The Chili Rasbora is a freshwater fish that has the attention of the aquarium community for quite some time.
These fish are beautiful, cute, and easy to care for. In fact, that keeping Chili Rasbora doesn’t require a lot of experience and it makes them a very approachable species!
It’s important to have a strong understanding of this fish if you want one for yourself. That’s where this guide comes in.
What is Chili Rasbora?
The Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae), also known as the Mosquito Rasbora, is a very small freshwater fish that is quite popular in the aquarist community. This is because they have vibrant colors. Chili Rasboras offer a colorful addition to tanks of different sizes.
It’s not wrong to say that, Chili Rasboras aren’t part of the Rasbora family at all! When they were originally found in slow-moving ponds and streams throughout Southeast Borneo, they were classified as a type of rasbora. Since then, scientists have put them in the appropriate genus. But this hasn’t stopped their trade name from relieved.
No matter what you choose to call them, these fish offer up a unique challenge to fish enthusiasts. Its not difficult to taking care of them. However, they do have some strict care requirements if you really want them to reach their full potential.
At first look, you will realize that why they are so beloved in the fishkeeping world. Their most defining feature is their bright coloration. You can make guess by their trade name, Boraras brigittae take on a fiery red hue.
Their bodies are covered in shades of pink and red color. The red color is most vibrant on a horizontal stripe that runs through the length of the body. Generally, females tend to have a less vibrant shade of red than males.
The great thing about this red strip is that it has a thick black band with it. The red bar is located on top of the black, creating a surprising contrast that sticks out.
Male specimens also have bright red spots throughout the limbs. You can often see them on the dorsal, anal and tail. The fins are all translucent, giving the floating appearance of small red spots.
In terms of shape, Chilean raspberries are very thin. They are very beautiful around the midsection, but close to the large tail part of the body. On the head, the most important features are those two big eyes.
The difference between the male and female specimens is small but very noticeable. With the exception of more color vibrancy for males, female fish are slightly larger. They are always slightly rounded and are overall dull than males.
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The average lifespan of Chili Rasbora is somewhere between 4 to 8 years. While this is shorter than some of the larger fish in the aquarium, but it’s still a good amount of time for these fish.
Lifespan can affect by the quality of care they receive (mainly water conditions). To extend the life of your fish as much as possible, providing a healthy environment is very important.
The typical chili raspberry size is about 0.7 inches long! This species does not grow very large, so it is considered a great nano fish and can be found in small tanks around the world.
Chili Rasbora Care
Chili Rasbora care is considered to be very easy no matter how much experience you have. However, you still need to pay attention to the water conditions and their environment if you want to warm them up.
Due to the small size of these fish, they have some special requirements and can be easily affected by stress and poor water quality. Small changes that are tolerable to larger fish won’t cut it with Chili Rasboras.
Here is some information you need to know about chili Chili Rasbora care.
1) Size of Tank
The recommended minimum tank size for Chili Rasboras is only 5 gallons. As you can see, part of the advantage of having a small fish is that you don’t need a huge tank to see success.
So, we recommend going with a larger tank if possible. These fish do best in large groups, so you have to increase the tank space to accommodate these.
Regardless of how many you choose to have, it is always preferable to have more rooms for swimming. It keeps your fish from the feeling of spasms and allows you to include more hiding places (which reduces stress).
Related: Freshwater Sharks For Aquarium
3) Aquarium Requirements
While keeping Chili rasbora is not considered difficult, care should be taken when setting up an aquarium. The ideal tank is a keen species aquarium where these are the only fish.
These nano cyprinids can be kept as small as 5-gallons (20 L) in an aquarium. But they make a great addition as a huge school of color moving in large tanks.
Experienced aquarists recommend fine sized gravel, preferably in darker shades.
Chili rasbora is a school fish and prefers to swim in the middle and top of the aquarium. They will also explore the lower levels of the aquarium when they search for food.
Live aquatic plants are an added addition to the chili aquarium. The fish are small and enjoy exploring the micro-environment created by the plant cover.
Live plants also provide habitat for live food such as worms and plankton, suitable for the small mouths of Chili rasboras.
4) Water Parameters For Chili Rasbora
The goal when caring for any fish is to create a natural habitat in your own aquarium. As we mentioned earlier, Chili Rasboras are found in Borneo. They have small lakes and very slow-moving watercourses.
Most of the water they find in carcasses is black water. Basically, this water is brown due to the organic chemicals released by the dying leaves at the bottom. As a result, the water is slightly on the acidic side.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking black water is dirty water. It is really quite clean and does not contain many minerals like other types of water. Chili Rasboras do not tolerate a ton of nutrients, pathogens, or waste. We will adjust the water quality in a little while. Here are the main parameters to know:
- Water temperature: 68°F to 82°F (aim for 74°F if possible)
- pH levels: 4.0 to 7.0 (6.0 is ideal)
- Water hardness: 3 to 12 dKH
What to Include in The Tank?
Creating the perfect environment is the key to keeping your fish healthy. Not only will the decoration of your tank affect safety and overall well-being, but it can also affect the quality of the water that you decide to enter into the tank.
Let’s Start With The Water.
Earlier, we mentioned that natural black water lakes are very low in minerals. Well, this can be a problem when you use tap water.
You see, tap water usually contains chlorine, trace amounts and other chemicals. These minerals can affect the health of the Chili Rasbora. To make matters worse, filtration methods can introduce high levels of sodium into the mixture!
To overcome these problems, we recommend filling your tank with distilled water. Distilled water is very soft and does not contain the high mineral content of tap water. If you use tap water, make sure you invest in a water conditioning solution.
This simple water treatment will get rid of those unnecessary minerals and chemicals by preparing water for those fish.
Now What’s For The Rest Of The Tank.
At the bottom of the tank, use a dark substrate. You can use fine gravel or sand. These mimics the floor covered with black water ponds.
Then you can add a bunch of driftwood and floating plants. Java fern, anubia, and Java moss are all great options. Boraras brigittae love plants and will spend most of their time swimming through the leaves.
It’s also recommended that you add some peat moss or peat pellets. These additions to the tank will decompose over time. While it might seem counterproductive, it’s actually very beneficial to Chili Rasboras!
As the moss decomposes, it will provide a lighter tint to the water. This is due to the release of tannins.
Tannin is an organic chemical compound that is thought to vibrancy in the color of Chili Rasboras.
Not only that, but tannins can also help reduce the overall level of pathogens in the water. It will make the water look dirty with a slight tint in color, but it’s not anything like that! Adding moss creates the appearance of black water without contaminating the tank.
For equipment, powerful filtration is the key. The small tank can be removed with a simple hang-no-back filter. However, large aquariums may require a powerful canister filter.
Whatever the case is, you need to make sure that the outlet flow is as low as possible. Chili Rasbora is not as strong as swimming against strong currents. They need slow-flowing water to stay happy, so avoid strong pumps. The addition of plants and driftwood can also help break down any current flow from your filters.
Diseases in Chili Rasboras
We are happy to say that Chili Rasboras are not affected by any diseases that are specific to the species. All you need to worry about is what affects all freshwater fish. These include parasitic infections, fungal problems and more.
The most common disease affecting freshwater fish is ich. It is an external parasite that exhibits white spots all over the body of the fish. In most cases, it is caused by stress. You can avoid this by maintaining a water condition and feeding your fish a very healthy diet.
Ich is very contagious, so you need to keep an eye out for it and isolate infected fish as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter medications that you can use to keep your fish in good health.
Food & Diet Recommendations For Specie
Chili Rasboras are considered micro predators. In the wild, they feed on microscopic sources of proteins such as plankton, worms, insects and more.
In captivity, this fish will eat whatever you give it. They do very well on a balanced diet of fish pieces or small pellets.
However, they also love protein. Feel free to provide Baby Brain Shrimp, Tubifex, Micro Worms and Daphnia once in a while to supplement dry food.
General Behavior & Temperament
Chili Rasboras are a very peaceful fish and can be a little timid at times. However, once they feel comfortable, they will start exploring the tank further.
In particular, these fish will stick to the top of the aquarium. They may venture to go under the tank on occasion, but that is not normal. It is not uncommon for these fish to find hiding spots or to swim through the vegetation.
If you have more than one Boraras brigittae in the tank, they will be grouped. They will swim together, creating a beautifully colored swath!
Tank Mates For Chili Rasbora
Just because they are small doesn’t mean that they do well with all fish. Remember, these fish don’t even make it past an inch in size! The biggest issue you’ll have to deal with is other fish thinking that your Chili Rasboras are food!
If you do want to make a community tank, stick with similarly sized fish that are just as passive as Chili Rasboras. Here are some good tank mates to consider:
Breeding Chili Rasbora
Chili Rasboras are easy to breed. In fact, it’s a little easier. These fish are constant spawners. This means they will lay eggs regularly if conditions are good.
If you want to protect the spawn, you are recommended to make a separate breeding tank for them. Unlike other fish, the Mosquito Rasboras has no parent. They can attack or eat the fry.
A lot of vegetation towards the bottom of the tank is ideal. You can also invest in the faux.
When the female is ready to lay eggs, she spreads them at the bottom of the tank. At this point, you need to remove the fish from the tank, to give the egg a chance to hatch.
The fry won’t take long to come out. In most cases, they bounce back in a few days. For the first 24 hours, the fish will feed on the egg bag. After that, they will consume microscopic food like infusoria.
After about 10 days, you can switch to micro worms.