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July 05, 2013

Welcome back, my friend! I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating our countries independence! Last week, we talked about the genus Dawkinsia and its family more commonly called the ‘Filament Barb complex’. These mid-sized barbs are excellent for your 75 in the living room, but what about the tank on your kitchen counter (wait am I the only one who has a tank on every physical surface possible?) Nano tanks have no doubt become the rage in our hobby today. Though the space of a nano tank is limited, there are plenty of animals that can thrive in these conditions. I want to go over one particular family that makes great additions to these microenvironments.

Red Fin Dwarf Rasbora

Boraras brigittae

Temp: 74-83°

PH: 5-7
Hardness: 0-179 ppm

Exclamation Point Rasbora

Boraras urophthalmoides
Temp: 74-83°
PH: 6-7
Hardness: 18-179 ppm

The genus Boraras was erected in 1993 to separate smaller Cyprinids from the larger Rasboras. These micro-fish do not exceed a maximum length of less than an inch at adult size. Given the petite size of these miniature Rasboras they must be fed a diminutive diet. They are micropredators in nature, and can be observed feeding upon zooplankton or insect larvae. In the aquarium they will be less picky, and can be offered foods like frozen daphnia or finally crushed flake foods. Bloodworms may be offered, but it is best to finally chop them up so that the small fish cannot choke on the larger food.

Pygmy Spotted Rasbora

Boraras maculatus
Temp: 74-83°
PH: 4.5-6.5
Hardness: 0-90 ppm

"Phoenix Rasbora"

Boraras merah
Temp: 74-83°
PH: 4.5-6.5
Hardness: 0-90 ppm

The genus can be broken down into two groups - the Malay Archipelago group from the islands of Malaysia. These fish appear to have a slimmer and more elongate body profile compared to their landlocked cousins. The Indonesian islands contain the members Boraras brigittae “Red Fin Dwarf Rasbora”, B. maculatus “Spotted Pygmy Rasbora”, and B. merah “Phoenix Rasbora”. The more robust and stockier fish occur within Indochina, which is usually referring to Thailand and the surrounding areas. These would include B. uropthalmoides “Exclamation Point Rasbora”, and B. naevus “Strawberry Rasbora”.

Strawberry RasboraBoraras naevus

There are slight differences between each fish. For instance, both B. brigittae of Borneo and B. uropthalmoides from Thailand are almost identical when first glanced upon, but you will notice two blood red spots in the caudal fin of B. brigittae. This is a sure fire way to eliminate any confusion between the two. B. Brigittae is typically redder colored once settled as well. This gets a lot trickier when comparing the fish of Malaysia and its surrounding areas, B. maculatus, from the fish of south Borneo, B. merah, or even B. merah from South Thailand. All three of these animals are incredibly similar in appearance. I’ve found that the oval spot on the side of the body seems to vary between each. In B. maculatus it is usually a small circle. In B. merah it appears to be an oval to almost stripe-like, finally B. naevus’ spot is a lot larger than that of its two congeners.

Now it’s only a matter of figuring out which species you want to put in the tank on your counter. If you’re like me you’ll just go set up six new tanks to collect them! When you get finished setting up the tanks you better make your way over to our website,, to view what’s in stock for the week. Most of the Boraras are ready for sale as we speak. Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook!

Thanks for reading again!

Anthony Perry

Sales Manager