Scarlet Gem Badis Care

The Scarlet Gem Badis (Dario dario) is a small fish from India. It’s a micro-predator that lives in clean water along marginal vegitation growth areas. Males develop an intense red coloration and are constantly on the prowl for micro-sized live foods. Males are also territorial and will drive off or kill rival males with a very cichlid-like attitude. Courting rituals between males and females are flashy and dramatic. Single fish are a great addition to a small species tank whereas larger colonies can be kept in a larger, well established aquarium with a lot of plants and broken areas of territory for the males to stake claims.


Species: Scarlet Gem Badis (Dario dario), family Badidae).

Water: 72f. to 80f., medium to hard water (150-300 tds), pH 6.5 to 7.5.

Sexing: Sexually dimorphic. Males color up with intense red barring and some blue iridescent body coloration. Females remain a drab brown and a slightly more rounded shape.

Feeding: A carnivorous micro-predator. Feed small live foods such as daphnia, cyclops, microworms, detritus worms, grindal worms, scuds and blackworms. Can be out-competed for food by larger, faster top-water fish.

Housing: Best kept alone in a small species tank. Larger colonies can be kept in well established tanks with lots of planted territory for fish to claim. 

Breeding: Egg scatterers. Dominant couples can be placed in small 5 gallon aquariums with spawning mops or in permanent breeder tanks with a lot of plant cover. Males will stake a territory and begin attempting to entice nearby females to spawn. If a female accepts, 50-200 eggs can be scattered during mating. The mating embrace is said to resemble bettas but with no bubble nest. Fry hatch in 3-4 days and generally take a week or so to become free swimming. They can be fed on infusoria until they can accept larger live foods, like baby brine shrimp.

Tankmates: Scarlet Gem Badis is generally peaceful to other species of fish, but due to it’s small size and predatory behavior, it can be out competed for foods or intimidated by even semi-aggressive fish. Good tankmate candidates include micro rasboras, small tetra species (neons, etc.), endlers livebearers, corydoras, dwarf plecos, live snails, neocaridina shrimp.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter


Member: A.K.A., A.C.A, N.A.N.F.A., S.K.S..

View all posts by Aiptasia →

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: