Breeding Sawbwa Resplendens

Breeding Rummy Nose Rasbora aka Sawbwa resplendens



Get to the Point Already!



ph 8.0
KH 7
GH 8 or 9 (I lost count)


2 (or 3) 5-10 gallon tanks

                Tank A – Spawning

                Tank B – Nursery

                Tank C – Optional holding tank

2x sponge filter

Loads of Anubias nana, plastic plants, silk plants

Live food a plus – walter or micro worms, green water, brine shrimp, daphnia


Set up tank A with a good amount of plants just floating around in the water.  I have found Anubias nana is great for this but give them some options, a few nana, a couple silk, maybe some plastic, different textures and leaf shapes to choose from; my fish preferred the Anubias .  Fake plants are cheaper at craft stores than pet stores .  Keep extra plants in tank B or C.  Place a few males and a few females into tank A.  For a happy tank you want a ratio of about 1:4 males to females but for breeding you may want to go 1:1 or 1:2.  I found that 1 male would spawn with 1 female and the rest of the fish in the tank would follow them around eating the eggs, you may want to remove extra fish to tank C.  Feed lots of live and frozen food, micro or walter worms, brine shrimp, chopped blood worms etc.  Watch for spawning behavior, shortly after spawning remove the plants that were and place them in tank B.  According to my notes my fish spawned continuously for 23 days so you will just need to decide when to transfer plants because they never really stop spawning.  I have great eye site, probably the best eyesight, people tell me how great my eyesight is (sorry), and even I have a hard time seeing Sawbwa eggs.  They are about the size of a pin head.  Replace the plants that you removed with new plants either from tank B or C.  You will need to develop a plant rotation system.  After a few days you should notice fry in the nursery tank sticking to the side of the glass.  Feed the fry tiny food, green water, algae, baby brine etc.  Repeat.




And Now the Brain Dump

There is nothing worse than searching for a recipe, clicking on the top results, and getting 4 paragraphs of blog before the recipe.  NO ONE CARES, we are just here for the meatloaf.  It’s your blog do what you want but know that everyone hates you.

I first saw Sawbwa resplendens in a planted display tank, it was a group of males in an Iwagumi style tank.  The fish were incredible, bluish purple shimmery scales and bright orange noses.  I had never seen them before which was interesting because I felt like I had seen everything freshwater related at this point.  As I researched I learned these fish prefer heavily planted tanks with cover to hide in and should be in groups of about 1 male for every 4 females (If I recall correctly).  The males and females are easy to tell apart (sexual dimorphism {giggity}).  Males are as described above, females are an olive grey color with a black spot in front of (anterior to) their anal fin.  The females are beautiful in their own way, the perfect minnow.  The males on the other hand are just bonkers.  Everything the fish store was doing was wrong but we all live and learn.  I continued researching and I found they are on the IUCN red list as endangered, damnit.  They are from Lake Inle in Myanmar, or do you say Burma?  My Burmese friend says Burma so I say Burma too.  I decided I needed to start breeding these fish and also needed a tank stocked with fish from Burma, there are some really cool fish there.  Rosy loaches, Celestial Pearl danios, Tinwini danios, Emerald Dwarf Rasbora, Glowlight danios, all kinds of cool fish.  The Inle Loach was another rabbit hole that I went down.


My Experiencesawbwa1.jpg

My first observation was that Sawbwas are often underweight or wasting away when they come in.  They are wild caught and I assumed it was internal parasites.  I tried to purchase the healthiest looking stock, quarantine and treat.  I had the most success treating with API General Cure, a mix of prazi and metro.  They would not eat medicated flakes.  After treatment and recovery I would introduce them to my display tanks and they would do fine for a while then would slowly disappear.  I never found a body.  I thought maybe they had short life spans and adults are imported because they look the best?  I thought maybe the pathogens popped up again?  I tried a lot of fish from 3 different sources and my experiences were the same.  I believe these three fish stores are most likely getting their fish from the same distributor.  At one point in my notes I even wrote “Sh*t, I wonder if it is TB. That might explain why they aren’t responding to general cure.”  Oh my word the sting I feel looking back on that little observation, see my previous blog entry for details.




Tips for success

Disease aside I did have some success and wanted to put it down online for future fish breeders.  If or when I do this again I will try to find a different source for my fish, if they are infected in the wild or in holding tanks on the way over I don’t know.  If you see any fish wasting in the tank avoid them entirely.  A fish that is wasting away will have a sunken belly and zombie like appearance.  I think I would try pumping my nursery tank with light for a few weeks to get a good growth of algae and maybe even green water before putting the fry in.  The fry are tiny and could use the microscopic food.  Maybe some catappa leaf litter and moss to encourage microscopic foods.  Decide if you are breeding or displaying, with the way these fish hunt their eggs I doubt you will see any fry survive to adulthood even in the heaviest of planted set ups.




Soap Boxsawbwa8.jpg

As hobbyists we should focus on conservation, the fish and plants we love get wiped out in the wild just for us (see the bucephalandra craze).  There is no reason we cannot breed and culture a lot of this stuff on our own.  UNS, Dennerle, and Tropica are doing awesome things for plants with all the tissue cultures they are making available.  Why not start some breeders circles for rare and endangered fish like we do with rare goldfish?

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