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Parkinson’s Rainbowfish

The hardy Melanotaenia parkinsoni may be bland as a juvenile, but it bursts with beauty when it comes of age.

By David A. Lass |

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Aquarium Fish InternationalParkinson’s rainbowfish (Melanotaenia parkinsoni) is one of the many rainbowfishes coming into our hobby in recent years. When I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the 1960s, there was only one “Australian” rainbowfish (Duboulay’s rainbowfish, M. duboulayi). Parkinson’s rainbowfish comes from Papua New Guinea, specifically from between the Kemp Welsh River and Milne Bay. Heiko Bleher (that intrepid fish explorer) was the one who actually first found this species, and it was scientifically described by Gerald Allen, Ph.D., in 1980. In his most productive period of finding rainbowfishes during his trips to Australia and New Guinea, Bleher discovered many fish that were new to the hobby. Over the years, the most popular species (which usually means the prettiest and easiest to get to reproduce) have become widespread in the hobby. Parkinson’s rainbowfish is one of these, as its appealing looks, ease of keeping and reproductive fecundity make it regularly available in your local fish store.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the February 2012 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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