen foods.

This fish is easy to care for and can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. The only thing it cannot tolerate is a sudden change in water parameters. So, if you need to make a change, do it slowly and over the course of a few days.

As for temperament, the Lake Tebera rainbowfish is a peaceful community fish. It does best when it’s kept in a group of at least six fish. If you have fewer than six, they may become shy and reclusive.

Tank Mates

There are a few things to consider when choosing tank mates for Lake Tebera rainbowfish.

First, these fish are native to Papua New Guinea. The water in this region is soft and acidic. As a result, you’ll need to provide similar water conditions for your fish.

Secondly, Lake Tebera rainbowfish are relatively peaceful. They’re not aggressive and can get along with most species.

Finally, these fish do best in groups. A group of six is ideal, but you can get away with a group of four if necessary.

Other fish that do well in soft, acidic water and are peaceful are good candidates for tank mates. Some good Lake Tebera rainbowfish tank mates include:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Black Neon Tetras
  • Glowlight Tetras
  • Rummy Nose Tetras
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Corydoras Catfish


The Lake Tebera rainbowfish is a mouth-brooder. This means that the male will take the eggs into his mouth after spawning and care for them until they hatch.

To start the breeding process, you’ll need to set up a separate breeding tank. It should be at least 20 gallons and filled with soft, slightly acidic water.

Then, add a good amount of plants. The plants will provide hiding places for the fry and help to keep the water quality high.

When ready, add two females for every male. The fish will spawn in the morning, so keep an eye out for them.

After spawning, the male will take the eggs into his mouth and care for them until they hatch. This usually takes around two weeks.

You can then move the fry to a separate tank. They’ll need live food to survive, so make sure to provide them with plenty of brine shrimp or other tiny insects.


The Lake Tebera Rainbowfish is a beautiful and unique fish that is perfect for the beginner aquarist. They are easy to care for and will add a splash of color to your tank.

If you are looking for a fun and easy fish to care for, the Lake Tebera Rainbowfish is a great choice!