Keeping and breeding The Red Neon Blue Eye (Rainbowfish) – Pseudomugil luminatus

A pair of The Red Neon Blue Eye, Pseudomugil luminatus

This blog is about how I am keeping and breeding The Red Neon Blue Eye.

With its vibrant orange/red colour, The Red Neon Blue Eye is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful small aquarium fish.

Pseudomugil is a genus of fish endemic to Australia and New Guinea, where they are found in freshwater rivers and streams and bodies of brackish water. They are, to the best of my knowledge, related to the rainbowfish family – but are technically not true rainbowfish. The popular name for the genus is Blue Eyes.

The Red Neon Blue Eye is native to New Guinea, Indonesia. These fish really shine when kept in shoals of 6-10 fish or more in a densely planted rainforest style tank, preferable with some shading from floating plants.

I’ve kept this species in more than a year, and the colours have just grown more and more intense. While a lot of pictures on a Google search show these fish as orange/tan, mine has developed a deep red colouration.

I may just have got hold of a very colourful strain, but it might also have something to do with the way I keep these fish. Anyway, I want to share my experience on keeping and breeding the Red Neon Blue Eye. They are very adaptable – and can be kept under a variety of water conditions – so this is just my way of doing it.

Several Red Neon Blue Eye, Pseudomugil luminatus

Water conditions and feeding

I keep the luminatus in a soft and slightly acid rainwater/well water mix, and feed primarily live food: brine shrimp, daphnia, cyclops and vary the diet with frozen bloodworms and flake food. Keep in mind, that these fish have small mouths and need small food items, especially as juveniles. I keep their tank at room temperature – which means fluctuating temperatures: down to just under 20 C (68 F) at night and up to 25 C (77 F) during the day.

The Red Neon Blue Eye, Pseudomugil luminatus with plants in an aquarium


The fish breed more or less constantly, and my wife Ulla collects the eggs from the mops. Hatching rate is nearly 100 % and the fry aren’t difficult to get started up on infusoria, baby brine shimps and microworms.  We have collected eggs for about a month now, and have about 55 new fish on the way for now. The eggs hatch in small plastic trays and we move the fry to a 3 gallon tank (with a small sponge filter, java moss and a few frogbit plants) as soon as they start eating. They seem to be coming along just fine, but they don’t grow nearly as fast as the killifish and tetras we breed.

Egg from The Red Neon Blue Eye, Pseudomugil luminatus
fry from The Red Neon Blue Eye, Pseudomugil luminatus
Fry from The Red Neon Blue Eye, Pseudomugil luminatus and frogbite

Tank mates?

I have always kept these fish in a species tank, and have no experience on how they would thrive with other fish, but I suppose they would do fine with most other peaceful nano fish. I have kept shrimps in their tank for a while, and it worked fine. The luminatus have small mouths, and I never saw them chase baby shrimps. Right now they are alone in the tank though.

Several fish with plants in an aquarium

Film in the making

Right now we are working on several films on this species. Subscribe to my YouTube channel, if you want to follow the progress.

Watch this fishportrait right here…

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My aquarium light:

The camera gear I use for making my videos

My DSLR Camera
Nikon D7100 camera

My Lenses
Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70
Sigma Macro 105 1:2,8D
Sigma Macro 50mm
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-85 mm 1:3,5-5,6

My all weather/underwater camera
Olympus Tough TG-5

Tripods and stuff
Manfrotto Tripod
Gorilla Tripod
STSEETOP Sun Shade Screen Protector

Bags and backpacks
Pelican Protector Case 1600
Photo Bag
National Geographic Africa Camera Backpack, Brown (NG A5290)

Microphones and recorders
Røde Link Filmmaker Kit
Zoom H1
Microphone Furry Windshield


AquariumAdmin Author


    Allison Huffman

    (6th March 2021 - 3:43 am)

    Mr. Jensen,

    I love your piece on psuedomugil luminatus’, as I have been trying to get my own pairs to breed. I am trying my best to emulate your success and feeding regimen. Thanks for the notes on their care.

      Michael Jensen

      (15th June 2021 - 9:48 am)

      Hi Allison. Thanks a lot for your feedback. I really hope you will succed with the luminatus. Cheers, Michael :0)

    Amy Watts

    (5th May 2021 - 2:10 am)

    Your red neons are very vibrant. I’ve read that the red neons are okay in cooler temperatures than you mentioned. Do you know anything about those lower parameters?

      Michael Jensen

      (15th June 2021 - 9:51 am)

      Hi Amy. Thanks. Sorry but I haven’t any experience on keeping these fish on temperatures lower than 20 C. Cheers, Michael :0)

    Amy Watts

    (5th May 2021 - 2:10 am)

    Also, do you sell your fish?

      Michael Jensen

      (15th June 2021 - 9:54 am)

      I sell fish occasionally. If you follow my blog and FaceBook profile, I will let you know when I have some ready for sale. Cheers, Michael :0)


    (31st October 2023 - 10:55 am)

    Thanks for this blog so useful going to attempt breeding blue eyes in a planted tank with my colony of pleco do you think it will work? Also how long do the eggs take to hatch? I’ll be growing the fry

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