Clown Rasboras

Clown Rasboras are captivating freshwater fish related to the well-known Harlequin Rasbora. Their bold orange and black colors coupled with their playful demeanor make them a delightful addition to any aquarium setup. These tranquil creatures require straightforward care, making them a superb choice for community aquariums.

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Care DIfficulty


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Southeast Asia

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2 inches (5 cm)

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5 to 8 years

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Table of contents

Origin, Appearance, Size, and Lifespan

The Clown Rasbora, scientifically known as Rasbora kalochroma, comes from the fresh waters of Sumatra and Borneo in Southeast Asia. They commonly inhabit the slow-moving waters of forest streams and peat swamps.

In their native habitats, Clown Rasboras are frequently found in placid, shallow waters with a profusion of vegetation. These plants provide not only shelter but also food, while the dark bottom of the streams accentuates their vibrant hues. As a gregarious species, they flourish in groups of at least six, but can be found in larger shoals in the wild.

Their natural environment is characterized by warm, soft, and mildly acidic water. The temperature usually ranges from 73 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 28 degrees Celsius), with a pH level from 5.0 to 7.0, and water hardness between 1 to 10 dGH. To emulate a similar environment in your aquarium, ensure a stable water temperature, use a high-quality filtration system, and include live plants and driftwood.

By recreating the Clown Rasbora's natural habitat and maintaining optimal water conditions, you'll provide your fish with the foundation for a thriving life in your aquarium.

Clown Rasboras are admired for their bold orange body adorned with a thick, dark stripe, making them a standout attraction in aquariums. Despite their relatively small size, often growing only up to 2 inches (5 cm), their striking colors and lively nature make them a wonderful choice for aquarists wanting to add a pop of color and activity to their tank. These delightful fish are a joy to watch as they flit around the aquarium, earning them a special place in the hearts of hobbyists, irrespective of their experience level.

With attentive care, Clown Rasboras can live up to five to eight years. Being highly social, they are most comfortable in shoals of at least six individuals. To ensure their well-being and promote a long, healthy life in captivity, it's crucial to provide a densely planted aquarium with numerous hiding spots, as well as a varied diet including quality flakes, pellets, and frozen foods.

Fun Facts

Having acquainted ourselves with the physical attributes and lifespan of Clown Rasboras, we can now delve into some intriguing tidbits about these captivating creatures. With their distinctive patterning and affable demeanor, Clown Rasboras offer a plethora of surprises, making them an irresistible choice for any aquarium enthusiast.

  • Survival strategy: Clown Rasboras are known to move around in large groups in the wild, often intermingling with other similar species. This behavior helps boost their collective size and confound predators, thus enhancing their survival prospects.
  • Adaptation to murky waters: Clown Rasboras inhabit waters that are often stained with tannins from decaying vegetation, making them darker than typical freshwater environments. They have a particular pigment that assists them in coping with such conditions, effectively acting as a natural barrier against potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
  • Relationship with Danios: Despite their vibrant coloration, Clown Rasboras share a genetic connection with the Danio family, which includes species like the Zebra Danio, known for their characteristic stripes. Clown Rasboras, however, have evolved to display distinctive colors, aiding them in communication and concealment in their shadowy habitats.
  • Color variation: Clown Rasboras can alter the intensity of their colors in response to their environment, state of health, or mood. If conditions are dim or the fish is experiencing stress, its colors may seem less intense. On the flip side, when the fish is in good health and feels secure, its colors intensify, making it a standout feature in any aquarium.
  • Shoaling instincts: Clown Rasboras are a shoaling species, exhibiting a preference for swimming as a group. This behavior not only gives them a sense of security but also creates a breathtaking spectacle in an aquarium setting. Their synchronized swimming and vivid colors can convert your home aquarium into a spellbinding aquatic tableau.

Now that you're equipped with some engaging facts about Clown Rasboras, you'll be in a stronger position to appreciate their charm and intricacies in your aquarium. In the next section, we'll present some advice on aquarium setups, ensuring your Clown Rasboras enjoy an optimal environment to flourish and showcase their attractive traits.

Recommended Tank Setups

Each proposed setup consists of key elements—tank, filter, heater, lighting, substrate, and more—tailored to create a suitable environment for Clown Rasboras and other harmonious freshwater fish species. As you progress from economical to more luxurious setups, you'll have greater latitude for personalization, aesthetics, and advanced features. Clown Rasboras are schooling fish, hence a group of at least six is recommended to alleviate stress and assure their well-being. Generally, Clown Rasboras range from $3 to $5 per fish, though prices can fluctuate based on variables such as size, quality, and availability.

Budget-friendly setup (around $200):‍

  • Tank: 20-gallon tank with a hood or glass canopy‍ ($40 - $70)
  • Filter: Hang-on-back (HOB) or sponge filter suitable for 20 gallons ($20 - $40)
  • Heater: 50-100 watt adjustable aquarium heater ($15 - $30)
  • Lighting: Basic LED aquarium light ($20 - $50)
  • Substrate: Budget-friendly aquarium sand or small gravel ($10 - $20)
  • Decor: Few pieces of driftwood and rocks, accompanied by low-cost live plants such as Java Fern and Anubias ($20 - $40)
  • Fish: Minimum 6, maximum 10 Clown Rasboras ($18 - $30)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $2 - $10
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $15 - $30
  • Test Kit: $15 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $20
  • Water Conditioner: $5 - $15

Mid-range setup (around $400 - $650):‍

  • Tank: 20-30 gallon tank with a hood or glass canopy ($60 - $120)
  • Filter: Canister filter or premium HOB filter appropriate for the tank size ($60 - $150)
  • Heater: 100-150 watt adjustable aquarium heater ($25 - $50)
  • Lighting: LED aquarium light with tunable settings for plant growth and color accentuation ($50 - $150)
  • Substrate: Nutrient-dense aquarium substrate engineered for planted tanks ($20 - $40)
  • Decor: An assortment of driftwood, rocks, and live plants such as Amazon Swords, Java Fern, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne species ($40 - $80)
  • Fish: Minimum 6, maximum 15 Clown Rasboras ($18 - $50)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $2 - $10
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $15 - $30
  • Test Kit: $15 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $20
  • Water Conditioner: $5 - $15

High-end setup (above $800):‍

  • Tank: 30-40 gallon rimless tank with a glass canopy ($120 - $250)
  • Filter: Premium canister filter suitable for the tank size ($100 - $250)
  • Heater: 150-200 watt adjustable aquarium heater with an external temperature controller ($40 - $80)
  • Lighting: High-end LED lighting system with custom settings for plant growth, color enhancement, and day/night cycles ($150 - $300)
  • Substrate: Deluxe aquarium substrate created for planted tanks, supplemented with root tabs for extra plant nutrition ($30 - $60)
  • Decor: A blend of driftwood, rocks, and live plants to create an authentic aquascape, featuring plant species such as Amazon Swords, Java Fern, Anubias, Cryptocoryne species, and carpeting plants like Dwarf Hairgrass or Monte Carlo ($60 - $150)
  • Fish: Minimum 6, maximum 20 Clown Rasboras ($18 - $70)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $2 - $10
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $15 - $30
  • Test Kit: $15 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $20
  • Water Conditioner: $5 - $15

Please remember these figures are mere suggestions, and factors such as tank mates and individual fish temperaments should be taken into account when deciding the number of Clown Rasboras to house in your aquarium. Prices can differ based on location, brand, and availability.

Set Up Your Tank

In the previous section, we detailed the ideal tank setups for your Clown Rasboras and potential tank mates. Now, we're going to explore the step-by-step procedure for preparing and setting up your aquarium. These steps will guide you through picking the best spot for your tank, cleaning and setting it up, installing essential equipment, and getting the water ready to support a healthy fish environment. We will also explain the right process for introducing your Clown Rasboras and other fish into their new home. Following these guidelines will put you on the right track towards establishing a thriving aquatic ecosystem for your fish.

  • Step #1: Decide on the optimal location for your aquarium, keeping it away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. Ensure the area is level and can sufficiently support the weight of a fully loaded tank. If your aquarium setup includes a stand, follow the manufacturer's guidelines to assemble it, then position the empty tank on top.
  • Step #2: Clean the tank using fresh water (do not use soap or chemicals) to get rid of any dust or debris. Dry the inside with a clean cloth or paper towel. Rinse the substrate (either sand or gravel) thoroughly in a bucket until the water becomes clear, then spread it uniformly across the bottom of the tank, creating a mild slope towards the back for visual effect.
  • Step #3: Before adding water to the tank, map out the layout of your aquarium, taking into consideration the placement of equipment such as heaters and filters. Having a plan in place will simplify setup and future maintenance. Install the heater and filter as instructed by the manufacturer. If you've chosen a sponge or under-gravel filter, place it underneath the substrate prior to adding water.
  • Step #4: Decorate your tank with items such as driftwood, rocks, and plants to make it visually pleasing and provide hiding spots for your fish. Be mindful to create enough open swimming areas for your fish when decorating. Arrange your decor carefully so as not to obstruct or harm any equipment. Anchor plants to driftwood or rocks to ensure they remain in place.
  • Step #5: Fill your tank with water that has been treated with a water conditioner if your tap water contains chlorine or chloramines. Use a clean plate or plastic bag on the substrate to prevent disturbance when filling. Fill up the tank until it's about 2/3 full. Install the aquarium light on the hood or canopy, adhering to the manufacturer's guidelines. Consider using a timer for your aquarium light to regulate the day-night cycle, which is crucial for both fish and plants. Connect the heater, filter, and any additional equipment (such as an air pump, CO2 system) to power sources, and install the thermometer where you can easily see it.
  • Step #6: Top off the water, leaving enough space between the water surface and the top of the tank for oxygen exchange. Switch on the filter, heater, and other equipment. Keep an eye on the water temperature and make heater adjustments if necessary. Let the tank cycle for 4-6 weeks to foster beneficial bacteria and stabilize water parameters. During the cycling process, a bacterial starter culture can be added to hasten the development of beneficial bacteria in the tank. Regularly use an aquarium test kit to check ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
  • Step #7: Once the tank has finished cycling and water parameters are stable, slowly adjust your Clown Rasboras and other fish to the tank's conditions before adding them. Start by floating the sealed fish bag in the tank for about 15-20 minutes to equalize the temperature. Then, open the bag and add a small quantity of tank water to it. Continue this process, adding small quantities of tank water to the bag every 5-10 minutes for a minimum of 30-60 minutes, allowing the fish to gradually adapt to the new water chemistry. Use a net to gently transport the fish from the bag to the tank, being careful to avoid causing unnecessary stress or exposing them to the bag water.
  • Step #8: After introducing all the fish, establish a consistent feeding schedule, supplying top-quality food in the right amounts for your specific fish species. Carry out regular water changes (20-30% every 1-2 weeks) and continually monitor water parameters using a test kit to keep the environment healthy for your fish. Regularly watch your fish for any signs of stress or disease, especially in the first few weeks after their introduction. Be ready to intervene if required, such as modifying water parameters or seeking advice from an expert aquarist.

By sticking to this comprehensive guide and integrating additional setup advice, you can establish a vibrant aquatic environment that will enable your Clown Rasboras and other fish to thrive in their new home.

Recommended Water Parameters

Creating the right environment for your Clown Rasboras is crucial. Let's explore the most suitable water conditions for these small tropical fish:

  • Temperature: Clown Rasboras thrive best in water temperatures between 74°F and 79°F (23°C and 26°C).
  • pH: A slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is suitable for these fish.
  • Hardness: Clown Rasboras prefer soft to moderately hard water, ideally within the range of 2-10 dGH.
  • Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate: Like any other fish, it's essential to keep ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm. Nitrate levels should be kept below 20 ppm.
  • Lighting: Moderate lighting is preferred. Using floating plants can help in providing shady spots.
  • Water movement: Slow to moderate water movement mirrors the natural habitat of the Clown Rasbora.Frequent water testing and regular water changes can help maintain these parameters.

Routine Water Maintenance

Keeping the tank water clean and stable is crucial for the health of your Clown Rasboras. Here's what you should aim for:

  • Weekly water changes: Refresh about 20-30% of the tank water each week to maintain water quality.
  • Test water parameters: Regularly test for pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness.
  • Use a gravel vacuum: This tool will help remove detritus accumulated in the substrate during water changes.
  • Dechlorinate the water: Before adding tap water to the tank, treat it with a water conditioner to neutralize chlorine and chloramines.
  • Match temperature and pH: The new water added should be of similar temperature and pH to the existing tank water.
  • Acclimate the fish: Allow your fish time to adapt after water changes to prevent shock.

Additional maintenance tasks include monitoring light duration, trimming plants, and cleaning or replacing the filter media as needed.

Diet and Feeding Schedule

Clown Rasboras have a diverse diet, and here are some recommendations:

  • Flakes and pellets: High-quality flake or micro-pellet food can form the base of the Clown Rasbora's diet.
  • Frozen and live foods: Supplement their diet with occasional feedings of frozen or live foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.
  • Feeding frequency: Aim to feed small amounts twice a day, ensuring all food is consumed within a few minutes.

Stress and Diseases

Identifying and managing stressors for Clown Rasboras is vital for their health:

  • Watch for stress signs: Changes in behavior, loss of color, and loss of appetite could indicate stress in Clown Rasboras.
  • Check water quality: Frequent water testing and maintenance will help keep your fish stress-free.
  • Monitor tank mates: Ensure that other fish in the tank are not harassing your Clown Rasboras.
  • Create a suitable habitat: Provide enough hiding spaces and keep tank conditions optimal.

Clown Rasboras can be susceptible to common freshwater diseases like Ich, fin rot, velvet disease, and swim bladder disease. Regular observation, maintaining water quality, balanced diet, and timely quarantine of new fish can prevent most of these problems.


Breeding Clown Rasboras can be a rewarding experience. Follow these steps for successful breeding:

  • Step #1: Set up a separate breeding tank with soft, slightly acidic water and a temperature of around 80°F (27°C). Include fine-leaved plants or a spawning mop.
  • Step #2: Choose healthy, mature Clown Rasboras for breeding. Typically, females are fuller-bodied, while males are more vibrant in color.
  • Step #3: Feed the breeding pair high-quality foods, including live or frozen varieties, to condition them for spawning.
  • Step #4: Encourage spawning by dimming the lights and maintaining a consistent day-night cycle.
  • Step #5: Once eggs are laid, remove the parents to prevent them from eating the eggs. Feed the fry with infusoria or liquid fry food until they can eat crushed flake food or baby brine shrimp.
  • Step #6: Observe the development of the fry and ensure they have plenty of cover to avoid being preyed upon by larger tankmates.

Breeding Clown Rasboras requires a bit of patience, but the result can be incredibly rewarding.

Recommended Tank Mates

Here are the top 10 recommended tank mates for Clown Rasboras:

  1. Harlequin Rasboras
  2. Guppies
  3. Neon Tetras
  4. Chili Rasboras
  5. Corydoras Catfish
  6. Bristlenose Plecos
  7. Dwarf Shrimp
  8. Zebra Snails
  9. Otocinclus Catfish
  10. Endler's Livebearers

Please remember to avoid keeping Clown Rasboras with large or aggressive fish like cichlids or predatory species, as they can cause harm or stress to the Clown Rasboras. Observing the behavior of new tank mates is essential to ensure a peaceful and harmonious tank environment.


In conclusion, Clown Rasboras are an enchanting choice of freshwater fish, celebrated for their beautiful coloration and relatively easy care. These fish need certain water conditions, a balanced diet, and a suitable habitat to thrive in captivity. When cared for properly, they can live up to five years, adding a vibrant charm to any aquarium. Selecting peaceful tank mates is crucial for maintaining a stress-free community. Although breeding Clown Rasboras might be a challenge, it can offer a rewarding experience for hobbyists who are patient and attentive to ideal conditions. With their eye-catching colors and active behaviors, Clown Rasboras are a splendid addition to any aquatic display.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal tank size for Clown Rasboras?

A 10-gallon tank is generally the minimum size recommended for Clown Rasboras. However, a larger tank is always better, providing stable water conditions and ample swimming space for these active fish.

How many Clown Rasboras should be kept together?

Clown Rasboras are schooling fish, which means they do best in groups of 6-8 individuals or more. A larger group will help the fish feel secure and encourage them to exhibit their natural behaviors.

What water parameters do Clown Rasboras require?

Clown Rasboras prefer water temperatures between 74°F and 79°F (23°C and 26°C), a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, and soft to moderately hard water with a hardness between 2 and 10 dGH.

What do Clown Rasboras eat?

Clown Rasboras are omnivores and will thrive on a varied diet. You can feed them a mix of high-quality flake or micro-pellet food, supplemented with live or frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms.

Are Clown Rasboras compatible with other fish?

Yes, Clown Rasboras are generally peaceful and can live harmoniously with other similarly sized, non-aggressive species. Good tank mates include other small rasboras, tetras, corydoras catfish, and small plecos.

How can I differentiate between Clown Rasboras and other Rasboras?

Clown Rasboras can be identified by their distinctive bright orange bodies contrasted by three black spots, including one at the caudal peduncle, which gives the appearance of a clown's face.

How long do Clown Rasboras live?

With the right care and optimal tank conditions, Clown Rasboras can live for up to 5 years.

How do I breed Clown Rasboras?

Breeding Clown Rasboras involves specific water conditions such as soft, slightly acidic water and a dimly lit environment. It's best to use a separate breeding tank and separate males and females before introducing them for spawning.

Do Clown Rasboras require a planted tank?

While Clown Rasboras can survive without a planted tank, having live plants is beneficial as they offer hiding spots, improve water quality, and mimic their natural habitat.

Can Clown Rasboras change color?

Yes, Clown Rasboras may change color due to various factors such as stress, disease, or changes in water conditions. If you notice a significant change in your Clown Rasboras' color, it's vital to check the water parameters and monitor their health.