Chili Rasbora Care Guide (June 2024)


Chili Rasbora Care Guide (June 2024)

Chili Rasboras – They’re tiny, they’re gorgeous, but they come with a side order of complexity that’s got you wondering if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

Fear not, future aquarist extraordinaire! These fire-colored swimmers are more than just their good looks.

  • Bold colors? Check.
  • Enchanting personalities? Absolutely.
  • Co-existing with other peaceful fish? You bet.

Chili Rasboras are ready to bring the tropical spice to your tank.

When folks think nano fish, they might picture bettas, guppies, or the neon tetras. But our fiery friends, the Chili Rasboras, bring a unique flavor of their own – small size, dazzling vibrancy, and a dash of charm. They’re perfect for the aspiring fish hobbyist who craves a dash of the exotic, but without needing a tank the size of an ocean.

Ready to turn up the heat? Great, because we’re about to embark on a deep dive into everything Chili Rasbora – tank setup, breeding, and more.

Chili Rasbora Care and Information

  • Scientific Name: Boraras brigittae
  • Adult Size: 0.8 inch in length
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 4-5 Years
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Water Temperature: 68° to 83° F
  • Appearance: Reddish-orange body with a black strip running from the snout through the tail.
  • Water pH: 4.0 and 7.0
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Tank Size: 10 Gallons


Overview of Chili Rasboras

Chili Rasboras (also known as Mosquito Rasboras) is one of the smallest tropical fish in the aquarium trade. A tiny fish from the natural habitat of Borneo. Like many small freshwater fish, they exhibit a wide variety of behaviors. Some are peacefully oblivious to their tank companions, while others can display territorial tendencies. Chili Rasboras may spar with similar-looking small fish, such as other types of nano fish like Celestial Pearl Danios or Endler’s Livebearers.

Yet, they rarely cause serious harm to their tank mates, especially when provided with adequate room to claim their own areas. Chili Rasboras will largely ignore larger or vastly different species, like corydoras, loaches, and guppies.

REMEMBER: when spawning, Chili Rasboras will guard their eggs from other fish. However, they may also eat their own eggs, so it is advisable to separate them from the eggs as soon as possible.

Chili Rasbora Appearance

Just like a striking July 4th fireworks display, these fish are a spectacle. They have a dark substrate along their body, a reddish-orange body with a black strip. There are also various other rasbora species sporting different colors, such as the Neon Green Rasboras, Sundadanio axelrodi, and the Purple Harlequin Rasbora out there.

It’s like they’re always dressed for a fancy party. Except this party is in your aquarium.

How Long Do Chili Rasboras Live?

Now, let’s talk about life expectancy. Chili Rasboras typically have an average lifespan of 4 to 5 years, with 5 years being a reliable average for these fish.

How Big Do Chili Rasboras Grow?

Don’t let their size fool you. They might only grow up to 0.8 inches, but Rasboras can pack a punch. Like that time I accidentally added ghost pepper to my chili. Hot stuff!


Sexing Chili Rasboras

Sexing Chili Rasboras can be a bit more complex compared to many other small freshwater fish. There are slight sexual differences, especially when observing juvenile fish (less than 0.5 inches).

The easiest way to tell them apart is by their coloration and behavior.

Male Chili Rasboras usually have a brighter red stripe and spots on their fins, which become more intense when they are ready to breed.

Males also have a slightly more streamlined shape compared to females. Lastly, they also compete with other males for the females’ attention.

Female Chili Rasboras, usually have a rounded belly at all times, even when not prepared to spawn. And that belly will be slightly paler in color, which males never exhibit. She will likely be the subject of constant attention from any males in the tank, keeping an eye out for potential breeding opportunities.

Summary: Female Chili Rasboras tend to have rounder bodies while male Chili Rasboras are slightly larger and exhibit more vibrant colors.


Optimal Water Conditions for Chili Rasboras

They prefer the water like I like my jokes – a bit on the acidic side.

The wild counterparts of Chili Rasboras originate from the acidic blackwater streams in Indonesia. Here, the temperatures are tropical throughout the year, barely deviating from 68° to 83° F

WARNING: when kept below or above these temperatures, Chili Rasboras are prone to infection from diseases like ich and body/fin fungus. They will also eat less and be less likely to spawn.

Maintaining an optimal temperature is essential for successful Chili Rasbora care.

Water chemistry is another important factor for these fish. Even though they have been bred in captivity for many generations, they still prefer water conditions similar to their natural environment.

The ideal water pH for Chili Rasboras is between 4.0 and 7.0. They can tolerate slightly alkaline water (pH 7.0+), but they will be more stressed and less likely to breed.


Chili Rasboras are not very fragile, but they are sensitive to high levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. These are the byproducts of fish waste and organic matter decomposition, and they can harm the fish’s gills, organs, and immune system.

To prevent these toxins from building up, you need to perform regular water changes and use a good filtration system. You also need to test your water parameters frequently to make sure they are within the safe limits.

Conducting regular tests of your water parameters is vital to keeping them in good health!


Tank Setup for Chili Rasbora

For this, we’re going big. Or rather, as big as a nano tank can get. A schooling fish of Chili Rasbora (boraras brigittae) feel comfortable in tanks that are 10 gallons or largerA small shoal can find a 5-gallon tank cozy if they are the only inhabitants.

Make sure when maintaining multiple Chili Rasboras together, you should add 5 gallons of space per additional group of five fish since they will spar occasionally and require space to roam freely.

Remember, the larger the tank, the happier the fish.

Tank Decorations

The Chili Rasboras prefer a tank that resembles their natural habitat – lush with live plants, leaf litter, and floating plants. To make your Chili Rasboras feel truly at home, aim to create an environment that offers an inviting balance of open swimming space and snug hideaways.

Here’s a list of tank decorations that you could consider:

  • Plants
  • Driftwood
  • Fine Gravel or Sand Substrate
  • Hiding Spots and Caves
  • Leaf Litter and Indian Almond Leaves

Also, hardy plants like Java Fern and Anubias are your new allies, providing great hiding spots and improved water quality for your fish, creating a five-star hotel for your aquatic pets.


Compatible Tank Mates for Chili Rasbora Care

Chili Rasboras are very peaceful fish, ideal for a community tank. Other peaceful nano fish, adult shrimp, dwarf shrimp, and similarly sized fish make good tank mates for these micro predators.

A perfect choice for aquarists with nano tanks who still wish to enjoy the fascinating behaviors that small freshwater fish offer! They tend to get along well with virtually any species as long as they don’t closely resemble their coloration and disposition. If they do, they may be perceived as rivals, leading to potential conflicts.

Nano fish like Ember Tetras make a good match. But exercise caution with Bettas; their flashy fins, vivid colors, and semi-aggressive temperament might make them prime targets for squabbles with a Chili Rasbora.

Small invertebrates like cherry shrimp and snails might also not be the best choice since your Chili Rasboras may find them appetizing and harass them persistently.

Here are some Good Chili Rasbora Tank Mates Include:

  • Celestial Pearl Danios, Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, and other small, schooling fish
  • Endler’s Livebearers, Guppies, and other peaceful nano fish
  • Pygmy Corydoras, Dwarf Otocinclus, and other small bottom dwellers
  • African Dwarf Frogs

NOTE: These fish are quite sociable, so ensuring they have compatible tank mates to interact with is important. Chili Rasboras and other non-aggressive nano fish make perfect companions, fostering a harmonious tank environment.


Chili Rasbora Diet

Chili Rasboras are omnivorous nano fish. They are called “micro feeders” because they feed on microscopic crustaceans, zooplankton, insect larvae, and other small organisms they find in the water column.

Therefore, it’s beneficial to provide your pets with a variety of fresh, frozen, and high-quality flake or pellet foods! Common frozen items from your pet store that your Chili Rasboras will relish include micro worms, baby brine shrimp, and daphnia. Live foods like infusoria can also be offered sparingly as they are high in nutrients and excellent for conditioning Chili Rasboras to spawn!

Small, high-quality pellets or micro flakes are best for Chili Rasboras since they fit their tiny mouths. But they can manage finely crushed flakes as well, if that’s all you have!

Recommended Product: Hikari Micro Pellets

Designed to provide optimal nutrition for small tropical fish.

Here are the benefits:

  • Small pellets that sink slowly and suit small-mouthed tropical fish
  • Premium selection of marine and vegetable proteins
  • Unique balance of krill and spirulina
  • Micro-coating that reduces water clouding and nutrient loss
  • Vivid coloration, underwater visibility, and excellent digestibility
  • Uniquely balanced diet that provides protein, vegetables and vitamins
  • Value option compared to most flake foods


Breeding Chili Rasboras

Breeding these hardy fish requires a separate breeding tank and a little bit of TLC. A diet of live foods, like brine shrimp and micro worms, will help set the mood, here’s how to do it:

  1. Get a Separate Love Nest: You can’t just expect them to get jiggy with it in their everyday home. They need some privacy, some mood lighting… you know? Get a separate 5 to 10-gallon tank and fill it with soft, acidic water.
  2. Play Interior Designer: Deck the tank with lots of plants and hiding places. But, remember, it’s not MTV cribs, so let’s not overdo it. Some Java moss or other fine-leaved plants will do the trick.
  3. Tank Lighting: Let’s keep the lights dim. Remember, the aim is Netflix and chill vibes, not disco fever.

How Do I Condition Chili Rasboras to Spawn?

To make the magic happen, here’s how:

  1. Food is Love: Let’s treat them to the good stuff. Live foods or high-quality frozen stuff like daphnia, brine shrimp, or blood worms. It’s like their version of chocolate and strawberries, gets them in the right… err… mood.
  2. Temperature Change: Increase the water temperature by a few degrees. It’s like their version of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’. The fish equate warmer water with springtime, which is like Valentine’s Day in the fish world.

How Can I Tell if a Chili Rasbora is Pregnant?

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Belly Check: A gravid female Chili Rasbora will have a fuller, rounded belly. It’s like she just had a big meal, only in this case, she’s carrying eggs, not a food baby.
  2. Shimmer and Shine: A gravid female will also display more intense colors. It’s the fish version of that pregnancy glow humans keep talking about.

NOTE: Do remember that the process of breeding fish requires a certain level of expertise and responsibility. Also, fish are not like puppies or kittens; they have their own unique needs and behaviors. But hey, you’re already breeding Chili Rasboras, so I guess you’ve got your PhD in fishology, right?

If you need a visual guide, you may find this “Chili Rasbora breeding guide” video helpful.

Diseases To Watch Out For

Neglect their living quarters and you’re setting them up for a trip to Sickville, population: them. We’re talking everything from fungal blowouts and bacterial shindigs to parasite parties with guests like that fun-sponge, Ich. Any unwell fish should be given the old isolation treatment, then hit them with some Ich-busting meds or whatever fish doc potion you can score from the local aquarium supplier.

Their petite physiques could also display signs of stress. If you see any of the following, it’s time to wave the red flag:

  • Expanding like a pufferfish (bloating)
  • Rashes that look like crime scenes (bloody streaks or Ich)
  • Off-colour scales
  • Flaunting fuzzy
  • Sporting trendy grey spots
  • Rocking unsightly lesions
  • Sprouting pimpled skin (also a classic Ich)
  • Dealing with a case of balloon eye (pop eye)
  • Streaking in red
  • Struggling with some gnarly red ulcers
  • scratching, you guessed it, Ich again

Keep your fishy friends happy and healthy by giving their living conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions for Chili Rasbora

Are Chili Rasboras Good Beginner Schooling Fish?

Absolutely! Chili Rasboras are an excellent choice for beginners. They’re easy to care for, peaceful, and let’s not forget, easy on the eyes. These little gems are hardy, resilient, and they add a pop of color to any tank.

PLUS: watching them school together? That’s like a synchronized swimming event right in your living room.

Are Chili Rasboras Easy to Breed?

Chili Rasboras aren’t the most demanding fish when it comes to breeding. While they may require a bit more care than a common aquarium fish, with the right conditions, they’ll breed like…well, fish!

REMEMBER: Give them a healthy diet, clean water, and a little privacy, and these fish will usually be more than happy to do the rest.

Are Chili Rasboras Peaceful Fish?

Well, if the fish world had a peace prize, these little guys would be serious contenders. Chili Rasboras are very peaceful and get along well with other peaceful, small fish.

Perfect for that harmonious community tank vibe.

What is Chili Rasbora Disease and How Can it be Prevented?

Chili Rasboras, like other fish, can fall prey to common freshwater diseases, like Ich or Velvet disease. The key to prevention? Maintain a clean tank and monitor water conditions regularly.

If there’s one thing fish hate, it’s a dirty home.

How Many Chili Rasbora Nano Fish Should Be Kept in a Tank?

In the spirit of unity, always keep them in groups. If you have a larger tank, even better – these little swimmers enjoy company.

A minimum of six would be ideal, but the more, the merrier.

Do Chili Rasboras Jump Out of the Tank?

Like many small fish, Chili Rasboras can be quite jumpy, especially when they’re newly introduced to an aquarium or if they feel threatened.

This is why it’s important to have a secure lid on your tank. It provides a barrier between your Rasboras and potential household hazards.

What Type of Filter Should I Use for a Chili Rasbora Tank?

The ideal filter for a Chili Rasbora tank is a sponge filter. These filters provide excellent filtration while maintaining a gentle water flow, which is important since Chili Rasboras come from slow-moving waters and can be stressed by strong currents.

Can Chili Rasboras Tolerate Rapid Changes in Water Parameters?

Despite their hardy nature, Chili Rasboras, much like the rest of us, aren’t fans of sudden change. Rapid alterations in water temperature, pH, or hardness can cause them stress, which could lead to health issues.

REMEMBER: consistency is key in maintaining a healthy environment for your aquatic pals. It’s like keeping the thermostat at a perfect, cozy temperature, only underwater.

Can Chili Rasbora Fish Live in a Community Tank with Other Fish?

Absolutely! These friendly little fish are community-minded and love hanging out with other peaceful species.

WARNING: they are small, so ensure their tankmates won’t mistake them for a mid-afternoon snack.

How Often Should I Change the Water in My Chili Rasbora Fish Tank?

Fresh water is to fish what a clean house is to you – essential! Aim to change about 20-25% of the water in your tank every 2 week.

The key to a successful aquarium is consistency.

How Many Chili Rasboras Should I Keep?

As schooling fish, they are happiest in groups. Six is a good starting number, but the more, the merrier, provided you have enough space in your tank.

And hey, if you’ve got some photos of your Chili Rasboras looking all beautiful and shiny in their pristine tank, why not share them with our fish-loving community? We’re always up for some aquatic eye-candy!

Resources for Learning More about Tiny Fish

Eager to delve further into the world of nano aquarium fish? Check out these resources for insights, advice, and inspiration:



Chili Rasboras, with their vibrant colors and peaceful nature, are a joy to have in any aquarium. Just remember to care for them as they deserve – with love, the right diet, and the perfect tank setup. In the end, it’s about creating a healthy, beautiful planted aquarium that both you and the Chili Rasboras can enjoy.

So, what are you waiting for? Visit your local fish store and get yourself a Chili Rasbora today. You’ll thank me later, fish keepers. Over and out.


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