Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii): Ultimate Care Guide

The Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii) is a small, hardy fish considered one of the best for beginner aquarists or those with small to medium tanks. This fish is a schooling and shoaling fish that cohabitates peacefully with its own kind and in community tanks. The Brilliant Rasbora is just one of over 100 species of rasbora worldwide.

The Brilliant Rasbora is a tropical freshwater fish that is typically found in streams and river channels in Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Thailand, and Borneo.

The Brilliant Rasbora might be the ideal addition to your aquarium if you are looking for an active fish that can create a sparkling display. But despite their hardy nature, they can be sensitive to poor living conditions, so a few basic requirements should be implemented in their tank. This guide will help you understand how to care for Brilliant Rasbora properly.

Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii)
Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii) I, Lerdsuwa, CC BY-SA 3.0

Brilliant Rasbora Facts

Brilliant Rasbora can be identified by its streamlined, golden-green body, which features a gold stripe along its lateral line, which is bordered in black. As they mature, their tails turn a vivid red, contrasting with their body colors. The Brilliant Rasbora has an average body size of 2” (5.1cm) and can grow to a maximum length of 3.6” (9cm). They have an average life span of 5 years but can live up to 8 years if they are properly cared for.

Brilliant Rasbora Care

Generally, a 10-gallon (40 liters) tank is the minimum size required for a group of 6 Brilliant Rasbora. Their aquarium must have a tight-fitting lid as they are excellent jumpers that could end up outside of your tank. As they are also an active species that are typically found in streams in the wild, your Brilliant Rasbora prefers an environment with slow-moving water.

The optimal water temperature for a Brilliant Rasbora is between 72°F – 79°F (22°C – 26°C). Although they are a hardy species, regular water maintenance must be performed on their tank. Changing 10% of the tank’s water weekly or 25% each month is recommended. The recommended pH level for Brilliant Rasbora is between 6 – 7.5. They will need to be kept in an aquarium with a hardness level between 2 – 10°dH and an alkalinity level between 3 – 8°dkH.

To create a biotope tank for your Brilliant Rasbora, start with a soft, sandy substrate. They love shady spots to hide, which can be created with pieces of driftwood roots and branches. These fish can thrive in well-planted tanks however you must provide them with plenty of open space for free-swimming. The Brilliant Rasbora is commonly found in blackwater streams and rivers in the wild. It is recommended they be kept in a tank with dim lighting. To replicate the black water environment, floating vegetation or small bags of aquarium peat can be used to diffuse the light.

Brilliant Rasbora Food & Diet

One of the reasons this fish is known as hardy is that it will readily eat nearly anything it is offered. They are omnivores who thrive on a balanced diet of meat-based food and vegetation. The Brilliant Rasbora can eat fresh and frozen shrimp, blackworms, Daphnia, and Artemia. Aquariums will also accept dried pellets and flakes, but they should not be fed this exclusively. Due to their active nature, Brilliant Rasbora should be fed at least once daily.

Brilliant Rasbora Tank Mates

A common behavior between all Rasbora species is that they are schooling and shoaling fish, forming large groups that swim together. Typically, Brilliant Rasbora should be kept in groups of up to 10-12 fish but can be kept in school as small as 6. Keeping these fish in large groups will reduce their nervousness, allowing them to behave more naturally and show their colors better. It is said that a group of 25 or more Brilliant Rasbora is a mesmerizing sight.

The Brilliant Rasbora are a very peaceful species, making them a perfect addition to community tanks. They are best housed with species that can cohabitate in the same water conditions and are similar in size and temperament The ideal tank mates for Brilliant Rasbora are Tetras, Livebearers, Danios, Gouramis, Guppies, Platies, Corydoras, Catfish, Dwarf Cichlids and, Loaches.

Due to their peaceful temperament and smaller size, Brilliant Rasbora should not be tank mates with larger or aggressive fish. This is because the larger species would see them as food. They could potentially be tankmates with mildly aggressive fish such as bettas however your Brilliant Rasbora would need to be kept in a large enough group to deter attacks and be closely monitored. Likewise, the Brilliant Rasbora should not be kept with smaller species, such as shrimp, as they will try to eat them.

Brilliant Rasbora Breeding

It is possible to breed Brilliant Rasbora in captivity however it can be a difficult process. They are an egg-scattering species that require a separate, smaller tank. The water temperature of the breeding tank needs to be between 75°F – 78°F (24°C – 26°C) with a neutral to slightly acidic pH level. This tank will require dim lighting and will have greater success spawning in heavily planted tanks, providing spots for the female to deposit their eggs. Alternatively, the tank’s base can be covered with mesh for the eggs to fall through.

Brilliant Rasbora breed in pairs of males and females. Females can be distinguished from males as they are slightly larger and have noticeably rounder bellies. The Brilliant Rasbora do not exhibit parental instincts and will their eggs. For this reason, the mature fish should be removed from the breeding tank as soon as eggs can be seen. The eggs will hatch within 18 – 48 hours and become free-swimming fry 24 – 48 hours after that.


As they are a less popular species, Brilliant Rasboras found in pet stores are likely wild-bred as there is not enough trade to establish captive-bred enterprises. If you want to purchase your Brilliant Rasbora in a pet store, you can expect to pay between $2.99 – $ 6.99 USD.

It is clear to see why this fish is a good choice for those with little knowledge or experience in fishkeeping.  With their ability to survive in a wide range of water parameters and eat the most food they are offered, a group of brilliant Rasbora will add a stunning, eye-catching element to your tank that will draw in anyone passing by.

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