are members of a group of small minnow-type fish belonging to the Family
Cyprinidae. Currently the genus Rasbora contains around 70 species,
which can be found in parts of Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore,
Sumatra and southern Thailand), and Africa. Rasboras inhabit streams
and other watercourses characterized principally by low mineral content,
high concentrations of dissolved humic acids, a consequence of those
waters flowing through peat swamp forests. The waterlogged soils of
these forests inhibit the complete decay of leaf litter, and result
in the formation of peat, which leaches humic acids and related compounds
into the watercourses flowing through these forests. The conditions
thus resemble those found on a different continent, namely the blackwater
habitats of South America. Most of the rasboras are small, up to 10
cm long. They share the same family with many popular aquarium fishes
such as the goldfish, koi, barbs and danios. Rasboras are the ideal
fish for the community aquarium as most are small, peaceful, colorful
and easy to care for.
In their natural environment many come from soft, slightly acid water.
In an aquarium they are tolerant of most aquarium conditions as long
as the water is well-filtered and partial water changes are conducted
regularly. Rasboras are considered very hardy fish and can tolerate
a wider pH range of 5.5 to 7.8, and hardness ranges from zero to 15¢XdH.
The temperature range for Rasboras is around 22¢XC to 27¢XC. They are
fast swimming shoaling fish, and should be kept in a group comprising
a minimum of six individuals, though shoals of larger numbers are preferable
not only from the standpoint of the well-being of the fish, but from
an aesthetic standpoint - a large shoal of Rasboras presents a striking
vista even to non-fishkeepers, and their active disposition in the water
adds to the spectacle. Being a peaceful species, the Rasboras may be
maintained in a community aquarium setup with other similarly sized
and peaceful aquarium fishes, including many of the small Tetras, Danios,
Pencilfish, Corydoras, Plecos and others.
An aquarium intended to house Rasboras should be well planted with some
open areas for swimming. Most Rasboras are egg-scattering spawners,
however, in some rasbora species (such as Harlequin Rasbora), they will
deposits adhesive eggs on the underside of the leaves of plants such
as Cryptocoryne and Aponogeton, these being among the plants that inhabit
the Rasbora's native waters. The female will swim in an inverted position
beneath a chosen leaf, rub her belly along the leaf in preparation for
spawning, this action seemingly encouraging the male to join in spawning.
When the male joins the female, he adopts a similar inverted position
alongside her, and as the female extrudes her eggs and attaches them
to the underside of the leaf, the male curls his tail fin around the
body of the female and with a trembling motion, emits the sperm that
will fertilize the eggs. The fishes repeat this course of action over
a period of 2 hours or more, during which a large and well-conditioned
female may deposit as many as 100 eggs. The lifespan of Rasboras has
not been systematically determined, but individuals in the aquarium
can be expected, with good care, to live for 5 to 6 years.