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. This video will show you how to raise the stunning nano fish that will make your aquarium stand out for hours.
What are Chili Rasboras?
Boraras Brigittae is closely related to other micro rasboras like strawberry rasbora or exclamation point. They grow only 3/4 inch (2 cm) in length and have 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. Just give them a couple of weeks to adjust to their new environment, and their true colors will show again. 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 Create an Aquarium for Chili Rasboras
Chili rasboras are found in the jungles of Borneo or Indonesia. Here, tons of trees block sunlight from reaching the plants and the leaves fall into the water, forming brown tannins. This means they come from acidic, softer waters, but in our experience, chili rasboras are quite hardy and can handle a much wider range of water parameters. They can be kept at pH levels between 6.0 and 8.2, temperatures between 72-82degF (22 to 28degC), as well as soft to hard water. Use low-light plants to create the illusion of the jungle. Anubias and cryptocoryne plant, dwarf aquarium lily, floating water sprite are our favorites. To create a biotope tank that mimics their natural environment, add dried catappa leaves. This will tint the water and lower the pH.
Because of their small size, mosquito rasboras have low bioloads and produce very little waste. We have been able to keep them in fish tanks as small at 3 gallons. They are not the fastest swimmers, so aim for a filter with low current like a sponge filter. If you use a hang-on-back or canister filter, make sure to cover the filter’s intake tube with a prefilter sponge so the nano fish won’t accidentally get sucked up.
How many chili-rasboras should they keep together? Schooling fish need to feel more confident swimming in open water. We like to keep at least 8-12 schools together because of their small bodies.
What fish are compatible with chili rasboras and other small-sized fish? Boraras Brigittae is an extremely peaceful species that can coexist with other smaller fish in the same size range. You can have rosy loaches or lambchops with ember tetras and dwarf cory catfish. All fish will eat baby shrimp, but not adult shrimp.
Chili is a peaceful, nano-fish that gets along with other peaceful ones like the clown killifish.
What Do Chili Rasboras Eat?
They feed on micro worms and insect larvae in the wild. Look for small fish foods that can fit into their mouths or are chewable enough for them. 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. Our favorite foods to bring out the vibrant red color are small fish food, easy fry, and crushed krill.
How to Breed Chili Rasboras
The babies of nano fish are tiny, so it is best to breed them in an aquarium with lots of plants, catappa leaves and other botanicals. The bottom of the tank should be covered with plastic craft mesh. This will prevent them from predating on the eggs. The mesh allows eggs to pass through but is too small for adults to enter. Also, acidic pH below 7.0 may help improve the hatch rate and survival of the offspring.
A minimum of 6 chili rasboras is required to ensure that you have fish of both genders. Females tend be smaller and more colorful than their male counterparts. Feed the adult shrimp with high-quality food such as baby brine shrimp to condition them for breeding. Place them in the mature, sterile tank for a few days. Once they have spawned or you see any fry, remove them. Give the babies several small meals each day, including infusoria, vinegar eels, and they’ll be big enough to eat live microworms or baby brine shrimp in no time.
Juvenile chili rasboras are not very colorful at first, but with good care and patience, they will one day look as red as rubies.
Aquarium Co-Op cannot ship live fish but you can check out our favorite online retailers to see current stockings. You can find inspiration by looking at the top 10 most stunning nano fish to add to your small fish tank.