From the still, slow-moving blackwater streams and peat swamps of Kalimantan, Borneo comes the diminutive yet beautiful Brigittae Rasbora. These little fish are becoming more and more popular as subjects for planted aquariums and "nano tanks"- and rightfully so: They're colorful, interesting, active little fish which really look great against a nicely-executed aquascape. Of course, to us, they're more than just some dainty little piece of "window dressing"- they're a perfect compliment to an Asian-themed blackwater biotope aquarium!
The endangered peat swamps from which the fish are native feature darkly-tinted water filled with leaves and other botanical materials, and have very soft, acidic (as low as 4.0ph!) water. So, yeah, these fish are the perfect subjects for a blackwater, botanical-style aquarium! And a well-executed biotope-style aquarium featuring a representation of this habitat is always a sight to behold!
For a small, frail-looking fish, they are surprisingly hardy, and although they come from scary-low pH habitats in nature, can adapt to more manageable low pH aquariums (like in the 6.2-6.6 range). It goes without saying that we're fond of keeping them in blackwater systems, and we're pretty confident that the humic substances produced by leaves and other botanical materials are of a definite health benefit to the fish. Ligthing need not be bright, and the aquarium should be well-established, and ideally, chemically and biologically stable, without significant fluctuations in environmental parameters. We like to keep them at temperatures around 77-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although they don't need a large aquarium, they need enough space to engage in their natural schooling behaviors, and to engage in courtship rituals. Maintaining them in a group of at least 10 specimens seems to encourage all of this entertaining behavior, so that's how we offer them! If your aquarium and budget can accommodate more than 10 specimens, we say go for it! They may be kept with other small, peaceful fishes which come from similar environmental conditions, such as small Gouramis, wild Bettas, and other small Rasbora species.
Being micropredators, these little guys will eat a variety of small crustaceans, so food like Daphnia, baby Brine Shrimp, and fruit flies will be perfect for them. You can adapt them to eat prepared foods, like flakes and pellets, once they've acclimated to aquarium life.
All-in-all, these colorful little gems are perfect fishes for the blackwater aquarist! You can rest assured that our specimens are well-fed, nicely-adjusted fish that will acclimate readily if provided their preferred conditions.
Fun fact: The genus name, "Boraras" is actually an anagram of the genus Rasbora, which the fish is related to, yet has a reversed ratio of caudal and abdominal vertebrae-hence the name! Neat stuff, huh? Yeah, we thought so.
Mike’s Notes: "Brigittae or Chili Rasbora certainly pack a real punch in terms of color for such a tiny fish. With brilliant red, green, and even purple markings, this is a wild species that rivals many line-bred variants of fish, hands down. Unlike some of the micro-fish available in the hobby, these rasboras are remarkably sturdy and we have an excellent track record with this species arriving in great condition and settling in quickly to aquarium life. Our supplier keeps them in soft, heavily tinted water which I think helps significantly with the acclimation process."
SOURCE: Net collected Borneo
CARE LEVEL: Intermediate
NATURAL DIET: Small invertebrates, insects, and zooplankton
COMPATIBILITY: Best kept with smaller, more peaceful fishes, or in a dedicated species aquarium
MAXIMUM SIZE: Approx. .75"
IDEALLY SUITED FOR: Blackwater/botanical-style aquariums (soft, acidic water)
NOTE: This photo is for illustrative purposes only. You will be receiving specimens which look similar to the ones shown in our photo, but should expect variations in color.
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