The Chilli Rasbora, scientifically known as Boraras brigittae, is a small and vibrant freshwater fish species that belongs to the family Cyprinidae. It is native to Southeast Asia, specifically found in the rivers and peat swamps of Borneo and Sumatra. The Chilli Rasbora is highly regarded for its striking colors, peaceful nature, and suitability for planted aquariums.
Here are some key features and characteristics of the Chilli Rasbora:
Appearance: Chilli Rasboras are tiny fish with a maximum size of about 0.6 inches (1.5 cm). They have a slender body shape and possess a bright red coloration throughout their body, which gives them their common name. They have a black horizontal stripe that runs from the eye to the base of the tail, and their fins are typically transparent or lightly colored.
Behavior: Chilli Rasboras are peaceful and schooling fish. They thrive when kept in small groups of at least six individuals or more. Having a larger group helps them feel more secure and encourages natural behaviors. They are active swimmers and spend their time exploring the middle and upper levels of the aquarium.
Habitat and Tank Requirements: In the wild, Chilli Rasboras inhabit slow-moving forest streams and peat swamps with heavily shaded areas. When keeping them in captivity, it is essential to provide an aquarium that replicates their natural environment. A well-planted tank with subdued lighting, dark substrate, and the addition of floating plants or leaf litter will help create a suitable habitat. They appreciate clean, well-filtered water with gentle flow.
Water Parameters: Chilli Rasboras prefer soft and acidic water conditions. The recommended temperature range for them is around 75-82°F (24-28°C), with a pH between 5.0 and 7.0. It's important to maintain stable water parameters, and regular water changes are necessary to keep the water quality high.
Feeding: Chilli Rasboras are primarily omnivorous and have a small mouth suited for picking at tiny food particles. In the wild, they feed on small invertebrates, zooplankton, and algae. In captivity, they readily accept high-quality dry and frozen foods, such as micro-pellets, small flakes, and live or frozen daphnia, brine shrimp, or cyclops. It's beneficial to provide a varied diet to ensure their nutritional needs are met.
Compatibility: Chilli Rasboras are peaceful fish and can be kept with other small, peaceful species that prefer similar water conditions. They are ideal tankmates for other small Rasbora species, small tetras, dwarf shrimp, and peaceful bottom-dwelling fish like Corydoras catfish. It's best to avoid housing them with larger or aggressive tankmates, as they may become stressed or outcompeted for food.
Breeding Chilli Rasboras can be challenging, as they require specific conditions and stimuli to initiate spawning. A separate breeding tank with soft, acidic water and fine-leaved plants for egg scattering can be set up. The female scatters her eggs among the plants, and the parents should be removed after spawning to prevent them from consuming the eggs.
Chilli Rasboras are a captivating addition to small aquariums and nano tanks. Their vibrant colors and peaceful nature make them a popular choice for aquarists who appreciate their beauty and enjoy observing their schooling behavior. With proper care and suitable tank conditions, they can thrive and bring a splash of color to your aquatic setup.