Chili Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae): Complete Care Guide

Have you been looking for a stunning yet low-maintenance fish to add to your aquarium? Look no further than the Chili Rasbora, also known as the Boraras Brigittae.

These tiny fish pack a punch with their vibrant red hues, making them popular for many hobbyists.

This complete care guide covers everything you need to know to provide the best possible home for your Chili Rasboras. From water conditions to feeding habits, we’ve got you covered.

So sit back, grab a snack, and get ready to learn all about these fascinating little fish!

Species Summary

The Chili Rasbora, also known as the Mosquito Rasbora, is a tiny, vibrantly colored fish that has become popular among aquarists. This little fish is an amazing addition to any tank, big or small.

Surprisingly, Chili Rasboras are not part of the Rasbora family. Initially, they were classified as such when found in rivers and ponds in Southeast Borneo. However, scientists have since placed them in the correct genus, but the fish have kept their original name.

Caring for Chili Rasboras is not difficult, but some specific requirements must be met for them to reach their full potential. If these are followed, they make a wonderful and unique pet for any fish enthusiast.

Average Chili Rasbora Size


Chili rasboras are tiny fish with an average size of just 0.5-0.75 inches (1.7 to 2 cm) long when fully grown. These petite fish are known for their vibrant red bodies with a black horizontal stripe.

While they may be small, they are still an incredibly captivating and popular species among hobbyists. Being small also means they do well in nano tanks, which can be a great option for those with limited space.

However, they are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least five to help them feel comfortable and confident swimming out in the open.

Despite their size, these fish can be observed easily due to their bold personality and striking coloration.

With the right care, these colorful little fish can thrive and bring a lot of joy to their owners.


The lifespan of a Chili Rasbora can vary between 4 and 8 years when provided with optimal living conditions. As with many aquarium species, a fish’s lifespan is heavily influenced by the quality of care it receives.

Optimal water conditions, a balanced diet, and avoiding unnecessary stress can all contribute to a longer lifespan for these tiny fish. Even though Chili Rasboras have a shorter lifespan than larger fish, this species is still a great option for any aquarist looking for a low-maintenance, peaceful addition to their tank.

Ensuring that Chili Rasboras receive a healthy environment is paramount to extend their life as much as possible. Monitoring water quality, avoiding overfeeding, and reducing stressful situations in their environment can all play a crucial role in a fish’s lifespan.

Despite their small size, Chili Rasboras can bring joy and beauty to any aquarium for several years.


The Chili Rasbora is a strikingly beautiful and colorful freshwater fish that has captured the attention of the aquarium community.

Its bold and contrasting coloration sets it apart from other nano fish species, especially with its bright red hue and a thick black stripe that runs along its body. Additionally, male specimens have bright red spots throughout the fins, giving them a floating appearance.

The fish’s fin rays are all translucent, creating an elegant charm. The Chili Rasbora is slender, tapering off to a large tail fin. On the head, the most prominent feature is the two large eyes.

Although male and female specimens have small differences, they are easily noticeable. The females tend to be larger, and males generally have more color vibrancy and small red highlights along their dorsal and anal fins.

In contrast, the females are typically rounder and have a duller look than males. Given its stunning appearance, the Chili Rasbora is a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium.

Chili Rasbora Care

If you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, caring for Chili Rasboras is a piece of cake. Just keep an eye on the water conditions and their habitat, and you’ll have a thriving school of these little beauties.

Unlike larger fish, these little guys are much more sensitive to environmental changes and can easily suffer from stress or poor water quality. So, even minor shifts in the water can be a big deal for Chili Rasboras.

Here’s a quick guide to keeping your Chili Rasboras happy and healthy. Read on to find out everything you need to know about their care.

Tank Size

Chili rasboras are small fish that don’t require a large tank, and a group of five can be kept in a 5-gallon (19-liter) aquarium.

However, the more space these fish have to move around, the more interesting their behavior will be. Therefore, a bigger tank is always better, and a larger school of fish will help them feel more at ease.

It’s important to note that chili rasboras are not very strong swimmers, so a filter that puts out a ton of water flow can exhaust them. A sponge filter is highly recommended for this delicate species.

Adding a heater to the tank is recommended, especially if other tropical species of nano fish are included. Fluval P Series preset heaters are suitable for smaller tanks, while Fluval E Series adjustable electronic heaters are recommended for larger tanks.

Overall, it’s important to consider the needs of these small fish when selecting the appropriate tank size and equipment for their care.

Water Parameters

Chili Rasboras are native to Borneo and Indonesia, inhabiting slow-moving creeks and rivers. They feed on insect larvae, particularly mosquito larvae and other tiny crustaceans like daphnia.

The water in their typical habitat is darkly stained from tannins that leach out from fallen leaves, and the water is shaded by the dense jungle growth of Borneo’s rainforests.

Chili Rasboras can handle various water parameters in captivity but prefer slightly acidic and soft water.

A pH level of 4.0-7.0, a temperature of 68°F-82°F, and water hardness between 3 to 12 dKH are recommended.

They can be kept in tanks as small as 5 gallons, but a larger space with more water flow is always better. They feel more at ease when kept in a group of 5-7 fish.

A sponge filter is recommended for a Chili Rasbora tank as they are not strong swimmers and do not do well with a strong water current. A heater is also recommended to keep the water at a consistent temperature.

Setting Up Their Tank

At the bottom of the tank, go for a darker substrate, such as fine gravel or sand. This gives the aquarium a similar look to the leave-covered floors of blackwater ponds.

Regarding adding plants and driftwood, Java fern, Anubias, and Java moss are great options. The Boraras brigittae will surely appreciate the added foliage, as they love to swim through the leaves.

Adding peat moss or peat pellets to the water is recommended for Chili Rasboras. This tannin-filled water is believed to enhance the vibrancy of Chili Rasboras’ colors and reduce the levels of pathogens in the tank.

For the filtration, make sure to get a powerful filter. Small tanks may need a hang-on-back filter, while larger tanks require a powerful canister filter.

No matter which filter you choose, ensuring the water flow is low is important. Chili Rasboras need slow-moving water to stay happy, so avoid strong pumps.

Additionally, adding plants and driftwood helps reduce flow from the filter.

Potential Diseases

Chili Rasboras are generally hardy fish and relatively easy to take care of. However, like other fish, they can still be susceptible to illnesses and diseases. Knowing the signs of sickness in your fish is essential to catch and treat any issues early.

Common diseases that can affect Chili Rasboras include Ich, Fin Rot, and Velvet. Ich is a parasite that appears as tiny white spots on the fish’s body.

Fin rot is a bacterial infection that causes the fins and tail to disintegrate.

A parasite causes velvet and appears as tiny yellow or white spots on the fish. Keeping the water quality clean and stable is an essential preventive measure against diseases. Regular water changes and proper filtration can significantly reduce the risk of diseases and keep the fish healthy.

Additionally, quarantining new fish before introducing them to the tank can help prevent the spreading of diseases to the other fish.

If your Chili Rasboras show signs of illness, consult a veterinarian or a knowledgeable fish store employee for advice on appropriate treatment options.

Food & Diet

Chili Rasboras have small mouths that require tiny food particles, which makes feeding them relatively inexpensive for their owners.

In their natural habitat, they consume zooplankton, micro worms, and insect larvae, and live or frozen foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms are excellent supplements to their diet.

Additionally, they can consume flake or pellet foods appropriate for small-sized fish. Some fish enthusiasts recommend grinding down flakes or pellets to make them smaller.

Providing them with various food options is important to keep them healthy and active.

It’s also crucial to feed them small portions a few times a day to prevent water quality issues that can arise from overfeeding.

Behavior & Temperament

Chili Rasboras are sociable little fish that prefer to be kept in groups of five or more. They enjoy swimming and darting around the tank but can be shy and hide when startled or stressed.

It’s important to provide plenty of hiding places for them, such as plants or aquarium decorations, to make them feel secure. However, they can also be active and curious when comfortable.

These fish are very peaceful and can coexist with other peaceful species, and they are not aggressive and won’t bother any other tank mates. In fact, these tiny fish could easily become prey for larger, more aggressive fish.

Due to their small size, Chili Rasboras are not recommended to be kept with larger fish that may see them as a meal.

Overall, Chili Rasboras have a fun personality and bring a lot of energy to any aquarium they inhabit.

Tank Mates

When choosing tank mates for Chili Rasboras, it’s important to remember their small size and peaceful nature. Since they are such social creatures, keeping them in groups of at least ten individuals is best.

They are best with other small, non-aggressive fish that won’t compete with them for food or territory.

Some good tank mates for Chili Rasboras include other peaceful small fish like sparkling gouramis, pygmy corydoras, and neon tetras. Shrimp like cherry or amano shrimp can also make great additions to a Chili Rasbora tank, but it’s important to ensure the shrimp are a manageable size to be mistaken for food. Avoid keeping them with larger or more aggressive fish that might bully or harm them.

Chili Rasboras will thrive and show their full potential in a peaceful, vibrant community tank with the right tank mates.


Raising Chili Rasboras is a breeze, and it’s so easy that it’s almost too effortless. Once the environment is suitable for them, these fish will consistently lay eggs.

To preserve the spawn, set up a separate tank for breeding the Chili Rasboras. Unlike other fish, these Mosquito Rasboras are completely uninvolved with their offspring; they may even harm or consume the fry.

Mixing real plants or artificial grass at the bottom of your tank is a good idea.

When a female is ready to lay her eggs, she’ll distribute them across the bottom of the tank. Then, you need to remove the fish from the tank to give the eggs a chance to hatch.

The fry should hatch in a couple of days; for the first 24 hours, they will feed on the egg sac, then move on to tiny foods such as Infusoria. After approximately ten days, you can switch them to micro worms.


Suppose you’re drawn to their striking colors or intrigued by their ability to survive in blackwater biotopes. In that case, chili rasboras are an ideal choice for aquarists in the market for small fish.

To get the most out of your chili rasboras, ensure you have the right conditions: pristine water, a nutritious diet, and plenty of tankmates.

You’ll also get hours of entertainment with these feisty fish, plus a vibrant addition to your aquarium.