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Maximum size : 4 cm

Fire Rasbora - Rasboroides Vaterifloris : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Fire Rasbora is a strikingly coloured and timid schooling fish that thrives in groups of at least eight individuals. Providing a sense of safety in numbers, a school of Rasboras can more confidently navigate their environment and peacefully coexist with other fish species in the tank. However, it is recommended to keep them away from larger or more aggressive tank mates, as they can easily become outcompeted for food and resources. To provide a healthy environment for Fire Rasboras, it is crucial to maintain good water quality, with a preference for soft acidic water. While decorations are not necessary for their well-being, a properly decorated aquarium can enhance the vibrant colors and overall appearance of the fish. This species prefers a densely planted aquarium with both broad and fine-leaved plants, and a dark, sandy substrate. Providing shaded areas with rocks, bogwood, and plants is important as they use these areas to rest and retreat when startled. Floating plants that dim the light are also beneficial, but hardy plants such as java ferns should be used in these conditions. Adding dried leaves to the bottom of the aquarium can provide more hiding places for the fish and increase the likelihood of fry survival in the holding aquarium. To simulate blackwater conditions, filtering the water through aquarium peat can also be effective. When keeping this species, low filtration is preferred as they may struggle to adapt to fast-moving water. Small water changes, no more than 10% at a time, are recommended to avoid any potential stress on the fish. Despite their timid nature, these fish are a stunning addition to any aquarium, with their small, slender body, forked caudal fin, and pale orange body with deep red fins. The colours of both their body and fins can vary depending on the area they originate from, with some having a blue sheen on their flanks.

Fire Rasbora Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Adult Fire Rasboras can be easily distinguished by their sex. The females are significantly larger with a higher body depth and are thicker than the males, while the males are slimmer, more vibrantly coloured, and slightly smaller than the females.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameRasboroides Vaterifloris
Year Described1930
Other NamesPearly Rasbora, Vateria Flower , Fire Barb
OriginsSri Lanka
Max Size4 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.0
GH2 - 10
TDS18 -143
76 - 84
24.4 - 28.9

Natural habitat

The Fire Rasbora is native to the pristine waters of the Kalu Ganga, Gin, and Nilwala River Basin in southwestern Sri Lanka, located in the heart of the Indian subcontinent. These fish are adapted to thrive in the clear, slow-flowing shallow waters of streams, lakes and rivers, with sandy or silty substrate layered with leaf litter, fallen twigs and branches, and overhanging forest canopies that offer a cool and shaded environment. Sadly, the natural habitat of the Fire Rasbora is under threat due to extensive human activities, leading to a reduction in the forest cover, which has severely degraded the water quality and put numerous native fish species at risk of extinction. Protecting these precious environments is vital to ensure the survival of these captivating fish for future generations.
 Kalu Ganga - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Flag

How to breed the Fire Rasbora

It is possible to increase the yield of fry in the Fire Rasbora by setting up a separate spawning tank. This egg-scattering species spawns continually, and a well-conditioned pair or pairs should be carefully acclimatised to the breeding aquarium. It is recommended to maintain a high temperature and provide clumps of fine-leaved plants and marbles as substrate. A gentle air-driven sponge filter is also necessary to ensure proper water circulation. Spawning may occur naturally, or it can be induced by performing a small, slightly colder water change. After the eggs are scattered amongst the plants and marbles, the parents should be removed to prevent the eggs' consumption. The eggs are sensitive and should hatch within 24-48 hours under suitable conditions, with fry becoming free-swimming a further 3-4 days later. Fire Rasbora fry are small and require miniature foods like infusoria and Paramecium. As they grow, newly hatched brine shrimp and crushed flake food can be introduced to their diet. Providing a high-quality diet is crucial for their growth as they tend to grow slowly.

Diet & feeding

The Fire Rasbora is an omnivorous species that can tolerate a variety of foods, including high-quality flake food and granules. However, a varied diet consisting of frozen and live meaty food is crucial for their overall health and vibrancy. Live foods such as artemia, daphnia, and bloodworms are highly recommended. To ensure optimal health and condition, it is vital to provide a diverse diet for Fire Rasboras, especially for those who are kept for breeding purposes. A well-fed Rasbora is more likely to exhibit more vibrant colors, vigorous activity, and overall better health.

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