Scarlet Badis Care 101: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a colorful and captivating fish to add to your aquarium, the Scarlet Badis is a great option. I first discovered this species while browsing my local pet store and was immediately drawn to its vibrant red and blue hues. After doing some research, I found that Scarlet Badis are relatively easy to care for and make great additions to community tanks.

Scarlet Badis require a heavily planted aquarium with soft, slightly acidic water. They are peaceful and should be kept in pairs or small groups. They feed on small live foods such as brine shrimp and daphnia, and their diet can be supplemented with high-quality flakes and pellets. Regular water changes and maintenance are essential for their health.

Native to India, Scarlet Badis are small fish that typically grow to be around 1.5 inches in length. They are known for their bright red and blue coloring, which is more prominent in males. While they may be small in size, they are full of personality and can be a joy to watch as they swim around their tank.

Despite their small size, Scarlet Badis require specific care to thrive. In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about caring for Scarlet Badis, including their ideal tank setup, diet, and breeding habits. Whether you’re a seasoned fish owner or a beginner, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to keep your Scarlet Badis healthy and happy.

Scarlet Badis Care 101

Species Summary

If you’re considering adding a Scarlet Badis to your aquarium, it’s important to know about their care requirements.

Here’s a summary of everything you need to know about this fascinating fish.


Scarlet Badis, also known as Dario dario, are native to India and Bangladesh.

They are a small fish species that can be found in shallow streams and rice paddies.


Scarlet Badis have a relatively short lifespan of around 2-3 years.

However, with proper care, they can live longer.


Scarlet Badis are a beautiful fish with vibrant red and blue colors.

The males are more colorful than the females and have longer fins.

They are also small in size, growing up to 1.5 inches in length.


Scarlet Badis are a small fish species, growing up to 1.5 inches in length.

They are perfect for small aquariums, but make sure to provide them with enough space to swim around.

Growth Rate

Scarlet Badis have a slow growth rate and can take up to a year to reach their full size.

It’s important to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet to promote growth and overall health.

Behavior & Temperament

Scarlet Badis are peaceful fish and can be kept with other small and peaceful fish species.

However, they can be territorial towards their own kind, especially during breeding season.

Provide them with plenty of hiding spots to reduce aggression.

Male vs Female

The males are more colorful than the females and have longer fins.

The females are smaller and have a rounder belly.

It’s important to have a male-female ratio of at least 1:2 to reduce aggression and promote breeding.

Personally, I’ve found Scarlet Badis to be a joy to watch in my aquarium. They are active and playful fish that add a pop of color to any tank.

Just make sure to provide them with the appropriate care and environment to ensure their health and longevity.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

I recommend a minimum tank size of 10 gallons for Scarlet Badis.

A larger tank is always better, as it provides more swimming space and allows for a more stable environment.

I personally keep my Scarlet Badis in a 20-gallon long tank.


Scarlet Badis prefer dim lighting, so it’s best to avoid bright lights.

Low to moderate lighting is ideal, and you can use floating plants or other decorations to diffuse the light.

Filtration & Aeration

A filter is essential to maintain good water quality. A hang-on-back filter or sponge filter is a good choice for Scarlet Badis.

Aeration is not necessary but can be beneficial, especially if you have a heavily planted tank.


Scarlet Badis require a stable water temperature between 72-80°F.

A heater with a thermostat is necessary to maintain the proper temperature.


A fine substrate, such as sand or fine gravel, is best for Scarlet Badis.

They like to sift through the substrate in search of food, so avoid large or sharp gravel that could harm them.


Scarlet Badis prefer a heavily planted tank with plenty of hiding places. You can use driftwood, rocks, and caves to create hiding spots for them.


Live plants are essential for Scarlet Badis. They provide cover, help maintain water quality, and create a natural environment for the fish.

I personally like to use Java fern, Anubias, and Amazon sword in my Scarlet Badis tank. Personal anecdote: I have found that Scarlet Badis are very shy and like to have plenty of hiding places.

I have created a dense forest of plants and decorations in my tank, and my Scarlet Badis love to explore and hide in the foliage.

Water Quality

As a Scarlet Badis owner, I know that maintaining good water quality is essential for the health and well-being of these beautiful fish.

Here are the four main factors to consider when it comes to Scarlet Badis water quality:

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Scarlet Badis is between 75-80°F.

It’s important to maintain a consistent temperature and avoid sudden fluctuations, as this can stress out your fish and make them more susceptible to diseases.

Water pH

Scarlet Badis prefer slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.0-7.0. It’s important to monitor the pH regularly and make adjustments as necessary.

However, sudden changes in pH can be harmful to your fish, so it’s best to make gradual adjustments over several days to avoid stressing them out.

Water Hardness

Scarlet Badis prefer soft to moderately hard water with a hardness level between 5-15 dGH.

You can use a water hardness test kit to monitor the levels, and adjust as necessary by adding or removing minerals from the water.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining good water quality for your Scarlet Badis. I recommend changing 10-20% of the water every week, or more frequently if you have a heavily stocked tank.

Make sure to use a water conditioner to remove any chlorine or other harmful chemicals from the tap water before adding it to your tank.

By paying close attention to these four factors, you can ensure that your Scarlet Badis have a healthy and comfortable environment to thrive in.

Personally, I have found that Scarlet Badis are quite sensitive to changes in water quality. When I first got my Scarlet Badis, I didn’t pay enough attention to the water temperature and pH, and they became stressed and started to lose their vibrant colors.

However, after making some adjustments and being more diligent about water changes, they quickly bounced back and are now thriving in their tank.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping a clean and healthy environment for your Scarlet Badis is essential to their overall well-being. I learned this the hard way when I first got my Scarlet Badis and neglected to clean their tank regularly.

It resulted in an outbreak of disease that took a long time to recover from. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy tank:

First, perform regular water changes. I recommend changing 20-25% of the water every week. This ensures that any toxins or waste products are removed and the water remains fresh.

Second, clean the tank regularly. Use a siphon to remove any debris or uneaten food from the substrate. You can also use a scraper or sponge to clean the sides of the tank. Be sure to only use materials that are safe for your fish and won’t scratch the glass.

Third, check the water parameters regularly. Scarlet Badis prefer slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.0-7.0. They also prefer soft water with a hardness of 2-8 dKH. Test the water regularly to ensure that it falls within these parameters.

Finally, maintain the filter. The filter is responsible for removing waste and toxins from the water. Clean the filter regularly and replace any filter media as needed. A good rule of thumb is to replace the filter media every 4-6 weeks.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your Scarlet Badis have a clean and healthy environment to thrive in. Remember, a little maintenance goes a long way!

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

I have found that Scarlet Badis can be kept with other small, peaceful fish species. Some great tank mates for Scarlet Badis include Pygmy Corydoras, Neon Tetras, and Cherry Shrimp.

These fish are all small enough to not be seen as a threat to the Scarlet Badis, and they all have peaceful temperaments that won’t cause any issues.

Incompatible Fish Species

However, it’s important to avoid keeping Scarlet Badis with larger or more aggressive fish.

These fish can easily bully or even attack the Scarlet Badis, causing them to become stressed and potentially even die. Some fish species to avoid include Angelfish, Gouramis, and Betta fish.

How Many Scarlet Badis Should Be Kept Together

When it comes to keeping Scarlet Badis together, it’s best to keep them in small groups of 3-5. This will help them feel more comfortable and secure in their environment.

However, it’s important to make sure that the tank is not overcrowded, as this can cause stress and aggression among the fish.

Overall, when choosing tank mates for Scarlet Badis, it’s important to consider their size, temperament, and compatibility with other fish species.

By following these guidelines, you can create a peaceful and harmonious environment for your Scarlet Badis and their tank mates.


As a Scarlet Badis owner, I know that feeding them can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips on how to ensure your fish is getting the best diet:

What To Feed

Scarlet Badis are carnivorous fish, so their diet should consist mainly of protein. They love live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.

You can also feed them high-quality pellets or flakes, but make sure they are specifically formulated for carnivorous fish.


It’s important not to overfeed your Scarlet Badis. They have small stomachs and can only eat small amounts at a time.

I recommend feeding them twice a day, only what they can consume in 2-3 minutes. Overfeeding can lead to health problems and water quality issues.


One thing I’ve noticed with my Scarlet Badis is that they like to hunt for their food. I like to use a feeding stick to move the food around the tank and encourage them to search for it.

It’s also important to vary their diet to ensure they are getting all the necessary nutrients. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of food and feeding methods.

In conclusion, feeding Scarlet Badis requires a bit of effort and attention, but it’s worth it to keep your fish healthy and happy.

By following these tips, you can provide your fish with a well-balanced and enjoyable diet.

Common Diseases


Scarlet Badis are generally hardy and can live for several years with proper care. However, like any other fish, they are susceptible to diseases.

Some of the common diseases that Scarlet Badis may suffer from include:

  1. Ich (white spot disease)
  2. Fungal infections
  3. Bacterial infections
  4. Parasitic infections

It is important to keep an eye on your Scarlet Badis and watch for any signs of illness.


The symptoms of diseases in Scarlet Badis can vary depending on the type of disease.

Some common symptoms to watch for include:

  1. White spots on the body and fins
  2. Red or inflamed gills
  3. Cloudy eyes
  4. Swollen or bloated body
  5. Erratic swimming behavior

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take action immediately to prevent the spread of the disease.


If you suspect that your Scarlet Badis is suffering from a disease, there are several treatment options available:

  1. Medications: There are several medications available that can be used to treat various diseases in Scarlet Badis. It is important to follow the instructions carefully when using these medications.
  2. Water changes: Regular water changes can help keep the water clean and reduce the risk of disease.
  3. Isolation: If one fish in your tank is sick, it is important to isolate them to prevent the spread of the disease to other fish.


Preventing diseases in Scarlet Badis is much easier than treating them. Here are some tips to help prevent diseases:

  1. Quarantine new fish: When adding new fish to your tank, it is important to quarantine them for a few weeks to ensure they are healthy and disease-free before introducing them to your other fish.
  2. Keep the water clean: Regular water changes and proper filtration can help keep the water clean and reduce the risk of disease.
  3. Feed a healthy diet: Providing your Scarlet Badis with a healthy and varied diet can help boost their immune system and keep them healthy.

Personally, I have had to deal with a case of ich in my Scarlet Badis tank. It was a stressful experience, but with the right treatment and care, my fish made a full recovery.

Signs of a Healthy Scarlet Badis

I’ve been keeping Scarlet Badis for a while now, and I’ve learned a lot about their care. One of the most important things to know is how to tell if your fish is healthy. Here are some signs to look for:

First and foremost, a healthy Scarlet Badis should be active and alert. They should be swimming around and exploring their tank. If your fish is lethargic or spending a lot of time hiding, it could be a sign of illness.

Another thing to look for is a healthy appetite. Scarlet Badis are carnivores, so they should be eager to eat live or frozen food. If your fish is refusing food or only eating a little bit, it could be a sign of a problem.

One way to check for overall health is to look at the fish’s fins. They should be intact and not torn or ragged. A healthy fish should also have bright colors and clear eyes.

It’s also important to monitor the water quality in your tank. Scarlet Badis are sensitive to changes in pH and ammonia levels. If your fish is showing signs of stress, it could be due to poor water quality.

Finally, pay attention to any changes in behavior or appearance. If your fish is acting differently or showing signs of illness, it’s important to address the issue promptly. Early intervention can make all the difference in ensuring your Scarlet Badis stays healthy and happy.

Signs Your Scarlet Badis is Sick

As a Scarlet Badis owner, I know how important it is to keep an eye on your fish’s health. Here are some signs that your Scarlet Badis might be sick:

  1. Loss of appetite: If your fish is not eating or is eating significantly less than usual, it could be a sign of illness.
  2. Unusual swimming behavior: If your fish is swimming erratically or struggling to swim, it could be a sign of a swim bladder issue or other health problem.
  3. Changes in color or appearance: If your fish’s color is fading or it has developed unusual spots or growths, it could be a sign of illness.
  4. Gasping for air: If your fish is gasping for air at the surface of the water, it could be a sign of poor water quality or a respiratory issue.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action immediately. Quarantine your fish in a separate tank and consult with a veterinarian or experienced fish keeper to determine the best course of treatment.

One time, I noticed that my Scarlet Badis was not eating and was swimming lethargically at the bottom of the tank.

I immediately quarantined him and consulted with a veterinarian. It turned out that he had a bacterial infection, but with the right treatment, he made a full recovery.


Breeding Setup

To breed Scarlet Badis, you will need a breeding tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. The tank should have a sponge filter and a heater to maintain a temperature of 78-82°F.

The substrate should be sand or fine gravel, and you should provide plenty of hiding places such as caves, plants, and driftwood. A breeding cone or a small clay pot can also be used as a spawning site.

How To Breed

To breed Scarlet Badis, you will need a pair of healthy and sexually mature fish. The male will display bright colors and will try to attract the female by flaring his fins and dancing around her.

Once the female is ready to lay eggs, she will follow the male to the spawning site, where she will deposit her eggs and the male will fertilize them.

The eggs will hatch in 24-36 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming in 4-5 days.


After the eggs hatch, you will need to provide the fry with small live foods such as newly hatched brine shrimp or microworms.

The fry should be fed several times a day, and you should perform daily water changes to maintain good water quality.

As the fry grow, you can gradually increase the size of their food and reduce the frequency of water changes.

Once the fry reach 1 inch in size, they can be moved to a grow-out tank or sold to other hobbyists.

I remember my first experience breeding Scarlet Badis. I was so excited to see the male displaying his vibrant colors and the female laying her eggs.

It was amazing to watch the fry grow and develop their own personalities. Breeding Scarlet Badis can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for any aquarist.

Product recommendations for Scarlet Badis:

  1. Hikari Micro Pellets – This is a high-quality fish food that is perfect for Scarlet Badis. It contains all the essential nutrients that your fish need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. API Aquarium Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  3. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Scarlet Badis and other fish.
  4. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – If you plan on keeping live plants in your aquarium, this substrate is a great choice. It provides the nutrients that plants need to thrive, and also helps to maintain a stable pH.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter – This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  6. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Scarlet Badis healthy.
  7. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter – This is a small and efficient filter that is perfect for smaller aquariums housing Scarlet Badis. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.
  8. Marina LED Aquarium Kit – This is another great aquarium kit that is perfect for Scarlet Badis. It includes a filter, heater, and LED lighting, and is easy to set up and maintain.


Overall, Scarlet Badis are a beautiful and fascinating fish to keep in your aquarium. They require a bit more care and attention than some other fish, but the effort is well worth it for the enjoyment they bring.

From my personal experience, I have found that Scarlet Badis are a joy to watch as they swim around their tank and interact with each other. They have unique personalities and behaviors that make them stand out from other fish.

If you are considering adding Scarlet Badis to your aquarium, be sure to do your research and provide them with the proper care they need. This includes a well-maintained tank with plenty of hiding places and a varied diet that includes live and frozen foods.

Remember, Scarlet Badis are not the easiest fish to keep, but with the right care and attention, they can thrive and bring you years of enjoyment. So, if you’re up for the challenge, give these beautiful fish a try!


As a Scarlet Badis owner, I’ve received a lot of questions from fellow fish enthusiasts. Here are some of the most common questions I’ve encountered:

Q: What should I feed my Scarlet Badis?

A: Scarlet Badis are carnivores, so they require a diet that is high in protein. I personally feed mine frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. However, you can also feed them live or frozen insects such as fruit flies or mosquito larvae.

Q: How often should I feed my Scarlet Badis?

A: It’s important not to overfeed your Scarlet Badis, as they have small stomachs. I feed mine small portions twice a day, but you can adjust the feeding frequency depending on the size and activity level of your fish.

Q: What is the ideal water temperature for Scarlet Badis?

A: Scarlet Badis are native to warm, slow-moving waters in India and Bangladesh. They prefer a temperature range of 76-82°F (24-28°C). Make sure to keep the water clean and well-filtered to maintain the ideal temperature and water quality.

Q: Can Scarlet Badis live with other fish?

A: Scarlet Badis are peaceful fish, but they can be territorial towards their own species and other fish with similar body shapes and colors. I personally keep mine in a species-only tank, but if you want to keep them with other fish, make sure to choose peaceful and non-aggressive species that won’t outcompete or bully your Scarlet Badis.

Q: Do Scarlet Badis require any special care?

A: Scarlet Badis are hardy and low-maintenance fish, but they do require some special care. They prefer a heavily planted tank with plenty of hiding spots and caves to explore. They also require regular water changes and a balanced diet to stay healthy and happy.

Overall, Scarlet Badis are fascinating and rewarding fish to keep. With proper care and attention, they can thrive in your aquarium and bring you joy for years to come.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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