Chili Rasbora – Care, Tank Mates, Feeding & Details

Chili Rasbora or Micro Rasbora (Boraras brigittae) is a freshwater ray-finned fish from the carp family. Chili Rasboras are found only on the island of Borneo (Kalimantan).

This is one of the smallest fish in the rasbora family. At the same time, it is quite easy to care for and with stunning bright color and one of the most beautiful fish for aquascapes and nano aquariums.

Quick Stats

Scientific Name: Boraras brigittae
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Color: Red and black
Lifespan: 6-8 years
Size: .6-.8 inch
Diet: Omnivore/Micropredator
Family: Characidae
Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons
Tank Setup: Densely planted freshwater
Compatibility: Peaceful community

General Information

The island of Borneo has presented many amazing aquarium fish to the aquarium hobbyist. One of them is Chili Rasbora or Micro Rasbora.

This mini pet fish immediately became popular with nano aquarium lovers. We will tell you about whether it is difficult to keep this beautiful tropical inhabitant in our article today.

The fish received its specific epithet in honor of the wife of the scientist, who first described the species in 1978.

Due to their small size, These fishes are generally sold under the name “Micro Rasbora or Mosquito Rasbora”.


The usual size of Chili Rasbora is 1.5-2 cm. The main body color is red or orange with clearly visible black stripes on the sides and a slight thickening in the center.

The fins are small, translucent, and may have red and black streaks. There is a small dark dot at the base of the tail.

Adults reach a length of only about 2 cm. The color is red with a black stripe running in the middle of the body. The fins are translucent with reddish or with pink pigmentation.

The sexual dimorphism is weakly expressed and consists mainly in the size of males and females, the latter are somewhat larger and have a rounded abdomen.

It should be noted that the dominant male has the brightest color in the group.

The life expectancy of Chili Rasbora in aquariums is 3-5 years.


The micro Rasbora is endemic to the southwestern part of the island of Borneo (Indonesia). The fish Inhabits in small rivers and peat bogs with the characteristic of “black” water.

It acquires such a shade due to the high content of tannins formed as a result of the decomposition of numerous leaf litter. Also, such reservoirs are characterized by soft water and low pH.

The lighting here is dim because the surface of the water is shaded by the canopy of tropical rainforests.

Unfortunately, the natural habitats of these micro rasboras are exposed to serious anthropogenic pressure.

The land here is used for the development of rubber plantations, palm oil, and construction.

Aquarium Setup

This micro rasbora belongs to the schooling fish category. This species should be kept in groups of 6-10 or more individuals.

Fish that live outside the school experience extreme stress, which can lead to loss of color, appetite, and even death.

In addition, You can only observe the establishment of hierarchical ties and interesting “fights” of males, showing each other their beauty in the flock only.

To maintain a flock of chili rasboras, you will not need a large aquarium, 30-40 liters will be enough. The fish will look most effective in aquariums that imitate a natural biotope.

To do this, use sandy soil, and natural driftwood as decorations. Shade-tolerant plants, such as ferns or cryptocorynes, are fine.

Floating species should be placed on the surface of the water, which will create natural shading.

At the bottom of the aquarium, you can lay Indian almond leaves, which will not only make the composition realistic but will also release useful tannins into the water.

Chili Rasbora Care

For a tropical black water effect, use Tetra Truman with natural peat extract.

To maintain a comfortable environment, you will need a productive filter (but the flow should not be strong) and a compressor.

The thermostat will help maintain a constant water temperature. You should not use bright lighting, because these rasboras love twilight, and an excess of light can make them shy.

It is necessary to change 20% of the water in the aquarium weekly. This will help avoid the accumulation of hazardous metabolic products.

Always prepare tap water with Tetra AquaSafe Conditioner to remove chlorine and heavy metals from the tap water.

It also contains B vitamins that reduce stress, and natural colloids to care for the mucous membranes of fish.

Optimum water parameters for the content: T = 23-28 °C, pH = 6.0-7.0, GH <10.

Chili Rasbora Tank Mates

The chili rasbora is a peaceful fish that gets along well with any calm and proportionate species. You can often see her in the company of Galaxy rasbora, neon tetra, otocinclus catfish, Pygmy corydoras, and other rasboras.

Rasbora gets along well with aquarium shrimps like Amano shrimp, cherry shrimp, etc.

Do not add any large and aggressive species, for them, these rasboras will become only live food.

Feeding Micro Rasboras

The best choice for feeding these rasboras at home will be high-quality dry food. Unlike live and frozen fish, they completely provide the fish with a full range of nutrients and cannot cause infection in the aquarium.

Mosquito Rasbora has a small mouth opening, so you need to select the appropriate feed.

Especially for these ornamental fish, The Tetra Company has developed the Tetra Micro Food series of reduced-size foods.

It is available in several varieties: granules, pellets, sticks, and chips. All feeds are balanced, contain animal and vegetable products, as well as a complex of vitamins for the health and longevity of your pets.

Using food with natural color enhancers (Tetra PRO Color Multi-Crisps, Tetra Rubin) will make your pets even brighter and more attractive.

Tetra Min Flake Feed is a good alternative. It is made from over 40 selected raw materials and serves as an excellent base food for all tropical fish.

The flakes easily crumble with your hands to the desired size and float on the surface for a long time.

Breeding of Micro Rasboras

Reproduction of micro rasboras at home is a simple process. Often, fry may appear in an aquarium (if sheltered) even without any intervention from the aquarist.

But to get the maximum offspring, you will need a separate spawning aquarium.

There are several ways to distinguish between a male and a female. Males are smaller in size, more slender, red shades prevail in their color (in females – orange).

The volume of the spawning aquarium should be 10-15 liters. A separator mesh or small-leaved plants – ferns or mosses – are placed on the bottom of it.

The water should have a temperature a couple of degrees higher than usual and the hardness should not exceed 5 dGH.

Spawning can be paired and grouped. In the latter case, 2-3 pairs of fish are planted at once. Early in the morning, the female lays eggs into the water column, where they attach to the substrate.

Fry of Chili Rasbora

The parental instinct in this species is not expressed, therefore, the producers should be removed after the process is completed to avoid eating the eggs.

The fecundity of the female micro rasbora is about 50 eggs.

The incubation of eggs takes two days, and after another 24 hours, young fish, having used up their yolk sac, will begin to feed on their own.

Chili rasboras reach sexual maturity at the age of 6-7 months. Found only on the island of Borneo (Kalimantan).

This is one of the smallest fish in its family. At the same time, it is quite hardy and with stunning bright color. Great for aquascapes and nano aquariums.

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