Chili Rasboras Care: Diet, Size, Tank Size & Temperature

Scientific NameBoraras Brigittae
Common Name(s)Mosquito Rasboras / Chili Rasboras
OriginSouth Western Borneo
Temperature Range68°F to 82°F
Water ParametersGH: 1-2, KH: 3-12 dKH, pH: 4.0-7.0
Adult sizeabout 0.7 inches
Dietomnivorous, but prefer a more carnivorous diet
Chili Rasboras

 Chili Rasboras Facts

  • They are nano fish that prefer to live in a school of their own species but can be added to a tank with a community of other small, peaceful fish.
  • They are a fish native to Indonesia. More specifically, southwestern Borneo. They inhabit blackwater streams and pools and can be found in some peat swamps with a pH as low as 4.0.
  • They are super active fish and are described as having a delightful character with a big personality. This makes them popular freshwater aquarium fish that add a pop of stunning ruby color to an aquarium.
  • They are rarely sold in pet stores but can easily be purchased online. They are not expensive fish to purchase.
  • Coupled with their playful behavior, their bright, flashy coloring makes them an eye-catcher in any aquarium. The less stress they have in their environment, the more brightly colored they become.

Chili Rasboras Care

Chili Rasboras are beautifully colored, freshwater, nano schooling fish. They are red-orange in color with a black and red line that runs down their mid-lateral line. The males are more brightly colored than the females, but they all share these eye-catching color traits. Their flashy coloring and active nature make them a favorite of aquarium owners all over the world.

The Chili Rasboras are native to southern Borneo and live in blackwater streams, pools, and peat swamps.

These nano schooling fish are very active but mild-natured. They won’t chase or nip the fins of other fish, but their small size is less than ideal for a tank with other larger species. They don’t do well in an environment with more aggressive feeding fish. This tends to stress the Chili Rasboras and dull their coloring.

Food and Diet

Chili Rasboras are omnivorous and can eat a variety of vegetables and plant matter and meaty protein. The biggest challenge in feeding the Chili Rasboras is finding food small enough for them to eat. They have very small mouths and can starve if the food given to them isn’t small enough.

Although they are omnivorous, they do prefer a more carnivorous diet. Live foods are a great option for feeding time. Micro worms, mosquito larvae, and small bloodworms are among their favorites. Frozen foods are also an option, but they will need to be thawed and chopped into small enough pieces for them to eat. They do best when they are fed twice a day.

Chili Rasboras Size

The Chili Rasboras are among one the smallest tropical fish kept in aquariums. At full maturity, they can grow up to 0.7 inches in length. They are shy, timid fish around other species. They prefer a single-species community setup.

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for Chili Rasboras is 10 gallons. You can keep 10-12 of them in a 10-gallon tank, and they will do better in a group of this size since they are timid schooling fish. If you intend to add more to the group, it will help them feel more secure. However, keep in mind that additional fish will require a larger tank. As a general guideline, an additional 1-2 fish can be added for every additional gallon of water.

Some experienced fish keepers have found success keeping Chili Rasboras in small tanks as small as a 5-gallon tank. While Chili Rasboras are small fish, small tanks below 10 gallons are generally not recommended for most fish keepers. First, it is difficult to maintain stable conditions in a small tank. This includes temperature, water pH, nitrites, etc. Therefore, small tanks should be avoided, especially for new fish keepers. Secondly, even if stable conditions within the tank were maintained, there’s very limited space in a small tank such as a 5-gallon tank. Since Chili Rasboras are schooling fish that should be kept in groups, a small tank would not be able to support the ideal group size. Once again, a minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for most fish keepers.

These nano schooling fish thrive in densely planted aquariums with a dark, fine-textured sand or gravel substrate. Their natural habitat contains acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter. Floating plants are a wonderful addition to their tank as well.  

They can be good tank mates to other peaceful nano fish, but their size makes it more difficult to find other fish suitable for tank mates. Other small cyprinids, such as other rasboras, minnows, tetras, and dwarf cichlids, are good choices to add to an aquarium with Chili Rasboras. They can also be housed with shrimp, but they will eat the shrimp babies.

Refer to our guide on Chili Rasbora tank mates.

Are Chili Rasboras Hardy Fish?

Unlike other fish of this type, the Chili Rasboras are sensitive to temperature fluctuations in the water, as well as nitrites and ammonia. Ideally, they need a 10 to 15% water change weekly to keep them happy and thriving. Owners of these fish describe them as intermediate-level fish to care for and not ideal for beginners. It can be difficult to replicate breeding conditions for them.

They are described as hardy fish with lifespans of 6 to 8 years in the right conditions. They are strong fish, but they are very small and sensitive. They cannot thrive in a dirty tank, and it is recommended that their substrate is cleaned regularly.


Chili Rasboras thrive in warmer waters with a temperature range of 68-82°F. Since their native waters in Southern Borneo is naturally warmer, this makes sense. Other species that are native to this region, such as Phoenix Rasbora, have similar temperature requirements.

Since Chili Rasboras are sensitive to temperature changes, they do require a reliable aquarium heater. The temperature should be monitored regularly with the use of an accurate aquarium thermometer.

Do Chili Rasboras Jump?

Unlike Harlequin Rasboras, Chili Rasboras are not commonly known to be jumpers. However, they may jump out of tanks if the water fills to the top. If the fish is startled by sudden movement or noise, this may cause the fish to jump as well. Therefore, keeping a lid on the top of the tank is always a good idea.

A Tiny Little MUST Have Fish! Chili Rasbora Care and Breeding

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *