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Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae): Complete Care Guides, Tank Mates, FAQs

Chili Rasbora
<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Borasasb.jpg">JoKrimmel</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons

Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae) is a captivating fish that has its roots in the freshwater streams of South-East Asia. Originating in countries like Indonesia, these little swimmers belong to the Cyprinidae family. In the same family, you’ll find other favorites like the Zebrafish and Carp. Chili Rasboras showcase a beautiful mix of colors, often displaying a vibrant red body contrasted by darker stripes.

Let’s switch gears and talk statistics for a moment. The typical lifespan of a Chili Rasbora is around 4 to 8 years. They’re fairly small, reaching a maximum size of about 0.8 inches. The ideal water conditions are a pH level of 4.0 to 7.0 and a temperature range of 68 to 83°F.

If you’re wondering about their rarity, Chili Rasboras are not considered rare but are highly sought after due to their unique coloration and small size. They’re the go-to choice for many aquarists looking to brighten up their nano tanks.

In terms of temperament, these fish are generally peaceful and do well in community tanks. They are primarily mid-dwellers but may occasionally explore the top and bottom of the tank. Their diet consists mainly of micro foods like daphnia and finely crushed flakes. Chili Rasboras tend to shoal and are more comfortable when kept in a group.

While the Boraras brigittae is the most popular, there are also other variants of Chili Rasboras like the Boraras maculatus and Boraras merah. Each comes with its own unique color palette and characteristics, but the care requirements are largely similar.

You might find these fun facts interesting: Chili Rasboras are known for their color-changing abilities. Depending on their mood, health, or surrounding conditions, their color can intensify or fade. Also, they are named ‘Chili’ not because of any spiciness but because of their red, chili-like color.

To sum it all up, the Chili Rasbora is a colorful, easy-to-care-for fish that brings life to any freshwater aquarium. Its history, dating back to its discovery in the 1970s, makes it a relatively new but beloved addition to the aquarium hobby. Whether you’re an experienced aquarist or a beginner, the Chili Rasbora offers a blend of beauty and simplicity that’s hard to resist.

Chili Rasbora
JoKrimmel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Information

Discover the multitude of aspects that make the Chili Rasbora truly remarkable, with a particular focus on its various captivating variations. With its striking colors and relatively easy care requirements, the Chili Rasbora comes in several variants that offer aquarists a chance to add both beauty and diversity to their tanks. Now, let’s break down the essential information you need to know about this captivating fish.

PriceGenerally around $3 – $5 per fish
Common NamesChili Rasbora, Mosquito Rasbora
VariantsBoraras brigittae (most common), Boraras maculatus, Boraras merah
Ideal Tank Size5 to 10 gallons (nano tank-friendly)
Water ParameterspH 4.0 – 7.0, Temperature 68 – 83°F
Lifespan4 to 8 years
Full SizeUp to 0.8 inches
Natural EnvironmentFreshwater streams in South-East Asia
BehaviorPeaceful, tends to shoal
Habitat PreferenceMid-water but may explore top and bottom of the tank
Aquarium DecorationPlants, driftwood, and subdued lighting
Ideal Tank MatesOther small, peaceful fish like Tetras and Guppies
Fish to AvoidLarger, aggressive species like Cichlids
Best Foods/DietMicro foods such as daphnia, finely crushed flakes
DiseaseSusceptible to common fish diseases like Ich if water parameters are not maintained
Sex-SwitchNo known sex-switch behavior
Gender DifferencesMales tend to be more vibrant in color
Care LevelEasy
Breeding LevelModerate; requires specific water conditions and a separate breeding tank

Ideal Tank Mates

Choosing the right tank mates for your Chili Rasbora is crucial for creating a harmonious aquarium environment. Given that Chili Rasboras are peaceful and tend to shoal, they do well in community tanks with other non-aggressive species. It’s important to choose tank mates that are similarly sized to avoid predation and competition for food. Moreover, since Chili Rasboras are mid-dwellers, selecting fish that occupy different levels in the tank can add an element of visual interest and balance. Here’s a detailed look at 15 ideal tank mates for your Chili Rasbora:

Neon Tetra

One of the most popular choices for community tanks, Neon Tetras are peaceful and add vibrant colors to your aquarium. Their small size and calm nature make them excellent companions for Chili Rasboras.

Ember Tetra

Slightly smaller than the Neon Tetra, the Ember Tetra is another colorful and peaceful fish that will thrive in a community setting with Chili Rasboras.


Known for their striking colors and tails, Guppies are easy to care for and get along well with Chili Rasboras. They add a splash of color and activity to the tank.

Celestial Pearl Danio

Also known as Galaxy Rasboras, these fish are peaceful, small, and can share a similar diet with Chili Rasboras, making feeding time simpler.

Endler’s Livebearer

These are much like Guppies but are generally smaller and less flashy. They share a peaceful temperament that makes them compatible with Chili Rasboras.

Zebra Danio

These fish are active and may add some excitement to your tank. They’re hardy and can adapt to various water conditions, making them a convenient choice.

Harlequin Rasbora

Another member of the Rasbora family, the Harlequin Rasbora has a peaceful nature and similar care requirements, making them an ideal tank mate.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

These fish are not only beautiful but also extremely hardy and adaptable. They are peaceful and coexist well with Chili Rasboras.

Corydoras Catfish

These bottom-dwellers won’t compete with your Chili Rasboras for space. They’re peaceful and will even help to keep the tank clean.

Otocinclus Catfish

Another bottom-dweller, Otocinclus are algae eaters and are beneficial for tank maintenance. They’re small and won’t disturb the Chili Rasboras.

Glass Bloodfin Tetra

These tetras are peaceful and occupy the middle to top level of the tank, making them a good fit with Chili Rasboras.


Platies come in a variety of colors and are peaceful enough to coexist with Chili Rasboras. They are hardy fish that are easy to care for.

Amano Shrimp

A non-fish option, Amano Shrimp are peaceful and will help clean the tank. They are small enough not to pose a threat to the Chili Rasboras.

Cherry Shrimp

Another shrimp option, Cherry Shrimp are small, non-aggressive, and add a unique element to your aquarium.

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp are transparent, which adds a fun and unique aesthetic to your tank. They’re peaceful and will get along with your Chili Rasboras.

By choosing from this list of ideal tank mates, you’ll ensure that your Chili Rasboras live in a balanced, peaceful, and visually appealing environment.


How Do Chili Rasboras React to Light?

Chili Rasboras generally prefer subdued lighting conditions. Bright lights can stress them out and lead to health issues over time. A densely planted tank can help diffuse light and make the environment more comfortable for them.

Can Chili Rasboras Live in Brackish Water?

No, Chili Rasboras are strictly freshwater fish. They cannot survive in brackish water conditions.

Do They Need a Filter and Aerator?

Yes, a gentle filter is recommended to keep the water clean without creating a strong current. An aerator is not absolutely necessary but can be beneficial for oxygenating the water.

How Many Chili Rasboras Should Be Kept Together?

It’s advisable to keep at least a small shoal, which typically means a minimum of six fish. This helps them feel secure and exhibits their natural schooling behavior.

What Are the Signs of a Healthy Chili Rasbora?

A healthy Chili Rasbora will have clear eyes, vibrant color, and an active disposition. They should be eager to eat and free from any visible signs of disease like spots or fin deterioration.

Can I Use Tap Water for My Chili Rasbora Tank?

Tap water can be used but should be treated to remove chlorine and checked for appropriate pH and hardness levels.

Are Chili Rasboras Jumpers?

Chili Rasboras are not known to be jumpers, but it’s always a good idea to have a well-fitted lid on your aquarium to prevent any accidental leaps.

Is It Normal for Chili Rasboras to Hide?

While they are generally active fish, it’s not uncommon for them to seek refuge in plants or other hiding spots, especially when newly introduced to a tank or if the environment is stressful.

Can Chili Rasboras Be Kept with Snails?

Yes, they can coexist peacefully with most freshwater snail species. Snails can even help clean the tank by eating algae.

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Total posts created: 133
A long-time freshwater fish enthusiast with a passion for sharing knowledge about this fascinating hobby. Over the years, Michelle has dedicated countless hours to studying, learning, and experiencing firsthand the joys and challenges of fish-keeping.

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