Chili Rasbora

Chili Rasbora – A Complete guide and its Care


Have an idea to add Chili Rasbora to your cute collection? If so, it will add blast-like colors to that low-light aquarium. The name Chili Rasbora came in because these small cuties look just like chili’s swimming and floating around. Many beautiful and colorful fishes are in the rasbora family which can be added to tropical freshwater aquariums. Being a Borneo native, adding it to your collection would be a great decision. They make the whole tank atmosphere peaceful and a great visual treat for our eyes. Bonus, they are great social ones getting along easily with other inmates and friendly invertebrates. Join us in this whole journey, where we try our best to explain every possible detail on feeding them, tank setup, habitat, usual tank fellows, and much more.

Species Overview

The Chili Rasbora (Scientifically- Boraras Brigittae) is just like a cute Nano toddler who runs and swims happily around schools. Being attractive, they also have stunning awesome personality traits. Simply, it is all a wholesome package in a neatly packed tiny package. Chili Rasbora, also known as Mosquito Rasbora, is native to Borneo – Southwest Indonesia. They are one of the smallest tropical fish found in home aquariums. When taken good care of, the males glow out in bright ruby-red color which is a delight for the eyes. Described originally by Dieter Vogt in 1973, Chili Rasbora is named Rasbora Brigitte after his wife Mrs. Brigitte. Chili Rasbora is not a true Rasbora, so was moved to the Boraras genus in 1993. They are usually easy to be taken care of, but if taken better care they would perform to their full potential. Chilies usually live 4-8 years in betta tank conditions. It is cost-efficient and being rarer, Chilies are available easily online compared to retail stores and sellers. Usually, a school of 10 fishes costs $3 -$5 range.

Factors To Consider

  • Experience Required: Freshwater fish keeping and Nano aquariums.
  • Nicknames: Mosquito Rasbora due to mosquito island origin.
  • Color Forms: Ruby red or deep orange with black lateral lines.
  • Size: roughly around 0.70-0.78 inches.
  • Tank Size: Better if the tank is 5+ gallons.
  • Tank Temperature: 77°F to 82°F.

Chili Rasbora Appearance

A single glance and shows why these cute water chilies are beloved by fish keepers and aquatic enthusiasts. Each chili Rasbora fish reaching around only 0.70 – 0.78 inches, they are one of the tiniest Nano fishes. But their stunning beauty cancels up all those defects. The strongest feature is their bright-colored body. Their trade name Boraras Brigitte is because Chili Rasbora takes on a cool but hot fiery red hue of the color palette. The whole body is covered mainly in Red and Pink shades. The red coloration is most vibrant on the stripes that run across throughout their whole body like Stripes of fire. Sorry ladies, but male Rasboras are more vibrantly red-colored than their female mates. The Red stripes are usually accompanied by a thick black stripe that runs along the streamlined body. The Black stripe is present just below the Red one making a contrast and striking pair together. They also have small dark spots on their dorsal and nasal fins. They are shaped like a torpedo and swim in a streamlined pattern. Males are more colorful and vivid than their female partners and during the mating time, they become more colorful to attract female mates. Male and females are differentiated by the difference in their color, body shape, and size. Male has a wide color ranging from ruby to cherry red. Bodies of males are more like a bullet due to their streamlined shape and less wide width. Females are dull compared to males and are confused with other colored fishes like the Phoenix Rasbora. Female Chili Rasboras are larger and rounder, their color range from cherry-red to dusk orange. During the mating time, the party gets more intense in the tank as the males turn more vivid in colors attracting the females. Females in return, develop larger bellies to carry out their eggs to be fertilized.

Chilli Rasbora Color Varieties

Red and black

  • Most common variety with red scales on top followed by the black scales.
  • Four fins are present and each fin matches their scale color. 

Orange and black

  • Found only on the female.
  • Similar to their male mates but the scales are orange in color followed by black scales down immediately.
  • Orange chilies are mistaken for Phoenix Rasbora many times.

Chili Rasbora Lifespan

The average Chili Rasbora lifespan is 4 to 8 years which is quite solid. It may be affected if not taken care of properly. Pro tip: To improve the lifespan of your dear fishes, it is usually advised to have good water in a clean and well-lit tank. Also better to change the water (25%) once every 2 to 4 weeks.

Chili Rasbora Size

On average, Chili Rasbora grows 0.7 to 0.78 inches (18mm) long, so they are great fishes to have on small tanks. They are great and cute Nano fishes of beautiful colors.

The Behaviour Of Chili Rasbora

Chili Rasbora is a fun, cool, and peace-loving breed. They are also good at schooling. Mostly, they swim around the upper and middle parts of the tank. In their natural habitat, chili Rasbora prefers to hide in the dark moss plants. So, in tanks too, they enjoy schooling around dark plants and the bottom of the tank.

Chili Rasbora Care

Chili Rasbora belongs to the tropics of Borneo, mainly on streams and creeks. Underwater plants help them by blocking the light and providing shelter for them. These places help them to hide and protect from other predatory fishes Chili Rasbora is acidophilic, so it is great when dead plant materials increase in water and make water more acidic.  The three main aspects in setting up a tank for Chili Rasbora are 

  • Darkness
  • Warmth
  • Acidic

Tank Setup for Chili Rasbora

Chili Rasbora is a true Nano fish. They can easily fit on a small 5-gallon tank. In their natural habitats, chili Rasbora is found in dark and black water streams. So it is better to add some dark moss plants and dark ornaments at the bottom of the tank. Bottom layering can be done using a fine gravel mixture. They prefer low lighting conditions inside the tank. But if they are accompanied by other photophobic mates, medium light would be sufficient. Adding live plants will also make it a great hiding place for these cute little creatures.

Aquarium size

Usually, a 5-gallon tank will find a school of 6-10 easily. Chili Rasbora is a creature and prefers living in a social circle of their mates. When a school of more than 10 are in the tank, They are much less likely to hide under plants and mosses. So it is easy to spot them swimming around the upper and middle part of the tank. They prefer slow currents. Any high-pressure streams would make it stressed and fatigue. So, it is more advised to use a sponge filter in your tank, if you are considering adding them in your tank.

Water quality

Chili Rasbora is a native of backwater and ponds. Still, they love this kind of water in tanks. It is one of the major factors that keep them healthy inside the tank. In natural habitats, the water they live in passes through mosses, forests,s and wild twigs. This water is usually soft. The pH of the water will be around 4.0, which makes it highly acidic. So, it is highly important to maintain the pH around 4.0 in your tank after introducing them inside the tank. Anything above 6.0-7.0 pH would cause damage to these Nano fishes. It may also affect their breeding.


Chili Rasbora is a tropical type. This is because their origin in Borneo is just above the Equator. The temperature inside the tank must be maintained at around 80-86 ℉. The temperature must not fall below 76-78℉
Low temperature will cause infections and fin rot in them. Adding a heater to the tank will be a great idea. This will help to maintain a standard temperature inside the tank. 


The bottom must be of the dark and fine substrate of gravel. Aquatic plants and live floating plants will be great hiding and breeding places for these creatures. A lot of moss plants are found in their natural habitats. The addition of Java moss or Anubias Nana would be a good deal. This would also help oxygenate the tank. Moss plant provides a dark color at the base of the tank which is highly loved by these fishes. To know more about Creative Fish Tank Decorative ideas.


Filtration, lighting, and proper water flow play a huge role in Chili Rasbora maintenance. Naturally, they live in gentle streams in the wild, so usually, it would be better to have a mild pump inside the tank. Sponge filters can also be used to control water flow. Adding floating plants will also help in maintaining the lighting inside the tank. They likes to hide and play alongside floating plants and mosses. It would always be preferable to invest in Dimmable LED for tank lighting. This helps you adjust lighting according to the fish type inside the tank.

Chili Rasbora Aquascaping

Aquascaping is the way of arranging rocks, plants, stones, driftwood, and other decorations in the tank. Rasboras are very likely to be found on open surfaces of the water. This is the reason they can easily be spotted in the upper and middle parts of an aquarium. Boraras Brigittae is natives of streams, rivers, and swamps of the tropical region. They are usually filled with many plants and weed-like growths that act as a great hiding place for the Rasbora. This is why Chili Rasbora loves to have plants and floating material below the tank. Also, their habitats are with dark soil. So, they prefers to have dark gravel at the bottom. The Aqua scrape should always be made of Dark-Substrate material. The gravel particles must also be of smaller size. Medium and larger size gravel can be excluded. Sand removed from bigger rocks can also be used as gravel. Along with this, plants can also be added to give a more natural-looking aquarium atmosphere. Pebbles, Few bigger rocks, Driftwoods, and Logs can also be used to make it more natural. We recommend using live plants rather than plastic ones. Live plants are more organic and Chili Rasbora can feed on them. Live plants also help remove few toxins from the tank and improve the oxygen content. These plants will act as a barrier and reduce the stream strength if you are having a stronger filter. Rasbora would love to play around with these plants along with its schoolmates. Plants grow depending upon the various lighting conditions. Some plants grow both in low-Light conditions and Bright-light conditions.  Plants that grow in lower-light conditions are 

  • Anubias.
  • Java Fern.
  • Java moss, etc.

Plants that grow in Brighter light conditions are 

  • Vallisneria.
  • Swords.
  • Guppy Grass.
  • Moneywort, etc…

Select the plants according to your tank lighting conditions. This will help them grow much faster and efficiently. The essentials for Chili Rasbora Aquascaping are 

  • Black or Brown Gravel (Fine).
  • Live plants.
  • Decorative rocks and pebbles.
  • Logs and Driftwoods.

 Having plants along with a darker substrate will bring out the radiating colors of this cute little Rasbora. You can also add Almond leaves at the base of the tank. Almond leaves release Tannins and a few other organic matters which helps fishes to glow more vibrant. This will also keep them healthier.

Chili Rasbora Tankmates

Chili Rasbora is found in tropical regions. So, they prefer most of the tank mates to be from the tropical region. In their wild habitat, they are found with other Boraras and Rasbora. Chili Rasbora goes along with Phoenix Rasbora and Pygmy Rasbora in the wild. Chili Rasbora is a Nano fish. So, it likes to be around smaller fishes. They can also go along with other smaller invertebrates like Dwarf Shrimps. But, when larger fishes are added inside the tank, it would cause them stress and fear. Larger Fishes also steal their food, leaving Rasbora starving. Sometimes Larger Fishes also feed on this small Rasbora. If you are planning to keep Rasbora in your aquarium, keep note of the inmates also.

Inmates suitable for Rasbora

  • Neon Tetra.
  • Dwarf Shrimp.
  • Otocinclus.
  • Cory Catfish.
  • Pearl danios.
  • Sparkling Gouramis.
  • Chocolate Gourami.
  • Wood Shrimp.
  • Amano Shrimp.
  • Cherry Shrimp.
  • Micro GlassFish.
  • Guppies.
  • Zebra Danio.
  • Pearl Danio. 

These fishes can be kept as inmates for Chili Rasbora. Chili Rasbora is very shy and always likes to be in Schools. Chili Rasbora is peace-loving fishes. So, try not to avoid fishes that are more aggressive and violent inside the tank.

fishes to avoid growing with Chili Rasbora

Since Chili Rasbora is Tropical fishes, they love warm water conditions. So, adding temperate fishes would make both suffer in concern with temperature. This is the reason we don’t suggest some calm-loving temperate fishes like Goldfish, White Clods, and few other Nano fishes of temperate origin.

How Many Chili Rasboras to grow per gallon?

Usually, A couple of Chili Rasbora can be grown per Gallon of water. But Chili Rasbora would love to be at least in a School of Six. They are very delicate. So, it will cause huge stress if they are grown at 5 or less. A 5 Gallon Tank would be necessary to have a School of Six Chili Rasbora. Chili Rasbora is a Nano fish and loves to be in Schools of their own variety. They also go along great with Schools of other Nano fishes. To keep them happier, you can have a School of 20 or more Chili Rasbora in a bigger Aquarium.

Chili Rasbora Diet

Chili Rasbora loves to keep small food and small prey in their diet. Chili Rasbora love to feed on small Insects, Small Worms, Micro Planktons and Tiny Shrimps when they are in the wild, The same diet can be followed when the Chili Rasbora are kept in an Aquarium. Along with the wild feeding, smaller pellets and Fish flakes can also be added to the diet. Chili Rasbora loves to hunt live prey in the wild. Live Shrimps and water Fleas can be fed live for chili Rasbora to hunt. Apart from being vegan, Chili Rasbora loves to feed on the Algae growing on tank sides and over plant leaves. They can also be fed Frozen food. Chili Rasbora can feed on dried Macroinvertebrates and frozen Worms. But, it is always much preferable to feed live prey. This will help them feel like being in the wild and hunting as a group. While Feeding Pellets, make sure to crush them into smaller pieces. Most Nano fishes cannot feed on larger pellets. You can also ask for pellets made specifically for Nano fishes in your nearby fish store. Chili Rasbora goes hunting in the early mornings and evenings. So, feed them twice in the morning and evening. Feeding twice like this will make them feel like hunting in their natural schedule. They are omnivorous. So, Chili Rasbora loves to feed on live Blood worms and Chopped MicroWorms.

Chili Rasbora Diet

The best food choices for Chili Rasbora are 

  • Crushed Pellets (small).
  • Blood Worms.
  • Brine Shrimps.
  • Frozen Micro Invertebrates (Dried).
  • Water Fleas
  • Tubifex Worm.
  • Cyclops.
  • Copepods. 

Apart from food, they must also be supplemented with supplements. Their supplements are 

  • Algae.
  • Tank Grown Plants.
  • Plant and Organic Materials.

During the larval stage, they must be fed food with high protein and nutrient content. So, they must be fed with 

  • Paramecium.
  • Some Protista members.

These help newborn Chili Rasbora to grow faster and stronger during the infantry period.

Chili Rasbora Behaviour

Chili Rasbora is Nano fishes and they like to move around in a group. Usually, they are found in a School of 6 or more in tanks. It is advised to keep about 6 to 15 in a school. They are timider when less in number. But, I will be very active when the group is bigger. They usually don’t like to be around larger fishes in the wild. So, inside the tank too, it is necessary to keep them away from bigger fishes. Just like any animal in the wild, Chili Rasbora will be feared and will run away while encountering bigger predatory fishes. This will make them more restless and fatigued. They can also be spotted among the plants on the lower part of the tank. Also, just like in the wild, They loves to come out during Early Mornings and the Late Dusks. This is their daily hunting time in the wild (The Sun Rise and Sun Set). Rasbora set this time for hunting as the in wild predators would not come often. So, this will help them from becoming prey for other predatory fishes. During their mating time, Rasborian males become more aggressive to find females and fight with others for the males to breed. They also fight to keep hold of territory in the rule. These calm little creatures fight like a dragon when it comes to mating or owning a territory. And like humans, the male Chili Rasbora does some acrobatics and stunts just to impress their female mates. The Male with more dominance and ability will choose to mate with female fishes of the clan.T

Chili Rasbora Breeding

Chili Rasbora is a very active breeder. They love to breed and are seen excited during their mating times. If your tank has a school of both male and female Chili Rasbora, then you don’t have to worry about the breeding process. Chili Rasbora mates many times during the year. During this time, the male Rasbora turns more Vibrant to attract the female pairs. Female Rasbora is seen with larger bellies than normal during the mating time. At the time of breeding, Male Rasbora will fight with other Rasbora for territorial domination. The fish with the most number of territories will have the most number of partners. Dominant Male will get the most fertile female to mate. Female Rasbora selects a male to mate. Once mating is over, Female Rasbora will be ready to lay eggs. At a time, a female Rasbora can lay up to 50 eggs in 2-3 days. It is better to take the female fishes to a breeding tank for laying eggs. A breeding tank is a separate tank to lay eggs and grow the fish lings. It will have conditions less harsh and suitable for the cute little eggs to hatch. On a Chili Rasbora Breeding Tank, you can keep Najas Grass and Java moss for the female to lay eggs on. These females will find suitable areas on the plant leaves and will lay their eggs. The eggs are very delicate. You can make them secure by adding leaf fitters on top of the eggs. Once done with laying eggs, the fishes can be transferred to the original tank. Usually, the eggs will hatch within 2 days of laying. They will have enough nutrients within the egg yolk for 2 to 3 days. After a couple of days, you can feed them with crushed micro pellets and smaller live prey. For the first 10 days, they can be fed the smaller pellets, later they can be fed with the normal Rasbora food menu. After a month, they will grow from the fry stage to a slightly grown-up version. At this time, they can be added to the main tank with other Rasbora. It would be beautiful and emotional to see these small little ones meeting their bigger tank mates for the first time.

Final Words To Rasborians

Chili Rasbora is a true Nano fish and is fun to have around in your tank. They also don’t require much care when compared to other Nano Fishes. But still, you need some experience to grow these tropical cuties. They will radiate vibrant colors which is always a delight to watch for. They also play hide and seek among the plants whare has harsh a never-miss events to watch. Unless or until the water quality is good and fed properly, they will love to be around your tanks as a dozen in your tank. If you have never kept a Tropical fish, but wish to keep one then you can start with the Chili Rasbora. They will be swift, shy but loyal and just like other fish breeds, they will also grow with you alongside happily. So, that was our complete guide on Chili Rasbora, its care, and much more. We have tried our best to give answers to all your queries in this blog. We hope this article has helped you clear all your queries about growing Rasbora in your Aquarium. Comment below and tell us what you liked the most in Chili Rasbora and Why? If you liked this post do share it with your friends and family. Cause sharing is caring. See ya! Until then, keep growing your aquarium!

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