January 27

Sarah Robertson

Care Guide for Rineloricaria Melini Catfish

Catfish are a popular addition to many aquariums, and the Rineloricaria Melini catfish is no exception. This species is known for its peaceful nature and hardiness, making it a great choice for beginner aquarists.

This species from Brazil's Rio Negro stands out among other whiptail catfishes due to its stunning adult coloration. Young fish have modest juvenile coloring. The occasionally orange-colored, dark brown, black margined dappled blotches they sport will gradually darken and spread as the fish matures.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about caring for Rineloricaria Melini catfish, including tank size, diet, lifespan, and more.

A Quick Corydoras Robineae Care Table 

  • Scientific Name: Rineloricaria melini
  • Common Name: Dappled Whiptail Catfish
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Compatibility: Peaceful and not territorial.
  • Ph: 4.5 - 6.5
  • Temperature: 64° - 82° F (18° - 28° C)
  • Water hardness: 2 - 20 dKH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Size: 5.0 inches
  • Life expectancy: 5-8 years

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Size 

These armored catfishes can reach a maximum length of 5 inches. The size of your fish is determined by a variety of factors, including the quality of care you provide and the quantity of food you feed them. It's critical to feed your fish a nutritious diet and maintain a clean living environment if you want them to reach their full potential. The size of your fish is also determined by genetics. Some Rineloricaria Melini catfish are inherently smaller than others.

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Lifespan 

The average lifespan of a Rineloricaria Melini catfish is 5-8 years. They can live much longer if properly cared for. Providing your fish with a clean living environment and a nutritious diet is critical to their long and healthy life.

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Appearance

Rineloricaria Melini catfish have long, slender body with a dappled pattern of orange and black. They belong to the armored catfish subfamily. This species from Brazil's Rio Negro stands out because of its amazing adult coloration when compared to other whiptail catfishes imported. Young fish retain a low-profile juvenile appearance. The infrequently orange-tinged, black margined dappled blotches become obvious with time. The species was previously misidentified as H. teffeana from the Rio Tefé in publications, but it is identical to the description of H. melini in all respects.

Like any other Corydoradinae, this species has a ventral suckermouth that is used for clinging to surfaces and scavenging. They also have maxillary barbels for sensing their environment and locating food. The adipose fin is present and well-developed in juveniles and adults. This catfish does not have any swimbladders.

Gender Differences 

It can be difficult to tell the difference between male and female Rineloricaria Melini catfish. The best way to determine the gender of these freshwater catfish is by looking at their ventral fins. Male fish have longer and thinner ventral fins than females.

Rineloricaria melini

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Behavior

The Rineloricaria Melini Catfish is sociable in the aquarium, but it may also live alone. It is somewhat reclusive and prefers hiding places such as driftwood or pipes to feel comfortable. When maintained in a group, it will be more outgoing. When several specimens become trapped in the same refuge at once, there may be squabbling over who gets the best spot.

The Rineloricaria melini Catfish is a peaceful species that will not harm humans or other animals. It is, however, aggressive towards anything tiny enough to fit into its mouths, such as small fish, dwarf shrimp, and fry. These suckermouth catfish are not known to attach to plants. Water jets that are extremely powerful are disliked by the Rineloricaria melini Catfish; instead, it prefers somewhat slow to moderate water flow. If given sand or fine, smooth gravel to root about in, it will search for food in the substrate.

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Tank Setup

Rineloricaria Melini catfish requires a great deal of attention when it comes to tank setup. When it comes to setting up their aquarium, there are several things to consider. Here are some pointers:

Tank Size 

Rineloricaria Melini catfish require a tank with a minimum size of 30 gallons. If you're keeping a big group of fish, though, you'll want a bigger tank, such as a 55-gallon aquarium. It's safer to get a larger aquarium rather than a smaller one.

There are several advantages to having a bigger tank. For one, the water parameters are more stable with a larger tank. A bigger tank is also easier to maintain because it has more volume of water, which dilutes any waste or pollutants that may develop over time.

Water Parameters 

Rineloricaria Melini catfish are adaptable to a variety of water parameters. They prefer somewhat acidic to neutral water, however. The pH level of the water should be between 4.5 and 6.5. Water temperatures should be between 64° and 82° F (18-28° C). Water hardness is unimportant; they like soft to medium-hard water. Ammonia and nitrates must both be kept at 0 ppm. It's also important to consider the tank's water circulation. If the water flow is too high, the fish may become stressed. A typical guideline is that the turnover rate should be 10-20 times per hour.


The health of your Rineloricaria Melini catfish depends on good water quality, which is why filtering is so important in any aquarium. This is due to the fact that these armored catfish are very sensitive to changes in water quality and parameters. A good filter will aid in the maintenance of clean and stable water. There are several distinct types of filters on the market. It is preferable to get a filter that is appropriate for the size of your aquarium. A canister or hang-on-back filter are both excellent alternatives for a Rineloricaria Melini catfish tank.

Tank Décor 

In order to protect their eggs from the heat and provide a space where they can hide, Rineloricaria Melini catfish need many hiding places in their aquarium. Driftwood, boulders, and pipes are all good options for creating hiding spots. However, make sure the concealment locations you choose are safe for the fish and won't fall apart in the water. Anything with sharp edges should be avoided since it may harm the fish.

Plants are also nice additions to a Rineloricaria Melini catfish tank. Java fern, anubias, and hornwort are some excellent plants to have in your aquarium. Plants offer hiding places for fish as well as water quality improvement. Live plants are always preferable, but fake ones can be useful too. Just make sure that the plants you choose are safe for aquariums and won't harm the fish.

Another important aspect of tank decor is the substrate. Fine, smooth gravel is the finest substrate for a Rineloricaria Melini catfish tank. This is because the fish like to dig around in the soil in search of food. Sand can also be used, but it is more difficult to clean than gravel.

Lighting is not as crucial for Rineloricaria Melini catfish as it is for other fish. They do not require special lighting, and they can subsist in both low light and bright light conditions. If you keep live plants in your aquarium, you will need to provide enough illumination for them.

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Tank Maintenance 

Rineloricaria Melini catfish are easy to maintain, but there are a few things you must do to keep their tank clean. To begin with, once a week, perform a 20-30% water change. This will help to keep the water quality high and it will also replenish any lost water.

It's also a good idea to vacuum the substrate and clean the filter on a regular basis. This will aid in the removal of any waste or pollutants that may have accumulated in the tank.

Quarantine the fish before adding a new one to the tank, if you're bringing one into an established aquarium. This will aid in the prevention of any illnesses from spreading throughout the other fish in the tank.

It's critical not to upset the fish too much when cleaning the tank. This can be stressful for them, as well as make them more vulnerable to disease.

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Tank Mates 

Rineloricaria Melini catfish are low-living fish that get along well with other tank inhabitants. They can be kept with a range of different fish, including both peaceful and semi-aggressive varieties. Rineloricaria Melini catfish enjoy keeping company with the following tank mates:

  • Danios
  • Barbs
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Tetras
  • Gouramis
  • Swordtails
  • Rasboras
  • Shrimps
  • Non-aggressive catfish like panda catfish, giant catfish, twig catfish
  • Other invertebrates

These fish are social creatures that do best when kept in groups. It's best to keep at least six Rineloricaria Melini catfish together, but more is always better. This will help to reduce stress levels and make the fish feel more comfortable in their environment.

There are a few fish that Rineloricaria Melini catfish should not be kept with. These fish are too aggressive and may harm or even kill the Rineloricaria Melini catfish. Avoid keeping Rineloricaria Melini catfish with the following fish:

  • Cichlids
  • Bettas
  • Guppies
  • Goldfish
  • Dwarf gouramis

If you're going to keep Rineloricaria Melini catfish with other fish, it's best to pick ones that are comparable in size. This will aid in the prevention of conflict and bullying among the fish. Avoid mixing Rineloricaria Melini catfish with other bottom-dwelling fish, as they may compete for food. Make sure to pay close attention to the fish while they're together to ensure that they get along well. If you detect any indications of conflict, remove the attacker from the tank immediately.

Rineloricaria melini

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Diet 

Rineloricaria Melini fish are omnivores, meaning they will consume both vegetation and animals. In the wild, they consume small invertebrates and crustaceans. In captivity, pellets or flakes can be added to their diet. These foods are high in nutrients and will aid in the maintenance of your fish's health. Make certain that the food you're feeding your Rineloricaria Melini catfish is acceptable for them by reading the label carefully.

You may also offer your fish live or frozen food. This includes brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. Live food should be added to the tank on an occasional basis, as it can introduce bacteria to the water.

Vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and zucchini can also be given to Rineloricaria Melini catfish. These vegetables should be blanched or steamed to make them easier for the fish to digest. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy addition to your fish's diet.

Note: It's critical to feed the fish several times a day, but you should only offer them as much food as they can consume in a few minutes. This will prevent the fish from getting overweight and keep the tank clean. After a few minutes, remove any uneaten food from the tank to avoid it decaying and polluting the water.

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish diseases 

Rineloricarias Melini catfish are strong fish that can be affected by a variety of illnesses. The following are the most prevalent health issues faced by these fish:

  • Ich: Ich is a disease that affects freshwater fish. As a result of this parasitic infection, white marks will appear on the fish's body. Water quality issues are frequently to blame. To cure ich, your tank's temperature should be increased to 86°F and a salt treatment administered. On a regular basis, vacuum any parasites out of the gravel using a net and clean it with mild water.
  • Fin Rot: Most fish will experience some form of fin rot at some point in their lives. It's a bacterial infection that leads to the fins seeming to be coming off. If your catfish's fins are frayed, it's likely that it has fin rot. Check the water quality of your tank to verify that it is acceptable. When the water quality in an aquarium is poor, fish may become sick. The tank is full of germs that cause illness among your pets. Because over-the-counter medicines are efficient, fin Rot treatment is simple.
  • Dropsy: Poor water quality or parasites can cause the body of a fish to become bloated. Dropsy is the medical term for this condition. Dropsy causes your fish's scales to stand out from its body and make it difficult to swim. Dropsy necessitates medication in order for your fish to survive. You'll also need to vacuum the gravel and do frequent water changes to get rid of any parasite eggs that may be hiding there.
  • Red Blotch Disease: Catfish are susceptible to a variety of illnesses, including Coryndom and Corydrod, but red blotch is the most common. This is an illness that causes bleeding sores on a fish's skin. The majority of these crimson ulcers are located on the belly. Ulcers may be clear or filled with decaying flesh. It's conceivable that this sort of illness progresses at a different speed. It may take weeks, if not months, for symptoms to show up. This ailment is comparable to fin rot in many ways. If you detect it early enough, the fish might be saved. If you catch it late, the fish will almost certainly die. Raise the temperature of the water and administer antibiotics as well as change the water frequently to keep your pet fish alive.
  • Gill Flukes: Gill flukes are a type of parasite that clings to a fish's gills and gives it negative energy. The gills of these tiny squid-like creatures irritate and inflame them. If your fish has gill flukes, it will need to be treated for parasite infection. Vacuum the gravel and perform water changes on a regular basis to eliminate any infestations that may be hiding there.
  • Popeye: Popeye disease is a condition that should not be taken lightly by fish owners. Popeye sickness affects a fish's eyes, causing them to swell up. Popeye disease is caused by a bacterial infection. Some fish can lose an eye as a consequence of the illness's serious effects in rare cases. The illness is readily curable and may frequently be reversed in just two weeks with penicillin ointment four times each day for two weeks.


If you believe that your Rineloricaria Melini Catfish is sick, look for the following symptoms:

  • White spots on the fish's body
  • The fins appear to be coming off
  • The fish's body is bloated
  • Crimson ulcers on the fish's belly
  • The fish has gill flukes
  • The fish's eyes are swollen

If you notice any of these symptoms, it's essential to take your fish to an expert as soon as possible.


There are many things you can do to prevent your Rineloricaria Melini Catfish from getting sick. Some of these include:

  • Quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank
  • Keep your tank clean and the water quality high
  • Don't overfeed your fish
  • Remove any dead fish from the tank immediately
  • Regularly check your fish for signs of illness
  • Treat your fish promptly if they do become sick

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your Rineloricaria Melini Catfish healthy and happy for many years to come.


If your fish becomes ill, it's critical to take action right once. The sooner you detect and combat an illness, the higher the chances of your fish recovering fully. Treatment may range from simple as altering the water in your tank or using antibiotics to complicated. Whatever the condition is, it's vital to see a professional before starting any treatment. They will be able to help you decide whether or not to continue with treatment.

Rineloricaria melini

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish Breeding

Breeding Rineloricaria Melini Catfish is not a difficult task, but it does require some planning and preparation. First, you'll need to select a breeding pair of fish. These fish should be healthy and of similar size. Once you have your breeding pair, it's time to set up a breeding tank. A 20-galloons tank is sufficient for Rineloricaria melini Catfish to lay eggs in. It should have gravel substrate, plants, and driftwood decorations. There must be several suitable hiding places available. A box filter is required to keep the water quality high and since these species originate from well-oxygenated bodies of water, an airstone is also necessary.

You should also give your Rineloricaria melini Catfish a tube of some sort. Breeding these Whiptail fish are known to enjoy bamboo tubes as breeding sites. The tube should be 15-18 cm long and open on both ends. Depending on the size of your fish, the diameter should be roughly 5 cm. When measured across the pectoral fins, the ideal diameter is 1.5 times as big as the male fish's width. Wait for the male to notice the tube in a protected area of your aquarium.

When the female is ready to lay her eggs, she will release them and they will be immediately fertilized by the male. Rineloricaria melini Catfish generally lay their eggs during the late afternoon. The female can produce up to 300 green orbs that are no longer than 3 mm long. For approximately one week, the male should remain in the breeding Catfish care, as he will protect and look after the eggs. It's quite challenging to breed Rineloricarias successfully without using a male during the incubation period. The female on the other hand should be removed directly after spawning since she may otherwise eat the eggs, or get into a fight with the male when she tries to eat the eggs. The eggs will normally hatch after one week, and the male should be left with the fry until they are free swimming. You can then remove the male since it is best for the fry not to have to compete with him for food. The fry can be fed on live foods such as daphnia or brine shrimp. You should start feeding them three times a day, but as they grow, you can reduce this to two meals a day. Rineloricaria melini Catfish grow relatively quickly and will reach sexual maturity after approximately one year.

Frequent Questions 

Are Rineloricaria melini catfish active? 

Yes, Rineloricaria melini catfish are active fish. They are constantly moving around the tank and exploring their environment.

Do Rineloricaria melini catfish need a lot of space? 

No, Rineloricaria melini catfish do not need a lot of space. A 20-gallon tank is sufficient for a pair of fish.

Do Rineloricaria melini catfish need hiding places? 

Yes, Rineloricaria melini catfish do need hiding places. They are shy fish and will feel stressed if they do not have somewhere to hide. Driftwood, plants, and rocks can all provide suitable hiding places.

How big do Rineloricaria melini catfish get? 

Rineloricaria melini catfish grow to a maximum size of 5 inches. However, this is rare and most fish only grow to a maximum of 3 inches.

Where are Rineloricaria melini catfish from? 

Rineloricaria melini catfish are from South America. They are found in countries such as Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia.

What do Rineloricaria melini catfish eat? 

Rineloricaria melini catfish are omnivores. In the wild, they eat a variety of foods such as algae, small invertebrates, and plant matter. In captivity, they should be fed a variety of foods such as live foods, frozen foods, and pellets.


Rineloricaria Melini Catfish is a great addition to any aquarium. They are active fish that are constantly moving around the tank. They do not need a lot of space and can be kept in a 20-gallon tank. Rineloricaria Melini Catfish are shy fish and need hiding places. Driftwood, plants, and rocks can all provide suitable hiding places. They are known for their beautiful coloration. Rineloricaria Melini Catfish are from South America and are found in countries such as Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia. They are omnivores and in the wild, they eat a variety of foods such as algae, small invertebrates, and plant matter. In captivity, they should be fed a variety of foods such as live foods, frozen foods, and pellets. They have a lifespan of 5-8 years.

Rineloricaria Melini Catfish is a great addition to any aquarium. They are active fish that are constantly moving around the tank. So if you are looking for a fish that is constantly on the go, then this is the fish for you.

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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