Iranian Red Rainbow Fish – Is There Such a Thing? - "File:Melanotaeniidae - Glossolepis incisus.JPG" by Hectonichus is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Iranian Red Rainbow Fish – Is There Such a Thing? - "File:Melanotaeniidae - Glossolepis incisus.JPG" by Hectonichus is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


Welcome to the vibrant world of the red rainbow fish! These captivating freshwater inhabitants, renowned for their stunning appearance and lively demeanor, grace aquariums with their striking red hues and graceful movements. However, amidst their allure, a common misconception often arises due to a misspelling, leading to the term “Iranian red rainbow fish.” Let’s dive into the true beauty and characteristics of these mesmerizing creatures while unraveling the misconception behind their name.

Iranian Red Rainbow Fish

The “Iranian red rainbow fish” sometimes mentioned in discussions or searches is actually a misspelling or misunderstanding of the “Irian Red Rainbow Fish.” The Irian red rainbow fish, scientifically known as Glossolepis incisus, is a stunning freshwater fish indigenous to Papua Province in Indonesia, particularly the lakes and waterways of the Irian Jaya region.

This fish species is celebrated for its stunning appearance, characterized by vibrant colors and notably a captivating red hue that becomes more pronounced in specific lighting conditions. Its popularity among aquarium enthusiasts might have contributed to the mix-up between “Iranian” and the correct term, “Irian.”

The Irian red rainbow fish is highly valued for its lively behavior, making it a coveted addition to many aquariums worldwide. However, it’s crucial to note that there isn’t a recognized “Iranian red rainbow fish” species in the aquatic realm. The confusion likely stems from a typo or misunderstanding, underscoring the importance of accuracy when discussing and identifying aquatic species.

About the Red Rainbow Fish

Red rainbow fish, (Glossolepis incisus), are known for their captivating appearance and lively behavior. Here’s a breakdown of their characteristics:


  • Vibrant Colors: These fish exhibit a striking red hue that’s often the centerpiece of their appearance. The intensity of red can vary depending on factors like lighting and the individual fish’s genetics, but it’s usually a prominent feature.
  • Distinctive Fins: Their fins, particularly the dorsal and anal fins, often boast contrasting colors, adding to their visual appeal. These fins might have hints of blue, yellow, or orange, creating a stunning contrast against the dominant red.
  • Sleek Body: Red rainbow fish typically have a streamlined and sleek body, well-suited for their agile movement in water.
  • Size: They can grow to various sizes, typically ranging from a few inches up to about 4 to 5 inches (10-12 cm) in length, depending on the species and care provided.


  • Active Swimmers: These fish are known for their energetic and active behavior. They dart around the aquarium, exploring their environment and interacting with other fish.
  • Schooling Behavior: In their natural habitat, red rainbow fish tend to form schools. In an aquarium setting, they often thrive when kept in groups, displaying more natural behavior and reducing stress.
  • Peaceful Demeanor: They are generally peaceful and non-aggressive, making them compatible with many other fish species. However, it’s essential to consider their requirements for space and compatibility with tankmates.
  • Feeding Habits: Red rainbow fish are omnivorous, feeding on a varied diet that includes flakes, pellets, live, or frozen foods. They usually eagerly accept different types of food, making feeding them relatively straightforward.

Overall, their vibrant appearance and active yet peaceful behavior make red rainbow fish a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Proper care, including suitable tank conditions, diet, and companionship, allows these fish to showcase their stunning colors and engaging behavior to the fullest.

Iranian Red Rainbow Fish – Is There Such a Thing? - "File:Melanotaeniidae - Glossolepis incisus.JPG" by Hectonichus is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Iranian Red Rainbow Fish – Is There Such a Thing? – “File:Melanotaeniidae – Glossolepis incisus.JPG” by Hectonichus is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Aquarium Setup

Creating the ideal aquarium setup for red rainbow fish, involves considering various factors to ensure their well-being and optimal growth. Here’s a guide to setting up their aquarium:

  • Tank Size: Aim for a spacious tank to accommodate their active nature and schooling behavior. A tank size of at least 30 gallons (110 liters) for a small group is recommended, with larger tanks preferred for larger groups.
  • Water Parameters: Maintain a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C). Use a reliable heater to ensure stability. Aim for a pH range between 6.5 and 7.5, replicating their natural habitat.
  • Filtration and Aeration: Invest in a quality filtration system that provides adequate water movement and keeps the tank clean. Red rainbow fish thrive in well-oxygenated water, so consider additional aeration through air stones or efficient filtration.
  • Decor and Substrate: Provide plenty of plants (both live and artificial) to create hiding spots and mimic their natural environment. Floating plants and broad-leaved varieties work well. Use a fine gravel or sandy substrate, as this replicates their natural habitat and is gentle on their fins and mouths.
  • Tank Mates: Red rainbow fish are generally peaceful but can thrive with similarly peaceful tank mates. Avoid aggressive or nippy species that might stress them. Compatible tank mates include other peaceful community fish such as tetras, rasboras, peaceful barbs, and dwarf cichlids.
  • Lighting: Provide moderate lighting, ensuring that there are shaded areas within the tank. This replicates their natural habitat and allows them to feel secure.
  • Maintenance: Perform regular water changes (around 25% every 2 weeks) to maintain water quality and stability. Test water parameters periodically to ensure they remain within the appropriate range.
  • Feeding: Offer a varied diet comprising high-quality flakes, pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia. Ensure a balanced diet to support their health and vibrant colors.

Creating a well-planned and maintained aquarium setup is crucial for the health and happiness of red rainbow fish. Providing suitable tank conditions, adequate space, proper diet, and compatible tank mates contributes significantly to their thriving and vibrant presence in the aquarium.


In conclusion, the Irian red rainbow fish, with its vibrant red hues and lively behavior, stands as a captivating species cherished among aquarium enthusiasts. Their striking appearance and peaceful demeanor make them a sought-after addition to well-designed aquarium setups.

However, amidst the fascination with these stunning fish, a common misconception often arises due to the misspelling or misunderstanding of their name. The term “Iranian red rainbow fish” frequently emerges in discussions or searches, but it’s actually a misinterpretation of the correct term: “Irian red rainbow fish.”

The confusion likely stems from a simple typographical error or a misunderstanding of the species’ origin. The Irian red rainbow fish, native to the Indonesian province of Papua, specifically the Irian Jaya region, is often mistaken as “Iranian,” leading to an inaccurate representation of the species in discussions or search results.

This misconception highlights the importance of accuracy in taxonomy and nomenclature, emphasizing the need for precise information when discussing aquatic species. While there is no recognized “Iranian red rainbow fish,” the true beauty and allure lie in the Irian red rainbow fish’s stunning appearance, lively behavior, and their rightful place in the world of freshwater aquariums.