Scarlet badis

Aquarium fish: Scarlet badis (Dario dario)
Size: 2 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 18-26 ° C
Aquarium volume: 30 l

Scarlet badis (Dario dario ) – beautifully colored, small, freshwater aquarium fish, the smallest of the known fish from the order of perch ( Percoidea ).


Asia. The range of this species appears to be limited to the tributaries of the Brahamaputra River in parts of West Bengal, Assam in India, and Bhutan. These fish live in shallow, transparent streams, with sandy or gravel ground and rich vegetation.

Characteristics and disposition

One of the smallest freshwater fish.

Males grow to only 2 cm and are characterized by beautiful coloration. Their head, sides and tail are rusty orange or ruby ​​red. Along the body there are 7 vertical red stripes, alternating with silver and blue ones. The fins are edged in white. Ventral, intensely bluish-white, often equal to body height.

The iris of the eye ranges from golden to amber in color. Females are smaller and less attractive , so they are less frequently imported by sellers. They have a silvery-gray, smooth body with light fins. Sometimes a few pale orange vertical stripes appear on the torso of mature females. Despite their small size, males can be very aggressive towards each other, which is especially noticeable in smaller aquariums, where the dominant male can even kill other rivals.

In a small aquarium it is best to keep a pair or a male with a few females.

Nutrition and feeding

Dario dario are micro-predators. In the wild, they eat primarily small crustaceans, worms, insect larvae and other zooplankton. In the aquarium, they should be given small-sized live or frozen food such as cyclops, artemia, daphnia, grindals, micro nematodes or banana nematodes. They may be reluctant to eat dry foods at first.

They are also known to have obesity problems. You should be careful with high-protein foods (rureczniki, bloodworm), which lead to rapid degreasing of the organs, and thus diseases.


A 30-liter aquarium is enough for a pair of Bengal Badis or a harem, a male with several females. For more males, the tank needs to be a bit larger, with lots of hiding places and numerous views to avoid frequent fights. The bottom can be covered with a substrate, sand or fine gravel, and for decoration use plants such as Microzorium, Anubias or mosses, as well as roots, branches and dry leaves.

Their natural habitat includes plants of the genera Hygrophilia , Limnophila , Ottelia , Rotala and Vallisneria . Choose your fellow residents carefully. Dario dario is by nature slowly swimming, skittish fish, and they are easily dominated by larger or more vigorous species. They can safely be kept with similar-sized fish of the genus Microdevario ( kubotai ), Boraras ( maculatus , brigittae ), Trigonostigma ( espei , hengeli ), Petruichthys.


Bengal badis, unlike their larger cousins, spread their roe (Badis badis roe in rock caves).

Fish can be bred in pairs or in larger groups. In the latter case, the length of the aquarium should be approx. 30 cm per male. Usually only the dominant male takes part in spawning. The water in the spawning tank should have a pH of about 7.0-7.2, 7-11 dKH and a temperature of 23-26 ° C, but breeders successfully breed them in both slightly harder and very soft water.

A sponge filter is sufficient for filtration. It is also necessary to fill the tank with plants, e.g. Java moss, at least 50%. Dario dario eagerly shed their spawn between plants, including floating ones. Before the planned multiplication, the amount of live food given should be increased.

The male ready for breeding covers the area and takes on intense colors. At this time, his chases after the females begin, which sometimes last several days. At the same time, he is not too aggressive, he only tries to “invite” his partner to a previously selected place. During the act, I embrace the female, similar to the Fighters. The female releases several dozen non-stick eggs (about 80), which are fertilized by the partner.

The act itself lasts only a dozen or so seconds. After spawning, the male chases the female away and deals with chasing other fish from his area. Hatching depends on the temperature and takes about 2-3 days. The fry are initially invisible and hide among the plants. After 3 or 4 weeks near the bottom, you can see miniature copies of the parents.

In the first stage, the larvae should be fed with the smallest amount of food until they can eat brine shrimp larvae or micro-nematodes. Males color quickly, so the sex of fish is easy to distinguish even at a young age. Well-fed adults may wipe out every 3-4 weeks. Older brood will, however, hunt for smaller fry from later litters. If we want to raise more young, it is worth moving the parents or a clump of plants with eggs to a separate aquarium.


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