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Scarlet Badis: A Comprehensive Care Guide with 10 Ideal Tank Mates & FAQs

Scarlet Badis (Dario dario)
<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dario_dario_male.jpg">ATuin-hek at English Wikipedia</a>, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Scarlet Badis is a small, colorful fish that comes from South Asia. Its scientific name is Dario dario, which means “king” in Persian. This name suits the fish well because the males have bright red bodies that look like they are wearing royal robes.

Scarlet Badis are part of the Badidae family, which has 7 species. They are distant cousins of the famous Betta fish. In pet stores, you might see them called Scarlet Gem Badis or just Badis.

These little fish love to stay near the bottom of the tank. They prefer heavily planted aquariums with plenty of hiding spots. Scarlet Badis are micro-predators, which means they eat tiny animals like baby brine shrimp, daphnia, and other small crustaceans.

Male Scarlet Badis can be territorial, so it’s best to keep them in pairs or small groups with plenty of space. They get along well with other peaceful fish that won’t outcompete them for food. Some good tank mates are Ember Tetras, Pygmy Corydoras, and small Rasboras.

Here are some fun facts about Scarlet Badis:

  • The males do a “dance” to impress females, spreading their fins and shimmying back and forth.
  • They are tiny fish, only growing to about 0.8 inches long.
  • In the wild, they live in small streams and rivers with slow-moving water.

I think Scarlet Badis are fascinating because they pack so much personality into such a small package. Watching them explore their tank and interact with each other is always entertaining. They may be little, but they are full of energy and curiosity.

If you’re thinking of getting some Scarlet Badis, make sure you have a mature tank with lots of plants and places to explore. Feed them a varied diet of tiny live or frozen foods, and give them plenty of time to get used to their new home. With proper care, these little gems will add a splash of color and intrigue to your aquarium.

Scarlet Badis (Dario dario)
ATuin-hek at English Wikipedia, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scarlet Badis Key Information

The Scarlet Badis is a vibrant and captivating freshwater fish that adds a pop of color to any aquarium. Males sport a striking red hue across their bodies, with iridescent blue streaks on their fins, while females showcase a more subdued reddish-brown color. The intensity of their colors can vary depending on factors such as mood, health, and breeding readiness.

FamilyBadidae
OriginSouth Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal)
Price$5 to $15 per fish
Common NamesScarlet Badis, Scarlet Gem Badis, Badis Badis
VariantsNone
Ideal Tank Size5-10 gallons
Water ParametersTemperature: 68-79°F (20-26°C), pH: 6.5-7.5, Hardness: 2-15 dGH
Lifespan3-5 years
Full Size0.8-1 inch (2-2.5 cm)
Natural EnvironmentSlow-moving streams and rivers with dense vegetation
BehaviorPeaceful but territorial, males may display aggression towards each other
Habitat PreferenceHeavily planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots
Aquarium DecorationDriftwood, rocks, and dense vegetation (e.g., Java Moss, Anubias)
Ideal Tank MatesSmall, peaceful fish like Ember Tetras, Pygmy Corydoras, and small Rasboras
Fish to AvoidLarge, aggressive fish or fast swimmers that may outcompete them for food
Best Foods/DietMicro-foods like baby brine shrimp, daphnia, and other small crustaceans; may also accept high-quality micro pellets
DiseaseSusceptible to common freshwater diseases if water quality is poor
Sex-SwitchNo
Gender DifferencesMales are brightly colored with red bodies and blue fins; females are duller in color
Care LevelModerate – requires a well-established, heavily planted tank with good water quality
Breeding LevelDifficult – requires specific water parameters and conditioning; spawning occurs in small caves or crevices, and males provide parental care to the eggs

Ideal Tank Mates for Scarlet Badis

When choosing tank mates for Scarlet Badis, it’s essential to consider their peaceful nature, small size, and specific habitat requirements. Ideal tank mates should have similar water parameters, a non-aggressive temperament, and a comparable size to avoid competition for food and space. Here are ten excellent tank mates for Scarlet Badis, each with unique characteristics that make them compatible with these vibrant fish.

Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)

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

Ember Tetras are a perfect match for Scarlet Badis due to their small size, peaceful nature, and adaptability to similar water conditions. These vibrant red tetras add a beautiful contrast to the aquarium while occupying the middle and upper levels of the tank, allowing the Scarlet Badis to explore the bottom and middle areas without competition.

Common/Market NamesEmber Tetra, Amanda’s Tetra
Price Range$2 to $5 per fish
Care LevelEasy
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish
Life Span2-4 years
Max Size0.8 inches (2 cm)

Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus)

Pygmy Corydora (Corydoras pygmaeus)
AquaTuer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pygmy Corydoras are an excellent bottom-dwelling companion for Scarlet Badis. These tiny catfish are peaceful, hardy, and thrive in similar water conditions. They help keep the substrate clean by scavenging for leftover food, while their small size ensures they won’t outcompete the Scarlet Badis for resources.

Common/Market NamesPygmy Corydoras, Pygmy Cory
Price Range$3 to $6 per fish
Care LevelEasy
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish
Life Span3-5 years
Max Size1 inch (2.5 cm)

Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae)

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

Chili Rasboras are another excellent choice for Scarlet Badis tank mates. These tiny, colorful fish have a peaceful temperament and prefer the same water conditions. They occupy the upper levels of the aquarium, creating an eye-catching display with their vibrant red coloration while allowing the Scarlet Badis to thrive in their preferred areas.

Common/Market NamesChili Rasbora, Mosquito Rasbora
Price Range$3 to $6 per fish
Care LevelModerate
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish
Life Span4-8 years
Max Size0.7 inches (1.8 cm)

Green Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon simulans)

Green Neon Tetras are a stunning and compatible tank mate for Scarlet Badis. These small, iridescent fish have a peaceful nature and thrive in similar water conditions. Their unique coloration, featuring a bright green stripe along their body, adds a beautiful contrast to the aquarium while occupying the middle and upper levels of the tank.

Common/Market NamesGreen Neon Tetra, False Neon Tetra
Price Range$3 to $6 per fish
Care LevelEasy
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish
Life Span3-5 years
Max Size1.2 inches (3 cm)

Celestial Pearl Danio (Danio 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 perfect match for Scarlet Badis. These tiny, colorful fish have a peaceful temperament and prefer similar water conditions. Their unique spotted pattern and iridescent scales create a stunning display in the aquarium while occupying the middle and upper levels of the tank, allowing the Scarlet Badis to thrive in their preferred areas.

Common/Market NamesCelestial Pearl Danio, Galaxy Rasbora
Price Range$5 to $10 per fish
Care LevelModerate
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish
Life Span3-5 years
Max Size1 inch (2.5 cm)

Endler’s Livebearer (Poecilia wingei)

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

Endler’s Livebearers are a colorful and compatible tank mate for Scarlet Badis. These small, hardy fish have a peaceful nature and adapt well to similar water conditions. The males display a wide array of vibrant colors and patterns, adding a beautiful contrast to the aquarium while occupying the middle and upper levels of the tank.

Common/Market NamesEndler’s Livebearer, Endler’s Guppy
Price Range$3 to $8 per fish
Care LevelEasy
BehaviorPeaceful, active swimmers
Life Span2-3 years
Max Size1.5 inches (3.8 cm)

Sparkling Gourami (Trichopsis pumila)

Sparkling Gourami (Trichopsis pumila)
Dezinformator15, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sparkling Gouramis are a unique and compatible tank mate for Scarlet Badis. These small, labyrinth fish have a peaceful temperament and thrive in similar water conditions. They are known for their attractive, iridescent scales and the male’s ability to produce a “croaking” sound during courtship. Sparkling Gouramis occupy the middle and upper levels of the aquarium, making them an excellent companion for Scarlet Badis.

Common/Market NamesSparkling Gourami, Pygmy Gourami
Price Range$4 to $8 per fish
Care LevelEasy
BehaviorPeaceful, can be territorial
Life Span4-5 years
Max Size1.5 inches (3.8 cm)

Dwarf Pencilfish (Nannostomus marginatus)

Dwarf Pencilfish (Nannostomus marginatus)
D.W., CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dwarf Pencilfish are a peaceful and compatible tank mate for Scarlet Badis. These slender, attractive fish have a unique pattern of horizontal stripes along their body and thrive in similar water conditions. They occupy the middle and upper levels of the aquarium, creating an eye-catching display while allowing the Scarlet Badis to explore their preferred areas without competition.

Common/Market NamesDwarf Pencilfish, Dagger Characin
Price Range$4 to $8 per fish
Care LevelModerate
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish
Life Span3-5 years
Max Size1.2 inches (3 cm)

Pygmy Hatchetfish (Carnegiella myersi)

Pygmy Hatchetfish (Carnegiella myersi)
photo by schaduwvacht

Pygmy Hatchetfish are a unique and compatible tank mate for Scarlet Badis. These small, silver-colored fish have a distinct, hatchet-shaped body and prefer to occupy the top level of the aquarium. They are peaceful, hardy, and thrive in similar water conditions, making them an excellent companion for Scarlet Badis while adding an interesting visual element to the tank.

Common/Market NamesPygmy Hatchetfish, Myer’s Hatchetfish
Price Range$5 to $10 per fish
Care LevelModerate
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish
Life Span3-5 years
Max Size0.8 inches (2 cm)

Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)

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

Kuhli Loaches are a peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish that make an excellent tank mate for Scarlet Badis. These eel-like fish have a unique, banded pattern and prefer to hide among plants and decorations. They are hardy, adapt well to similar water conditions, and help keep the substrate clean by scavenging for leftover food, making them a beneficial addition to the aquarium.

Common/Market NamesKuhli Loach, Coolie Loach
Price Range$3 to $6 per fish
Care LevelEasy
BehaviorPeaceful, nocturnal, and reclusive
Life Span5-10 years
Max Size4 inches (10 cm)

These ten tank mates are just a few examples of the many compatible fish that can coexist harmoniously with Scarlet Badis. When selecting tank mates, always consider factors such as water parameters, temperament, size, and habitat requirements to ensure a peaceful and thriving aquarium community.

FAQs about Scarlet Badis

How big do Scarlet Badis get?

Scarlet Badis are a small species of freshwater fish, typically growing to a maximum size of 0.8-1 inch (2-2.5 cm) in length.

What is the lifespan of Scarlet Badis?

With proper care and a well-maintained aquarium, Scarlet Badis can live for 3-5 years.

Are Scarlet Badis easy to breed?

Breeding Scarlet Badis can be challenging, as they require specific water parameters and conditioning. Males will display to females and spawning occurs in small caves or crevices. The male provides parental care to the eggs until they hatch.

How often should I feed my Scarlet Badis?

Feed your Scarlet Badis small amounts of food 2-3 times a day. Offer a variety of small live or frozen foods such as baby brine shrimp, daphnia, and micro worms, as well as high-quality micro pellets designed for small fish.

Can Scarlet Badis live in a community tank?

Yes, Scarlet Badis can live in a community tank with other peaceful, similarly-sized fish that have comparable water requirements. However, keep in mind that males may display territorial aggression towards each other, so provide plenty of hiding spots and visual barriers.

Are Scarlet Badis sensitive to water changes?

Scarlet Badis can be sensitive to sudden changes in water parameters. Always perform regular water testing and maintain stable water conditions through proper filtration, regular water changes, and avoiding overfeeding.

How many Scarlet Badis should be kept together?

It is best to keep Scarlet Badis in pairs or small groups, with a ratio of one male to one or two females. This helps minimize aggressive behavior among males while providing opportunities for natural social interactions.

Do Scarlet Badis need a heater?

Yes, Scarlet Badis require a heater to maintain a stable water temperature between 68-79°F (20-26°C). A consistent temperature is essential for their health and well-being.

Are Scarlet Badis shy fish?

Scarlet Badis can be somewhat shy, especially when first introduced to a new tank. Providing a heavily planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots, such as driftwood and rocks, will help them feel secure and more likely to explore their surroundings.

Can Scarlet Badis be kept with shrimp?

Yes, Scarlet Badis can coexist with peaceful shrimp species like Cherry Shrimp or Amano Shrimp. However, keep in mind that very small shrimp or shrimplets may be seen as food by the Scarlet Badis.

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Michelle

Michelle

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.

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