A basic guide to keeping Rasboras.

Common names

•    Harlequin
•    Scissortail
•    Elegant Rasbora
•    Red-tail Rasbora

Geographical origin

South East Asia, India

Aquarium condition requirements for your Rasboras

Minimum aquarium size - the smaller species of Rasboras can be kept in a 450mm x 250mm x 250mm (18” x 10” x 10”) aquarium. A tank 900mm x 380mm x 300mm (36” x 15” x 12”) is suitable for the larger species such as the Scissortail and Sumatrana. Aquariums should have well fitting lids and cover glasses as these fish can jump extremely well.

Temperature - ideal temperature is around 20oC/68oF, but fish are quite happy at higher or lower temperatures.

Habitat - Rasboras prefer a well planted community tank, with a gravel substrate and water movement particularly from the outlet of an internal filter.

Water parameters - Rasboras are tolerant of soft and hard water. Will generally only breed in soft acid water. Water change of approximately 25% each week is beneficial. Plants:all species of tropical plants are acceptable. they are not plant eaters.

Two species are regarded as difficult to keep for the inexperienced aquarist; Rasbora kalachroma and Rasboroides vaterifloris, both of which generally only thrive in soft acid water. Unless you can provide these conditions, they are best avoided.

Rasboras’ behaviour with other fish

Generally active fish that are best kept in a shoal of at least six fish. Not aggressive towards one another or to tank mates. Rasboras generally are a good beginners’ fish.


Omnivorous. Rasboras will accept dried, frozen and all types of live food (e.g. Daphnia, mosquito larvae). Do not overfeed. Many problems can be caused by overfeeding (pollution of water by decaying food).

Rasboras’ health

Generally not over susceptible to white spot and fungus. Only select Rasboras that are alert and swimming with fins erect.Inspect carefully for signs of disease. Reject lethargic, damaged or hollow bellied specimens.

Habitat - freshwater tropical aquarium

Sociability - good

Care - easy (except Rasbora kalachroma and Rasboroides vaterifloris)

The Pet Owners Association are grateful to the Federation of British Aquatic Societies for the above information and image.