There’s a new addition to the Fireplace Aquarium – chili rasboras!  I’ve been thinking there’s room for some more fish residents and the chili rasboras at LFS seemed to tick all the right boxes.

Small upper level fish

The chilis (Boraras brigittae) are about as small a fish as it is possible to get so won’t add a lot of bioload to the aquarium, which is a good for a nanotank.  Unlike the rummys and the barbs which spend most of the time towards the bottom of the water column, the chilis are mostly up near the surface.  This gives a good visual contrast and adds interest to a prominent piece of otherwise underutilised real estate.

Looking around at the various fish on offer for freshwater tanks there isn’t much that likes to be at the top.  I did consider hatchetfish, but these are a lot larger than the chilis, and if I’m honest, the chilis are so much cuter to look at!  No disrespect to hatchetfish, but chilis win this round.

Chili snack fish?

chili rasboras
Chili rasboras – so cute!

The chilis aren’t a lot bigger than the yellow goldenback shrimp which started well in the Fireplace Aquarium until they were savagely torn apart by the barbs.  I was (am) concerned the chilis could be similarly considered “eating size” but the nice person at LFS said they’d be ok so I decided to chance it.  It’s been 5 days and the chilis are hanging tough!  I did think the larger fish took a bit of a look sizing up these newcomers, but so far the peace of the ‘peaceful community tank’ has been maintained.

Tragic news!

UPDATE:  rummy-nosed tetras eat chili rasboras!

Shoaling fish

The chilis are a shoaling fish, which means they hang out together but don’t swim around in a “synchronised swimming” (schooling) manner.  They like each other’s company, but don’t get all coordinated about it.  There were initially 7 chilis in the tank, one of which didn’t really do the shoaling behaviour and I wonder if that was a poorly fish because the loner seems to be “gone” (I can’t find it anywhere) and the 6 remaining are shoaling well.  The shoaling makes them fun to watch and if they get a little bigger and darker coloured as they grow up they’ll stand out even more.

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