May 6, 2024

Boraras brigittae: Discovering the Wonders of Mosquito Rasboras

The Wonder of Mosquito Rasboras

The Fascinating Boraras brigittae

The Boraras brigittae, also known as the Mosquito Rasbora, is a small specie of ray-finned fish, widely admired for its striking appearance and fascinating behaviors. Native to the swamps of South West Borneo, Indonesia, this species exhibits vibrant red bodies with black stripes and a translucent caudal fin, making it a jewel of the freshwater world.

Etymology and Classification

When it comes to names, the genus Boraras is an anagram of Rasbora communicating the switched ratio of abdominal and caudal vertebrae in this genus, while the species name, brigittae, draws its origin from the wife of the author who officially described the species.

Nestled under the Order Cypriniformes and the Family Cyprinidae, Boraras brigittae find its siblings within six other species, all unique and captivating in their own right.

Distribution and Habitat

This miniature wonder is mainly found in blackwater streams and ponds, specifically in the parts of southwestern Borneo related to ancient forest peat swamps of Indonesia. The waters of this habitat, often tinted brown by dissolving organic matter, provide a soft, acidic environment with dimmed lighting that the Mosquito Rasbora thrives in. While the Rasboras have carved out a living in these specific conditions, the balance is delicate and under constant threat from human activities.

Captivity Needs and Challenges

Aquarium Size and Maintenance

Considering their small size, reaching only 15-20mm as adults, Boraras brigittae can do well in a tank with base measurements of at least 45 * 30 cm. Such an environment should be densely planted, mimicking their natural habitat with floating plants, driftwood, and a gentle filtration system to avoid creating too strong of a current.

Water Specifications

The ideal water parameters for these fragile beauties range from a temperature of 20-28°C, pH levels of 4.0-7.0, and a hardness of 18-179 ppm.

Diet and Behavior

Functioning as micropredators, these creatures have an omnivorous diet, favoring small invertebrates and plant matter for their main meals. Aquarists recommend a variety of live, frozen, and dried foods for a balanced nutritional intake.

Despite their small size and timid nature, the Mosquito Rasbora is peaceful and prefer to live in groups, preferably of 8-10 individuals. They do well with other smaller, passive species and freshwater shrimp, but their small size can make them less suitable for a standard-sized community tank.

Breeding Boraras brigittae and Miniaturization

These lovely specimens are egg-scattering, continuously spawning fish with little to no parental care. For controlled breeding, a separate tank with specified water conditions is recommended.

The miniature size of Boraras brigittae is not a coincidence but an evidence of their evolution in slow or still waters known in the Cyprinidae family. This miniaturization is common and gives them an interesting edge in the world of fishkeeping.

Chili Rasboras: A closer look

Termed as Chili Rasboras for their vibrant red bodies, these fish can temporarily lose their hues when moved to a new tank but regain their colors upon adjustment. With a maximum size of ¾ inches, these slender-bodied fish make for stunning additions to low-bioload tanks.

Diet, Breeding and Care

Small, floating or slow-sinking foods from the middle of the water column serve as their ideal meals. Breeding requires a mature aquarium, use of live plants, and plastic mesh to protect the eggs from adult preying. Adequate feeding of the fry is essential for their survival and growth.


In conclusion, whether you are an experienced aquarist or a novice, Mosquito or Chili Rasboras can make a vibrant addition to your tank. But it is essential to remember their fragile nature and specific requirements that will not merely make them survive but thrive with all their vivacity.

Passionate and knowledgeable aquartist. Aquariums have always fascinated me. I enjoy sharing and learning about the wonders of a fish tank.

Justin A

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