Care Guide for Chili Rasboras – Spicy Red Nano Fish for Planted Tanks
If you are thinking of setting up a nano tank with live aquarium plants, then you have to try chili rasboras or mosquito rasboras. Unlike most red aquarium fish that tend to have a warmer, red-orange hue, these tiny rasboras display a deep, cool-toned red with distinct black markings. They are often overlooked because the tiny juveniles that are sold in pet shops look shabby and small. Find out what it takes to raise these stunning nano fish so they reach their full adult coloration that will keep you staring at the aquarium for hours.
What is Chili Rasboras, you ask?
Boraras Brigittae is closely related to other micro rasboras like strawberry rasbora or exclamation point. They are only about 3/4 inch (2cm) long, and have slender bodies with pointed fins. Although the adults are well-known for their scarlet red scales, they can temporarily turn paler when they move between tanks. Give them time to adjust to the new environment and they will soon return to their true colors. Also, most nano fish are very timid because of their fear of predators, but in our experience, chili rasboras are refreshingly bold by comparison. Although they won’t hurry to greet you at the tank’s front, they may approach you if you remain still for a while.
Chili rasboras are well-known for their bright red bodies and horizontal black stripes.
How to set up an aquarium for Chili Rasboras
Chili rasbora is found in the rainforests and forests of Borneo, Indonesia. There, tons of trees block out sunlight, and leaves of plants often drop into the water. This causes brown tannins to form. They are therefore from more acidic and softer water. However, we have found that chili rasboras can withstand a wider range of water parameters. They can be kept at pH levels between 6.0 and 8.2, temperatures between 72-82degF (22 to 28degC), as well as soft to hard water. Low-light plants are a great way to recreate the dark jungle lighting. They create shade and hideouts for both fry and adults. We love floating water sprite, anubias as well as cryptocoryne and dwarf aquarium lilies. To create a biotope tank that mimics their natural environment, add dried catappa leaves. This will tint the water and lower the pH.
Because of their small size, mosquito rasboras have low bioloads and produce very little waste. We have been able to keep them in fish tanks as small at 3 gallons. They don’t swim fast so choose a filter that is low in current, such as a sponge filter. If you use a hang-on-back or canister filter, make sure to cover the filter’s intake tube with a prefilter sponge so the nano fish won’t accidentally get sucked up.
How many chili rasboras should be kept together? As a schooling fish, getting a larger group of chili rasboras will help them feel more comfortable and confident about swimming out in the open. Their small, slender bodies can be harder to notice unless you have a lot of them, so we like keeping a school of at least 8-12 together.
What fish can live with chili rasboras? Boraras brigittae is a very peaceful species that would do great with other similar-sized community fish that are not big enough to predate on them. Lambchop rasboras can be paired with rosy loaches and ember tetras as well as dwarf cory catfish, neon rasboras and snails. While all fish will attempt to eat baby shrimp, chili rasboras will not bother adult shrimp.
Chili is a peaceful, nano-fish that gets along with other peaceful ones like the clown killifish.
What Do Chili Rasboras Eat?
They feed on micro worms and insect larvae in the wild. You should choose fish foods that fit comfortably in their mouths, or are easy to eat. They will eat food that is floating or slow-sinking, and prefer to be fed from the middle. They can also be outcompeted by other diners if they don’t like the taste of the food. Chili rasboras will eat anything, including frozen rotifers and cycles as well as Repashy gel food in its powdered form. They also love live microworms. We love baby brine shrimp and easy fries to bring out their vibrant red color.
How to Breed Chili Rasboras
Nano fish have nearly microscopic babies, so we have the best luck breeding them in a mature aquarium that has lots of live plants, catappa leaves, and other botanicals that create mulm and microfauna for the fry to constantly graze on. The bottom of the tank should be covered with plastic craft mesh. This will prevent them from predating on the eggs. Although the mesh allows eggs to fall through it, the holes are too small to allow adults to get in. An acidic pH of 7.0 or less may improve hatching rates and survival.
You will have fish from both the male and female sexes if you get at least six chili rasboras. Females tend to be rounder and less colorful, while males are smaller and have the brightest reds. You can condition the adults to breed by giving them high-quality foods like live baby brine shrimp. After they have spawned, place them in a mature tank. You can feed the babies small, healthy meals, such as infusoria or vinegar eels. After a few weeks they will be able to eat live microworms and baby brine shrimp.
Juvenile Chili Rasboras may not be very vibrant at first but will eventually turn out to be as beautiful as rubies if they are treated well.
While Aquarium Co-Op does not ship live fish, you can visit our preferred online retailers to see their current stocking lists. Check out these top 10 amazing nano fish that you should try in your next small fish aquarium.