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Maximum size : 2 cm

Scarlet Badis - Dario Dario : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Scarlet Badis (Dario Dario) is a highly sought-after freshwater fish, prized for its vibrant colouration, active nature, and captivating behaviour. This species is relatively resilient, but its sensitivity to poor water conditions necessitates diligent maintenance and frequent water changes. These fish are timid and easily intimidated by larger or more aggressive tankmates, making them ideal for solitary or peaceful community setups. However, males, in particular, can become territorial and aggressive towards each other, necessitating proper spacing and planning when keeping them in groups. The Scarlet Badis boasts a striking red or orange body colour, complemented by vertical stripes of light blue or orange. Their fins are also adorned with subtle blue hues, creating a shimmering effect as they swim. This fish's beauty and engaging behaviour make it a delightful addition to any aquarium.

Scarlet Badis Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the sexes of Scarlet Badis is a relatively simple process. Males and females exhibit distinguishable differences in both physical characteristics and colouration. Males are larger and more colourful than females, with noticeable red or blue pigmentation on their flanks and light bars running along their bodies. In addition, as males mature, their dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins elongate. Conversely, females are smaller and possess a shorter and stumpier body profile. As a result, they lack the vibrant pigmentation and light bars present in males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDario Dario
Year Described1822
Other NamesScarlet Gem, Gem Badis
OriginsBhutan India
Max Size2 cm
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

Natural Habitat

The Scarlet Badis is a captivating fish species native to the tributary systems flowing into the Brahmaputra River in West Bengal, Bhutan, and Assam state in India. This fish thrives in clear, shallow streams, rivers, and even around waterfalls. In their natural habitats, you'll find gravel or sand substrates, accompanied by lush growths of aquatic and marginal vegetation, providing the perfect environment for these fish to thrive. The presence of vegetation is incredibly vital, enabling the Scarlet Badis to establish their territories and claim their space in the water.


The Scarlet Badis is known for forming temporary pairs during the breeding season. Therefore, if you wish to raise a good number of fry, it is best to exclude other fish from the breeding tank, although a few may reach adulthood in a mature, established community aquarium. You can use either a single pair or a group of adults, but in the latter case, it is important to provide enough space for each male to establish his territory. In addition, one male will typically become dominant, meaning that the others will not be involved in breeding. To encourage breeding, it is recommended to condition the fish with a diet rich in live and frozen foods. As males enter breeding conditions, they will begin to form territories and exhibit courting behaviour while displaying an enhanced colouration. This activity may last for several days, with the male repeatedly chasing away and courting the female. Once the female is ready to spawn, she will follow the male into the centre of his territory, and the spawning will take place in just a few seconds. The eggs are scattered randomly on the underside of solid surfaces, such as plant leaves, wood, or rocks. After spawning, the female is dismissed, and the male takes sole responsibility for guarding the territory. If you want to maximize the number of fry, you can remove the spawning medium to a separate tank filled with water from the breeding tank or the adults, as the adults may prey upon and consume the fry once they hatch. The incubation period is typically 2-3 days, after which the fry will need about a week to fully absorb their yolk sac. Once the yolk sac is consumed, you can provide the fry with an infusoria-grade diet until they are large enough to accept baby brine shrimp, microworms, and other similar foods.

Diet & feeding

To maintain the health and vitality of your Scarlet Badis, it is recommended that you feed them small live or frozen foods such as grindal, microworm, artemia nauplii and Daphnia in captivity. These fish have a preference for live foods and tend to refuse dried foods. It is important to note that feeding these fish with Tubifex or bloodworm may lead to obesity and increase their disease susceptibility. Hence, avoiding these foods in their diet is advisable to ensure their overall well-being.

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