This tiny fish is extremely peaceful and is ideal for the nano aquarium. It is even safe to keep with dwarf shrimp!
The Phoenix Rasbora (Boraras merah) is a strikingly beautiful nano fish that is very popular among aquarists due to its schooling behavior, peaceful disposition, and very small size. This schooling fish can be the highlight in any peaceful community aquarium and it is a particular standout in the planted aquarium. With optimal diet and care, many males of this species display bright ruby red coloration. This species is often confused with the very similar Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae). In fact, there is some debate among experts as to whether the Phoenix Rasbora and the Chili Rasbora are in fact separate species or rather just geographic variants of a single species. Compared to the markings and color of the Chili Rasbora, the Phoenix Rasbora’s dark markings are typically more broken and red coloration is more limited to these areas of dark markings.
The Phoenix Rasbora typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish. Due to its extra small size and peaceful demeanor, it can be safely kept with dwarf shrimp. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. The Phoenix Rasbora must be kept in schools of 6 or more, although much larger schools of 20+ are more ideal. The schooling behavior of a large group of this fish is fascinating. Its natural habitat typically has slow water flow and contains acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter. It requires very clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark substrate, especially where floating plants are present. It should not be kept with overly boisterous tankmates that will outcompete it during feeding.