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Family: Cyprinidae

Common Names: Asian Rummynose, Sawbwa Rasbora, Rummynose Rasbora

Origin and Habitat: Endemic to Inle Lake and surrounding watershed, Myanmar, SE Asia. Occurs in slow-flowing streams and pools among submerged vegetation and along the shoreline of Inle Lake among thick vegetation. Found in large numbers throughout the lake.

Compatibility/Temperament: A shoaling fish requiring a group of 10 or more, with a distinct "pecking order" among males; having more females than males works to contain the aggression, and sources suggest 3-4 females per male. Peaceful with other small fish than require similar water parameters and aquascape, such as Danio erythromicron in sufficient space.

Asian Rummynose Diet

Omnivorous, feeding on insects, crustaceans, zooplankton. In the aquarium, will usually accept prepared foods but frozen daphnia, shrimp and bloodworms should be offered frequently. Live foods such as daphnia, small worms and brine shrimp may be necessary at first and should be offered periodically if possible. Food must be small for their tiny mouths.


Attains 2.5cm (1 inch).

Minimum Tank Suggestion

24 inches in length

Water parameters for Asian Rummynose

Medium hard (12 - 20 dGH), slightly basic (pH 7-8), temperature 20-24C/68-75F. Some sources report this species may manage in slightly acidic water, but will be healthier and better in basic. At higher temperatures the species is more prone to disease.


In addition to the assigned name of Asian Rummynose, this fish is also seen under the common names Sawbwa Barb, Micro Naked Rasbora, and Rummynose Rasbora. It is a cyprinid with no scientific relationship to the characin Rummynose Tetra, nor does it closely relate to the rasborins. Phylogenetically it is close to the Puntius barb group.

Males are the colourful fish, with a bright red head and caudal fin; the flanks of dominant males shimmer with a silvery-blue sheen, whereas those of the subordinate males may lack this and more closely resemble the female colouration and have less-intense red. Females are a dull olive-brown overall, lacking any of the afore-mentioned colouration. As noted above, this is a shoaling fish that should always be kept in a group with a higher ratio of females to males in order to alleviate the interactive aggressiveness of males.

Like most small cyprinids, this is an egg scatterer that exhibits no parental care of eggs or fry. In a thickly-planted aquarium, spawning will probably occur regularly and some fry may survive without intervention.

This is not a particularly good community fish, and not one for beginner aquarists due to its sensitivity to water parameters and behaviour issues. It will do best when provided with an appropriate aquascape, even a species tank of its own. The aquarium must be thickly planted, with minimal water flow. Floating plants to shade the light are necessary. This fish remains in the middle level of the aquarium.

The species was described in 1918 by N. Annandale. This is at present the only species in the genus, the name of which is derived from the old Burmese (now Myanmar) that means prince or chief. The species epithet resplendens is from the Latin resplendere which means to shine brightly.

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