Chili Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae) Guide: Care, Diet, Lifespan And More

Chili Rasbora

Boraras brigittae, also known as Chili rasbora, is a tiny, brightly colored tropical freshwater nano fish that is often a favorite of people who maintain nano fish tanks and large community tanks. They demonstrate a peaceful temperament and love the company of others of their kind because it is a schooling fish. They create an elegant middle-to-top movement in your aquarium’s water column. This species is less susceptible to single diseases, and its life expectancy rarely exceeds five years. Due to its unique characteristics, some fish care can be a bit challenging for novices. To ensure a long and healthy life, take the time to learn about your tank maintenance and upkeep by reading this guide.

The Complete Guide to Chili Rasbora Care

Chili Rasboras are tiny schooling fish that look great in either a nano-tank or a larger tank. When they are in a school, they make swimming fun to watch and have a good personality. Read this article to get ideas and information about caring for your fish and how to keep the best conditions for them in your aquarium.

History and a first sighting

Chili Rasbora was discovered in 1991 by Maurice Kottelat and published in his Asian Indigenous Fish series five years later. They are believed to have entered the hobby in the late 1990s. To this day, it is still quite common in aquariums, especially among fans of Nano Tanks. Little more is known about this fish.

Natural habitat

The rasbora chili is native and endemic to southwestern Borneo. Fish enjoy various hiding places and cover provided by fallen leaves, submerged branches, and roots. The species’ natural habitat is rapidly deteriorating, so the species’ future in the wild is not guaranteed.

Distribution & Natural Habitat

Chili Rasboras are endemic throughout southeast Borneo. They inhabit streams and pools of black water and can be found in swampy regions with soft water and very low pH. Although the IUCN has not covered this species, there is a severe threat to destroying its natural habitats – specifically the ancient peat swamps. Being in peat moss pools means that the dKH is remarkably low – or incredibly minimal, and there is dim light in most cases.


Chili rasboras are vibrant pink-orange fish with a black and red line descending along their mid-lateral line. Even its tiny fins show tiny orange dots. Mosquito Rasboras are fish of small size, presenting a maximum of 0.8 inches.

Chili Rasbora

Chili Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae):

The Chili Rasbora is a tropical freshwater fish that has been attracting the attention of the hobbyist community for some time. These fish are beautiful, cute (so small!), and easy to care for. This guide covers water condition, size, tank mates, diet, and everything you need to know to maintain your tanks. We also discuss fish size, tank mates, and diet.

Summary of species

When Chili Rasboras were discovered in southeastern Malaysia, they were classified as a species of the genus Rasbora; today, they are classified as Boraras. Regardless of their name, these fish pose a unique challenge to many fishkeepers. It is a small freshwater shoal fish that has become quite popular among aquarists. They offer a colorful addition to tanks of any size or shape.


Chili Rasboras have a fiery red color, and their bodies are covered with red and pink colors. Males are more vividly red when contrasted with females. Chili Rasboras has the thinnest body around its midsection, although the lower body shrinks to a large tail fin. Its large eyes appear with the most prominent features on the head. The fins are very transparent, which gives the small red spots a floating appearance.

Chili Rasboras (Boraras brigittae)

Their peaceful behavior, colorful bodies, and schooling habits make them an exceptional addition to aquariums. Read on to learn everything you need to know about caring for this small freshwater tropical fish in your aquarium.

Chili Rasboras Care Guide

Chili Rasbora, Mosquito rasbora, or Boraras brigittae are the smallest tropical fish in the aquarium hobby. Chili rasboras are “nano” fish with an estimated length between 0.5 and 0.8 inches at height. The commonly used name mosquito rasbora was chosen because the habitat was full of mosquitoes.

Chili Rasbora Guide: The Jewel Of Low Light Aquariums

Chili Rasbora is a fish native to Borneo that looks like small chili swimming in water. They are small and colorful fish, perfect for tropical aquariums. Get information in this guide about this fish’s habitats and settings in the tank, its ideal companion, and how to feed it and keep it in your aquarium.

How many per gallon?

To keep a small school of 6 individuals, you can use a 30-liter tank. Consider a larger tank to build a community with plants. The more space to swim and the many hiding places, the happier and more adapted the school. Fish are a bit shy, so it’s best to stay in large groups, thus encouraging their normal behavior.


Best kept in densely planted aquariums and an excellent choice for carefully landscaped tanks. Floating plants and branches or trunk roots to diffuse the light adds a more natural feel. The addition of dry leaves further emphasizes the natural sense and encourages the growth of beneficial microbe colonies. Tannin and other chemicals released by decaying leaves are considered helpful to blackwater fish species. Keep the species in mature tanks. Very dim lighting is recommended to simulate conditions in nature.


Chili rasbora is also known as chili rasbora or mosquito rasbora. They were initially described as Rasbora urophthalma, though researchers then moved them to the genus Boraras based on morphological differences. The genus has only approximately six other species in the world. The chili rasbora is best known due the color and temperament. It is believed they were known as a mosquito because of the concentration of those blood-sucking bugs present when they were discovered for the aquarium trade.

Chili Rasbora appearance

The Chili Rasbora is one of the most fantastic nano fish, reaching just 0.70-0.78 inches. These fish are colored in any hue from black to deep orange, and the black sidelines are solid or separate. Males are brighter than females, and their intensity is more significant when looking for a mate. It is possible to distinguish between a couple and a partner by color and shape. Males have incredibly intense red colors such as blood red, scarlet, and cherry. Females look bland and are usually mixed with phoenix rasboras and other lighter-colored fish.

Chili Rasbora

Is Chili Rasbora suitable for an aquarium?

Chili Rasbora is gentle and shy; they are beautiful, with their vivid colors and schooling movements. They can be very friendly to other big, peaceful, and gentle fish. They love lush vegetation that mimics their natural habitats in Indonesia, providing hiding places and feeding areas for the microfauna that accumulates in plant leaves. When they swim in a solitary place, they enjoy the abundance of aquatic plants. Like any other shoal fish, they should not be kept alone in the aquarium.


They inhabit blackwater streams and lakes associated with peat swamps. The water turns brown due to the release of tannins and humic acids. These precious biotopes are threatened by rubber and palm oil plantations, construction projects, and other human activities. Such environments characteristically contain very soft acidic water (insignificant hardness) and generally have poor lighting due to dense marginal vegetation and the forest canopy above.

Should you keep the chili rasbora?

The rasbora chili can be very rewarding for nano fishers. Novice fish farming enthusiasts or those with little experience with micro fish and tropical aquariums may find their maintenance a little intimidating. If you have consistent water quality, your Rasbora will thrive. All of this makes Chili Rasbors an excellent and versatile addition to many tropical freshwater tanks.

Tank setup

Chili rasbora does best in an aquarium unique to the species. Due to their small size and easy maintenance, they are easy to do without a big budget.

Chili rasbora tank requirements

To provide the best condition for your fish, the school must inhabit an aquarium of at least 10 gallons (37.5 L) with at least eight or more individuals of the same species. Despite their size, these shoal fish are very active and need a decent swimming area to be safe to get sucked into the filtration equipment.

Conditions of water

A hardness range of 18- 179 ppm. The carbonate hardness (KH) should be as low as 0-1 degrees. The Chili Rasbora tank must be kept clean by cleaning the substrate and changing the water through a siphon. The water temperature they need is milder compared to other types of tropical fish.

Aquarium requirements

Chili Rasbora is a school fish and likes to swim in the middle and upper sections of the aquarium. The ideal tank is an individual fish tank where they are the only species. Live plants provide a habitat for foods like worms and plankton, perfect for fish’s tiny mouths. Make a great addition to a large tank as a massive school of moving colors. Keep the water temperature from 68 to 82 F and the pH from 4.0 to 7.0.

Habitat and tank conditions for Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae)

Fine sand and small gravel are ideal for tiny Chili Rasboras. Blackwater streams dominate its natural environment in Borneo. If you include live plants in your aquarium, not only will they have a canopy to explore, but the plants will also provide shelter for plankton and worms. The vegetation cover will lower the light intensity in the tank, encouraging more movement and brighter colors. If you keep them in a big container with plenty of space, you’ll have a vast, impressive school that can produce a moving lighting show in your aquarium.

Take care

Chili Rasboras are not resistant to changes in water parameters. They have a tendency to die if their tanks are not properly maintained. Perform tests to check if everything is ok in the tank and do weekly maintenance in the aquarium, changing the water and cleaning up debris. You must quarantine newly acquired and sick fish and proceed with the necessary treatment.

Water filtration for Chili Rasbora Care

Size your filtration correctly, but remember to keep the flow low and even. You can use driftwood, rocks, and other ornaments to create less water flow within the aquarium, providing a resting place for the fish.

Chili rasboras and water temperature

Like other tropical fish, Boraras brigittae can adapt to varying temperatures. Use a heater to keep the water temperature stable between 68 and 82 F. If exposed to the sun for more than 30 minutes, monitor the temperatures to ensure the tank is not too hot.

Chili rasbora tank mates

The minimal size of chili rasbora makes them incompatible with many fish. The cardinal neon tetra is a peaceful fish and a great tank mate for rasboras. Cory pygmy is always a great addition to nano aquariums. More active swimmers in medium and high water will stress other fish and should be avoided. Betta fish eat things that fit in their mouth, including chili rasbora; they are not compatible.

Compatibility And Tankmates

Chili rasboras are calm and shy fish, an excellent choice for a community aquarium. Invertebrates such as shrimp and snails make great aquarium companions. Dwarf shrimp and aquatic snails can help control algae growth and are an excellent addition to your aquarium. You want to choose tank mates that are small, confident, and peaceful, that have an affinity for soft, acidic water with a low flow rate.

Tank Mates

Avoid animals that display aggressive and angry personalities, such as Bettas, Loaches, and most barbs. The phoenix and rasboras pygmy make good tank companions. Harlequin Rasbora is also a trendy choice as its colors complement the Chili Rasbora colors very well. Other peaceful dwarf shrimp are cherry shrimp, Amano shrimp, and ghost shrimp. You can also introduce Nerite or Mystery apple snails.

Food and Diet Recommendations

In the wild, they eat microscopic food sources such as plankton, larvae, all kinds of small invertebrates, and more. In captivity, fish eat almost anything as long as it fits in their mouths. Fish do very well on a balanced diet of fish flakes or small pellets. To supplement dry food, feel free to provide micro worms, tubifex, brine shrimp nauplii, and Daphnia. Fish are known as micro predators, but they are also pinching biofilm and some plant matter.

Food and Diet

As you might guess, tiny species require small foods. In the wild, they eat all kinds of microscopic foods like plankton and worms. You need to keep the fish on various foods, such as baby brine shrimp, pellets, flakes, bloodworms, etc.


Boraras is a micro predator and feeds on small insects, worms, crustaceans, and other zooplankton. It is a kind of shoal in nature and should be kept in a group of at least 8 to 10 specimens. Males also display their best colors and exciting behavior as they compete to get the female’s attention. It is also an ideal companion for timid anabantoids like Sphaerichthys or Parosphromenus.

Breeding Chili Rasboras

Once they start exhibiting courtship behavior, you will have to feed more often than usual. You can expect your fish to spawn many times throughout the year. Males will try to dominate each other and establish a small territory to defend. Once the female has selected her mate, spawning will begin, and the female will lay up to 60 eggs in 24 hours. You can place plants such as Naja grass or Java moss where the female will scatter the eggs, which helps reduce predation. Eggs should hatch within two days.


  1. brigittaeis an egg scatters species. This species does not exhibit parental care. When kept in perfect condition and the presence of both sexes, a relatively short number of eggs are laid each day. In adult fish tanks, fry may begin to appear without human interference. However, to increase the yield of fingerlings, a slightly more cautious approach is needed. Set aside a separate breeding tank of approx 3.5 gallons, fill one part with thin-leaved plants such as java moss, and add a group (already conditioned) of two or three pairs. The breeders must be removed after 48 hours, keep the aquarium with light aeration and wait for the eggs to hatch.

Chili Rasbora Breeding

Chili Rasboras do not have any parental care and will attack and eat your fingerlings. So, if you want to keep the fry, the ideal is to have your breeding tank. When a female is ready to expel eggs, she spreads them all over the bottom of the tank. In the first 24 hours, the fry will consume the yolk sac and small foods such as infusoria. For the first ten days, you can offer micro worms and other micro foods.

Temperament & General Behavior

Chili Rasboras are very peaceful fish and sometimes become shy. When they feel comfortable, they explore the entire tank. The school performs beautiful maneuvers in the aquarium. It is not uncommon to find this fish looking for hiding places or swimming in the vegetation.

Chili rasbora behavior

Even though they are tiny, these fish are very active swimmers. They remain in the middle and upper column, although they can sometimes get food from the bottom of the tank.

Activity level

Chili rasbora is an active fish, and the school often spends time in the middle section of the aquarium. If you have groups of these fish, they will be more confident, whereas if you only have one or two of them, they will likely hide behind your plants.

Life span

The fish usually live between four and eight years, with five being the average. Maintain optimal water and tank conditions for your fish to live to the fullest. You can expect – if properly handled – to have your Chili’s lovely colors decorate your tank.

Diseases to watch out for

Chili Rasboras do not have diseases considered species-specific. The problems are the same as those affecting tropical freshwater fish as a whole. Ich is an external parasite that produces white spots all over the body of fish. You can avoid this by following proper water conditions and feeding fish a balanced diet. The most important thing to keep fish happy and healthy is to keep the water quality in optimum condition and provide them healthy food.

Do you want one for yourself?

Chili Rasboras are tiny animals that are easy and perfect to keep in a nano tank. They are great for people without a lot of space or looking for something small to include in their room. We’ve been big fans of this particular species for several years, and we regularly recommend them to other fishkeepers. We hope this guide has motivated you to give them a chance and put them in your aquarium. Cute little creatures are straightforward to care for and a lot of fun swimming around your aquarium.