10 Different Types Of Rasbora (& How To Care For Them)

Rasboras are freshwater carp fishes that come from various areas around Southeast Asia. They are some of the most beautiful, colorful, and peaceful nanofish to have in a home aquarium. There are many types of rasbora to pick from, so it’s a good idea to study the various species before having them as your own.

Almost all are omnivorous, with some species preferring more meat in their diets than vegetation. Because these are definite schooling fish, they thrive best in groups. This reduces nervousness, stress and provides a sense of security.

A Quick List of the Different Rasbora Types

  • Blackline
  • Chili
  • Clown
  • Exclamation Point
  • Fire
  • Glowlight
  • Harlequin
  • Neon Green
  • Phoenix
  • Scissor Tail

What Are the Different Types Of Rasbora?

There are several genera of rasboras with over 350 species. The ones listed here are the best for home aquariums.

Blackline Rasbora 

A peaceful, robust, and hardy fish, the Blackline Rasbora, or Rasbora Borapetensis, can live with other temperate breeds. They are a schooling fish, congregating in a tight group that darts back and forth. So, there should be at least six.


Blacklines are silver with a dark brown or black lateral stripe. This starts at the gill opening and runs to the base of the right red caudal fin. Above that is a gold bar. Blacklines can live for up to seven years.

Habitat & Diet

These fishes come from the areas around Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, and beyond. They prefer shallow, slow-flowing water with lots of plants in ditches, ponds, canals, swamps, drains, and reservoirs.

These rasboras eat a balance of both vegetation and meat. In captivity, they accept flakes, pellets, and granules, as well as meats like artemia, tubifex, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and daphnia.

  • Care Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • pH: 6.5 to 7.0
  • Hardness: five to 12
  • Temperature: 71°F to 79°F (21.7°C to 26.1°C)
  • Size: almost 2½” long
  • Tank Size: 10 to 15 gallons

Chili Rasbora 

Chili Rasboras, or Boraras Brigittae, are the least ideal for a community tank because of their small size and timid nature. However, when kept with others like them, they’re peaceful and easy to care for. Chilies prefer to be in a school with at least 10 fish and can live for up to eight years.


These fish have reddish bodies with a dark stripe on the side. An intense red bar sits above this stripe, creating a gorgeous contrast. They also have red highlights on their anal and dorsal fins.

Habitat & Diet

They come from Borneo with a love for blackwater environments in places like swamps, streams, rivers, and pools. This means they love tannin-rich waters with leaves, twigs, and branches.

They aren’t picky eaters but like a varied diet. This should include high-quality pellets, crushed flakes, and meats like bloodworms, cyclops, and brine shrimp. 

  • Care Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • pH: 4.5 to 7.5
  • Hardness: three to eight
  • Temperature: 74°F to 82°F (23.3°C to 27.8°C)
  • Size: just over ½” long
  • Tank Size: five to 10 gallons

Clown Rasbora

Clown Rasboras, also called Rasbora Kalochroma, are very peaceful and love being in groups of eight to 10. These are great in a community tank so long as their mates are about the same size and temperament. However, males will be aggressive from time to time.


They are pinkish-red and have two large, dark splotches on their bodies. One is behind the gill cover, and the other is on the middle area of the flank, between the anal and dorsal fins. Some species have a row of spot-like markings that connect the two dark splotches.

Habitat & Diet

Clowns come from places like the Malay Peninsula and the Greater Sunda Islands. They love acidic and soft streams, rivers, and peat swamps. So, their environment should be tannin-rich. This also means they love shady, low-light situations.

They can live for up to five years and enjoy a meat-heavy diet. Things like frozen or live daphnia, bloodworms, and artemia, along with granules, freeze-dried foods, and dried flakes are good.

  • Care Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • pH: 5.0 to 7.5
  • Hardness: two to 10
  • Temperature: 73°F to 82°F (22.8°C to 27.8°C)
  • Size: up to four inches
  • Tank Size: 60 gallons

Exclamation Point Rasbora 

Although a very peaceful and hardy fish, Exclamation Point Rasboras, or Boraras Urophthalmoides, don’t do well in a community tank. Aquarists should maintain them alone or with other breeds that are similar in size or smaller.

They do best in a school of eight or more and can live for up to eight years. Males will aggressively compete for females, but they also display some of their best colors when they’re in this excited state.


Exclamation Points have golden yellow bodies with a dark green or brown stripe along the sides that ends just behind the dorsal fin. There’s also a distinct round dark blotch on the caudal peduncle. The placement of these markings resembles an exclamation point, hence the name. Some actually develop an intense orange-red line above the lateral stripe.

Habitat & Diet

They come from the southern peninsula of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. They love the water in rice paddies, marshes, ponds, swamps, and peat bogs; anywhere that has heavy vegetation. This means the water is slightly acidic, soft, and tannic.

In captivity, they eat micro pellets and crushed flakes along with daphnia, brine shrimp, artemia, cyclops, and bloodworms.

  • Care Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Hardness: eight to 12
  • Temperature: 76°F to 82°F (24.4°C to 27.8°C)
  • Size: up to one inch
  • Tank Size: 10 to 15 gallons or more

Fire Rasbora

Fire Rasboras, also known as Rasboroides Vaterifloris, are very timid. For security, they need a group of eight or more and best kept on their own. If there are other breeds that are equal in size and peacefulness, they will flourish well. They have a lifespan as long as five years.


Fire Rasboras are small, slender, and oval with a forked caudal fin. They have pale orange bodies with rich red in the fins. Their body and fin colors can vary depending on their native habitat.

Body color can range from blue to red, and the fins can be several colors. But, orange, yellow and red are most desirable. Some will even have a blue sheen on their flanks.

Habitat & Diet

Fire Rasboras hail from the southwestern area of Sri Lanka. They inhabit clear, slow-moving, and shallow streams, lakes, and river basins. These places have silt or sand substrates covered in leaves, twigs, and branches. Because these areas rest under forest canopies, Fire Rasboras love the shade and low-light situations.

They thrive best on a well-rounded diet with granules and flakes. But, they should also have daphnia, bloodworms, and artemia.

  • Care Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • pH: 5.5 to 7.0
  • Hardness: two to 10
  • Temperature: 76°F to 84°F (24.4°C to 28.9°C)
  • Size: up to 1½”
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons

Glowlight Rasbora

Although small, the Glowlight Rasbora, otherwise known as Trigonostigma Hengeli, is an eye-catching addition to a peaceful community tank. They have an exciting, engaging, and fast-paced lifestyle that’s entertaining to observe. They should stay in a school of eight or more with plenty of plants.

Appearance & Lifespan

Glowlights have colors ranging from ivory to pinky-blush orange or coral. They have a distinct lemon yellow color on their fins with a brilliant neon orange stripe above a thin black marking on the back. Unfortunately, they have a short lifespan compared to other rasboras and only live for up to three years.

Habitat & Diet

They live in the area between the Malay Peninsula into Singapore along with the Greater Sunda Islands, Borneo, Thailand, and Cambodia. In the wild, massive schools will fill an entire stream. Heavy vegetation with slightly acidic, calm, and soft water is their ideal habitat. The water should also have a yellowish-brown color, provided by tannins from wood and leaves.

They enjoy meaty meals of bloodworms, artemia, and daphnia, along with quality flakes and granules.

  • Care Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Hardness: one to 15
  • Temperature: 73°F to 82°F (22.8°C to 27.8°C)
  • Size: no more than three centimeters
  • Tank Size: 10 to 20 gallons

Harlequin Rasbora

A peaceful, hardy, small, and playful fish, Trigonostigma Heteromorpha, better known as Harlequin Rasboras, have been a hobbyist’s favorite for over 100 years. They make great community tank members, so long as their roommates aren’t aggressive. It’s best to keep Harlequins in a school or six or more, and they can live for up to five years.


Harlequins have a black triangle-like shape beginning at the dorsal fin and continuing to the tail. All fins line with red amid orange-silver bodies.

Habitat & Diet

These fish come from southern Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore Sumatra. The ideal environment is one with slow-flowing water that’s soft, calm, lowly acidic, and neutral. The water also has a low mineral content with high concentrations of humic acids. They love plants and shade.

Harlequins enjoy a wide range of foods like flakes, pellets, daphnia, and bloodworms.

  • Care Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • pH: 5.5 to 7.0
  • Hardness: two to 15
  • Temperature: 72°F to 80°F (22.2°C to 26.7°C)
  • Size: up to 2”
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons

Neon Green Rasbora 

Neon Green Rasboras, also called Microdevario Kubotai, are peaceful and hardy. This makes them great additions to well-planted aquariums in schools of eight to 10. The larger the school, the less nervous they will be and can live up to seven years.

They aren’t always good for a community tank because of their timidity, so they should either stay alone or with other breeds that are equally timid and peaceful. They require a home with lots of plants and don’t like too much light.


Neon Green Rasboras have gray-olive bodies with green-yellow iridescence. They also have a metallic-looking yellow-gold lateral stripe with translucent dorsal and anal fins.

Habitat & Diet

They come from several areas around Thailand and southern Myanmar. This means they love calm to moderate water movement with plenty of plants, driftwood, vegetation, and a rocky substrate.

These fish are not picky eaters and accept flakes, granules, and pellets. But, some meat should also be in their diet, like brine shrimp, daphnia, insect larvae, and bloodworms. They also like blanched greens like zucchini, kale, and lettuce.

  • Care Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • pH: 5.5 to 7.5
  • Hardness: four to eight
  • Temperature: 72°F to 82°F (22.2°C to 27.8°C)
  • Size: just over ½” but some say 2”
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
betta care facebook group

Phoenix Rasbora

Phoenix Rasboras, or Boraras Merah, are very stunning fish with a calm disposition. But, they aren’t ideal for community tanks because of their shyness. If housed with other timid fish, they’ll be fine. But anything bigger or more aggressive will cause them to flee and hide. They do best in groups of eight or more.


Phoenixes have black spots all over their bodies with a bright orange-red color base. But the more vibrant aspects are around the spots. The rest of the body has a dull gray color that fades into a transparent shade when it gets closer to the fins.

There are some red markings at the ends of the fins with a black spot in the center of the body. Whereas other species have one continuous stripe down the sides, Phoenixes have this broken up.  The males display their best colors when battling for females.

Habitat & Lifespan

Their home is in Borneo and they love a heavily planted, low-light environment with a soft, sandy substrate. Phoenixes love blackwater, which means their environment should be tannin-rich with plenty of branches, twigs, and leaves.


They can live up to five years and have hearty appetites. While not fussy, they thrive on a well-varied diet of meaty foods like tubifex, daphnia, microworms, bloodworms, and artemia. But they should also have dried flakes, pellets and granules.

  • Care Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • pH: 4.0 to 7.0
  • Hardness: three to 12
  • Temperature: 68°F to 82°F (20°C to 27.8°C)
  • Size: no more than ¾ of an inch
  • Tank Size: five to 10 gallons

Scissor Tail Rasbora 

Scissor Tail Rasboras, also called Rasbora Trilineata, make beautiful community tank members. They have no particular water parameter demands, so they can house with fish like Tetras, Loaches, Rainbowfish, and even Catfish. They are very social, so they must have at least six in a school. Their colors enhance when in the presence of their own kind.


These streamlined fish have a sleek, transparent body with a deep fork tail that looks like an open pair of scissors, hence the name. Scissor Tails have a distinct bar on their caudal fins which accentuate the tail. There’s also a horizontal black line running from the gills to the tail with a silvery iridescence sparkling like glitter.


With a lifespan of up to seven years, Scissor Tail Rasboras are native to Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Borneo, and the Greater Sunda Islands. They love fast-flowing rock-covered streams or sluggish swampy blackwater. They’re happy in clear or tannin-rich water.

They love to swim in open areas, and they’re quite the jumpers. This means they need to have a cover on their tank to contain their activity.


Scissor tails enjoy almost any diet but prefer live food. It’s advisable to give them quality dry flakes and granules as well as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.

  • Care Level: Beginner
  • pH: 5.0 to 8.0
  • Hardness: two to 12
  • Temperature: 73° F to 78° F (22.8° C to 25.6° C)
  • Size: up to three inches
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons


What Is The Smallest Rasbora?

There are several tiny rasboras. The Glowlight and Dwarf species don’t get any larger than three centimeters. The other is Boraras Micros, and they don’t get much bigger than one or two centimeters.

Will Different Rasboras School Together?

Different rasboras will school together. But, certain species restrict schooling to others of their own kind. There’s no hard rule for this, and it’s difficult to say which ones will school together. It seems to occur on an individuated basis.

How Many Rasboras Should Be Kept Together?

Because rasboras are schooling fish, they have to have a minimum of six buddies to stay happy. More is better, but at the very least, six. As a general rule, the smaller they are in size, the more friends they should have.

(Find out about 12 more great aquarium catfish.)


Rasboras are some of the most adorable, vibrant, and lively fish to have in a home aquarium. They’re often very peaceful and most happy when schooling with others of their own species. When they’re thriving and well-fed, they produce beautiful colors.

But, there are many different kinds of these fish, and not all of them are good for beginners. That said, most are excellent for newbies and are fairly easy to keep.