Scissortail Rasbora

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Rasbora trilineata - Steindachner, 1870
Scissortail Rasbora

The attraction of this peaceful cyprinid is its tail markings as it "scissors" through the water in schools. Aaron Norman


While the silvery Scissortail Rasbora is not particularly colorful, its tail fin is quite eyecatching and gives rise to the fish’s common name. As the fish opens and closes its tail during swimming, the black dots on the ends of the forks of the fin move up and down, giving the appearance that the tail is “slicing” through the water like a pair of scissors cutting fabric. It is larger than most other Rasboras and will outgrow small community tanks.

Family: Cyprinidae

Other common name(s):

  • Three-lined Rasbora

Native range:

Habitat: These schooling fish need room to move. The ideal is a long tank densely planted on the back with lots of open water in the center and a dark substrate to show off their striking color pattern.

Maximum length: 15 cm (6 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 209 L (55 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to top.


Omnivore. In nature, the Scissortail Rasbora consumes small invertebrates and will accept most commercial fare in the aquarium, including good-quality flakes, pelleted and freeze-dried foods. Treat occasionally with frozen and live foods, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Aquarium Compatibility

Scissortail Rasboras are large, but peaceful and active schooling species perfect for a community aquarium setting. Keep in groups of at least three with other fishes of similar size and temperament.


Scatters adhesive eggs among plants, but is difficult to spawn in the aquarium.



Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW