Scissortail Rasbora Stats InfographicThe Scissortail rasbora is an excellent choice for beginner aquarists looking for an active fish to keep them entertained. They are avid swimmers and prefer to be held in tanks with lots of open space.

If you are looking for a gorgeous fish species to bring life to the top layers of your tank, then this Rasbora species is it!

Learn all about the Scissortail Rasbora in this article – care, size, diet, origin, and so much more.


Origin Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Mekong River Basin
Other Names Three-lined Rasbora, Black Scissors Tail
Size 6 inches
Lifespan 5 years
Temperament Peaceful
Diet Omnivore
Breeding Type Egg scatterer
Tank Size 20 gallons
Temperature 72 – 79 F
pH 6.5 to 7.5
Hardness 5-15 dGH


Scissortail rasbora dietScissortail Rasbora, scientifically known as Rasbora trilineata, is common in the Southern Mekong River Basin in Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. They can also be found in the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, as well as the Malaysian Pennisula.

They prefer to swim in slow-flowing rivers and densely planted swamps. Scissortail Rasboras can also be found in fast-moving water bodies like streams, lakes, and reservoirs along the hillside.


Scissortail rasbora gets its name from its deeply forked tail that closely resembles a pair of open scissors. The bar pattern on their tail fin further accentuates this scissors-like shape. This fish darts across the water quickly, and even while at rest, it opens and closes its tail just like your pair of home scissors. Fascinating isn’t that!

Another common name for this fish is the three-lined Rasbora because of the bars it spots.


The Scissortail Rasbora is slender and hardy. It has a shiny silver, almost transparent hue that shimmers and sparkles in ambient light. A distinct horizontal black line runs down its body from its gills to its tail.

Scissortail has a forked tail with yellow and black bands on them. The ends of their tails are white; thus, the name three-lined Rasbora. Their forked tail gives them a unique swimming pattern that makes watching them dart about totally neat. Their tails make an opening and closing motion that is quite akin to that of scissors.

– Sexual Differences

The differences between the sexes of the Scissortail Rasbora are not readily discernible. The males are generally smaller and slimmer than their female counterparts. Also, during spawning season, they become even more intensely colored and attractive.

Female Scissor Tail Rasboras, on the other hand, are bigger and plump than males. They spot a more rounded abdomen during the spawning season.

– Size

The average size of Scissortail Rasbora is around six inches. Some aquarists have, however, reported that their fish have grown as big as eight inches. To achieve that size, you will need to give your fish the right care and proper nutrition.

– Lifespan

The average lifespan of the Dwarf Scissortail Rasbora is roughly five years. Sometimes, they can live for much longer. Of course, their lifespan is dependent mainly on the quality of care you shower them with.


Scissortail Rasboras are hardy fish that love to swim. They are easy to care for, even for beginners, as long as you know what to do. In this section, we have outlined everything you need to know about caring for these Rasbora species. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Tank Setup

Ensure that your tank is designed in such a way that mimics the natural habitat of the Scissortail Rasbora. Go for a large tank with subdued lighting to give the tank a typical forest-like look.

– Tank Size

Scissortail Rasboras are avid swimmers, always jutting up and down the length of their tank. To cater for all this swimming, you will need a tank with lots of room. We recommend that you get at least a 20-gallon tank. Of course, the more fish you choose to house in your tank, the larger the tank size you will need.

With all your setup, it is essential to remember to keep your tank tightly covered. You don’t want to come home to your fish dead on the floor; now that would be heartbreaking.

– Tank Filtration

When preparing a tank for this fish, it is essential to make sure that their water is pristine. For this, you will need an excellent tank filter; preferably, one with a powerhead that creates an enjoyable current for your fish. You can use blackwater additives or peats to replicate the right water conditions.

– Substrate

We recommend that you try a darker substrate for this Rasboras species like sand or gravel. The dark color offsets their silvery-colored bodies, making them glow even more. In addition, these substrates do not have jagged edges that can bruise your fish. Great, isn’t it!

– Tank Decoration

If you study the natural habitat of Scissortail Rasboras, you will notice that their water bodies are densely packed with trees. To recreate this forested habitat, we recommend that you plant sturdy trees in your tank. Java moss, rocks, and driftwood are great suggestions for your tank.

Ensure that your tank also has many hiding spots for this fish; the more sites their tank has, the more comfortable they will be. You can use flower pots, clay pots, rocks, and driftwood to create the perfect hiding spots for this fish.

– Water Parameters

When you finally decide to bring your fish home, it is essential to match their water parameters as closely as possible. Ensure that their final tank bears some similarities to that of the tank you uprooted them from; you don’t want them to die of shock now, do you?

Keep the tank temperature between 72 – 79 F, and be sure to keep their water hardness around 5 and 15 dGH. Your water should be slightly acidic, with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. An easy way to monitor the water quality of your tank is to get an aquarium test kit.


Scissortail rasboras are omnivores and eat a variety of food. Be sure to ply them with high-quality proteins, live or frozen. Check out daphnia, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, microworms, etc. Don’t forget to balance out their food with leafy greens. Remember, the healthier your Rasboras are, the brighter their colors.

Tank Mates

Scissortail tail fish prefer to live in schools of at least six and are very active. Thus, you must consider the behavior, swim pattern, diet, and preferred water parameters of all fish concerned in selecting tank mates for them. Scissortail Rasboras are peaceful, gregarious fish that do well when kept with their kind.

Rasboras can coexist with numerous other fish species. Just be sure to select fish with similar temperaments and sizes. Great tank mates for Scissortail Rasboras include peaceful tetras, Catfish Corydoras, gouramis, etc.

Other Rasbora species make excellent tank mates for this fish, as do virtually all of the tetra species out there. You can keep live-bearing and bottom-dwelling fish with Scissors Tails. Great examples are Guppies, swordtails, mollies, catfish, and cories. Larger fish like angelfish and discus are also not bad companions for this peaceful Rasbora.

Remember, you should always choose fish with similar temperaments as your Scissors Tail; you don’t want to pair them with overly aggressive dispositions. They will only end up stressed out and in poor health. You also want to keep them with fish that share similar feeding preferences, that way, you don’t have to spend hours worrying about what to feed them.

Scissortail rasbora care


Dwarf Rasboras are very peaceful and thrive in groups of at least half a dozen. They prefer areas with dim lighting and love to lay eggs in such dimly lit areas. Of course, their eggs don’t do so well in bright light.


Here are things you need to know if you are to succeed with breeding Scissortail Rasboras. The first thing is that they are egg-scatterers and are relatively easy to breed. To start the breeding process, move the mature pair to a separate breeding tank.

– Setting Up a Breeding Tank for Scissortail Rasboras

Since these Rasbora species are egg-scatterers, your tank must be fitted with either spawning mats or a mesh. That way, the egg can fall through and land safely. Another thing to consider is the tank parameters; you must get the tank conditions right to induce your fish to spawn.

Start with getting the pH of your tank water just right. The tank should be half-filled with slightly acidic water with a pH around 6.0 – 7.5. To trigger spawning, ensure that the temperature is kept constant, around 77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Throughout the day, add small amounts of cooler, soft water to increase their chances of spawning further.

Finally, condition the mature pairs with high-quality foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, bloodworms, and insects.

Continue to feed them with these live or frozen foods until you notice them begin to spawn. Don’t forget to use dim lighting to set the mood for this species and ensure that the tank has a sponge filter to eliminate waste buildup.

– Scissortail Rasbora Spawning

After conditioning them successfully, the mature pair will lay several adhesive eggs on the spawning mat or mesh. Once the eggs are laid, remove the adult pairs from the tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.

Scissortail eggs are sensitive to light and do not do well when exposed to fungi. Therefore, the lighting in their tank should be minimal, and the filters should be efficient at getting rid of the waste.

Scissortail rasbora eggs take about 24 hours to hatch, and after that, the fry will feed on the egg sac for another two days. After those two days, they will become free-swimming, then you can provide them with freshly hatched brine shrimp, mosquito larva, and other tiny fry food.


  • Scissortail Rasboras are beautiful freshwater fish with scissors-like tails
  • They are avid swimmers and prefer dimly lit environments
  • As omnivores, figuring out what to feed them with is not much of a hassle

Scissortail rasbora fishScissortail Rasboras have a unique swimming style that endears them to many aquarists.

They love to hang out at the bottom of the aquarium but occasionally dart across the top.

Their peaceful disposition and simple care routine make them an excellent choice for beginner aquarists.

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