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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all!
I have a well planted 20 gallon forest canopy biotope tank with 4 of the 5 well documented species of the Boraras Genus.
And am in the process of setting up a 10 gallon tank with which I plan to breed these species one by one.
Below you'll find a hopefully satisfying discussion on issues and difficulties concerning the keeping, breeding and rearing of species from this beautiful little genus.
Feel free to contribute, add some advice, make a comment. Do a little trolling. Whatever it is, so long as it has something to do with Boraras. I will cover as many topics as I can, and hopefully introduce some new ideas to the breeding of Boraras.

I'm currently stocked with:

x10 - Boraras Brigittae (Chili Rasbora)
x8 - Boraras Maculatus (Dwarf Rasbora)
x5 - Boraras Merah (Phoenix Rasbora)
x21 - Boraras Uropthalmoides (Exclamation Point/ Sparrow/ Least Rasbora)

I've attached some pictures of my current setup as well and hope you can provide the community and myself some wisdom. :smile2::smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha I hope not! Really excited to see what happens though!
I'll me making a journal about the experience in a week or so.
As far as I'm aware, though some Boraras may hybridise it is rather uncommon, and any fry are sterile. I will be taking a controlled approached to breeding however, and moving the fish into a new setup temporarily to spawn :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
what is that plant in the background - kinda awesome!
To the left is Elantine Triandra, and to the right is Didiplis Diandra.
Both very hardy species of ste, plants which grow quite fast.
My Sparkling Gouramis made their bubble nests amongst the leaves before I sold them. Very good light breaker and canopy. :)
 

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Very cool!

I was going to stock the different species together as well, but am deciding to just stick with a larger group of one species (leaning toward B. brigittae) for them to breed.

Do you notice any unique behavior differences between the species? One species happen to be more shy or more aggressive than the others? Notice any harassing shrimp?
Do the different species interact with one another?

I don't know much on breeding them, but I think I heard lower pH (not sure on exact number) is better.

For your breeding project, I am thinking it may take longer than expected. When you take a group and put them in the 10 gallon, they can take quite a long time to settle in before feeling comfortable enough to breed. Usually larger tanks can have quicker breeding results, though a 10 gallon for these little guys should work. Heavily planting (more cover) the tank would speed things up. Look into what water parameters breeders have found to be best, and look what other spawning triggers there are. Most fish get in breeding mood when conditioned with high protein diets (live foods, or frozen worms, etc).
 

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Aren't all of those fish coming from peat filtered, blackwater streams?

I can't help but think they'd be similar to breeding Harlequin Rasboras, although these little Rasboras probably have more in common with those little micro Danions like Paedocypris Progenetica,


Soft water + tannics + low light levels + plants to spawn under/against.

And also Seriously Fish also has a page about keeping and breeding them..Boraras merah (Rasbora merah) ? Seriously Fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Very cool!

I love Brigittae! I'm in Australia though, so they're really difficult to get as they are no longer on the legal live import list, and Bio-security in this country is very strong.

All of the species exhibit unique behaviour.

B. Brigittae tends to be very active in higher to mid water preferring the canopy and areas of low flow. The younger specimens always seem to be hanging around the bottom searching for something too.
They're very inquisitive and very good to watch, and settled very quickly.
B. Merah is pretty much the same. The ones I have were mixed in with the Brigittae, so I believe they may interbreed. But that's a whole discussion forum in itself!

B. Maculatus is crazy active. I've managed to find video of them in the wild, and though they do occur in tannin heavy settings. I was also quite surprised to see the amount of flow in the habitat they were occupying. Here's the video link: (https://youtu.be/4HZpzbti4q0?t=248)
They stick together most of the time, but occasionally school with both Uropthalmoides and the Brigittae.
They're the easiest to feed, and may almost be verging on obese in my tank...

Finally, Uropthalmoides is the most interesting case. When I first bought them, I started out with 11. And though they were very active to begin with, even spawning in the Blyxa Japonica in the front of the tank. They exhibited really beautiful colours, iridescent blues and strong yellows. But as they settled in they became EXTREMELY shy.
Like not even coming out for food or being visible behind the hardscape and many times during the day.
They began coming out much more when I got the Brigittae. But were still very shy. So I thought it was probably the number of fish in the tank which was getting to them. In the only video I've seen of them in nature (can't find it :crying: ) They were in a massive school of 1000's.
So I got 10 more, and now they seem to be much more active. Still very shy in comparison to the other species, but they come out, feed and school readily in the front of the tank now. Which is a big relief.

Oh! Also Uropthalmoides is really the only one of these species which shows very active and coherent schooling behaviour.

None of these fish seem to harass shrimp in any way. They are out all day and swim around freely amongst the fish.
They probably do eat newly hatched ones if they can find them. But that's good for me, because I've already got 40-50 and don't need anymore.

Maculatus is much more likely to school with Brigittae and Merah than Uropthalmoides because they occur in overlapping regions I believe... Uropthalmoides also seems to gravitate towards Brigittae when they come out. But I think this is probably due to their similar appearance with the lateral stripe rather than their behaviour.
When Maculatus males display, they form temporary territories, but don't seem to bother the other fish. Only interacting with each other.

Thanks for the tip about pH :) I'm going to have to experiment. My current tank pictured sits around 6.5 because of Aqua soil. But in my new one I plan to greatly increase the TDS and probably lower pH further with leaf litter in order to really re-create that blackwater habitat.

Good to know :D I'm hoping they settle quickly. I'm basing my knowledge of their behaviour off the manner in which my Maculatus and Urophthalmides have spawned in my tank. In the early morning when lights first come on.
I took less than a week for my Uropthalmoides to start exhibiting spawing behaviour when I first introduced them to my tank, so I feel as if so long as they enter the right conditions and the tank is cycled and well setup it shouldn't be too much of an issue, but I'll keep that in mind :D

I'm planning to use primarily Crytocoryne in this new tank without Co2 because I know it is one of the few plants which can actually grow well in blackwater habitats and is naturally a part of the Boraras environment.
I've also heard that driftwood is a must for Boraras fry because they eat micro-organisms which naturally proliferate on its surface.
The internet is also surprisingly silent on parameters necessary to breed these fish. There are a few articles, but they are not hugely detailed.
I already feed my fish a mixture of high quality pellet food from ADA, and micro-worms :D
As I go I will update you on my findings and progress!

Bump:
Put a couple tubs of water outside, get yourself some mosquito larvae. Great live food for conditioning breeders.
That's a great idea mate! :grin2: But for me its almost coming into winter and getting really cold because I'm in Australia!
I'll defintely look into it when September rolls around!

Do you think people have a greater success rate with breeding these fish outdoors?

Bump:
Aren't all of those fish coming from peat filtered, blackwater streams?

I can't help but think they'd be similar to breeding Harlequin Rasboras, although these little Rasboras probably have more in common with those little micro Danions like Paedocypris Progenetica,


Soft water + tannics + low light levels + plants to spawn under/against.

And also Seriously Fish also has a page about keeping and breeding them..Boraras merah (Rasbora merah) ? Seriously Fish
Awesome pic you've got there! Padeocypris look very similar to Brigittae! I've never heard of them before!

Harlequins exhibit different spawning behaviour though I think... They do this upside down thing on leaves right? :surprise:

My Boraras seem to like spawning in bushy plants like Blyxa Japonica, and Java Moss.

The 10 gallon I set up will be a Biotope breeding setup :D So I'll defintely take your advice on board about conditions.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update:

Here's the new 10 gallon. Aquasoil in the bottom. Built in over flow filter... So I'm going to have to make sure the grate holes are covered up properly... hmmm....

The second image is just to give you an idea of what I currently have on me.

Please feel free to make suggestions about what you think will work well in it, and what won't.

So far we have:

x2 small pieces of very well aged bog wood.
(Its starting to decompose actually, because its been left in my backyard out in the weather for so long! Hoping it will release some good tanins etc.)

Blyxa Japonica. (A bushy plant visible to the right hand bottom corner of my tank where I have witnessed B. Uropthalmoides spawning.)

Cryptocoryne. - (No experience with this plant, can anybody recommend varities and growing conditions? Is Aquasoil and minimal fertilisation enough to keep these pants healthy?)

A bed of leaves from different varieties of tropical species. (I will be sourcing these leaves from the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne) So if anyone knows any particular varieties of leaves or trees that would be beneficial give me a shout and I can probably track it down.)

What next?

Am I missing something? Should I add floating plants? Do tell :D
 

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Bump:

Awesome pic you've got there! Padeocypris look very similar to Brigittae! I've never heard of them before!

Harlequins exhibit different spawning behaviour though I think... They do this upside down thing on leaves right? :surprise:

My Boraras seem to like spawning in bushy plants like Blyxa Japonica, and Java Moss.

The 10 gallon I set up will be a Biotope breeding setup :D So I'll defintely take your advice on board about conditions.
I should have mentioned that Padeocypris are the genus with two species of fish, both considered to be the world's smallest freshwater fish.

Padeocypris I think are supposedly more clear colored and rarely get larger than 0.3" SL. not sure if that's the other species in that image I have 1-1/2 month old White Cloud young that are bigger.

I was using them as an example of what seems to be the breeding strategy of all these little Rasboras, (White Clouds also do this..) is that they are continuous spawners, their eggs are pretty large to their body size and the females lay them in small amounts often, instead of the usual, (like Tetras and Barbs) of a hundred or so all at once.

You might find that because they don't lay a lot of eggs in one sitting it might be to their advantage to leave the adults in the breeding tank for a week or so and allow the young to make their appearance. From what the author of the Seriously Fish article seems to be implying is that the parents can be left with the newly hatched young given dense enough plant cover, ( Java Moss/Fern and floating plants..) The babies will tend to hang out under leaves and against stems and other places of shelter. The key is to keep the adults well fed enough that any predation of the babies is minimal because they're too full of live food. Like someone else said raise some Mossie larvae.

Update:

Here's the new 10 gallon. Aquasoil in the bottom. Built in over flow filter... So I'm going to have to make sure the grate holes are covered up properly... hmmm....

The second image is just to give you an idea of what I currently have on me.

Please feel free to make suggestions about what you think will work well in it, and what won't.

So far we have:

x2 small pieces of very well aged bog wood.
(Its starting to decompose actually, because its been left in my backyard out in the weather for so long! Hoping it will release some good tanins etc.)

Blyxa Japonica. (A bushy plant visible to the right hand bottom corner of my tank where I have witnessed B. Uropthalmoides spawning.)

Cryptocoryne. - (No experience with this plant, can anybody recommend varities and growing conditions? Is Aquasoil and minimal fertilisation enough to keep these pants healthy?)

A bed of leaves from different varieties of tropical species. (I will be sourcing these leaves from the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne) So if anyone knows any particular varieties of leaves or trees that would be beneficial give me a shout and I can probably track it down.)

What next?

Am I missing something? Should I add floating plants? Do tell :D
In the past I've done my breeding tanks substrate-less and filled with Water Sprite and Java Moss/Ferns with no filtering at all. I would at very least, place a fine pored sponge over the inlet side of the filter box and turn the flow down to minimum if possible. You don't want any moderate currents with egglayer fry. I've used just a 50 watt heater as a source of water motion, and honestly if you're going to do a long term breeding tank for these fish, it should already have the tannin releasing leaves/wood well aged in the tank/water the breeders are going into. They should also be well acclimated to the water conditions of the breeding tank, which will require than you attempt to lower the pH and soften their community tank's water to as close as possible of the breeding tank's. But this is all un-necessary *if* they are already spawning in their big tank! Why make more work for yourself? I'd use the same water conditions in the big tank to the breeder tank's, instead of setting up a special water conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
So recently I went into my LFS to pick up some substrate, and had a discussion with them about Boraras.
The owner of the shop who had significant experience dealing with these species in Australia made an interesting suggestion when he asked me whether or not any of my Chili Rasboras (Boraras Brigittae) had broken lateral stripes. (The did. See images)
He said that if a Chili Rasbora has a broken lateral stripe, it is not 'pure' and it is probably a cross. I was doubtful about this, and went away and did some research.

On a forum post, he later suggested that the cross in question was that between Boraras Maculatus and Boraras Brigittae.
Which would create Boraras Merah.

Though this makes poetic sense because Maculatus have circular spots and are often very clear in colour, Brigittae is very solid in red colouration and has a strong lateral stripe and Merah has a ovular spot with colour running across its body laterally.

But I am still very skeptical because studies by Kevin Conway have demonstrated that all five species are distinctly seperate. Merah is defintely not simply a cross between Maculatus and Brigittae, and when crosses of known individuals from Merah and Brigittae have been made, the young have been reported to be sterile.

Merah and Brigittae are often confused, and I myself think that I got Merah in the group of Brigittae that I recently bought.

Is it possible that they are all just Brigittae? Is it possible that we're looking at an undescribed species with intermediate patterning?

Does anybody know of, or witnessed any successful crosses between Boraras with viable young?
What's the deal here?

(The pictures I have show two of what I think are Brigittae from my tank. They are quite young, so don't have strong colouration yet, but one has a full body lateral stripe and one does not. There is also an image of Maculatus that I also took, just for comparison. I'm very happy with the way the pictures turned out.) :laugh2::laugh2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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In the past I've done my breeding tanks substrate-less and filled with Water Sprite and Java Moss/Ferns with no filtering at all. I would at very least, place a fine pored sponge over the inlet side of the filter box and turn the flow down to minimum if possible. You don't want any moderate currents with egglayer fry. I've used just a 50 watt heater as a source of water motion, and honestly if you're going to do a long term breeding tank for these fish, it should already have the tannin releasing leaves/wood well aged in the tank/water the breeders are going into. They should also be well acclimated to the water conditions of the breeding tank, which will require than you attempt to lower the pH and soften their community tank's water to as close as possible of the breeding tank's. But this is all un-necessary *if* they are already spawning in their big tank! Why make more work for yourself? I'd use the same water conditions in the big tank to the breeder tank's, instead of setting up a special water conditions.
Wow okay! Great to know. I didn't think that filtration would be such an issue. I'll defintely looking to have it as minimal as possible. And in fact now that I think about it, it may be the reason why I've not seen free swimming fry from my previous spawning of these fish (sucked into the big filter :surprise: )

You're also probably right about the water conditions needing to be matching in both tanks. I'll do my best to increase tannic levels with leaf litter slightly in my big tank and try to match the conditions in the wild, and that way I won't have to make to many changes in terms of water conditions for the new one.

I have a wet/dry filter suspended from my big tank, so I can't change flow rate there, but its not that fast. I'll try and keep it consistent and see what happens.

Cheers!

I should have mentioned that Padeocypris are the genus with two species of fish, both considered to be the world's smallest freshwater fish.

"They are continuous spawners, their eggs are pretty large to their body size and the females lay them in small amounts often, instead of the usual, (like Tetras and Barbs) of a hundred or so all at once."

You might find that because they don't lay a lot of eggs in one sitting it might be to their advantage to leave the adults in the breeding tank for a week or so and allow the young to make their appearance. From what the author of the Seriously Fish article seems to be implying is that the parents can be left with the newly hatched young given dense enough plant cover, ( Java Moss/Fern and floating plants..) The babies will tend to hang out under leaves and against stems and other places of shelter. The key is to keep the adults well fed enough that any predation of the babies is minimal because they're too full of live food. Like someone else said raise some Mossie larvae.
Yeah, I was looking at breeding methods used for CPDS and this came up quite often. Seriouslyfish was my first point of call when researching these fish, so I defintely too their points on board.

I was thinking that once the tank is up, properly cycled and stable the weekly rotation would be a great idea.
Its too cold for mossie larvae right now though! So I'm just using microworms. :smile2:
 
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Hey Jira, have you had any opportunities to place the B. brigittae in a lid-less/rim-less tank yet? Doing some research, it seems that people have 50/50 experiences with Chili's jumping out of their tanks - some have kept 100's over the years and been fine, while others have replaced 100's! Curious to see what you think.

I've also heard about the brigittae-merah-maculatus conundrum. I don't have a distinct source (heard it from one fish expert who heard it from another, etc.), but one theory is B. merah are female B. brigittae! They often lack color and don't develop the entire lateral stripe like the bright red B. brigittae do. The fact that they are often found together is interesting in itself, but there's another little theory for you.
 
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