Strawberry Rasbora: Care, Size, Breeding, Tank Size & More


The Strawberry Rasbora is similar to the Chili Rasbora, but can be identified by the much more dominant black spot on its side. This distinctive marking is more prominent on the female Strawberry Rasbora. There are many Boraras (micro rasboras) coming into the market, often all sold under the same or similar name. It can be easy to misidentify one of these nano fish, and they do share the vibrant red of other Rasboras. Much like other Rasboras, the Strawberry Rasbora is a peaceful nano schooling fish.

Scientific NameBoraras Naevus
Common Name(s)Strawberry Rasbora
OriginMalaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Sumatra, and surrounding areas
Temperature Range68 – 82.4° F (20° – 28° C)
Water ParameterspH: 4.0 – 7.0, (acidic water preferred) KH: 3 – 12 dKH
SizeAbout 0.7 inches
DietOmnivorous / prefers Carnivorous
Strawberry Rasbora

Strawberry Rasbora Facts:

  1. These nano schooling fish can be found mainly in the swamps and rice paddies of Thailand, north of Surat Thani Province. They have also been found in locations within the lower Tapi river drainage on the Gulf of Thailand.
  2. The scientific name Boraras Naevus comes  from the Latin word naevus, meaning ‘spot, mark on skin, blemish’, It is in reference to the distinctive black spot the Strawberry Rasbora has on its side.
  3. Likes to inhabit shallow, small, clear bodies of water such as swamps and marshes.
  4. Often the Strawberry Rasbora is mistaken for the Chili Rasbora, which is similar in size and nature.

Strawberry Rasbora Care

The Strawberry Rasbora is described as a hearty and lively fish. They thrive best in an aquarium environment that more closely resembles their native habitat. Its natural habitat typically has slow water flow and contains acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter.They typically keep to the top and middle of their aquarium. Like all nano schooling fish, it requires a clean environment that is heavily planted with dark substrate. Floating plants are a wonderful addition to their tank setup as well, providing places for them to hide and spawn their eggs.

These nano schooling fish are best kept in an aquarium set up that only houses Strawberry Rasboras, or other peaceful fish of roughly the same size. They should not be kept with tank mates that will outcompete them for food during feeding time. 

Strawberry Rasbora Size

Strawberry Rasbora are very small. A fully mature Strawberry Rasbora is only about 0.7 inches in size. In fact, most of these specimen will not reach the full 1 inch size, even as an healthy adult. Strawberry Rasboras are one of the smallest fish in the aquarium hobby, making them great for nano tanks.

Tank Size Requirements

The minimum size tank a Strawberry Rasbora should be kept in is 5 gallons, adding an additional gallon for every one fish added. They are a nano schooling fish, which means that they need to also be kept in groupings of 6 or more. Keeping them in groupings of 15 or more is ideal. These active little fish have a temperature requirement of  68 – 82.4° F. It is always a good idea to monitor the temperature of your aquarium, however, a heater is recommended for the larger Rasbora tanks to keep them at a comfortable temperature. Strawberry Rasboras prefer more acidic water. Their natural water supply is slow flowing, and rich in tannins and leaf litter. It also has a more low light level. 

Tank Mates

Strawberry Rasbora can be in the same tank with other small fish of roughly the same size. Once it reaches full maturity, Strawberry Rasbora will be approximately 0.7 in length. It is important to observe your fish in their tank to note any behaviors that may cause a concern later. The ideal tank mate of the Strawberry Rasbora should not be one that will out compete it for food.

Aquarists have also kept Strawberry Rasboras in tanks with dwarf shrimp, and other invertebrates. 

Food and Diet

Strawberry Rasbora are described as a micropredator that will thrive on a more carnivorous diet. Tubifex or bloodworms cut in bite-size pieces are a good choice for feeding, and they will also enjoy microworms and freeze-dried Artemia. In an aquarium setup, they will adapt to feeding well. They will readily eat dry or frozen foods as well, but keep in mind that they will need small enough pieces that will fit in their tiny mouths. They will thrive with a high quality, varied diet, and they will even be more vibrant in color.

Breeding

Strawberry rasbora males are usually slimmer, and they tend to display a deep saturated red when in breeding form. The female Strawberry Rasbora are bulkier, have more round bellies, and they have a more dull coloration.

Strawberry Rasbora scatter their eggs around their tank. The breeding pair will lay a small number of eggs on a daily basis if there is enough vegetation in their tank. Both the male and female Strawberry Rasboras will eat their own eggs if they spot them, but unlike other Rasboras, they won’t go out of their way to hunt them. If your tank is densely planted, there is a good chance that some will hatch and make it into the school with the others.

For additional success in breeding the Strawberry Rasbora, 2 to 3 pairs can be placed in a separate tank where they can be conditioned for optimal spawning results. Remember to place something in the bottom of the tank for the eggs to drop through. This gives the egg a better chance of making it to fry. Raising the temperature slightly, adding Java Moss, and shading their tank will create a welcome environment for spawning as well.

After the initial spawning session, expect the Strawberry Rasbora eggs to hatch around the second day. The fry will survive on their yolk sacs for another 24 hours or so. After this period of time they will be able to eat, and require microscopic food. In a week to 10 days you can easily feed them newly-hatched Artemia and microworms.

Diseases

When it comes to disease in fish, the Strawberry Rasbora can be affected by a wide variety of ailments. Like with all fish, it is better to set them up in the proper environment and monitor them, than it is to cure any ailment they might develop later on.

Some sickness and diseases the Strawberry Rasbora can be affected with are:

  • Fin and tail rot
  • Columnaris
  • Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia
  • Dropsy
  • Pop-eye disease (a.k.a exophthalmia)
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Mouth fungus
  • Furunculosis
  • Fish fungus / fungal infections
  • Gold dust disease
  • Ich
  • Anchor worms
  • Fish lice
  • Hole in the head (caused by parasites)
  • Swim bladder disorder
  • Tumors
  • Gill parasites
  • Internal parasites
  • Ammonia poisoning
  • Slime disease

Tips for keeping your aquarium happy and healthy:

  1. Maintain your tank’s water parameters. Most of the diseases and illnesses listed are caused by an imbalance in their water parameters
  2. Setting up a good water filtration system is key, especially in a larger tank. Partial water changes are a must for the Strawberry Rasbora.
  3. Provide them with a balanced diet and a healthy variety of foods.
  4. Don’t overfeed your fish. If you notice leftover food, it is better to remove it from their tank water then to let it sit in there.

With a numerous amount of diseases and sicknesses that can affect the Strawberry Rasbora, it is better to make sure, and maintain optimum setup of their environment and monitor their care. Furthermore, the treatment process for these small fish is very delicate. With proper care and setup, the Strawberry Rasbora can live for up to 8 years!

Strawberry Rasbora vs Chili Rasbora

There are many different types of Rasboras in the wild, and being sold online. All Rasboras are similar in appearance and size. It is important to know which type of Rasbora you have in your aquarium. Not all of them behave the same, and may have different needs.

Strawberry Rasboras have a distinctive black spot on their sides. In female fish, this central black spot is larger. They still have the vibrant red of other Rasboras, with it being more prominent in the males during spawning time.

Chili Rasboras have a distinctive black line that runs laterally on their sides, and they have a very distinctive red color. The red on these fish also deepens in color during spawning in males, but the females have a more dull color to their bodies.

These similar fish have been mistaken for one another in the past. These beautiful markings make Rasboras a very popular fish in aquariums all around the world!

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the knowledge that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory Aquatics is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish healthy.

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