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Chili Rasbora – Full Care Guide

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The Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae), sometimes called the Mosquito Rasbora, is a incredibly small fish, with vibrant colors, that enjoy schooling in large groups. Originally found in Indonesia, it has swept through the aquarium hobby and is loved by many fish keepers. Primarily red and orange in color, this little fish strikingly pops in well planted aquariums. This guide will provide information on Chili Rasbora care and breeding habits.

Fish Information

Chilli Rasbora do not get larger than .8 inches (2 cm). It is the perfect fish for aquariums that are 5 gallons or larger. A school should contain 6 individual fish or more. 6 to 10 Chili Rasbora should do well in a 5 gallon fish tank. Although the Chili Rasbora remains incredibly small, its colorful body and habit of schooling create beautiful movement and liveliness in a densely planted aquarium.

Like many other rasbora species, this one primarily spends its time in the middle and top of the aquarium. It will occasionally swim at the bottom of the fish tank.

Aquarium Requirements

The Chili Rasbora is a tropical fish that does well in a large temperature range. It can survive in water temperatures between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, but 75 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal range where it will thrive. It enjoys KH levels between 3 and 12 dKH and lastly does great in acidic water that has pH levels ranging between 4.0 and 7.0.

This species of fish suffers terribly in new aquariums so only add them into already well established fish tanks. Once introduced and settled, they are quite hardy.

Because of its small size, keep this fish in slow moving waters. They will be thrown around the aquarium when caught in fast moving currents. Providing many live plants and great filtration is ideal for this fish.

Food & Diet

The Chili Rasbora is small and remains small its whole life. It is very important to feed it food that it will be able to fit into its mouth. There are many options to offer this fish to provide it with a varied diet. Flake food can be taken and crushed into powder which makes it small enough for this fish to consume. Micropellets can be fed with little problems because they are designed for tiny fish like Chili Rasbora. Also, feeding daphnia, brine shrimp, and cutting up bloodworms are fantastic options to give this fish a varied diet. Providing many different food options will keep this fish vibrant and healthy.

Tank Mates

Chili Rasbora are easily outcompeted for food. Take pre-caution when choosing tank mates. The Chili Rasbora do exceptionally well with other small and peaceful fish in the aquarium. Do not keep them with larger or more dominate fish such as:

  • Platys
  • Mollies
  • Swordtails
  • Betta Fish
  • Angelfish
  • Large Mouthed Fish (Cichlids, Goldfish)

Keeping Chili Rasbora in larger fish tanks is more than possible. They will thrive with fantastic fish such as:

  • Tetras (ember, neon, cardinal, green neon)
  • Rasboras (harlequin, green kubotai)
  • Endler’s Livebearers
  • Guppies
  • Celestial Pearl Danios
  • Corycats
  • Dwarf Gouramis

The amount of fish that can be kept in an aquarium are determined by the number of plants in the fish tank, filtration, and physical size of the aquarium. A densely planted aquarium will be able to keep more fish happy over a sparsely planted one. A stronger and better filter will go a long way in allowing you to keep more fish in the enclosure. Larger aquariums aid in keeping water parameters stable when a fish tank is heavily populated. Regardless, do not cram too many fish in a fish tank.

Shrimp and snails should do perfectly fine with Chili Rasboras even in 5 gallon aquariums. In fish tanks this small it is important to closely monitor water parameters because they are more prone to swinging which can be detrimental to both fish and invertebrates.


Chili Rasbora will openly breed and produce offspring in aquariums. The males may become a bit more territorial during breeding periods and will also deepen its red and black coloring. After successfully breeding a female will appear rounder than the male and not pregnant females.

Eggs will be laid on plants and decorations and will not be cared for by either parent. The best chance for survival for the fry are in heavily planted aquariums. The plants will provide the much needed cover the fry will need to reach adulthood. The parents are sometimes observed to eat the fry once they hatch from their egg.

Final Comments

The Chili Rasbora is fantastic for aquariums both large and small but fill the micro aquarium niche very well for keepers that do not have the space or money to spend on large aquariums. Their vibrant colors stand out in aquariums so they will always be able to be observed. Check them out if you get a chance!

Image by JoKrimmel on wikimedia