Fire Rasbora (Rasboroides Vaterifloris) Species Profile & Care Guide
Fire Rasboras are a peaceful and timid schooling species, so should be housed in groups of eight or more individuals. Keeping a school will provide them with a sense of security and help them deal with more boisterous tank mates. These Rasboras are best kept on their own because they quickly get timorous and out-competed for food by bigger, boisterous tankmates when kept in community aquariums. The species can, however, be kept in a community aquarium with other small, equally friendly and timid species.
The Fire Rasbora has a small, slender oval-shaped body and a forked caudal fin and is pale orange with richer red colouration in the fins.
Both the body and the fin colour vary in this species depending on which areas they originated. The body colour can vary from blue to red and the fins can have several colours, but red, yellow and orange fins are the most sought after in the aquarium trade. Therefore usually the colours you will see in aquariums. Some individuals even exhibit a blue sheen on the flanks.
|Scientific Name||Rasboroides Vaterifloris|
|Other Names||Pearly Rasbora, Vateria Flower Rasbora|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||76 - 84 ℉ (24.4 - 28.9 ℃)|
|PH||5.5 - 7.0|
|GH||2 - 10|
Natural Habitat of the Fire Rasbora
The Fire Rasbora is endemic to the Kalu, Bentota, Gin, and Nilwala River Basin in southwestern Srilanka in South Asia. They inhabit clear, slow-flowing shallow waters of streams, lakes and rivers. These habitats have sand or silt substrate that is covered in leaf litter, fallen twigs and branches and have overhanging forest canopies that provide shade.
Very little of the countries forest cover is left due to human activities, which has resulted in the habitat and water quality being heavily degraded, meaning numerous native fish species are now considered at risk of becoming extinct.
Other Rasboras of interest
The Fire Rasbora is not overly picky with regards to food, and most individuals will accept high-quality flake food and granules. Even though you can use flake food as the base of their diet, they should never be kept solely on flake food. Fire Rasboras require a varied diet that contains frozen and live meaty food such as artemia, daphnia and bloodworm.
Rasboras that are fed a varied diet tend to show a more intense colouration and look healthier than those who are not. A good varied diet is also essential if you want to breed this species.
Sexing the Fire Rasbora
It is straightforward to differentiate the sexes in adult Fire Rasboras. The females are much larger with higher bodies and are thicker than the males whereas the males are slimmer, are much more vibrantly coloured and are a little smaller than the females.
Breeding the Fire Rasbora
The Fire Rasbora is an egg-scattering species that spawn continually. In a heavily planted aquarium, small numbers of fry may start to appear.
However, if you wish to increase the yield of fry, you should set up a separate spawning tank. Ideally, it will be long and shallow with a layer of marbles or pebbles as a substrate and plenty of clumps of fine-leaved plants. It would be more successful if you set the temperature at the higher end of the preferred range, and add a gentle air-driven sponge filter in the tank.
You should carefully acclimatise one or more well-conditioned pairs to the breeding aquarium, and spawning may occur naturally when the morning sunlight hits the aquarium glass. You can also trigger them into spawning by performing a small, slightly colder water change.
The fish will scatter the eggs in batches amongst the plants and marbles, and most should fall to safety.
Once spawning eventually appears to finish, the parents should be removed to avoid consumption of the eggs.
The eggs are somewhat sensitive, but under suitable conditions should hatch within 24-48 hours. The fry will then become free-swimming a further 3-4 days later.
Fire Rasbora fry are tiny and need to be fed miniature foods like infusoria and Paramecium. Once the fry grows a little bigger, you can then start feeding them newly hatched brine shrimp and later crushed flake food.
Giving the fry a good diet is essential for their growth as the fry grow slowly.