Phoenix Rasbora vs Chili Rasbora

Phoenix Rasbora

The Phoenix Rasbora (Boraras Merah) is a fish belonging to the genus “Rasbora” of the family Cyprinidae. They were discovered on the island of Sumatra in 1859. The average length for this species is around 0.5-0.8 inches.

They have more than 5 years, but due to their small size, they are preyed upon by larger fishes and other aquatic predators, which is the main cause of their short life span.

Chilli Rasbora

The Chili Rasbora is a freshwater fish that is fairly hard to tolerate water with low dissolved oxygen levels.

The fish have scaleless skin that is usually brown, but there are also variations of the black or orange fish.

They are usually small in size, reaching an average length of about 0.7 inches and a lifespan of 6– 8 years, supposing suitable conditions.

Similarities and Differences

  • Both fish have similar physical characteristics: their body coloration is variable, either yellow or red. The Chili Rasbora has a dark spot at the base of its tail fin and black stripes running across its eyes.
  • They are believed to have evolved from the same ancestor species due to their similarities in terms of coloring patterns.


  • The Phoenix Rasbora is a predatory fish, while the Chili Rasbora eats both plant and animal matter. The Phoenix eats small invertebrates such as Daphnia, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp, while the chili rasbora prefers eating algae or any plant matter.


  • The Phoenix Rasbora lives in freshwater, while the Chili Rasbora prefers to live in slowly flowing rivers and streams with a medium water depth. Both fish species spawn on plants around their environment, normally after dusk, and they prefer areas that are densely covered with plants and vegetation.


  • It is believed that the Chili Rasbora has a life span of around 1-2 years, while in captivity, they have been known to live up to five years. With proper care and diet, the Phoenix Rasbora also lives in captivity for two to three years.


  • It gave the name ‘Rasbora’ to this family because of their unique barbels, long, slender, and hair-like. The barbels surrounding the mouth help them locate food in dark waters or on plants.


  • The main difference between these two fish species would be their behaviors and personality toward humans and other fishes. The Chili Rasbora can become aggressive to smaller fishes living in an aquarium. At the same time, the Phoenix Rasbora is peaceful and won’t attack other fishes.
  • The Chili’s lifespan can be up to 2 years, while the Phoenix species have around 3-5 years in captivity, while it is believed that they can live up to 7 years in their natural habitat.


  • The physical characteristics are also easy to tell apart; for instance, the Chili’s dorsal fin is red while it has black dots on its tail fin; also, the Chili has black stripes that go across its eyes.
  • The phoenix rasbora is very similar to the chili rasbora in appearance, but they are different species, although many fish sellers sell them as both species due to their similarity.


  • The Chili and the Phoenix species of Rasbora had a common ancestor, but they became different species due to their varying characteristics. Their diet and behavior differ from one another and their physical appearance.


These fish species look very similar, and they may be hard to tell apart at first glance. The main ways of telling the difference would be by looking at their dorsal fins:

Chili’s is red while the Phoenix’s is black, and you can also tell them apart by their behavior towards humans and other fishes.

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