How Can I Improve The Colors Of My Fish?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish and Invertebrates' started by JacksTanks, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. JacksTanks

    JacksTanksNew MemberMember

    Hey! I have a question that I can't seem to find a clear answer to. What things can I do to improve the colors of my fish? Let me start by saying I have a 55 gallon aquarium with Bosemani Rainbows, Neon Rainbows, Rams, a Pearl Gourami. Some of the most stunning fish to have in a freshwater aquarium in my opinion. I wan't to maximize their colors.


    I know that they are juveniles, and as they grow their colors will become more vibrant, but I still feel like looking into the best ways to improve the viewing experience to appreciate these fish. They are under no stress, and they are all very healthy. What I am looking for are more technical answers.

    I want to keep a natural look too. I am almost 100% set on changing to an all black BG. I think this will help the fish pop. I also plan to add more plants to the tank to add more contrast. Will putting in darker substrate make the fish pop more? I could go for a dark earthy color, but I don't think I'd want to go all black.

    Also, as you can see in the picture below, I am running a stock hood with two T8 bulbs. All of the plants in the tank are artificial. I notice when the fish swim in front of the light source (near the front glass) they lose their colors because the light shines on their back. Would a replacement lighting fixture fix this problem? Could I get a better fixture without avoiding extreme lighting that will create algae? I worry that if I go for better lighting with no live plants I will cause algae blooms.

    Thanks for any help! Hopefully this can turn into a great discussion to help others with this desire as well. Enjoy some pictures of my juvenile rams! (Those Bosemanis are too fast for photography.)

  2. Rogue

    RogueValued MemberMember

    Feeding better quality foods, and foods designed to bring out the colors in fish can help you.

    Yes, a darker substrate will bring out the colors in your fish more - it doesn't necessarily have to be all black.

    They do make different types of bulbs for the hoods. There are your run-of-the-mill basic bulbs, and there are more "specialty" kinds of bulbs. Each with a specific purpose: plant growth, night viewing, and bringing out the colors in fish. The "ColorMax" bulbs come to mind for what you are talking about. I've never tried them myself, but they are supposed to enhance the colors of your fish.
  3. kidster9700

    kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    I suggest omega-one, they have very high quality foods. I would probably get cichlid specific food for the Rams.

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  4. Nympxzie

    NympxzieValued MemberMember

    I feed New life spectrum. Some of the ones on Amazon have hormone free color enhancers that actually work! Turned my pale ghost orange ember tetra to a deep deep orange almost red color, worked for all my other fish as well. I'd like to know what exactly the color enhancers are but for now I am happy my fish are bright and are getting a great quality food.
  5. kidster9700

    kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Oh yeah, that's another really good fish food.

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  6. thinkpink94

    thinkpink94Valued MemberMember

    Oh my goodness! Your tank is stunning!! Beautiful aquascaping!

    (Sorry for getting off topic but I just wanted to let you know :) )

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  7. TikiBird

    TikiBirdWell Known MemberMember

    I'm interested in this too!

    I have read in some places that boesemani rainbowfish need to be fed live or frozen food to color up--is this true??

    (I love how they look and I would like to have some in the future, but I don't think I can handle the live or frozen food. :p)
  8. kidster9700

    kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    I've read that bloodworms are great for color, but I know they are a treat. So if you want to try that, only feed once a week. And frozen bloodworms are really easy. I got some in like a flat sheet and just break off a little and use tweezers to shake it around in the tank so they defrost and spread around.

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  9. OP

    JacksTanksNew MemberMember

    Thanks so much! I have always been very envious of aquariums with live plants so I try my best to mimic some of the planted looks even with artificial plants. I really like the left side of the tank, the right side still needs a bit of work in my opinion :)
  10. kidster9700

    kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    i never would have guess those are all artificial! great job.
  11. Fufu

    FufuValued MemberMember

    I have 4 bosemani rainbows

    Their main diet is flakes and algae wafers but 2-3 times a week I treat them with frozen food. Frozen brine shrimp to be exact and it does absolute wonders for fish colours

    As previously stated, dark substrate enhances their colours too


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