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Dwarf Rasbora

Dwarf Rasbora

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This tiny fish is extremely peaceful and is ideal for the nano aquarium.  It is even safe to keep with dwarf shrimp!

The Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus) is a strikingly beautiful nano fish that is very popular among aquarists due to its schooling behavior, peaceful disposition, and very small size. This schooling fish can be the highlight in any peaceful community aquarium and it is a particular standout in the planted aquarium. With optimal diet and care, many males of this species display bright ruby red coloration. This species is often confused with the very similar Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae) as well as other Boraras species. In fact, there is some debate among experts as to whether the different Boraras species are in fact separate species or rather just geographic variants of a single species. The Dwarf Rasbora is distinctive in its spotting as well as the bright ruby coloration that males often display.

The Dwarf Rasbora typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish. Due to its extra small size and peaceful demeanor, it can be safely kept with dwarf shrimp. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. The Dwarf Rasbora must be kept in schools of 6 or more, although much larger schools of 20+ are more ideal. The schooling behavior of a large group of this fish is fascinating. Its natural habitat typically has slow water flow and contains acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter. It requires very clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark substrate, especially where floating plants are present. It should not be kept with overly boisterous tankmates that will outcompete it during feeding.  

While not a picky eater, the Dwarf Rasbora will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of mostly carnivorous foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and live, frozen, or freeze-dried Artemia, microworms, Tubifex, and finely chopped bloodworms will all be readily accepted.  

What We Like About This Fish:

  • Interesting schooling behavior, expecially in very large schools
  • Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates including dwarf shrimp
  • Very active and noticeable fish in any aquarium
  • Ideal for nano and planted aquariums


  • Temperature: 68 - 82.4° F (20°-28° C)
  • pH: 4.0 - 7.0, acidic water is preferred
  • KH: 3 - 12 dKH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons


  • Diet: Micropredator. Will easily accept high quality dry and frozen foods of appropriate size. Requires a varied diet for optimal health and coloration.
  • Social Behavior: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.
  • Origin: Malaysia, Thailand, Sumatra, Singapore, and surrounding areas
  • Average Adult Size: .8 - 1 inches (2 - 2.5 cm)
  • Average Purchase Size: .5 inch (1.3 cm)