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Sawbwa resplendens



    Sawbwa means “king” in the Shan and Tai languages and while this fish shares it’s looks with the Rummy-nose tetras of South America, the two species are as far apart genetically as they are geographically. These scaleless, vibrant micros are a favorite of nanokeepers and a mystery to scientists who have yet to determine whether they are Barbs, Danios, Rasboras or their own category of fish.

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Max length: Up to 1.0 in (2.5 cm)
Tank: School of 7- 8 fish: 20 gallons (76.00 liters) or larger.
Strata: Middle, Bottom levels
PH: pH range: 7.0 – 8.0
Hardness: medium to hard. dH range: 9 – 19.
Temperature: 70°F to 77°F (21-25°C)


Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genera: Sawbwa
Species: Sawbwa resplendens




Common name:


Asian Rummynose

    , Burmese Rummy Nose, Burmese Rummynose, Naked Microrasbora, Rummynose Rasbora, Rummy Nose Rasbora, Sawbwa Barb.


    Southeast Asia: Myanmar: Lake Inle, Occupies shallow waters dotted with islands of densely matted vegetation.

General Body Form:Streamlined head and body. Fins are moderately long and rounded. Caudal fin is forked and rounded. Mouth is terminal. Sawbwas are completely scaleless.

Coloration:Adult males have milky, silvery-cerulean blue bodies with vermillion heads. The caudal fin has a vermilion spot on each terminus. Immature males and females are translucent olive-brown with metalic silver ventrum and have a dark marking just anterior to the anal fin.




    • water:
      Freshwater: These hardy fish are very sensitive to their water quality. Water must be clear, well-filtered, fairly-cool, slow-moving, pH neutral and relatively hard. Sponge filters are ideal. Weekly water changes of 25% to 50% are essential and must be done gently.
    • Diet:
      Omnivorus: These fish are so like their wild relatives that they’ll require a wild-foods diet to condition them when they are first brought home. Foods that are eaten voraciously include live and frozen artemia, bloodworms, daphnia, and plankton. Gradually introduce micro pellets and balanced prepared foods for small-mouthed fish
    • Tank/Decor:
      A 20 gallon (76 liter) tank is ideal for these micro fish and will allow them to shoal. With extensive maintenance, experienced nano aquarists can keep these fish in 5 or 10 gallon (18.93 to 37.85 liter) tanks. Success comes from replicating their native waters. Sand, fluorite or small-grained gravel is soft, excellent for plant growth and in darker colors, will help calm these nervous fish. A densely planted tank provides improved oxygen in a slow-current setting, hosts macrophytes essential for their diet, and provideS shelter and breaks up lines of sight among territorial males. Anubias, Swords, grasses and reeds all do well. Ensure that there open-water swimming spaces, as well. The tank should have a cover to prevent fish from jumping.
    • Communities:
      Peaceful: Good in species-only tanks or as part of community tanks with similarly-sized fish. Keep in shoals of at least 6 to 8. Males maintain a hierarchical pecking order so they are best kept in a ratio or 4 females to 1 male. Tankmates might include emerald dwarf rasboras, highfin glassy perchlets, and Inle loach.

Biotope:Usually inhabits Lake margins and surrounding swamps Among dense vegetation.


Difficult. Egg-scatters. Sexual dimorphism: Males have milky, silvery-cerulean blue bodies with vermillion heads and a vermilion spot on each caudal fin terminus. Immature males and females are translucent olive-brown with metalic silver ventrum and have a dark marking just anterior to the anal fin. Females are also more fuller-bodied during spawning. Courtship and spawning behaviors are unknown. It is believed that spawning may be stimulated when the water is pH neutral, has a dH of 20 and the temperature dips to between 57 – 64°F (15 – 18°C) replicating winter conditions at Inle lake. A spawning tank should be planted or contain either baby grass or spawning mops. Substrate should be checked daily for eggs and parents should be removed when eggs are found as they will eat their fry. Fry require microscopic food fed several times per day with their need for food increasing as their yolk sacs are absorbed. After 5 or 6 days, fry can accept Artemia nauplii.

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