Fun Celebes Rainbowfish Facts For Kids

Arpitha Rajendra
Nov 14, 2022 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Aug 30, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Read more fun Celebes rainbowfish facts here.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi), a sail-fin silverside rainbowfish, is a member of the Melanotaeniidae family. This species is the only one in the Marosatherina genus.

The specific name of this fish comes from the former name of Sulawesi, Indonesia. They are endemic to this geographic range.

These rainbowfishes are popular and peaceful aquarium fish and can be maintained with proper water conditions. Marosatherina has two elements, Myros is a village close to the place where this type of fish was first collected, and Atherina is the silverside genus. The specific scientific name Ledigesi, honors Werner Ladigesi, a German ichthyologist who collected this fish type.

The slender body of this fish is almost transparent, and there is a blue stripe along the sideline. The males are normally darker than females.

This species belongs to the subfamily Telmatherinina of Atheriniform fish. There are 18 species within five genera in this subfamily. Also, all these species are restricted to Sulawesi, Indonesia except for the rainbowfish family, Melanotaeniidae, which has several subfamilies with around 17 genera.

If you liked reading these facts, then make sure to learn more about spotted sunfish and rockfish.

Celebes Rainbowfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Celebes rainbowfish?

The Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) is a rainbowfish and sail-fin silverside fish of the order Atheriniformes and phylum Chordata. This fish was previously named Telmatherina ladigesi.

After the introduction of this fish species to your aquarium, this fish will get used to it in a few days. This fish is peaceful and can also adjust to a community tank but are sensitive to water quality or water conditions.

Even though this fish is active, the rainbowfish does not get aggressive. This schooling fish species should not be kept in a tank with fin nippers.

What class of animal does a Celebes rainbowfish belong to?

The Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi or Telmatherina ladigesi) belongs to the class of Actinopterygii of animals.

How many Celebes rainbowfish are there in the world?

The population of Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) in the world is not known. However, their population is currently decreasing as their status is Vulnerable.

Where does a Celebes rainbowfish live?

The Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) is found around the town of Maros in Indonesia and is endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia.

What is a Celebes rainbowfish's habitat?

The Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) occupies brackish water, java moss, estuaries, streams, and freshwater river. This fish species is also found in an aquarium and community tank with floating plants, decorations, and substrate, and an optimum temperature of 68-82 F (20-28 C).

Who does Celebes rainbowfish live with?

The Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) is a schooling fish and lives in a group of a minimum of five fishes.

How long does a Celebes rainbowfish live?

The lifespan of Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) is four years. In captivity, with proper care the fish can live up to five years.

How do they reproduce?

Breeding Celebes rainbowfish is not a difficult task in captivity. Also, Celebes rainbowfish breeding must be done in a separate aquarium or tank with a lot of leaved plants to deposit the eggs.

The females usually deposit eggs on a substrate with java moss. They must be kept in a small group of one male and two or three females. Also, it is important to monitor the breeding of adult males as they can become aggressive while pursuing adult females.

Aquarists do face troubles while spawning these rainbowfishes. It is believed that a cooler temperature might make it easier. Female Celebes rainbowfish produce 50-70 eggs and the eggs hatch after 11 days.

Both males and females must be removed and kept in a separate aquarium once the fry have hatched. The eggs are larger than the fry. The free-swimming young ones can be fed brine shrimp after a few days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Marosatherina ladigesi (Celebes rainbowfish) is evaluated as Vulnerable by the IUCN. The population of this fish is decreasing because of biological resource use, aquaculture, agriculture, pollution, and natural system modification.

However, these groups of rainbow fish species are being reproduced in farms across eastern Europe and the Far East, which means a few wild-caught species are available. Also, this wild-caught fish species is delicate and lives for a short period.

Celebes Rainbowfish Fun Facts

What do Celebes rainbowfish look like?

The Celebes rainbowfish (Marosatherina ladigesi) species are slender and have interesting fins. The Celebes rainbowfish adult species have two dorsal fins with one being larger and two-toned and the other is small and black.

The rest of their fins are lemon yellow-colored with black markings. The tips of the pectoral fin may have white or black tips or maybe totally transparent. There are thread-like extensions from the adult males' fins.

This peaceful aquarium species fin shape varies, particularly in males. The males are more colorful and have attractive extensions from their second dorsal and anal fins. They all look different with varying lighting but are usually brown-yellow with green undertones.

They have a stripe running along their backbone that reflects blue and green. They have large eyes and the scales get translucent towards the rear of their body.

Celebes rainbowfishes prefer to swim freely around their habitats, even in an aquarium.* Please note that this is an image of a rainbow fish. If you have an image of a Celebes rainbow fish please let us know at

How cute are they?

These rainbowfishes are more often considered beautifully colored than cute.

How do they communicate?

This species communicates through visuals, chemical release, and body language.

How big is a Celebes rainbowfish?

The Marosatherina ladigesi (Celebes rainbowfish) can grow up to 3 in (7.5 cm). However, adult Celebes rainbowfish can reach up to 3.14 inches (8 cm). Triggerfishes can reach up to six times the length of these fishes.

How fast can a Celebes rainbowfish swim?

This rainbowfish species is active but its swimming speed is unknown.

How much does a Celebes rainbowfish weigh?

The exact weight range of this aquarium species is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given to female and male Celebes rainbowfish.

What would you call a baby Celebes rainbowfish?

A Celebes rainbowfish juvenile is called a fry.

What do they eat?

The diet of this fish species is omnivorous. They mainly consists of live foods, prepared foods, and frozen foods. Their diet mainly consists of mosquito larvae, worms, brine shrimp, tubifex, daphnia, and flake food. You can also feed fish processed food in aquariums. They might also feed on plant matter and algae.

Are they poisonous?

No, this peaceful aquarium fish species is not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

With optimum water temperature and lighting, this peaceful fish species makes for a great pet. The minimum aquarium size a Celebes rainbowfish aquarium is 10 gal (37.8 l).

For the adult to swim free, the slow-moving freshwater tank size must be 20 gal (76 l) with slow-moving water in the tank. The hardness must be 10-20 dGH with a ph 7.0-8.0.

There must be floating plants, substrate like java moss, and a little salt in the water. They also require frequent water changes. The water temperature must be 72-82 F (22.2-28 C).

To get the most color display, active males should be kept with two to three females. Rainbow fish prefer to live in a group of five or more rather than being alone.

They can share the tank with halfbeaks, mollies, gobies, and livebearers. They can also be kept with cory catfish, angelfish, gouramis, barbs, loaches, minnows, and killifish.

Did you know...

Celebes rainbowfishes were first described in 1936 by Ahl. Some common names of this fish are Celebes sailfin, Celebes sailfish, and Celebes rainbow.

Some predators of rainbowfishes are sharks and other big fishes. A defense strategy against their predators used by this species is shoaling when they make a large group to protect themselves.

Is the Celebes rainbowfish a true rainbowfish?

Celebes rainbowfish are true rainbowfishes because this species is a member of the Melataeniidae family, the family of true rainbowfish. Rainbowfish are colorful fish found in the Southern Hemisphere.

What does a pregnant Celebes rainbowfish look like?

Pregnant female fishes of any species develop a gravid spot near the rear vent of their abdomen. Some of the species might not have this spot every time but you can always notice the change in the size of this spot.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these African lungfish facts and black ghost knifefish facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable fish coloring pages.

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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