Rasbora fish are opportunistic omnivores and consume a diverse variety of foods, including plant-based flakes, granules, and pellets. Rasboras also eat live and frozen animal-based foods like brine shrimp and blood worms.
Feeding rasboras correctly is crucial for their growth, health, and glorious appearance. Fortunately, rasboras are not excessively selective about their diet and thrive on a diverse mix of common tropical freshwater aquarium fish foods.
Foods That Rasboras Eat
Rasbora fish are found predominantly in freshwater rivers and streams in tropical South East Asia. The fishes are exceedingly popular among fish-keeping enthusiasts because of their beauty and ease of care.
Most but not all rasboras are in the Rasbora genus. Here are some of the most common rasboras found in aquariums include:
- chili rasbora (Boraras brigittae)
- clown rasbora (Rasbora kalochroma)
- blackline rasbora (Rasbora borapetensis)
- lambchop rasbora (Trigonostigma espei)
- harlequin rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
These and other popular rasboras are micro-predators that are opportunistic (rather than picky) feeders. The lovely, shimmering fishes eat an omnivorous diet that consists of:
- tiny insects
While rasboras are omnivorous, they require a protein-rich diet, so these fish generally prefer animal-based foods over plants and vegetables.
Which Foods Are Best For Feeding Rasboras?
So, which foods should you feed to rasboras living in aquariums? Like any aquarium fish, rasboras should be fed a diet composed of foods that are similar to what they would eat in the wild.
As noted, the natural diet of rasboras in the wild consists of a wide range of animal and plant-based foods. You can maintain the health, happiness, and luster of rasbora fish by feeding them a combination of foods that are:
Dried foods are convenient for feeding rasboras and usually contain a combination of plant and animal-based ingredients to provide a nutritionally diverse and balanced diet. Dry types of fish food are generally available in three forms:
- tropical granules
- shrimp pellets
- tropical flakes
Tropical granules are made from a mix of protein-rich sources like brine shrimp and squid and are excellent for keeping rasboras well-fed. This dried fish food provides an appropriate nutrient profile for rasboras and is usually enhanced with vitamins and minerals.
Tropical granules are also easy to measure, which helps ensure you do not feed rasboras excessive or insufficient amounts of food.
Rasboras also have a strong preference for shrimp pellets. As its name indicates, this dried fish food has a single high protein ingredient – brine shrimp (Artemia salina).
Crustaceans are part of rasbora fishes’ natural diet, so brine shrimp granules are ideal for meeting most of their nutritional requirements. However, it is advisable to alternate shrimp pellets with other foods to provide the fish with a balanced diet.
Like tropical granules, shrimp pellets are simple to measure. This characteristic enables you to feed rasboras accurately-sized meal portions.
Tropical flakes are a convenient and cheap fish food often recommended for rasboras. The flakes are composed of processed animal proteins (like squid, fish, shrimp, and fish meals) and supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals.
While tropical flakes are suitable for feeding to rasboras, many fish-keepers prefer granules and pellets. Flaked fish food breaks up quickly (due to their thinness), potentially releasing nutrients into the aquarium and diminishing the water quality.
Flakes also have the drawback of being trickier to measure than pellets and granules. As a result, it is easier to overfeed or underfeed rasboras with flaked foods.
In addition to dried pellets, granules, and flakes, rasboras also eat live animals.
Live foods are fresh and unprocessed, so they are higher in nutrients (especially protein), fats, and oils than dried and frozen versions.
However, live fish foods generally have a narrow nutrient profile that is not sufficiently broad and balanced to serve as a daily staple. It is advisable to feed rasboras live food as occasional treats (only every four to seven days).
Feeding live food is fun for the rasboras and fishkeepers because the fish have to actively catch the food before eating it.
The primary disadvantages of live foods are that they require more time and effort to prepare and can’t be stored for more than two or three days. There is also a potential risk that live foods might transmit disease-causing pathogens to the rasboras.
Fish-keepers commonly feed rasboras live foods such as:
- brine shrimp
- Mysis shrimp
Brine shrimp are one of the most widely-used live foods for rasbora fish. These tiny crustaceans are exceptionally high in protein.
Nano brine shrimp are ideal for rasboras. These baby brine shrimp are not challenging for the rasboras to eat and have a higher nutrient value than the adults.
Mysis shrimp are miniature crustaceans (that are similar but distinct from true shrimps). These crustaceans provide rasboras with an excellent nutrient source that supports and enhances the fish’s health and beauty.
Mysis shrimp are bigger than brine shrimp, though rasboras have no problem eating them. These shrimp-looking creatures are also more nutrient-rich than brine shrimp (though Mysis shrimp cost more to purchase).
Rasboras enjoy eating live bloodworms (Glycera spp.). This popular live food is nutrient-dense and provides rasboras with a tasty, high-quality protein and iron source.
Nevertheless, live bloodworms do not provide a complete nutrient complement for rasboras. This live food is best for rasboras as part of a balanced, diverse diet.
Rasboras also eat frozen foods.
Frozen foods are usually made from multiple ingredients and retain a considerable percentage of their original nutrients and flavor because of the freezing process.
In addition, frozen fish foods often have supplementary minerals and vitamins to enrich their nutrient content.
Frozen foods that rasboras consume are typically meat-based, though they often include plant-based ingredients. These fish foods typically consist of:
- brine shrimp
Frozen fish foods are also a treat that should only be fed to rasboras once or twice per week. It is advisable to thaw the food before feeding it to the fish (as this makes it more palatable and digestible).
Freeze-dried food is a suitable and budget-friendly option for rasbora fish. This fish food is usually meat-based.
Unlike frozen foods, freeze-dried fish food has a single ingredient, such as:
- brine shrimp
- tubifex worms
Freeze-dried fish food also has a lower nutritional value than frozen and dried varieties because the freeze-drying method is harsher. For example, freeze-drying degrades the protein content in the original food material.
The taste of freeze-dried fish food is also less palatable for rasboras than foods that are frozen or live.
However, freeze-dried food stores much longer than frozen and live options. Freeze-dried fish food is also less messy than frozen and dried foods flakes.
Rasboras eat a varied omnivorous diet that includes animal and plant foods. These tropical freshwater fish are not overly selective and thrive on most foods commonly fed to tropical freshwater aquarium fish.
It is possible to maintain the health, vitality, and beauty of rasbora fish by feeding them a combination of dried tropical granules, shrimp pellets, and intermittent feedings of live bloodworms, brine shrimp, and Mysis shrimp.