Max Size: 15cm

Scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora trilineata)

Scissor Tail Rasboras are peaceful, hardy fish making them ideal for the beginner aquarist as well as an excellent member of the larger, well-furnished community aquarium. These Rasboras place no particular demands on water chemistry; therefore, you can combine them with the most popular fish in the hobby, including other Cyprinids, Tetras and Livebearers, as well as Rainbowfish, Anabantoids, Catfish and Loaches.

Scissor Tail Rasboras are a sociable species by nature, so you should keep them in a group of at least six individuals to get the best out of them in the aquarium. These Rasboras exhibit better colours in the presence of their own kind, are far less nervous, and, on the whole, is far more natural-looking.

It is essential to house the Scissor Tail Rasboras in an established aquarium with plenty of open swimming areas. These Rasboras add visual interest and activity to the upper regions of the aquarium. It would be better if you had a tight-fitting lid as these fish are jumpers. It is recommended that you use driftwood or aquarium decorations to provide your Rasboras with areas that they can feel secure. A dark substrate is also recommended as it better shows off the colour of these fish.

Like many other species that come from such spotless natural environments, Scissor Tail Rasboras are intolerant to the buildup of organic wastes and require pristine water at all times to thrive.

The Scissor Tail Rasbora is a transparent, sleek, streamlined fish that has a deeply forked tail resembling an open pair of scissors hence the common name. The distinct bar pattern on the caudal fin accentuates the scissor-like shape. In addition, these fish possess a horizontal black line that runs from behind the gills to the tail and has a silver iridescence that shimmers and sparkles as light reflects off this elegant fish. Finally, some of the wild populations of these fish have yellow pigmentation of varying degrees in their caudal fins.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameRasbora trilineata
Other NamesThree-lined Rasbora, Black Scissor Tail, Scissorfish
OriginsCambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan4 - 7 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 8.0
GH2 - 12
KH5 - 8
73 - 78℉
22.8 - 25.6℃

Photos of the Scissortail Rasbora

Scissortail Rasbora
Scissortail Rasbora

Natural Habitat

Scissor Tail Rasboras are native to the Chao Phraya and lower Mekong River Basins in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and throughout the Malaysia Peninsula in Asia. They are also widely distributed throughout the western parts of Borneo and the Greater Sunda Islands of Sumatra, including the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan and the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

These fish inhabit fast-flowing rock covered streams with gravel or sand bottoms, as well as in sluggish black waters of ancient peat swamp forests filled with twigs, branches, and decomposing leaves. They will also happily live in the clear waters of streams as well as in tannin-stained waters. Then, during the wet seasons, they will move into flooded areas, reservoirs and lakes.

What to feed the Scissortail Rasbora

Scissor Tail Raboras will readily accept all foods; however, they prefer eating live foods whenever possible. Therefore, in the home aquarium, you should provide your fish with good quality dried food such as flake and granules alongside live, freeze-dried or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia and bloodworm.

How to sex the Scissortail Rasbora

It is somewhat easy to distinguish male from female Scissor Tail Rasboras. Males are typically smaller and more slender than females, and when they are ready to spawn, they will become more intensely coloured. In contrast, females are generally larger and rounder in the belly, particularly when viewed from above.

How to breed the Scissortail Rasbora

Scissor Tail Rasboras are easy to breed, and like most Cyprinids, they are egg scatterers that show no parental care. They will spawn continuously in a densely planted, gravel bottomed aquarium and require no special attention when they are in good condition.

However, if you would like to increase the amount of fry, a slightly more controlled approach will be required. First, you should set up a separate breeding tank that is dimly lit, then cover the bottom with a mesh with large enough holes for the eggs to fall through but small enough that the adults cannot reach them. You can also use artificial grass-type matting as this works very well.

The water in the breeding tank will need to have a slightly acidic to neutral pH, and the temperature will need to be marginally higher than the water in the main aquarium. You can add an internal power filter initially, and you should place this so that the flow is directed down the entire length of the tank.

Once your adult fish are well-conditioned and the females look full of eggs, you should then introduce one or two pairs into the breeding tank. You can encourage spawning by feeding them small amounts of frozen and live foods and adding minor amounts of cooler water every few hours until the tank is gradually topped up. Several spawning events will occur before the females run out of eggs.

The parents will eat their eggs if given a chance, so if you plan on keeping the fry, you should remove the parents a couple of days after spawning has occurred. You should then switch off the power filter and replace it with a matured sponge filter, as this will prevent the fry from being sucked up into the filtration unit.

Eggs will usually hatch within 18 to 48 hours depending on temperature, and the fry will become free swimming 24 to 48 hours after that. You should initially feed the fry with baby brine shrimp or microworms until they are large enough to eat crushed flake foods, freeze-dried bloodworm or tubifex.

Other Rasboras of interest

Black Line Rasbora(Rasbora borapetensis)
Chilli Rasbora(Boraras Brigittae)
Clown Rasbora(Rasbora kalochroma)
Dwarf Rasbora(Boraras maculatus)
Emerald Eye Rasbora(Brevibora dorsiocellata)
Exclamation Point Rasbora(Boraras urophthalmoides)
View all Rasboras
Date Added: 14/07/2021 15:10:41 - Updated: 19/01/2022 14:21:45