Mosquito Rasbora (Boraras brigittae) are native to the tropical forest swamps and water ways found in many of the jungles of Southeast Asia. Their natural habitat is in black water streams and pools that are tinted dark brown from the tannis released from decaying organic matter. The substrate of these streams is made up of a sandy bottom with a thick covering of leaves, branches and twigs that form an intricate maze of hiding spots for numerous small fish species that thrive there. The Mosquito Rasbora is one of these species that thrives in this dimly lit and densely vegetated environment. They use this dense vegetation to both hide from larger predatory species of fish; as well as, to hunt for small crustaceans, insects, worms and zooplankton on which to feed. They have adapted to this dimly lit, very soft and acidic water and will do best in the home aquarium if housed in a similarly designed aquarium habitat.
Despite the small size of the Mosquito Rasbora, they are not very suitable for very small 3 to 5 gallon pico aquariums as they need both stable water parameters and plenty of swimming room. While they are a smaller species, the streams they originate from in the wild have a large volume of water passing through them which keeps the water parameters stable. Also they are used to having plenty of room to dart in and out of the vegetation, and will appreciate having plenty of space in the home aquarium as well. A 12 gallon nano-cube or 20 gallon standard aquarium should be considered a starting point in regards to aquarium size for the this species. Their small size and shy disposition makes the Mosquito Rasbora only suitable for very peaceful community aquariums that do not have semi-aggressive species like Angelfish, Catfish and Barbs. They will do well in a biotope setup, species only or when housed with only other smaller peaceful fish species. Mosquito Rasbora are a shoaling species that should be kept in groups of at least 6 to 10 individuals, which will help make them more comfortable in the aquarium environment. Competition for females in the group will also bring out the males coloration and provide some interesting behavior as they compete for the females attentions.
A proper aquarium setup for housing Mosquito Rasbora's should include a sandy substrate, plenty of vegetation and plenty of areas in the aquarium that are shaded or dimly lit. The aquarium should ideally be planted with plenty of ground cover plants and driftwood to provide hiding places and habitat that the Mosquito Rasbora will feel comfortable in. Floating plants and plants that grow to the surface and then cover the surface are ideal for Mosquito Rasbora aquariums as they filter the strong aquarium lighting and create areas within the tank that are more dimly lit. The tinted water and acidic water can be replicated by adding dried leaves, peat or products like black water extract to the aquarium to both tint and condition the water. Decaying leaves on the bottom of the aquarium will also provide a supplemental food source, as the decomposition of the leaves will provide food for micro-organisms that the Mosquito Rasbora can then feed on.
In the wild the Mosquito Rasbora preys on micro-foods in the form of small insects, crustaceans, worms and zooplankton. As these foods are difficult to reproduce within the home aquarium, commercial foods ranging from frozen and freeze-dried worms and daphnia to crushed flake foods can be fed in their place. Mosquito Rasbora should be fed a varied diet of flake, freeze-dried and frozen meaty foods that are small enough in size for the Mosquito Rasbora to consume. Crushed quality flake foods, tubifex worms, cyclop-eeze, baby brine shrimp and similar food items should be fed a couple of times per day. Feed an amount that the fish will consume within a 3 to 5 minute period.
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