Scissortail Rasbora: Appearance, Lifespan, Size, Diet, Care, Tank Mates, Breeding & More

If you’re an aquarium enthusiast looking to add a unique and captivating fish to your tank, so Scissortail rasboras can be your choice.

Scissortail rasboras are easy to breed and care for, making them a beloved choice among aquarists. They are freshwater fish Originating from the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia and thrive in tropical environments with slow-moving water.

This post will delve into the appearance, lifespan, size, diet, care, tank mates, breeding, and more of this fascinating freshwater species. With all the factual data, you’ll be equipped to create a thriving and harmonious environment for your Scissortail Rasboras. So, let’s dive in and explore everything you need to know about these amazing fish.

The appearance of Scissortail Rasbora

Physical characteristics

The Scissortail Rasbora is a sleek and streamlined fish known for its deeply forked tail, which resembles an open pair of scissors. Most of their body is silver and iridescent, creating a shimmering effect under the right lighting. These fish have a sleek and slender body shape, resembling a dart as they zip through the water.

One of the most striking features of the Scissortail Rasbora is the black line that runs from behind the gills to the tail, accentuating their unique forked tail. The tips of both forks feature thick banded yellow, black, and white stripes, adding to their visual appeal. This unique coloration sets them apart from other freshwater fish species and makes them a popular choice among aquarists.

Average size


The average size of a Scissortail Rasbora is around three and a half inches in length. These fish are relatively small compared to other species, making them suitable for smaller aquariums. The males are slightly smaller and more slender than the females.

The size of a Scissortail Rasbora can vary depending on various factors such as genetics, diet, and tank conditions. As adults, they can grow up to 6 inches in length.

The lifespan of Scissortail Rasbora

The average lifespan of a Scissortail Rasbora is around five years, though, with proper care, they can live up to 7 years. Genetics certainly has a role to play in how long a fish can live, but remember the level of care you give them!  By providing proper care, you can enjoy the beauty of these fish in your aquarium for years to come.

Diet of Scissortail Rasbora

Feeding habits play a crucial role in the health and well-being of Scissortail Rasboras. In the wild, these fish primarily feed on invertebrates like insects.

When feeding Scissortail Rasboras in an aquarium, offering a varied diet is essential to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients. High-quality flake or pellet food should be the staple of their diet. Offer occasional feedings of live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, daphnia, or brine shrimp to provide variety and promote natural foraging behavior.

Feed your Scissortail Rasboras three times a day to keep them healthy and thriving. Regularly monitor their eating habits and adjust the amount of food accordingly, but overall give them food that they can consume in three minutes. Remove any uneaten food after feeding to maintain water quality and prevent overfeeding, which can lead to health issues.

A varied and balanced diet will help keep your Scissortail Rasboras vibrant and active in your aquarium.

Care of Scissortail Rasbora

Tank setup and requirements

When setting up a tank for Scissortail Rasboras, it is important to create an environment replicating their natural habitat. They prefer slow-moving water with low lighting, simulating their natural habitat; they also are fast swimmers that prefer to swim at the top of the tank. Here are some key considerations for tank setup:

  • Tank Size: Scissortail Rasboras require a minimum tank size of 20 gallons. However, larger tanks are recommended, especially if you want to house a community of fish.  Ensure that the tank is covered, as Scissortail Rasboras tend to jump when startled.
  • Lighting: Scissortail Rasboras are usually found in slow-moving waters with low lighting. To replicate this, use subdued lighting in the aquarium.
  • Substrate: Use darker substrates such as gravel or sand, which provide a good contrast to the silver coloration of the fish.
  • Decorations: When setting up the inside of their tank, focus on creating an open swimming space, as Scissortail Rasboras require ample room to swim. You can decorate the lower parts of the tank and its perimeter, providing some hiding places for the fish to explore. Adding live plants like java ferns and moneywort can also create a natural environment and help with water quality. Provide hiding spots for the fish with the help of driftwood, rocks, and broken clay pots.

It is important to consider the specific needs of your Scissortail Rasboras when setting up their tank to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Water parameters

Scissortail Rasboras are adaptable to most standard aquarium setups. It is important, however, to maintain stable water parameters to avoid causing stress to these fish. The pH range for Scissortail Rasboras is 6.0-7.0, with around 6.6 being ideal; water hardness should be around 2 to 12 dGH. Water temperature should be between 73-78°F (23-25°C), within the tropical range.

Regular water changes and the use of a good filter are necessary to keep the water clean and provide a soft current.

Tank Mates for Scissortail Rasbora

When choosing tank mates for your Scissortail Rasbora, it’s essential to consider their peaceful nature and the need for a harmonious community. They are peaceful and passive fish that thrive when kept in groups of at least six of their species.

They easily get along with other fish species, and bottom-dwellers like Corydoras catfish are recommended tank mates, as well as peaceful tetras and gouramis. These fish have similar temperament and water parameter requirements, creating a harmonious community tank.

It’s important to note that aggression and compatibility can vary among individual fish, so close observation when introducing new tank mates. Always research the specific needs and temperaments of any fish you plan to add to your Scissortail Rasbora tank.

Breeding Scissortail Rasbora


The breeding behaviors of Scissortail Rasboras are relatively simple, making them a popular choice for beginner fish breeders. These fish are egg scatterers, meaning they lay their eggs randomly throughout the tank. Breeding pairs can be formed by selecting a male and female from a group of Scissortail Rasboras. The male will display more intense colors during the breeding period.

Creating the right conditions in the tank is important to encourage breeding. Having a separate breeding tank with a handy mesh mat to catch those hatched little fishies is better. The pair should be conditioned with high-quality foods before being introduced to the breeding tank.  Ensure your breeding tank is half-filled with water and has a cool sponge-type filter.

To stimulate spawning, maintain the breeding tank in subdued lighting and replenish it with cool water every hour to maintain a steady temperature of 77°F. Additionally, adjust the pH level to achieve a slight acidity.

Once spawning occurs, the adults should be removed from the tank to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs will hatch within 24 hours. Providing them with infusoria or commercially available fry food will help them grow and develop.

Health concerns and common diseases

The Scissortail Rasbora is generally a hardy fish that is not prone to many health issues. However, like any other fish, they can be susceptible to certain ailments without proper care. Some potential health issues that can affect Scissortail Rasboras include:

  • Ich (White Spot Disease): This is a common parasitic infection that causes small white spots to appear on the fish’s body. It can be treated with medications available in pet stores or from a veterinarian.
  • Fin Rot: This is a bacterial infection that affects the fins of the fish, causing them to become ragged and frayed. It can be caused by poor water quality or aggressive tank mates. Treating the underlying cause and using medications can help cure Fin Rot.

Preventive measures

Take preventive measures to ensure the health and longevity of your Scissortail Rasbora; here are some key steps to follow:

  • Provide a suitable tank environment: Maintain good water quality by regularly testing and monitoring the parameters such as temperature, pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels. Perform regular water changes to keep the tank clean and stable.
  • Offer a balanced diet: Feed your Scissortail Rasbora a varied diet of high-quality commercially available fish foods, including flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods. Ensure the food is appropriate for their omnivorous diet.
  • Create a peaceful community tank: Choose compatible tank mates with similar water parameter requirements and peaceful temperaments. Avoid keeping aggressive or larger fish that may intimidate or harm the Scissortail Rasbora.
  • Avoid overstocking the tank: Provide ample swimming space for the Scissortail Rasbora by not overcrowding the tank. This will reduce stress and territorial conflicts among the fish.
  • Monitor for signs of illness: Regularly observe your fish for any signs of disease or distress, such as changes in behavior, appetite, or physical appearance. Promptly address any health issues by consulting with a veterinarian or a knowledgeable fish expert.

By following these preventive measures, you can help ensure the well-being and longevity of your Scissortail Rasboras in your aquarium.


How long do Scissortail Rasboras live?

Scissortail Rasboras have an average lifespan of about 5 to 7 years when kept in optimal conditions.

What size tank do Scissortail Rasboras need?

Scissortail Rasboras require a minimum tank size of 20 gallons to ensure they have enough swimming space.

What are suitable tank mates for Scissortail Rasboras?

Scissortail Rasboras are peaceful fish and can be kept with other community fish such as tetras, gouramis, and Corydoras catfish. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or large species that may bully or eat them.

Can Scissortail Rasboras be bred in captivity?

Yes, Scissortail Rasboras can be bred in captivity. They are relatively easy to breed.

Overall recommendations for Scissortail Rasbora owners

If you are considering owning a Scissortail Rasbora, here are some overall recommendations to ensure their well-being:

  • Tank Size: Provide a tank size of at least 20 gallons, with a 30-gallon tank being optimal for a small group of six fish. A longer tank with more swimming space is preferred to accommodate their active lifestyle.
  • Water Parameters: Maintain stable water conditions with a pH level of around 6.6, although they can tolerate a range of 6.0 to 7.0. Keep the water temperature between 73-78°F.
  • Tank Setup: Create an open swimming space for the Scissortail Rasboras by avoiding over-stuffing the tank with decorations. Include hiding places near the lower parts of the tank and its perimeter.
  • Diet: Provide a varied diet consisting of high-quality flake or pellet food, supplemented with live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia.
  • Tank Mates: Scissortail Rasboras are peaceful and compatible with other peaceful fish species like tetras, gouramis, and corydoras. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or fin-nipping fish.
  • Breeding: Breeding of this fish is relatively easy in captivity. Provide ample hiding places like plants or spawning mops, and separate the parents from the eggs to prevent predation.
  • Overall Care: Monitor water conditions, perform regular maintenance, and provide a stress-free environment to ensure the health and happiness of your Scissortail Rasboras.

Always research and consult with knowledgeable sources or professionals to ensure you provide the best care for your Scissortail Rasboras.