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Eyespot Rasbora

(Brevibora dorsiocellata)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 1.5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 70-78° F, KH 1-10, pH 5.0-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Malaysia   • Family: Cyprinidae
• Species: Rasboras   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Eyespot Rasbora native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Eyespot Rasbora (Brevibora dorsiocellata) is a small schooling species of Cyprinidae native to the black water streams and rivers of southern Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra. The streams and rivers in which Eyespot Rasbora live in the wild are found in dimly lit forested areas which directly effect the water conditions of the streams below.

The streams and rivers where Eyespot Rasbora are found are tinted a dark brown due to the release of tannins and other chemicals that come from decomposing organic matter that is scattered all along the substrate of the rivers and streams. This organic matter is composed of peat, leaves, twigs and branches that fall from the forested canopy above. All of this organic matter has both an effect of the water chemistry and on the behavior and feeding of the fish who live in these water ways.

Decomposing organic matter lowers the pH which makes the water very soft and acidic, as well as darkening the waters color. The organic matter on the rivers substrate also creates lots of habitat for a variety of living creatures including: insects, worms, invertebrates, crustaceans, fish, etc. It is within this habitat that the Eyespot Rasbora thrives by predating on small worms, insects and crustaceans living in the plants and settled organics on the river bottom.

Eyespot Rasbora utilize both schooling in large groups and the dense under brush of their native streams in order to protect them from large predatory species that prey on small species like Rasbora.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Eyespot Rasbora in the home aquarium.

Despite the small size of the Eyespot Rasbora they are not very suitable for very small 3 to 5 gallon pico aquariums as they should be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals, which will require at least a 20 gallon aquarium. 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 very stable.

They are also used to having plenty of room to dart in and out of vegetation and organic matter laying on the substrate, thus 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. They will do well in a biotope setup, species only or when housed with only other smaller peaceful fish species.

Eyespot 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.

A proper aquarium setup for housing Eyespot Rasbora 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 low light ground cover plants and driftwood to provide hiding places and habitat that the Eyespot Rasbora will feel comfortable in.

Floating plants and plants that grow to the surface and then cover the surface are ideal for Eyespot 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 Eyespot Rasbora can then feed on.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Eyespot Rasbora and provide a healthy diet.

In the wild the Eyespot Rasbora prey 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. Eyespot Rasbora should be fed a varied diet of flake, freeze-dried and frozen meaty foods that are small enough in size for the Eyespot Rasbora to easily consume.

Crushed quality flake foods, tubifex worms, blood 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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