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Maximum size : 2 cm

Phoenix Rasbora - Boraras Merah : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Phoenix Rasbora (Boraras Merah) is a dazzling and peaceful nano fish that thrives in schools, making it an ideal addition to any peaceful nano community aquarium. This captivating fish can quickly become the focal point of any planted aquarium due to its vibrant appearance and schooling behaviour. To ensure the well-being of these fish, it is best to keep Phoenix Rasboras in a species-only aquarium or alongside other timid micro rasboras, such as other Boraras, smaller Danios, smaller Tetras, pygmy Corydoras, and small Loricariids like Otocinclus. Schooling fish like Phoenix Rasboras should be kept in groups of at least eight individuals, preferably more, to create a natural-looking display and reduce their apprehension. The male Rasboras will compete for female attention, displaying their most brilliant colours and fascinating behaviours.

To create a comfortable environment for Phoenix Rasboras, keeping the aquarium densely planted with floating plants is recommended, which can diffuse the light entering the aquarium and create a more natural feel. These fish come from slow-moving waters, so it isn't necessary to have powerful filtration. A soft sandy, or fine gravel substrate is ideal. Adding dried leaf litter will further enhance the natural appearance and promote the growth of beneficial microbe colonies as the leaves decompose. Blackwater fish species, including Phoenix Rasboras, benefit from tannins and other chemicals released by decaying leaves, which provide secondary food sources for their fry.

The Phoenix Rasbora has a unique and vibrant appearance. Each fish displays a bright orangey-red border around its black spots, and this bright orangey-red colouration extends to the head. The rest of the body is a dull grey, which fades into a transparent colour as it approaches the fins. The black spot in the body's centre is much darker than other Rasboras, and the fins have red markings at the ends. The continuous black band that runs along the body of other Rasboras is absent, instead being broken up, giving the Phoenix Rasbora a distinctive appearance.

Phoenix Rasbora Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Phoenix Rasboras is a relatively simple task. During spawning readiness, mature females tend to have a rounder abdomen and are more prominent than their male counterparts. Conversely, male Phoenix Rasboras are often more visually striking, with dominant individuals displaying particularly captivating features.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBoraras Merah
Year Described1991
Other NamesNone
Max Size2 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 - 7.0
GH3 - 12
TDS18 - 90
68 - 82
20 - 27

Natural habitat

The Phoenix Rasbora, a striking species of nano fish, is native to Kalimantan Tengah, an Indonesian province on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. These fish are most often found in blackwater rivers and streams that flow through ancient forest peat swamps. The water in these habitats is usually stained brown due to the release of tannins and other chemicals from decomposing organic matter. The substrates of these habitats consist mainly of leaves, branches, and twigs. The dense forest canopy above makes these environments very dimly lit, and the water is soft and acidic. Unfortunately, the increasing human activities, such as building developments, rubber and palm oil plantations, threaten the survival of these biotopes across much of Southeast Asia. Therefore, it is imperative that we take action to protect the natural habitat of these beautiful fish.

How to breed the Phoenix Rasbora

Phoenix Rasboras are a fascinating fish species renowned for their egg-scattering and continuous spawning behaviours. While they typically show no parental care, well-conditioned adult groups may lay a small number of eggs daily, leading to small numbers of fry appearing in a well-established aquarium. However, to increase fry yield, a more controlled approach is recommended.

To set up a breeding tank, a 10 to 15-litre tank with a dim light and soft, acidic water slightly warmer than the aquarium water is ideal. The tank's bottom should either be bare or covered with a mesh large enough to allow eggs to fall through but small enough to prevent the adults from reaching them. Fine-leaved plants, such as Java moss, should be added to fill roughly half the space. While filtration is unnecessary, a small, air-powered sponge filter may be used.

Two or three pairs of well-conditioned adults should be introduced into the breeding tank to begin spawning. Transferring them slowly will prevent excessive stress levels, but if they are comfortable with the water conditions, they will start spawning the next morning. While Phoenix Rasboras may consume their eggs if given the opportunity, they do not actively hunt for them like other small cyprinids.

After the initial spawning, the pair should be removed from the breeding tank after no more than a couple of days. The first eggs should hatch on the second day after being placed in the breeding tank, and the fry will initially feed on their yolk sacs for about 24 hours. Paramecium or other microscopic foods can be given to provide them with the necessary nutrition. Seven to ten days later, the fry should be large enough to accept baby brine shrimp and microworm. Wait a week or two before performing small water changes to prevent unnecessary stress on the young fish.

Diet & feeding

Although not particularly picky eaters, Phoenix Rasboras will benefit from a diverse and nutrient-rich diet to maintain their vibrant colours and overall health. It is recommended to provide these fish with a combination of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods such as artemia, tubifex, daphnia, microworms, and bloodworms daily, along with high-quality dried foods like flakes, granules, and pellets. Keep in mind that the small size of these fish necessitates appropriately sized food portions to prevent overfeeding and subsequent health issues.


Phoenix Rasbora (Boraras Merah) Rare Aquarium Rasbora Fish Species Profile & Care Guide Thumbnail

1 tank mate idea for the Phoenix Rasbora

Looking for some awesome tank mate ideas for your Phoenix Rasbora? Look no further! Here are 1 of the most captivating and fascinating options that will liven up your aquarium!

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