Maximum size : 2.5 cm

Dwarf Rasbora - Boraras maculatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Step into the captivating world of the Dwarf Rasbora, also known as the Spotted Rasbora (Boraras maculatus), a species of exquisite grace. Delicately peaceful, these remarkable creatures are most at home in nano aquariums or lushly planted setups. Though small in size, they possess a profound need for ample swimming space, allowing them to navigate their watery domain with elegance and freedom.

In their natural shoaling behaviour, Dwarf Rasboras find solace and security in the company of their kind. A vibrant spectacle unfolds when they gather in groups of at least eight, igniting a symphony of colours that mesmerizes the eye. The more extensive the shoal, the more vivid the display becomes, a testament to the sheer beauty and vitality these small wonders possess. While their timid nature and petite stature make them unsuitable for typical community aquariums, they thrive alongside fellow delicate species, such as small Rasboras, Danios, Dwarf Barbs, Pygmy Corydoras, and diminutive Loaches.

Creating an ideal haven for Dwarf Rasboras requires careful attention to detail. A soft, sandy substrate sets the stage, while driftwood roots and branches provide both aesthetic charm and essential shaded retreats. Adding dried leaf litter further enhances the natural ambience, inviting the growth of microbial colonies through the enchanting process of decomposition. Dim lighting recreates the muted tones of their native habitats, complemented by resilient aquatic plants such as Microsorum, Java Moss, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne. Finally, gentle filtration mirrors the calm waters from which these enchanting fish hail, ensuring their well-being in tranquil currents.

Observe the striking features of the Dwarf Rasbora as they gracefully glide through their aquatic realm. Their orangy-red bodies bear witness to nature's artistry, adorned with a prominent dark spot on the side, a subtle mark at the base of the caudal fin, and a smaller accent near the anal fin. The fins of males add another layer of allure, with dark markings highlighted by intense shades of red along the anterior edge. While closely related to other species like the Chilli Rasbora, Phoenix Rasbora, and Exclamation Point Rasbora, distinguishing these subtle nuances requires a discerning eye.

Dwarf Rasbora Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Dwarf Rasboras is a relatively straightforward task. Females can be identified by their rounded bellies and generally larger size compared to males. In contrast, males exhibit a slender physique and boast more vibrant colouration, particularly in dominant individuals.

Featured Male
Featured Female
Female Male

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBoraras maculatus
Year Described1904
Other NamesPygmy Rasbora, Spotted Rasbora, Three Spotted Dwarf Rasbora
OriginsSingapore , Malaysia , Thailand , Indonesia
Max Size2.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 8+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 4.0 - 6.5
GH 1 - 5
TDS 18 - 90
Ideal Temperature
75 - 79
23 - 26

Natural Habitat

The Dwarf Rasbora, native to Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, and Singapore in South-Eastern Asia, showcase fascinating geographic variations in their patterns and colourations. While they are widely distributed in Malaysia, their populations in other countries are more limited, with reports of their presence in Borneo and Sumatra, Indonesia. These captivating fish inhabit the blackwater rivers and streams found in peat swamps, where they dwell among fallen leaves and branches in water tinted brown by the release of tannins. The water is characterised by its softness and acidity, with low pH levels in these environments. Regrettably, these remarkable fish habitats face threats due to farming and human development, underscoring the importance of conservation efforts to preserve their fragile ecosystems.

 Johor River - Malaysia
Malaysia Flag


The fascinating reproductive behaviour of the Dwarf Rasbora unveils a world of non-stop spawning and egg scattering, characterized by the absence of parental care. In the presence of both male and female individuals, small numbers of eggs may be laid daily. In well-planted and established aquariums, the appearance of a few fry without human intervention is not uncommon. However, if you desire to raise a more significant number of fry, a more controlled approach is necessary.

It is advisable to set up a separate tank with subdued lighting to create an optimal breeding environment. The tank's bottom can be left bare or covered with mesh, allowing any eggs that do not adhere to plants to pass through while preventing the adults from accessing them. Alternatively, readily available artificial grass matting can serve the same purpose. The water parameters should be slightly acidic and the temperature slightly elevated compared to normal conditions. Adding a substantial clump of fine-leaved plants, such as Java moss, occupying approximately half of the tank's available space, provides the ideal spawning substrate. Filtration is not essential, but a small air-powered sponge filter can be employed if desired.

Introducing two or three pairs of well-conditioned adult fish into the breeding tank is recommended. A gradual transfer process minimizes stress levels, ensuring a smooth transition. Once the water conditions are suitable, spawning will likely commence the following morning. While the Dwarf Rasbora may consume some of their eggs, they do not actively seek them out like other small cyprinids. Therefore, daily spawning can be expected, but keeping the parents in the breeding tank for only a couple of days is advisable.

Within two days, the first eggs will begin hatching, and the tiny fry will rely on their yolk sacs for nourishment for approximately 24 hours. After this initial period, providing infusoria, Paramecium, or other microscopic food is crucial for their survival. Around a week to 10 days later, the fry will have grown enough to accept larger foods such as baby brine shrimp and microworms. As the days pass, the additional fry will emerge from subsequent spawnings. It is prudent to wait a few weeks before initiating small water changes to prevent unnecessary shock to the newly hatched fry.

Diet & feeding

Dwarf Rasboras are primarily micro predators in their natural habitat, where they prey on worms, small insects, crustaceans, and other zooplankton. While they will readily accept high-quality dried foods of an appropriate size, it is important to supplement their diet with regular servings of small live and frozen foods. In addition, offering delicacies such as artemia and daphnia will not only enhance the vibrant colouration of these fish but also stimulate their reproductive behaviour, promoting breeding conditions.


Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras maculatus) Rare Freshwater Nano Aquarium Fish Profile & Care Thumbnail

Other Rasboras of interest