Max Size: 6cm

Cardinal Brachyrhaphis (Brachyrhaphis roseni)

Cardinal Brachys are not often found in the aquarium hobby; however, they are an active, fast-swimming boisterous and Robust fish with interesting behaviours and dynamic personalities.

Cardinal Brachys are best kept in a species-only aquarium or with fish of a similar temperament as they can be nippy and will go after other fish, including Corydoras Catfish. Males aggressively court females, and even females will occasionally spar.

These fish are relatively simple to look after and are incredibly hardy. However, it would be best to keep these fish in groups of at least six individuals as they are schooling fish and make sure you have more females than males.

Cardinal Brachys are better suited to the more experienced or advanced aquarists due to their occasional aggressive nature and cannibalistic behaviours.

Cardinal Brachys have a pale brown body colour, and the dorsal fin on both the male and the female is orangey-red and is banded with black. Females also have an orange hue on the front of the anal fin, accompanied by a black bar running from the body to the bottom edge of the fin.

The males sport a black bar that runs down the body along the top of its two-toned yellow and black gonopodium. In addition, both sexes have seven or eight faint stripes going vertically along the anterior part of their body, and their scales are edged in black, displaying a lace-like pattern. The conflicting black and orange markings on this fish make it one of the more colourful wild-type livebearers available.


Cardinal Brachyrhaphis
Cardinal Brachyrhaphis
Cardinal Brachyrhaphis
Quick Facts
Scientific NameBrachyrhaphis roseni
Other NamesCardinal Brachy, Olomina
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.0
GH5 - 20
71 - 86℉
21.7 - 30℃


In the home aquarium, the Cardinal Brachyrhaphis will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively simple to distinguish males from female Cardinal Brachys. Males are slimmer, have a red dorsal fin, a gonopodium and are also slightly smaller than females. In contrast, females are larger, lack the gonopodium, and their dorsal and caudal fins are edged with an iridescent whitish blue.

Other Livebearers of interest

Dusky Millions Fish(Phalloceros caudimaculatus)
Humpbacked Limia(Limia nigrofasciata)
Merry Widow Livebearer(Phallichthys amates)
Mollies(Poecilia Sphenops)
Platies(Xiphophorus maculatus, Xiphophorus variatus)
Spotted Skiffia Multipunctata(Skiffia Multipunctata)
View all Livebearers
Date Added: 30/04/2021 11:48:18 - Updated: 11/08/2022 16:02:43