Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii): Ultimate Care Guide

The Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii) is a small, hardy fish that is considered one of the best fish for beginner aquarists or those with small to medium tanks. This fish is a schooling and shoaling fish that cohabitates peacefully their own kind as well as in community tanks. The Brilliant Rasbora is just one of over approximately 100 species of rasbora in the world.

The Brilliant Rasbora is a tropical, freshwater fish that is typically found in streams and river channels in Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Thailand, and Borneo.

If you are looking for an active fish that can create a sparkling display, the Brilliant Rasbora might be the ideal addition to your aquarium. But despite their hardy nature, they can be sensitive to poor living conditions so there are a few basic requirements that should be implemented to their tank. This guide will help you understand how to properly care for Brilliant Rasbora.

Brilliant Rasbora Facts

Brilliant Rasbora can be identified by its streamlined, golden-green body which features a gold stripe along its lateral line which is bordered in black. As they mature, their tails turn a vivid red which beautifully contrasts with their body colours. The Brilliant Rasbora has an average body size of 2” (5.1cm) and can grow to a maximum length of 3.6” (9cm). They have an average life span of 5 years but can live up to 8 years if they are properly cared for.

Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii)
Brilliant Rasbora (Rasbora Einthovenii) I, Lerdsuwa, CC BY-SA 3.0

Brilliant Rasbora Care

Ass a general rule, a 10-gallon (40 litre) tank is the minimum size required for a group of 6 Brilliant Rasbora. Their aquarium must have a tight-fitting lid as they are excellent jumpers that could end up outside of your tank. As they are also an active species that are typically found in streams in the wild, your Brilliant Rasbora prefer an environment with slow-moving water.

The optimal water temperature for a Brilliant Rasbora is between 72°F – 79°F (22°C – 26°C). Although they are a hardy species, regular water maintenance must be performed on their tank. It is recommended to change 10% of the tank’s water weekly or 25% each month. The recommended pH level for Brilliant Rasbora is between 6 – 7.5. They will need to be kept in an aquarium with a hardness level between 2 – 10°dH and an alkalinity level between 3 – 8°dkH.

To create a biotope tank for your Brilliant Rasbora, start with a soft, sandy substrate. They love shady spots to hide which can be created with pieces of driftwood roots and branches. These fish can thrive in well-planted tanks however you must provide them with plenty of open space for free-swimming, The Brilliant Rasbora is commonly found in blackwater streams and rivers in the wild. It is recommended they be kept in a tank with dim lighting. To replicate the black water environment, floating vegetation or small bags of aquarium peat can be used to diffuse the light.

Brilliant Rasbora Food & Diet

One of the reasons this fish is known as hardy is because it will readily eat nearly anything it is offered. They are omnivores who thrive on a balanced diet of meat-based food and vegetation. The Brilliant Rasbora can eat fresh and frozen shrimp, blackworms, Daphnia and, Artemia. In aquariums, they will also accept dried pellets and flakes, but they should not be fed this exclusively. Due to their active nature, Brilliant Rasbora should be fed at least once a day.

Brilliant Rasbora Tank Mates

A common behaviour between all Rasbora species is they are schooling and shoaling fish which form large groups that swim together. Typically, Brilliant Rasbora should be kept in groups of up to 10-12 fish but can be kept in school as small as 6. Keeping these fish in large groups will reduce their nervousness, allowing them to behave in a more natural manner which lets them better show their colours. It is said that a group of 25 or more Brilliant Rasbora is a mesmerising sight.

The Brilliant Rasbora are a very peaceful species which makes them a perfect addition to community tanks. They are best housed with species that can cohabitate in the same water conditions as well as are similar in size and temperament The ideal tank mates for Brilliant Rasbora are Tetras, Livebearers, Danios, Gouramis, Guppies, Platies, Corydoras, Catfish, Dwarf Cichlids and, Loaches.

Due to their peaceful temperament and smaller size, Brilliant Rasbora should not be tank mates with larger or aggressive fish. This is because the larger species would see them as food. They could potentially be tankmates with mildly aggressive fish such as bettas however your Brilliant Rasbora would need to be kept in a large enough group to deter attacks and be closely monitored Likewise, the Brilliant Rasbora should not be kept with smaller species such as shrimp as they will try to eat them.

Brilliant Rasbora Breeding

It is possible to breed Brilliant Rasbora in captivity however it can be a difficult process. They are an egg-scattering species that require a separate, smaller tank. The water temperature of the breeding tank needs to be between 75°F – 78°F (24°C – 26°C) with a neutral to slightly acidic pH level. This tank will require dim lighting and will have greater success spawning in heavily planted tanks which provide spots for the female to deposit their eggs. Alternatively, the base of the tank can be covered with mesh for the eggs to fall through.

Brilliant Rasbora breed in pairs of males and females. Females can be distinguished from males as they are slightly larger and have noticeably rounder bellies. The Brilliant Rasbora do not exhibit parental instincts and will their eggs. For this reason, the mature fish should be removed from the breeding tank as soon as eggs can be seen. The eggs will hatch within 18 – 48 hours and will become free-swimming fry 24 – 48 hours after that.


As they are a less popular species, Brilliant Rasbora’s found in pet stores are likely wild bred as there is not enough trade to establish captive-bred enterprises. If you are looking to purchase your Brilliant Rasbora in a pet store you can expect to pay between $2.99 – $6.99USD.

It is clear to see why this fish is a good choice for those with little knowledge or experience in fishkeeping.  With their ability to survive in a wide range of water parameters and eating most food they are offered, a group of brilliant Rasbora will add a stunning, eye-catching element to your tank that will draw in anyone passing by.