Fire Rasbora (Rasboroides vaterifloris): Ultimate Care Guide

Also known as Pearly Rasbora and Flower Rasbora, the Fire Rasbora is endemic to southwestern Sri Lanka. This species is rarely available for sale due to its delicate nature and difficulty in shipping. Coloration varies between red, orange, and bluish. Males are smaller with brighter colors and more pronounced flashes of color towards the tips of their fins. This is a shy and delicate Rasbora species often kept in well planted aquariums in schools of 6 to 10 individuals. In nature, Fire Rasboras are micropredators but they can consume common omnivore foods in captivity.

Fire Rasbora Care

Fire Rasboras are delicate and timid fish which need stable water parameters and occasional feedings of live and frozen meaty foods. This fish is more sensitive to water quality and chemistry changes than other Rasbora species. Aspiring fish keepers need mature tanks and the skill to keep water quality stable.

Are Fire Rasbora easy to care for?

Fire Rasbora are more difficult to care for compared to other Rasbora species, and aren’t ideal for beginning hobbyists. Those with intermediate skills will be able to meet this fish’s particular care needs.

Fire Rasbora
Fire Rasbora (Rasboroides vaterifloris)


The best water temperature for Fire Rasboras will run between 74° and 80° F.

Water pH

Fire Rasboras need water which is slightly acidic to neutral in a range of 5.5 to 7.0 pH.

Fire Rasbora Size

Adult Fire Rasboras can reach a maximum length of around 1½ inches.

Food & Diet

Fire Rasboras are omnivores which need a diet of flake food with regular feedings of live and frozen meaty foods. Good high protein food choices include bloodworms, Daphnia, and brine shrimp. Frozen foods are easily available from many fish suppliers, but some hobbyists prefer to raise their own. Brine shrimp are simple to cultivate and are an easy way to give your fish a fresh source of live food. Avoid feeding only a diet of flake foots. Fire Rasboras need some protein in their diets for best health and coloration.


Fire Rasboras can live 3 to 5 years in captivity. For the longest lifespan your fish will need clean water and regular access to frozen or live meaty foods.

Tank Size

Fire Rasboras are best kept in schools of at least 6 individuals, so tank size should be no less than 15 gallons. If you’re planning on a heavily planted aquarium an even larger size may be needed.

Tank Setup

Fire Rasboras are shy fish which do best in planted aquariums that offer ample opportunities for finding cover and hiding places. This Rasbora is more delicate than other similar species and should be only introduced to mature aquariums. Immature aquariums can have rapid water quality swings which can harm or kill this fish.

The most attractive tank setup for Fire Rasboras will include many plants and darker colored substrate to provide background and contrast. Some hobbyists who keep planted aquariums use CO2 injection to enhance plant growth and reduce algae. With Fire Rasboras, CO2 injection should be approached cautiously as adding CO2 can change water pH. An incorrectly configured or malfunctioning CO2 system can cause rapid water parameter fluctuations which can harm this delicate species. If you decide to include a CO2 injection system it’s best to invest in one with digital control. While the digital systems can be more costly, they provide more even results than those with manual controls.

Fire Rasboras need clean water, so choose a filter system capable of turning over 4 to 5 times the volume of your tank within an hour. This species prefers calm waters so avoid placing filter outputs where they can create strong currents. It is a good idea to invest in spreaders which scatter returning filtered water across a wider area. Spreaders can help you include enough filtration to keep tank water quality high while avoiding strong currents which can make this species uncomfortable.

Fire Rasbora (Rasboroides vaterifloris)
Fire Rasbora (Rasboroides vaterifloris)


Like many Rasbora species, Fire Rasboras can be difficult to breed. Aspiring breeders should be ready to exercise patience when trying to spawn this fish in home aquariums. This is a rare fish in the trade partially because of the difficulty in breeding, but also because of difficulty in transportation. Because Fire Rasboras are sensitive and stress prone it’s easy to kill them during shipping. If you are planning to ship live specimens of this fish you’ll need to exercise extra caution.

How do Fire Rasbora breed?

Fire Rasboras are an egg-scattering species which don’t show any parental care. They are difficult to spawn and need proper water parameters and quality food. It is best to prepare a separate breeding aquarium supplied with clumps of Java moss and an air-powered sponge filter which is safe for eggs and fry. This species spawns in groups of 6 or more which must be supplied with live meaty foods to increase the chance of breeding. Water should be soft and acidic. Some breeders report success using RODI filtered water and pH levels around 5.0! This extreme softness and acidity may not be necessary, but can be something to try if you’re having difficulty encouraging your Fire Rasboras to spawn.

Spawning normally occurs over the course of 4 to 5 days with small clumps of around 20 eggs produced from each spawning event. Multiple spawning events will happen until the females are spent. Afterwards, the adults should be removed from the breeding aquarium. Eggs take between 24 and 48 hours to hatch, and fry become free-swimming after 3 to 5 days. The fry should be fed Paramecium until they are large enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimp and microworms. Fry are slow-growing and can take several months to accept regular adult foods.

Fire Rasbora Male or Female

Male and female Fire Rasboras are easy to identify when in groups: females are larger and rounder while males are smaller, skinnier, and have more vibrant colors.


Fire Rasboras are susceptible to various freshwater diseases such as, Columnaris, mouth fungus, Velvet, and Ich. Most of these diseases can be prevented by keeping water quality high, and feeding a balanced and nutritious diet. Fire Rasboras need occasional feeding with frozen and live meaty foods for best health and disease resistance. It’s also important to provide a comfortable and stress-free environment without aggressive tank mates which can frighten and bully this timid species.

Columnaris is highly contagious and can be identified by the formation of flat white patches along the body as well as lethargic behavior and loss of appetite. Mouth fungus can be observed as cotton wool textured growth near the mouth and jaw. Velvet appears as a yellow or brown velvety film on the body. If you see a fine covering of white spots along your fish’s body this is likely Ich. Many of these conditions can be treated with appropriate medications but can be prevented by proper diet and water care.

Tank Mates

Fire Rasboras are timid fish which can be hard to successfully pair with tank mates of other species. Some hobbyists keep this fish in species specific tanks in groups of up to 10. If you planning to stock a multi-species tank which contains Fire Rasboras the best choices are other Rasbora species followed by Danios. Bettas can be another good pairing as the two species occupy different areas in the water column. Avoid aggressive or feisty species such as Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, or Barbs. It’s best to steer clear of large fish which can cause Fire Rasboras stress, this would include Angelfish or Gouramis. Shrimp species such as the Cherry and Amano may be tolerated, and these algae eaters can be an important part of your aquarium’s cleanup crew.

Fire Rasboras are a somewhat rare Rasbora species so reports of successful tank mate pairings are hard to come by. Experiment with likely fish, but always be ready to separate them if your Fire Rasboras seem scared or stressed. Even harmless species can cause alarm, and the best way to keep your fish relaxed is to provide many plants and enough individuals to form a large and reassuring school.

Where can I find Fire Rasbora for sale?

Fire Rasboras are somewhat rare in the trade but are sometimes available from local fish stores. You’re best bet is online suppliers.

Fire Rasbora Price

When available, Fire Rasboras cost around $4 USD to $5 USD per individual.

Fire Rasbora vs. Harlequin Rasbora

At a maximum adult size of 2 inches, Harlequin Rasbora are slightly larger than Fire Rasbora. Both species have similar care needs and can coexist in a large enough tank. Harlequins have a yellow or golden body color with a dark triangular patch on the back half of their bodies.

Fire Rasbora vs. Chili Rasbora

Fire Rasbora are slightly larger than Chili Rasboras, the latter rarely reach 1 inch in length. The two species have similar care needs but Chili Rasboras are less timid and can be more active swimmers. Chili Rasboras have more vibrant coloration and both species can be kept together as tank mates.

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