Scissortail Rasbora Care Guide: Easy Steps for Happy Fish

Scissortail rasboras are fascinating freshwater fish that captivate hobbyists with their unique markings and graceful swimming patterns. Native to the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia, these peaceful fish are perfect for community aquariums and are widely admired for their ease of care and adaptability.

Caring for your scissortail rasbora begins with understanding their preferred habitat and diet. These fish thrive in slightly acidic water with a pH of 6.6 to 7.0 and a hardness level between 2° and 15° dH. Providing a well-rounded diet, consisting of high-quality flakes, pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods, ensures your scissortail rasbora remain healthy and vibrant.

Providing ample swimming space and a comfortable environment is essential for these active fish. In the following sections, we will delve further into the specific requirements for scissortail rasbora care, including tank size, suitable tank mates, and breeding practices, to help you create the perfect environment for your aquatic companions.

Scissortail Rasbora Overview

Species Profile

Property Information
Scientific name Rasbora trilineata
Common names Scissortail Rasbora, Three-lined Rasbora
Distribution Mekong River Basin, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand
Size Up to 6 inches
Lifespan 5-6 years
Diet Omnivore
Temperament Peaceful
Minimum tank size 20 gallons
Temperature 72-79°F (22-26°C)
pH 6.6 – 7.0
Water hardness 2° – 15° dH
Care level Easy
Filtration/Water Flow Moderate
Water type Freshwater
Breeding Egg scatterer, no parental care
Breeding difficulty Moderate
Compatibility Peaceful community fish

Natural Habitat

Scissortail Rasbora is a native of the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. They thrive in slightly acidic environments, enjoying rivers, and streams with slow to moderate water flow and dense vegetation. Mimicking their natural habitat will keep them happy and healthy in your aquarium while providing an attractive display.

Aquarium Setup

Tank Size and Conditions

To keep your scissortail rasboras happy and healthy, you should provide them with an aquarium of at least 20 gallons. A larger tank allows for better water quality and room for these active swimmers. Maintain a water pH between 6.6 and 7.0, with a hardness of 2° to 15° dH.

Lighting and Filtration

Scissortail rasboras do not have specific lighting requirements, but a moderate level of lighting works well. Aim for a reliable filtration system to ensure a stable environment for your fish. Proper filtration helps maintain water quality and a healthy bacterial balance.

Substrate and Decorations

Choose fine gravel or sand for the substrate; this mimics their natural habitat and minimizes harm. Add decorations to create hiding spots for your Scissortail rasboras. Use plants, driftwood, and rocks, while still ensuring open swimming areas. This setup will help your fish feel comfortable and secure in their environment.

Dietary Requirements

Food Types

Scissortail rasboras are omnivores, meaning they will thrive on a balanced diet of both plant-based and protein-rich foods. A good feeding mix includes high-quality flakes, pellets, live, and frozen foods. Supplement their diet with:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Bloodworms
  • Spirulina (for plant-based nutrients)

Feeding Frequency

Feed your scissortail rasboras 2-3 times a day, providing only as much food as they can consume within 2-3 minutes. Overfeeding can lead to health issues and poor water quality. To maintain a healthy diet and prevent overeating, consider the following:

  • Use a variable feeding schedule to mimic their natural foraging habits
  • Remove any uneaten food promptly to avoid water pollution
  • Incorporate occasional fasting for one day per week

Stay within these guidelines, and your scissortail rasboras should thrive in their aquatic environment.

Compatibility with Tank Mates

Suitable Tank Mates

Scissortail Rasboras are peaceful fish that get along well with various species. Your best options for tank mates include:

  • Tetras: These small, colorful fish are both friendly and active.
  • Danios: Similar in size and behavior, danios make great companions.
  • Corydoras: These bottom-dwelling catfish are also peaceful and won’t interfere with your Rasboras.
  • Guppies: Another great choice for a community tank, guppies are active and friendly.

Avoiding Conflict

To ensure harmony in your aquarium, consider these points:

  • Size matters: Avoid pairing Scissortail Rasboras with significantly larger or more aggressive fish.
  • Space is key: A spacious aquarium (20 gallons or more) helps minimize conflicts.
  • Group living: Keep your Scissortail Rasboras in groups of at least six to help them feel secure and reduce stress.

Breeding and Reproduction

Breeding Process

To breed Scissortail Rasboras, start by setting up a separate breeding tank with slightly acidic water and temperatures around 25-27°C. Introduce a healthy, mature pair of male and female rasboras into the tank. They’ll display more intense colors and pre-spawning behaviors. A dense area of Java moss or spawning mop will help catch the eggs and provide protection.

Egg Care

After spawning, remove the adult fish to avoid egg predation. The eggs will hatch in about 24 to 36 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming after 3-4 days. They require infusoria or finely crushed fish flakes as their first foods. Remember to maintain proper water quality during this period, and within a few weeks, your Scissortail Rasbora fry should grow into healthy, thriving juveniles.

Health and Well-being

Monitoring Health

To maintain the health of your Scissortail Rasbora, monitor water quality by testing pH levels, hardness, and temperature regularly. Ideal water conditions are a pH between 6.6 to 7.0 and hardness between 2° and 15° dH1.

Common Diseases

Watch out for signs of common diseases like ich, fin rot, and fungal infections. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Ich: Small white spots on the body, fins, and gills2.
  • Fin rot: Fins appear to be disintegrating or fraying3.
  • Fungal infections: Cotton-like growths on the body, fins, or mouth4.

If your fish display any of these symptoms, take appropriate action by quarantining the affected fish and applying proper medications5.


  1. Scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora Trilineata): Ultimate Care Guide

  2. Scissortail rasbora Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

  3. Scissortail Rasboras: Your Guide to the Sharpest Swimmers

  4. Scissortail Rasbora Care: Size, Lifespan, Diet & More – Aquarium Source

  5. Scissortail Rasbora Care Guide & Species Profile

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal temperature for their tank?

The ideal temperature for scissortail rasbora’s tank is between 72°F to 79°F (22°C to 26°C). It’s essential to keep the temperature steady, as fluctuations can cause unnecessary stress for your fish.

How large do they grow?

Scissortail rasboras typically grow to a size of around 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) in length. Make sure to provide them with enough swimming space in your tank, considering their active nature.

How to distinguish between males and females?

Males tend to be more slender and have a slightly longer anal fin than females. On the other hand, females usually have a rounder, fuller body. It might be a bit challenging to differentiate between them, but these subtle differences can help you tell the sexes apart.

What is their average lifespan?

The average lifespan of scissortail rasboras is about 5 to 7 years when properly cared for. Provide them with a suitable environment, proper diet, and consistent water parameters to ensure they live a healthy and happy life.

Are they compatible with angelfish?

Scissortail rasboras can be compatible with angelfish, but be cautious when choosing tank mates. Angelfish may occasionally prey on smaller fish. If you decide to add scissortail rasboras to a tank with angelfish, monitor their behavior closely and ensure they have enough hiding spots to minimize potential conflicts.

How many should be kept together in a school?

These fish prefer to be in a group, so it’s best to keep a school of at least 5 to 6 scissortail rasboras. A larger group will help them feel more secure and express their social nature, leading to a happier, healthier tank environment.