Males feature 7 dark vertical bars across sides with bold red coloration, while females exhibit uniform grayish coloration or indistinct vertical bars. Breathtaking coloration and activity peaks during spawning, with rival males "facing off" or "dancing" alone for a female's attention.
The typical biotope for the Scarlet Gem Badis is clear, slow-moving streams with marginal vegetation. In the home aquarium, the Scarlet Gem Badis prefers densely planted aquariums with sandy substrate or fine gravel and plenty of surface vegetation as well. Also provide bogwood for hiding spots.
Not a candidate for the community aquarium, the shy Scarlet Gem Badis is best kept in species-only aquariums or alongside small anabantoids such as Liquorice Gouramis. Success has also been noted keeping with small shoals of Dwarf Spotted Rasboras, as long as you ensure enough food reaches your Scarlet Gem Badis.
Diet should consist of small live and frozen foods like bloodworm, daphnia, Cyclops and microworms. The Scarlet Gem Badis is a finicky eater, so observe carefully to ensure that what you offer is being eaten - and adjust diet accordingly.