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July Featured Fish: Rasboras


Rasboras are an excellent fish for beginner aquarists. In fact, they’re related to several other species of easy to care for fish, including danios, goldfish, and barbs.

If you haven’t heard of rasboras or are interested in learning more about their care and what they’re like, read on…

Rasbora appearance

Rasboras are a small fish that only gets to about two to three inches in length. They have relatively small fins, which means they are unlikely to be harassed by fin-nipping tank mates. They often have an orange coloring that many fish keepers find pleasing, but they also come in other color variants.

Their bright colorings are one of the many things keepers like about this fish. Some of the color variants are called:

  • Harlequin
  • Lambchop
  • Scissortail
  • Lampeye
  • Brilliant (also called redtail or black line)

Check out this video to see some of the different types of rasbora fish:

Nano rasboras

There are also a few newer rasbora variants, such as the dwarf emerald rasbora, which are quite small, getting no larger than one inch. They are still quite colorful and are perfect for smaller aquariums or even desktop aquariums.

Remember that even small fish need space to swim, so they will need a sufficient tank size, even if they don’t need quite as much room as larger species. Also, you’ll still need to keep these smaller variants with a school of friends. Five to ten gallon tanks can work as long as no other fish are being kept with the nano rasboras.

Personality and habits

Rasboras are a schooling fish. That means you’ll want to keep them with several others of their own species. Six or more rasboras are recommended. Other than that, they are peaceful and can easily be kept in a calm community tank, provided that they have enough space.

Purple harlequin rasboras

You’ll want to keep them away from larger, aggressive fish given their small size.

Rasboras are also an active fish, which makes them a lot of fun to watch. Although it is recommended to keep rasboras in groups of at least six, that doesn’t mean you can’t collect even larger schools of these colorful, active fish. Having large groups of them in a tank together is quite beautiful.

Tank preferences

These fish can handle a wide range of pH levels with pH of 6.8 to 7.8 being best. Their tolerance to a range of conditions makes them easy to add to community tanks and not too difficult to care for. The preferred temperature for these fish is 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If your room is cooler than that, they will need a tank heater, such as the Aqueon Submersible Adjustable Glass Aquarium Heater, which comes in several different wattages.

Typical-sized rasboras will need a tank of at least ten gallons, and larger if they are in a community tank with other fish.

Rasboras in planted tank

Rasboras like natural vegetation. It’s not a requirement for keeping them, but if you like aquascaped aquariums, they’re a great match for plants. They are also unlikely to tear up or uproot the plants, unlike some troublemaker species.

Come into The Tye-Dyed Iguana in Fairview Heights to check out the variety of fish species we have available for your tropical aquarium.