Scarlet Badis (Dario Dario)
Scarlet Badis are a prevalent freshwater fish and one of our favourite nano fishes you can get your hands on. This fish is a lot of fun to watch due to their beauty, behaviour and activity level. These fish are relatively hardy, however, are particularly sensitive to unsuitable water conditions. Meaning you will need to stay on top of your weekly water changes and maintenance.
The Scarlet Badis has a retiring nature, and are easily threatened or outcompeted for food by larger, more aggressive tankmates. It would be better if you maintained them alone or with similarly sized or peaceful species.
Males can become very aggressive towards each other, especially in cramped spaces. If you own a small aquarium, you should purchase only a single pair or one male and several females. However, if you have a larger aquarium, you can keep a bigger group provided there is space for each male to secure a territory. Well-planned placement of caves can help with this.
The primary colouration of the Scarlet Badis can be either red or orange and covers the base of their entire body. They also display a series of vertical stripes that start near the front of the dorsal fin. These stripes are evenly spaced out and will either be light blue or orange depending on the fish's original colour. You will also possibly notice a faint blue hint that trickles into the base of their dorsal and caudal fins as well.
Their fins' tips will typically be a very light blue colour and continue across the length of their fin. This colouring is most apparent on their ventral fins, which hang relatively low. These emphasised colours at the edge of their fins are what makes the Scarlet Badis so pretty and fun to watch swimming around as it creates a flickering effect that will entice you in.
|Scientific Name||Dario Dario|
|Other Names||Scarlet Gem, Gem Badis|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||3 - 6 years|
|PH||6.5 - 8.5|
|TDS||18 - 268|
|64.5 - 79℉|
18.1 - 26.1℃
The Scarlet Badis is endemic to the tributary systems draining into the Brahmaputra River in parts of West Bengal, Bhutan and Assam state in India. They inhabit clear, shallow water streams, rivers and occasionally around waterfalls. These habitats have gravel or sand substrates and dense growths of aquatic and marginal vegetation. Vegetation is essential for these fish as they use the different aquatic plants to secure their territories.
Other Oddballs of interest
What to feed the Scarlet Badis
It would be best if you fed Scarlet Badis with small live or frozen foods such as grindal, microworm, artemia nauplii, Daphnia, and banana worm in captivity as they will generally refuse dried foods.
These species tend to develop problems with obesity and become more susceptible to disease when fed Tubifex or bloodworm so make sure you do not provide them with these in their diet.
How to Sex the Scarlet Badis
It is relatively straightforward to distinguish females from males. Females are smaller, less colourful as they do not have any red or blue pigmentation on the flanks and only light bars or none at all compared to the males. The females also possess a noticeably shorter and stumpier-looking body profile. Also, males develop extended dorsal, anal and pelvic fins as they mature.
How to Breed the Scarlet Badis
The Scarlet Badis forms temporary pair relationships. Other fishes are best excluded if you want to raise good numbers of fry, although a few may make it to adulthood in a mature, well-established community aquarium.
You can use either a single pair or a group of adults but if using multiple males, make sure you provide each male with a space to form a territory. One male will usually become dominant meaning the others will not be required for breeding.
It would help a lot if you conditioned the fish with plenty of live and frozen foods. As they come into spawning condition males will begin to form territories and display courting behaviour alongside an enhanced colour pattern.
This activity can continue for several days with the female often being chased away then wooed again a few minutes later. The male will make a non-aggressive appearance towards the female and invites her into the centre of his territory, and if she is ready to spawn, she will follow.
The act itself is completed in just a few seconds with eggs being scattered randomly on the underside of solid surfaces such as plant leaves, wood or rocks. After spawning has occurred, the female is then dismissed, and the male takes sole responsibility for the territory.
If you would like to maximise fry raised yield, remove the spawning medium to a container including water from the spawning tank or the adults as they will prey upon and consume the fry once hatched.
The incubation time is usually around 2 to 3 days after which the fry will need roughly a week to fully absorb the yolk sac. Once the fry has consumed their yolk sac, you can then provide them with an infusoria-grade diet until they are big enough to accept artemia nauplii, microworm and similar.