Max Size: 2cm

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.


Scarlet Badis
Scarlet Badis
Scarlet Badis
Scarlet Badis Sparring
Scarlet Badis
Scarlet Badis
Scarlet Badis
Quick Facts
Scientific NameDario Dario
Other NamesScarlet Gem, Gem Badis
OriginsBhutan, India
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan3 - 6 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.5
TDS18 - 268
64.5 - 79℉
18.1 - 26.1℃


Because the Scarlet Badis is a carnivore; it would be best if you aimed to feed your fish on a diet primarily of meaty foodstuffs such as live and/or frozen daphnia, brine shrimp, lobster eggs, cyclops, Mysis shrimp and bloodworm. Bloodworm should be used sparingly as it is hard for your fish to digest.

You can also cut up earthworms from your garden or chop up shop brought mussels, prawns, krill and fresh fish (be sure only to use fresh or frozen fish and not fish canned in oil).

You can also try your fish with dried foods formulated for predatory fish and made up of insect material such as Fluval bug bites, which can also be used to supplement the diet.

Get to know your fish and test which foods they prefere and which they ignore but always be sure not to overfeed your fish and remove excessive uneaten food whenever possible.

Tank Mates

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Scarlet Badis could include:

Indian Hifin Barb(Oreichthys cosuatis)

Sexual Dimorphism

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.

Other Oddballs of interest

European Bitterling(Rhodeus amarus)
Indian Glass Fish(Parambassis ranga)
Leopard Bush Fish(Ctenopoma acutirostre)
Pink Tail Chalceus(Chalceus macrolepidotus)
Platinum Alligator Gar(Atractosteus spatula)
Siamese Tigerfish(Datnioides microlepis)
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Date Added: 22/12/2020 - Updated: 14/11/2022 14:52:32