Scarlet Badis (Dario Dario)

🐠 October TOTM Starts Now! 🐠 Tank of the Month!
Click here to enter!


Fish Herder
Feb 4, 2013
Reaction score
I have recently purchased ten of these little beauties, and as they are still fairly new to the hobby I thought you might be interested in their development. I always research prior to purchasing any new species and liked what I found out. They are known as cousins of our beloved Betta, as well as the Gourami, and smaller Cichlids.

When I purchased them they showed little to no colour. All were drab, yet the LFS spent the time with me attempting to identify males from females with the hope that I would end up with a correct balance.

When I first got them they were in the tank with three very large Amano Shrimps, and a more recently added smaller shrimp. I never saw them, they spent all their time hiding. Following further research of this shy fish I decided to remove the three larger Amanos. As a result of this change I now get to view these little beauties and the males are beginning to colour up.

Sadly, two of the group have passed away, although bodies were never located as the tank is very well planted, and I am sure the shrimps would have had a meal! I am assuming this as each time they are out and about the most I have counted at anyone time is eight, you never know though I could one day be surprised.

I have added three Hasborus Corys, although removed a deceased Cory yesterday.

I plan to get some photos and hopefully video of these fish for you all to see in due course. Has anyone else come across or kept these fish?
I've kept them in the past, the males are territorial & will fight defending that territory, lots of planting will help break up eyelines & lessen any aggression.
I'm surprised you managed to find females they're rarely imported as they have little to no colour, keep an eye on them as they could be juvenile males not yet coloured up.
Thanks for your response, yes I am aware that this could well be the case as I have read that females are often not imported. They were so small though that I wonder if they were even able to sex them. I have a number of aquaria and I am sure if I need to I can move them around between tanks. What was your experience of keeping them? Did you have a species specific aquarium? I know they have not really been bred in the aquarium and require Java Moss and floating plants for them to even consider it. Any further inputs on breeding welcomed. Thanks again.
I kept a trio in a species tank densely planted with wisteria & lots of moss & duckweed, I had no luck breeding them.
I found them very finicky eaters, they'd only eat cyclops & baby brine shrimp though after I added some cherry shrimp they would hunt down the babies.
Tbh I found them quite a boring fish to keep as most of their time was spent just hovering in the plants, they may be more active in a larger group.
I'll watch this thread & see if you have better luck with them than I did :)
Thanks for the info.
I initially found them finicky eaters, and was worried they were not eating, but now I find they seem to relish feeding time and eat most of what is offered.
I have found them more interesting and they also respond when I am near the tank, similar to a Bettas behaviour.
Let's hope they indeed settle enough to breed, that would be ace :)
Wowwee... Recently discover all ten are actually still around, awsome...
I wanna see them! Too bad they're unavailable here but i've always adored small aggressive fish species :D
Your wish is my command ;)

I have a video that hopefully my nephew will sort out next time he is here. image.jpg
Thanks, you are indeed correct, darn I have been mis-sold! Still they are an interesting little fish, it is like having ten mini-Bettas They are a bit stupid though! If I feed live food they still look up at the surface of the water to see where the food is, duh! Eventually they release there is more happening and hunt around in-between the decor.

All ten still thriving and one to two of the males have really coloured up of late.
A great little thread this, I have always wanted dario dario, even though you have dario hysginon, nonethless a pretty fish to keep, in fact 10 :lol:
Begining to sound like the hysginon are the easier of the two to keep.....
Just a quick update...

Sadly, I had to euthanise one of them as it just stayed in the top corner, not sure if it's swim bladder was faulty, but tried isolation and no improvement.

I believe that all but three are now males. I have recently removed all the males, except one, into my Juwel Vision 180, where they continue to spar with each other, but are quite cool as they hang near the bottom of the tank vs my other fish.

I now concur with Lillyfish, that after sometime I started to find them somewhat boring! I have left the small group of one male and three females hoping for some breeding due to the rarity of this little fish. However, due to a potential move I may need to close their tank down and move them all into the Juwel.
Awesome to read up on others experiences with these fish! Thanks for sharing this thread with me from my post.
I've come across wondering if my female is a juvenile male, nut I'm almost 99% sure it's a female. 
They are recently new to the hobby, yes? That probably explains the lack of information for these critters.
You are welcome, and I wish you luck with these fish, they are fun and I have enjoyed them, yet in the end I think I prefer a little more activity, as I have mentioned in your post. I found the most interesting features were them greeting me as I went past the tank, just as a Betta would. In addition, I thought the males were stunning when sparing together. They do make me laugh now in the Juwel 180, as they have all that space yet still want to spar about their little space of ownership.

Although, it recommends, due to their rarity, that they are best in dedicated tanks to hopefully encourage breeding, as I have mentioned they may need to be placed in the larger tank until after a potential move. I find as long as there are lots of hiding places the Hasborus make good companions. There is also a young red plec in my tank with them, but he is just in there growing on, as the Juwel was getting rather full of plecs, due to the breeding.

Looking forward to seeing how yours develop for you.

Most reactions


Members online