Most rasboras are easy fish to keep, and they do well in most community tanks due to their peaceful nature. Species such as the harlequin, chili, and blackline rasboras are hardy fish and are generally easy to care for.
People keep many species of rasboras in aquariums, but one of the most common starter fish for the beginner aquarium is the easily-recognizable harlequin rasbora. We’ll look at these easy-to-care-for fish and what kind of tank set-up will suit them best.
Are Rasboras Easy To Care For?
Rasboras are some of the easiest fish to care for, which is why they are often recommended as beginner fish. They are hardy, and you’ll find it no problem feeding them because they’re omnivorous.
While all fish can be susceptible to disease if their tank conditions are sub-par, harlequin rasboras are usually quite disease-resistant. You can avoid fin rot, ich, or dropsy by maintaining healthy water conditions and cleaning the tank filters and substrate.
If you have never kept rasboras before, don’t feel overwhelmed. I’ll run through what size tank you need and how you should set it up to keep rasboras happy.
I’ll detail what and when to feed them and which fish make the best tank companions for your new rasboras.
What Are The Characteristics of Rasboras?
There are many varieties of rasboras, but the harlequin rasboras are the most commonly found and easiest to care for.
Rasboras are generally small fish; for example, harlequin rasboras reach an adult size of 2 inches and are a good choice for a small community tank. Originally from South East Asia, these rasboras lived in streams that flowed through swamped forest land in peaty water.
The small freshwater tropical fish like to be kept in small schools, and they will usually not bother most other tank inhabitants. It’s better not to keep them with large predatory fish, as they may end up as a meal. They prefer soft, slightly acidic water rather than hard.
The males are smaller with brighter colors, while the females are larger and have a slightly more rounded appearance.
What Size Tank for Rasboras?
Because rasboras are schooling fish, you should always keep them in a small group and not alone. If you plan to keep only rasboras, you can start with a tank as small as 10 gallons—however, the bigger the tank, the better. You’ll find tank maintenance is much easier with a larger tank.
You’ll need to go bigger if you plan to keep your rasboras in a community tank. A 20-gallon is a good-sized starter, and a 55-gallon tank is an ideal size for a community tank. You’ll find your fish will likely live longer when kept In a larger tank.
Whatever tank you decide on, you need to keep your water at the optimum ph for your fish. Because rasboras prefer slightly acidic water, and most water in the US is hard, you’ll need to add a water softener pillow to your filter.
Remember always to cycle your tank thoroughly after you set it up before introducing any fish. The cycle period gives the good bacteria time to establish.
Their natural habitat is stiller waters, so avoid having a filter with too strong a flow. Having a heavily-planted tank will also reduce water disturbance.
Use a dark substrate to make the rasbora tank more appealing for your fish. The darker gravel will also show off your fish better.
How Many Rasboras Can I Keep Together?
These hardy little fish are best kept in schools, and it is best not to keep them individually or in small groups.
An ideal school size for rasboras is eight-ten rasboras. A general guideline is to keep two harlequin rasboras to every gallon – this assumes no other fish, of course!
The 2-per-gallon rule is only a rough guide, and ideally, you should give them more space than that. Most guides say to keep your tank at 75% of the stocking capacity for the best conditions.
If you are keeping them in a single species tank, then a 10-gallon tank (the minimum size I’d suggest) will be suitable for a small school of six rasboras. Ideally, I’d go up to a 20-gallon tank and keep ten rasboras.
In a larger community tank, aim to keep a school of 8-10, avoid overstocking your tank, and keep the number and size of your other fish in mind.
What Other Fish Can I Keep With Rasboras?
Because rasboras are peaceful fish keeping to the tank’s middle zone, they make excellent community fish. They do best with fish of a similar size and temperament.
You can also stock larger fish, provided they are not overly aggressive or predatory, as large fish may eat your rasboras.
It’s a good idea to stock fish that live in different zones. For example, some good bottom-dwelling fish you can keep with rasboras are kuhli loaches and Corydoras. Stick to fish that like the same water conditions as your rasboras — planted tanks with soft, slightly acidic water.
Here are some suggested tankmates for rasboras:
- Cardinal tetras
- Endler’s livebearers
- Bettas (in a well-planted tank, and with some considerations)
- Red Wag Platy
- Kuhli Loaches
- Dwarf gouramis
What Should I Feed Rasboras?
These charming little fish are omnivores, so they’ll eat just about anything and won’t be picky. Most fishkeepers feed them high-quality aquarium flakes or pellets, but they will also eat insect larvae, small fish eggs, and worms.
You can supplement their diet with daphnia and bloodworm on occasion. By varying their diet, you ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.
Feed your rasboras twice daily and only as much as they can eat in a few minutes.
What Rasboras Are Easy to Care For?
If you’re looking for ideas for species of rasbora to keep, here are a few suggestions for easy-care rasboras for your tank:
- Harlequin Rasbora
- Blackline rasbora
- Porthole rasbora
- Scissortail rasbora
- Kubotai rasbora
- Phoenix rasbora
- Chili rasbora
Rasboras are some of the best fish for beginner aquarists, as they are hardy, attractive fish which are easy to care for. They are schooling fish that provide a bright display in the center of the tank.
They are easy-going fish that are unlikely to harass or nip other fish and do well with other peaceful, calm fish in a community tank. Give them a well-planted tank with soft water and dark gravel to keep them happy.