Iridescent Turquoise or Lake (Melanotaenia lacustris) Munro, 1964.
Iridescent Turquoise is considered the most beautiful representative of its kind and is able to change the shade of the body, which in combination with the peace-loving nature, active behavior, endurance and unpretentiousness makes it very popular among aquarists.
Due to its bright color, the fish has received other names: Aterina Turquoise, Blue Iris, Lacutris Rainbows and Melanotenii Ozernaya.
Habitat: the only natural habitat of the fish is Papua New Guinea, Lake Kutuba, River Soro, which flows out of the lake. In the reservoir is very clean water coming from underground springs and a large amount of vegetation. Water indicators recorded on the lake were from 21 to 25 C and pH 8.5
Description: body shape is oval, slightly elongated and compressed laterally. The triangular head with large eyes contrasts sharply with the rounded lines of the body.
Dorsal fins paired, forked tail.
Fish are able to change color in seconds to blue, green or turquoise with a purple hue. The upper half of the body is darker, mostly blue, the color of the stomach gradually changes to yellowish or greenish with a silver sheen.
At the base of the tail about a third of the body stretches a longitudinal dark blue strip.
The fins are blue, in the spawning period they acquire a black edging. At this time, the beauty of the males is especially noticeable. On the tail, they show a longitudinal blue stroke with a golden edging, stretched to the first dorsal fin.
Females are painted more modestly – in turquoise color, as well as young individuals.
Iridescent Turquoise Female
In addition to bright coloration, males are distinguished by a higher body and the first dorsal fin.
Iridescent Turquoise male
Males can reach 12 cm, females a little smaller up to 10 cm.
Arrangement and parameters of the aquarium: for a pair of Turquoise Iridescent 70-liter capacity is enough, but the schooling fish and much better feeling in the society of 5-8 of their fellows. In this case, you will need a spacious aquarium of 200 liters, and preferably an elongated shape, as melanotenias like to swim. To prevent jumping and death of fish the aquarium is equipped with a lid.
The pond is decorated with stones, snags. Plants are planted around the perimeter to leave free space for swimming.
Acceptable and a small number of floating species. Lighting is required bright, if possible, it is desirable to hit the sunlight for 2-3 hours with such lighting fish look especially beautiful.
Water parameters: 20-26 ° C, pH – 7-9, dH – 8-20.
Sharp pH fluctuations are very dangerous for the health of the fish and can cause their death. Extremely sensitive to dirty water, so they need to install a powerful filter and aerator.
Water movement should be kept to a minimum. Water change is carried out on a third weekly.
Peaceful character Turquoise Iris (Melanotaenia lacustris) allows you to keep it with different types of aquarium living creatures of similar size and temperament. For example, other iris, corridors, barbs.
Nutrition: in nature Melanosis Ozernaya eats insect larvae and small crustaceans. In captivity takes any food: flakes, granules, vegetable food. Of the living and frozen prefers shredder and bloodworms.
The diet should be made up of all types of feed, as only with a varied diet the fish show the maximum abundance of color nuances. With a shortage of food, young shoots of plants and algal fouling can be eaten.
Reproduction: In a spawning aquarium with a volume of 50 liters, several plants with small leaves are placed or a synthetic sponge as a substrate and a powerful aerator is installed in order to create a weak flow of water.
In the pre-spawning period, fish should be fully fed. Stimulated spawning substitution of a third of water and a slight increase in temperature.
Water parameters in spawning: 23-24 ° C, pH 7.5.
A pair or group of fish is launched into the aquarium, which can spawn for several weeks, each time sweeping out the fewer eggs. The latter must be constantly transferred to a separate container, as producers eat eggs.
In an incubation aquarium, the temperature decreases to 21–22 ° C, with higher rates the number of non-viable fry increases. Juveniles hatch on day 7-12 and after a few days they can swim and receive live dust and ciliates; in a week nauplii artemia will be added.
Juveniles grow slowly and are colored in a pale turquoise color. The characteristic brightness of the fish appears only after a year.
Puberty Turquoise iris (Melanotaenia lacustris) reaches to 7-10 months.
Life expectancy from 5 to 8 years.
Unfortunately, in natural habitats this species is endangered, as a result of capture (mostly for the aquarium trade) and the development of industry. therefore M. Lacustris was given the status of “vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List.
If you want to buy such iris, do not look for fish with bright colors, as in the photos! Adult specimens are rare and expensive, usually for sale still poorly painted teenagers of these fish, offered as Blue Iridescent. However, some patience (even on a good diet, full development can take more than 12 months), and you will be rewarded with the fact that it is undoubtedly one of the most impressive tropical freshwater species represented in aquarium.
Adult fish can have different colors depending on the condition of the water in the aquarium.