Rasbora Types, Size & Care | Ultimate Guide to Rasbora Fish


Rasbora is a genus of fish that is a part of the Cyprinidae family, which consists of over 80 different recognized species. In addition, many species outside of the genus Rasbora are often considered Rasbora fish. Therefore, the term ”Rasbora” can potentially refer to a large group of fish, at least in the aquarium hobby.

Many species of Rasboras are kept as aquarium fish and they are very popular. If you’re looking to add a community fish to your fish tank, a Rasbora may be a good candidate. Since there are many to choose from, we’ll give a brief overview of Rasboras as a whole and a slightly more in-depth look at several different species of Rasboras.

Many of these Rasbora fish are native to the freshwaters of Southeast Asia, South Asia, and China. More specifically, they tend to be found most commonly in streams and other bodies of waters in Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Thailand, and several other countries in Asia. Rasboras tend to be the perfect fit for most small to mid-size tanks because most Rasbora species are under 4 inches when fully grown. Setting up tanks for Rasboras isn’t tricky in the slightest. The waters they are native to tend to be full of plants and have slow-moving waters. This means you need to have a well-planted tank with a filter that can provide a gentle current to create slow-moving waters. The Southeastern Asian waters that Rasboras are native to have a temperature of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit to approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH level between 6.8 and 7.8. It would be best if you emulated those temperatures in a tank setting. You’ll need a heater to ensure the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much. The same can be said for pH level; you need to ensure that it does not fluctuate too much. If your pH level fluctuates too much, your tank’s species will significantly suffer from it.

What kind of fish is a Rasbora?

Rasboras belong to the Cyprinidae family. They are a species of schooling fish that are related to barbs, goldfish, dainos, and Koi. Rasboras are also extremely friendly and peaceful, making them a great addition to community tanks. There are dozens of different species of Rasboras, most of which are ideally suited for the aquarium hobby. Rasboras don’t grow very large, averaging under 4 inches.

Are Rasbora Easy to Care for?

Rasboras are easy to care for, making them an appealing choice for aquarists of any skill level. Their temperature requirements aren’t extraordinary, needing a temperature of only 75 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Most Rasboras are very peaceful and only require a pH between 6.8 – and 7.8. The smaller size makes them a perfect choice for a smaller tank. A smaller tank means that it is easier for some people to have the space for one.

More than 80 types of Rasbora fish exists.
More than 80 types of Rasbora fish exists.

How many Rasbora should be kept together?

Rasboras are a schooling species, meaning they should always be kept together. Rasboras are the happiest when they’re kept in groups of at least 7. But with a group that large, you have to make sure your tank can accommodate them. You need a tank size of at least 20 gallons to house a sufficient number of Rasboras to prevent them from getting lonely and depressed.

How many Rasbora can go in a 10-gallon tank?

Many would assume that a 10-gallon tank is a perfect size for Rasboras because they tend to be on the smaller side in comparison to other species of aquarium fish. While you can fit Rasboras in a 10-gallon tank, it is not ideal. On average, you can only fit around two fully grown Rasboras into a 10-gallon tank comfortably. That isn’t ideal because Rasboras are schooling fish and need to be kept with more of their own kind.

Are Rasboras Peaceful?

Rasboras tend to be extremely peaceful. That makes them an excellent choice for most community tanks, as long as you have space. Most species of Rasboras will get along well with other similarly sized species. They can be kept in the same tank with most other rasboras and some danios, guppies, corydoras catfish, and several other species. Surprisingly, Rasboras can even be housed with certain species of shrimp.

Can Rasboras live with shrimp?

For the most part, Rabsoras can live peacefully with shrimp. That is because Rasboras tend to grow small, which means they may not be large enough to eat the shrimp. Another contributing factor to Rasbora’s ability to cohabitate with shrimp is that most captively-bred Rasboras only eat flakes or pellets. You do not have to live in fear if you have both Rasboras and Shrimps in the same tank; they should be able to live together comfortably.

Rasbora Types

As anyone with a bit of experience can tell you, there are dozens of different species of Rasboras. The many different species of Rasboras have some common traits. They all tend to be peaceful and easy to care for. But, what makes nearly all species of Rasboras appealing are their gorgeous colors. They make a beautiful addition to any tank. If you’re interested in adding any Rasboras to your tanks, we’ll list some possible options for you to consider.

Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma Heteromorpha)
Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma Heteromorpha)

Harlequin Rasboras are one of the most popular species of rasboras. They also happen to be one of the most popular aquarium fish species in general. Harlequin Rasboras are native to waters in Southeast Asia. Harlequin Rasboras are known for their golden bodies that are traditionally adorned by a dark black triangle. These small fish are very easy to care for; they only grow to around 1.5 inches. A minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for Harlequin Rasboras, although you should aim for a larger one to accommodate more fish since they are a schooling species. The pH level of a tank that includes a Harlequin Rasbora needs to be maintained within the range of 5.5 – 7.5. Harlequin Rasboras need a tank that stays within 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A heater is required to achieve and maintain those temperatures. As for the diet of Harlequin Rasboras, they are carnivorous, meaning you can feed them small frozen and live food. But most species of Rasboras that are raised in captivity are trained to eat flakes or micropellets. Their ease of care, especially with their diet and tank conditions, make Harlequin Rasboras highly sought after and popular.

Chili Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae)

Chili Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae)

Chili Rasbora, also known as Mosquito Rasbora, are one of the smallest species of Rasbora and one of the smallest species of fish usually kept in aquariums. In 1973, they were first cataloged by Dieter Vogt; they would be named Rasbora Brigittae, after his wife, Brigitte. Upon further investigation, they were discovered not to be a true Rasbora and not a part of that family. At that point in 1993, they were renamed to Boraras Brigittae, a name they still hold to this day. Their fully grown size is less than an inch, averaging only around 0.75 inches. These extremely small fish are typically found in bodies of freshwater in Borneo. Chili Rasboras have a broader range of acceptable temperature parameters than other types of Rasboras. The necessary temperature range of Chili Rasboras is between 68 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Their pH requirement is similarly as vast. Chili Rasboras require a pH level between 4.0 to 7.0. As with most species, they don’t like it when their temperature and pH levels fluctuate. A heater can ensure that the temperature level does not fluctuate, and regular checks of the water can prevent any fluctuations in pH level. The most recognizable features of the chili rasbora are their small size and the bright red stripes on their bodies.

Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii)

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

Brilliant Rasboras are considered one of the best species for beginning aquarists. That is because Brilliant Rasboras are known to be a hardy species. Brilliant Rasboras are known for their sleek, slightly green body that is adorned with a long black stripe. Once Brilliant Rasboras begin to mature, their tails start to change into a bright red color that looks even better in contrast with their bodies. Brilliant Rasboras still have tank parameters that you need to achieve and maintain to keep them healthy and happy despite their rugged nature. If you’re setting up a tank for Brilliant Rasboras, you need to achieve and maintain a temperature within the range of 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. It would be best to have a heater strong enough to maintain those temperatures in your tank. You also need to make sure you regularly check your tank’s water to prevent any significant changes in pH level. The pH level needs to stay between 6 to 7.5. Brilliant Rasboras are not picky eaters; they will eat anything offered to them as long as it fits in their mouth.

Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus)

Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus)
Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus)

Dwarf Rasbora, also known as Spotted Rasbora, are endemic to freshwater bodies in Southeast Asia. As their name implies, Dwarf Rasboras are extremely small. Similar to Chili Rasboras, they average a size of under an inch, although Dwarf Rasboras can grow slightly larger than Chili Rasboras. The small size of Dwarf Rasboras means that you can keep several in a small tank of around 10 gallons in size. Their small size is responsible for the dwarf in their name. But they are also called Spotted Rasboras because they have three black spots adorning their orange bodies. The temperature requirements for Dwarf Rasboras are surprisingly relaxed in comparison to some other species of Rasboras. Dwarf Rasboras need their tank to stay between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level that Dwar Rasboras require is between 4 and 6.5. If you plan on adding these small fish to a community tank, keep in mind that they shouldn’t be kept with any species significantly larger than they are. Some suitable tank mates for Dwarf Rasboras are snails, shrimps, and other small Rasboras, such as the Chili Rasbora or the Phoenix Rasbora.

Phoenix Rasbora (Boraras merah)

phoenix rasbora
Phoenix Rasbora (Boraras merah)

Phoenix Rasbora, also known as Merah Rasbora, are traditionally found in Southern Borneo. They are known for their small size and vivid red coloring. Phoenix Rasboras grow to a max size of around 0.8 inches. That makes them the perfect size for a smaller tank. Phoenix Rasboras are also known as Merah Rasbora. Merah is the Indonesian word for red, meaning that Merah Rasboras are named after their most defining feature – their gorgeous color. Phoenix Rasboras are carnivores, traditionally called micropredators. They will eat anything that can fit in their mouths, usually worms, zooplankton, tiny crustaceans, or small insects. The biggest hurdle that arises when trying to feed Phoenix Rasbora is that you need to ensure the pieces are small enough to fit into their mouth. Phoenix Rasboras need a tank that meets their specific needs. The temperature needs to be between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH of a Phoenix Rasbora tank needs to be within the range of 4.0-.7.0. You also need to ensure that your tank is well-planted; that will help emulate their native environment, which will make them feel more comfortable.

Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma espei)

Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma Espei)
Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma Espei)

Lambchop Rasboras are easy to care for, making them a great choice to add to your tank. Their name comes from the distinct black marking on their bright body, which resembles a lamb chop. In a 10-gallon tank, it is recommended that you have a maximum of 6 Lambchop Rasboras. Any more than that isn’t recommended because there won’t be enough space. Lambchop Rasboras are found in tropical rivers and streams in Southern Asia. The locales they are native to tend to be a tropical climate, which means you need to emulate that in a tank setting. A tank that houses Lambchop Rasboras needs to have a temperature between 73 – 83 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level of those tanks needs to remain between 5.5 and 7.9. Lambchop Rasboras are omnivores, meaning that you can feed them a combination of both meat and vegetation. When raised in captivity, they will also eat flakes or pellets, although that should not be the only thing they are fed. As long as you carefully feed them and give them the care they need, Lambchop Rasboras will be a great addition to your tank.

Scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora trilineata)

Scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora Trilineata)
Scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora Trilineata)

Scissortail Rasboras are relatively large, at least in comparison to most other types of Rasboras. They can grow to a maximum size of six inches, which is enormous compared to most other Rasboras. In the wild, Scissortail Rasboras can be found in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, the Malaysian peninsula, as well as on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Scissortail Rasboras are sometimes also known as Three-Lined Rasboras. They have a black line that runs along the length of their nearly transparent body. They have a fork in their tail and three colorful bands. Those three colorful bands are what gave them the Three-Lined Rasbora name. These large rasboras have tighter tank requirements than most other species in the rasbora family. The required pH level of a tank that houses a Scissortail Rasbora is between 6.6 and 7.0, which doesn’t leave much room for error. This means it is imperative that you regularly check the pH level to ensure it does not fluctuate to the point that could affect the species in your tank. The temperature level of your tank needs to stay between 73 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees Fahrenheit; use a heater to ensure it stays in that range.

Emerald Eye Rasbora (Rasbora dorsiocellata)

Emerald Eye Rasbora (Rasbora dorsiocellata)
Emerald Eye Rasbora (Rasbora dorsiocellata)

Emerald Eye Rasbora are commonly found in the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia. They have a striking appearance that should make a great addition to a community tank. Also known as the Green-eyed Rasbora and the Eyespot Rasbora, Emerald Eye Rasbora get their name from their most striking feature – their bright green eyes. There are a schooling species which means you need a large tank to accommodate several of them; most experts recommend a minimum size between 10 and 20 gallons. That is sufficient because Emerald Eye Rasboras only grow to around 2 inches when fully mature. You need to make sure you follow a few guidelines when setting up a tank for Emerald Eye Rasboras. The tank needs to be well planted in an effort to emulate its native environment. It would be best if you also kept the temperature in an acceptable range. The acceptable temperature range for Emerald Eye Rasboras is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. pH levels also need to be closely monitored and kept within the preferred range. The necessary pH range is between 5.0 and 7.5.

Neon Blue Rasbora (Sundadanio axelrodi)

neon blue rasbora
Neon Blue Rasbora (Sundadanio axelrodi)

Neon Blue Rasbora, also sometimes known as the Blue Axelrodi Rasbora, are a small species of rasbora usually found in Sumatra, Indonesia, and Borneo. One of the most interesting facts about the Neon Blue Rasbora is that they can make a croaking noise. They usually make this noise when they are stressed; it can generally be heard if they are taken out of their tank. Male Neon Blue Rasboras also make that croaking noise when fighting other males for dominance. The ideal temperature range for Neon Blue Rasboras is between 73 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. They prefer a lower pH level than some other types of Rasboras. Neon Blue Rasboras prefer the pH level of their tank to be between 4.0 to 6.5. You also need to make sure your tank can accommodate a school of Neon Blue Rasboras.

Neon Green Rasbora (Rasbora kubotai)

Neon Green Rasbora
Neon Green Rasbora (Rasbora kubotai)

Neon Green Rasboras are sometimes more well-known as Green Rasboras, Kubotai Rasboras, or Green Kubotai Rasboras. They are endemic to rivers in Myanmar and Thailand. As their name implies, Neon Green Rasboras have a bright green body that can stand out in any tank. These vivid fish also don’t grow very large, maxing out at just around 0.8 inches when fully mature. When you set up a tank for your Neon Green Rasbora, you need to make sure your filter creates a current to help emulate their native environment. Their temperature and pH needs are consistent with most other rasboras. The pH level of their tank needs to be between 6.0 to 7.0. The temperature should be between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Strawberry Rasbora (Boraras naevus)

Strawberry Rasbora (Boraras naevus)

The Strawberry Rasbora is commonly mistaken for Chili Rasboras. This case of mistaken identity is because they both have bright red bodies. The easiest way to tell Strawberry Rasboras apart from Chili Rasboras is by the black mark on its body; it is much more noticeable than the black mark on the body of the Chili Rasbora. Strawberry Rasboras are on the smaller side of the Rasbora family, growing to a max size of 0.7 inches when fully mature. A good rule of thumb for Strawberry Rasboras is a minimum tank size of 5 gallons for a single one. But to add a gallon for each additional Strawberry Rasbora, meaning that a 10-gallon tank can house 6Strawberry Rasboras. Those tanks need to be at a temperature between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level needs to stay between 4.0 and 7.0.

Exclamation Point Rasbora (Boraras urophthalmoides)

Exclamation Point Rasbora
Exclamation Point Rasbora (Boraras urophthalmoides)

Exclamation Point Rasboras are one of the smallest species of Rasboras in the world. The Exclamation Point name comes from the marking on its body that resembles an exclamation point! When fully grown, Exclamation Point Rasboras reach an average size between 0.5 and 0.7 inches. That tiny size means that you can fit an entire school of them into a relatively small tank. A 15-gallon tank can easily fit up to 12 exclamation point rasboras. When setting up a tank for Exclamation Point Rasboras, you must keep their temperature and pH within the necessary ranges. The pH level of the water needs to be between 6.0 and 7.0. The temperature of any tank that features Exclamation Point Rasboras needs to fall within the range of 68 – 81 degrees Fahrenheit. That high end of temperature means that you need a reliable heater to achieve and maintain it. You should also densely plant your aquarium. Exclamation Point Rasboras are used to floating plants and driftwood; having those in their tank would help them feel more at home.

Rasbora Species

There are over 80 species of rasboras. While this is not a comprehensive list, below is a list of rasbora species that are often found in the aquarium hobby today.

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