Care Guide for Chili Rasboras – Spicy Red Nano Fish for Planted Tanks
If you are thinking of setting up a nano tank with live aquarium plants, then you have to try chili rasboras or mosquito rasboras. Unlike most red aquarium fish that tend to have a warmer, red-orange hue, these tiny rasboras display a deep, cool-toned red with distinct black markings. However, they often get passed over because the juveniles sold at pet stores are miniscule and look washed-out. Learn how to raise these amazing nano fish and keep them happy for hours.
What is Chili Rasboras, you ask?
Boraras brigittae is a close cousin of other micro rasboras, like the exclamation point rasbora and strawberry rasbora. They only grow to about 3/4 inch (2 cm) long and have a slender body with pointed fins. While the adults are known for their intensely scarlet scales, they will temporarily become paler whenever they move from one tank to another. Give them time to adjust to the new environment and they will soon return to their true colors. Many nano fish are timid due to fear of predators. However, we have found that chili rasboras can be quite bold. They won’t rush to the front to greet you. However, if they wait for you to remain still, they will often approach the glass to ask you questions.
Chili rasboras have a distinctive red body with a horizontal stripe of black.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Chili Rasboras
Chili rasbora is found in the rainforests and forests of Borneo, Indonesia. There, tons of trees block out sunlight, and leaves of plants often drop into the water. This causes brown tannins to form. They are therefore from more acidic and softer water. However, we have found that chili rasboras can withstand a wider range of water parameters. We have successfully kept them in pH levels of 6.0-8.0, temperatures between 72-82degF (22-28degC), and soft to hard water. To recreate the dim lighting of the jungle, use plenty of low light plants that create shady areas and good hiding spots for both the adults and fry. We love floating water sprite, anubias as well as cryptocoryne and dwarf aquarium lilies. For a biotope tank that imitates their natural setting, try adding some dried catappa leaves to tint the water, gently lower the pH, and create biofilm for the fish to nibble on.
Because of their petite size, mosquito rasboras have a very low bioload and produce little waste, so we have successfully kept them in planted fish tanks as small as 3 gallons. They are not the fastest swimmers, so aim for a filter with low current like a sponge filter. You should cover the intake tube of a hang-on back or canister filter with a prefilter sponge to prevent nano fish accidentally getting caught up.
How many chili rasboras should be kept together? As a schooling fish, getting a larger group of chili rasboras will help them feel more comfortable and confident about swimming out in the open. If you have many of these small, thin bodies, it can be difficult to see them. We recommend keeping at least 8-12 school members together.
Can chili rasboras live with fish? Boraras Brigittae, a peaceful species, would be great with smaller community fish that aren’t big enough to predate. Lambchop rasboras can be paired with rosy loaches and ember tetras as well as dwarf cory catfish, neon rasboras and snails. While all fish will attempt to eat baby shrimp, chili rasboras will not bother adult shrimp.
Chili rasboras get along well with other peaceful nano fish like clown killifish.
What does a Chili Rasbora eat?
In the wild, they feed on zooplankton, micro worms, insect larvae, and other tiny invertebrates. You should choose fish foods that fit comfortably in their mouths, or are easy to eat. They like to eat from the middle of the water column so it is best to offer floating or slow-sinking food options. Also, they are not the most aggressive eaters and can easily be outcompeted during mealtimes unless the food is fine enough to spread everywhere. However, chili rasboras can eat almost anything. We love baby brine shrimp and easy fries to bring out their vibrant red color.
How to Breed Chili Rasboras
We have had success breeding nano fish in mature aquariums with many live plants, catappa leafs, and other botanicals to create microfauna and mulm for our fry. You can prevent adults from eating their eggs by covering the tank with craft mesh, which you can buy at a craft shop. Also, make sure to add java moss, yarn spawning mops, Easter basket grass or other dense, fluffy plants under the mesh. The mesh allows eggs to pass through but is too small for adults to enter. An acidic pH of 7.0 or less may improve hatching rates and survival.
You will have fish from both the male and female sexes if you get at least six chili rasboras. Females tend to have more color and are rounder than males. Males, on the other hand, are larger and have brightest reds. Condition the adults for breeding by feeding them plenty of high-quality foods such as live baby brine shrimp. Then place them in the mature, breeding tank for a couple of days and remove them as soon as they’ve spawned or you spot any fry. Feed the babies multiple, small meals a day consisting of fry foods like infusoria and vinegar eels, and in a couple of weeks, they should be large enough to eat live micro worms and baby brine shrimp.
Juvenile Chili Rasboras may not be very vibrant at first but will eventually turn out to be as beautiful as rubies if they are treated well.
Aquarium Co-Op doesn’t ship live fish. However, we recommend that you visit one of our preferred online retailers to view their stocking lists. For more inspiration, check out the top 10 stunning nano fish you need to try in your next small fish tank.