web analytics

The Tiny Wonder: Dwarf Rasbora Care Guide, Tank Mates, and FAQs Unveiled

Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus)
<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boraras_Maculata.jpg">Atulbhats</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons

In the vast world of aquatic life, the Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus) stands out as a tiny wonder that captivates the hearts of aquarium enthusiasts. This diminutive fish, measuring a mere 0.8 inches (2 cm) in length, belongs to the Cyprinidae family and is closely related to other rasbora species such as the Chili Rasbora and the Phoenix Rasbora.

The Dwarf Rasbora’s journey to popularity began in the early 2000s when it was first introduced to the aquarium trade. Native to the slow-moving streams and blackwater habitats of Borneo, this fish has adapted to thrive in environments with low light and plenty of vegetation. Its scientific name, Boraras maculatus, is derived from the Latin word “maculatus,” which means spotted, referring to the distinctive black spot on its body.

What makes the Dwarf Rasbora truly interesting is its vibrant coloration and peaceful temperament. The fish’s body is adorned with a striking reddish-orange hue, complemented by a prominent black spot near its tail. This unique combination of colors creates a stunning visual display in any aquarium setting. Additionally, the Dwarf Rasbora is known for its gentle and non-aggressive nature, making it an ideal tank mate for other peaceful species.

The Dwarf Rasbora is a low-maintenance fish that thrives in well-planted aquariums with ample hiding spots and moderate water flow. It flourishes in water temperatures between 72-79°F (22-26°C), with a pH ranging from 4.0 to 7.0 and soft to moderately hard water. As an omnivore, it eagerly consumes a diverse diet that includes micro pellets, live or frozen baby brine shrimp, and daphnia.

One fascinating fact about the Dwarf Rasbora is its schooling behavior. In the wild, these fish are found in large groups, and they exhibit the same behavior in captivity. Keeping a group of at least six individuals is recommended to ensure their comfort and well-being. Watching a school of Dwarf Rasboras darting through the aquarium is a mesmerizing sight that never fails to delight.

Despite its growing popularity, scientific research on the Dwarf Rasbora is still limited. However, a study published in the Journal of Fish Biology in 2015 shed light on the species’ reproductive behavior, revealing that the fish engage in elaborate courtship displays and exhibit parental care by guarding their eggs until hatching.

Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus)
Atulbhats, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Information

The Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus) is a captivating freshwater fish known for its vibrant coloration. The body of this tiny fish is primarily reddish-orange, with a striking black spot near the base of its caudal fin. This spot is the most distinguishing feature of the species, making it easily recognizable among other small rasboras. The fins of the Dwarf Rasbora are transparent, allowing the brilliant colors of its body to take center stage.

OriginBorneo, Indonesia
Price$2 to $5 per fish
Common NamesDwarf Rasbora, Spotted Rasbora, Pygmy Rasbora
Ideal Tank Size5 gallons or larger
Water ParametersTemperature: 72-79°F (22-26°C), pH: 4.0-7.0, Hardness: Soft to moderately hard
Lifespan3-5 years
Full Size0.8 inches (2 cm)
Natural EnvironmentSlow-moving streams and blackwater habitats in Borneo
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish
Habitat PreferenceWell-planted aquariums with plenty of hiding spots and moderate water flow
Aquarium DecorationDensely planted with lots of hiding spots, driftwood, and leaf litter
Ideal Tank MatesOther peaceful, small fish such as Chili Rasboras, Phoenix Rasboras, and small tetras
Fish to AvoidLarge, aggressive fish that may view Dwarf Rasboras as prey
Best Foods/DietOmnivorous; accepts micro pellets, live or frozen baby brine shrimp, and daphnia
DiseaseSusceptible to common freshwater diseases if water quality is poor
Gender DifferencesDifficult to distinguish, females may be slightly larger and more rounded when viewed from above
Care LevelEasy
Breeding LevelModerate; spawns readily in a well-maintained aquarium with plenty of hiding spots, but small fry can be challenging to raise

Ideal Tank Mates

When considering ideal tank mates for the Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus), it’s essential to choose species that share similar water parameters, temperament, and size. The Dwarf Rasbora is a peaceful, schooling fish that thrives in the company of its own kind and other non-aggressive species. By carefully selecting compatible tank mates, you can create a harmonious and visually stunning aquarium environment.

Here are 15 ideal tank mates for the Dwarf Rasbora, each with unique characteristics that make them well-suited companions:

1. Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae)

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

The Chili Rasbora is a close relative of the Dwarf Rasbora, sharing a similar size, temperament, and water parameter requirements. These brilliant red fish make a stunning visual contrast when schooling alongside the reddish-orange Dwarf Rasboras, creating a captivating display of color in the aquarium.

2. Phoenix Rasbora (Boraras merah)

Another member of the Boraras genus, the Phoenix Rasbora features a striking red coloration that complements the Dwarf Rasbora’s hues. These peaceful fish are excellent tank mates, as they share the same habitat preferences and schooling behavior, making for a visually appealing and cohesive community.

3. Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)

Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi): Complete Care Guides, Tank Mates, and FAQs

Neon Tetras are a classic choice for community aquariums, and their vibrant blue and red coloration makes them an attractive companion for Dwarf Rasboras. These small, peaceful fish share similar water parameters and add a pop of color to the mid-level of the aquarium.

4. Green Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon simulans)

Similar to the Neon Tetra, the Green Neon Tetra features a striking green and red coloration that contrasts beautifully with the Dwarf Rasbora’s hues. These peaceful schooling fish make excellent tank mates, occupying the mid-level of the aquarium and adding visual interest.

5. Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)

Hyphessobrycon amandae
Klaus Rudloff, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ember Tetra’s warm, reddish-orange coloration closely resembles that of the Dwarf Rasbora, making them a perfect color-coordinated companion. These small, peaceful fish school together and share similar water parameter requirements, creating a visually stunning and harmonious community.

6. Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus)

Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus): Complete Care Guides, Tank Mates, FAQs
Gedanken.welten, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Celestial Pearl Danios, also known as Galaxy Rasboras, are a stunning and peaceful species that make excellent tank mates for Dwarf Rasboras. These small fish feature a captivating spotted pattern on a silvery-blue background, adding visual diversity to the aquarium while sharing similar water parameters and behavior.

7. Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus)

Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras): Complete Care Guides, Tank Mates, FAQs

Pygmy Corydoras are a small, peaceful bottom-dwelling species that make an excellent addition to a Dwarf Rasbora community. These mini catfish help keep the substrate clean and add interest to the lower levels of the aquarium without competing with the Dwarf Rasboras for space or resources.

8. Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus spp.)

Photo Credit: AJC1

Otocinclus Catfish are small, algae-eating fish that make perfect tank mates for Dwarf Rasboras. These peaceful bottom-dwellers help maintain a clean aquarium by grazing on algae, while their unique appearance adds diversity to the community.

9. Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)

Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
TonyZimbinski, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cherry Shrimp are a popular invertebrate choice for peaceful community aquariums. These small, colorful shrimp are compatible with Dwarf Rasboras, as they share similar water parameters and help keep the aquarium clean by scavenging for leftover food and detritus.

10. Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata)

Amano Shrimp are larger than Cherry Shrimp but equally peaceful and compatible with Dwarf Rasboras. These algae-eating shrimp are an excellent addition to a community aquarium, helping to maintain a clean environment while adding interest with their unique appearance and behavior.

11. Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

Harlequin Rasboras
Mariusz Dabrowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Harlequin Rasboras are a popular schooling fish that make excellent tank mates for Dwarf Rasboras. Although slightly larger, these peaceful fish share similar water parameters and add a striking contrast with their vibrant orange and black coloration.

12. Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma espei)

Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma espei)
Atulbhats, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lambchop Rasboras are another compatible schooling fish for Dwarf Rasbora communities. These peaceful fish feature a unique “lambchop” shaped marking on their bodies, adding visual interest to the aquarium while sharing similar water parameters and behavior.

13. Endler’s Livebearer (Poecilia wingei)

Endler's Livebearer (Poecilia wingei)
Dgrummon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Endler’s Livebearers are small, colorful fish that make excellent tank mates for Dwarf Rasboras. These peaceful fish come in a variety of colors and patterns, adding visual diversity to the aquarium while sharing similar water parameters and occupying the upper levels of the tank.

14. Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)

Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius): Comprehensive Care Guides, Tank Mates, and FAQs

Dwarf Gouramis are a peaceful, colorful species that can be kept with Dwarf Rasboras in larger aquariums. These gentle fish occupy the upper levels of the tank and add a pop of color with their iridescent blue and red striped appearance.

15. Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)

Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii): Complete Care Guides, Tank Mates, FAQs

Kuhli Loaches are a peaceful, eel-like fish that make an interesting addition to a Dwarf Rasbora community. These nocturnal bottom-dwellers help keep the substrate clean and add a unique appearance to the aquarium, while their peaceful nature ensures compatibility with Dwarf Rasboras.


What is the lifespan of Dwarf Rasboras?

With proper care and a well-maintained aquarium, Dwarf Rasboras can live between 3 and 5 years.

Can I keep Dwarf Rasboras in a planted tank?

Absolutely! Dwarf Rasboras thrive in heavily planted aquariums that mimic their natural habitat. Plants provide shelter, reduce stress, and improve water quality.

How often should I feed my Dwarf Rasboras?

Feed your Dwarf Rasboras small amounts of food 2 to 3 times a day. Adjust the quantity based on how quickly they consume the food to avoid overfeeding.

Are Dwarf Rasboras sensitive to water changes?

Dwarf Rasboras can be sensitive to sudden changes in water parameters. Always perform gradual water changes and ensure that the new water has similar parameters to the existing tank water.

Can I breed Dwarf Rasboras in my aquarium?

Yes, Dwarf Rasboras can be bred in the home aquarium. Provide a heavily planted tank with fine-leaved plants for spawning and ensure optimal water conditions. The fry can be challenging to raise due to their tiny size.

How can I tell if my Dwarf Rasboras are healthy?

Healthy Dwarf Rasboras should have vibrant colors, clear eyes, and display active swimming behavior. They should also have a good appetite and show no signs of injury or disease.

Do Dwarf Rasboras prefer a specific type of substrate?

Dwarf Rasboras are not particularly substrate-dependent, but they do best with a dark, fine-grained substrate that resembles their natural habitat. Sand or fine gravel works well.

Can I keep Dwarf Rasboras in a room with air conditioning?

Yes, but ensure that the aquarium temperature remains stable within the recommended range of 72-79°F (22-26°C). Avoid placing the tank in direct line of the air conditioning draft to prevent temperature fluctuations.

How can I encourage schooling behavior in my Dwarf Rasboras?

Keeping a group of at least 6 individuals will encourage natural schooling behavior. Providing an open swimming area in the middle of the aquarium will also promote schooling activity.

Are Dwarf Rasboras compatible with shrimp?

Yes, Dwarf Rasboras are peaceful and can coexist with various shrimp species, such as Cherry Shrimp and Amano Shrimp. The shrimp may even help keep the aquarium clean by scavenging leftover food.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.



Total posts created: 127
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.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *