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Boraras Merah - The micro predator from the swamps of Borneo

With a maximum length of 20mm, these tiny little Boraras are he perfect addition to a small nano tank. They are a schooling fish by nature and are the perfect companion for your freshwater shrimps. When kept in groups of 8-10 you get a natural effective school of fish which will thrive in a planted tank.


Originating from the dark swampy waters of Southern Borneo, the Boraras ideal conditions are very soft, acidic and dimly lit. ph as low as 4.0 which is why they work well with shrimps. Yes this fish are tiny but they do still need a little space to swim. To get the best out of your group, I would recommend a minimum tank size of 45cm x 30cm with various small plants. Lighting is not too important and I would consider using leaf litter to create the darker water.

The idea water conditions are:
An example of Jelia Bila biotope - Boraras natural habitat

  • 20-28 degrees celsius 
  • 4.0 - 6.5pH
  • 18 - 90 ppm hardness


Being so small requires small food. In the wild, these fish are micro predators and eat small insects or worms. In the home aquarium, we can look to feed them small dried food and compliment with live food like daphnia or Artemia. This balanced diet will produce the active healthy and colourful you want.


With the Females being larger and more rounder-bellied its simple to tell the different. The male is the more attractive looking fish so if your looking to breed the Boraras it should be fairly straight forward to obtain a breeding group. Like most small Cyprinids, they are egg scatterers. They show no parental instinct but if your tank has enough coverage and plants, with the ideal water chemistry, eggs will be scattered daily and you will get a small amount of young appear without needing to do anything.

For a more successful approach, bare bottom tanks with big clumps of java moss is ideal. adults cannot swim into the dense plant but eggs will fall into them and  fry will grow large enough while protected from the parents.

If you fancy your hand at these wonderful little fish, hopefully the above advice will help you be successful. Currently these are in stock at Riverside Aquaria in Livingston for £2.29 each or 6 for £12.00

Thanks for reading

Bye for now

Reference:, Photo provided by Yuriy Shamkalovich


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