Red Flame Ricefish
Red Flame Ricefish, Oryzias woworae, male above
The Red Flame Ricefish, Oryzias woworae, is a recent and very colorful introduction from Indonesia that created quite a stir in the hobby. Only known from 1 locality, it was described in 2010 and collected by Daisy Wowor, an Indonesian crustacean expert. It is also called Daisys’ Ricefish and Neon Ricefish. Due to its’ rarity and striking colors, initial prices were high, and I paid $32. for my first pair at Fantastic Fins in Detroit. It is one of the smallest species of ricefish with maximum size of slightly over 1 inch. Their iridescent blues and reds show off especially well in darker surroundings where light reflects off the fishes’ body. Sexing them can be somewhat challenging on younger specimens, but males are larger and have more color with a deep chest area and a slightly more elongated body. They also have a longer anal fin. Both sexes can have a shimmering powder blue on their body. They will eat most any food but seem to grow better on live, frozen, or meaty foods. They come from a small freshwater stream on Muna Island with 80% canopy cover, sand and mud bottom, and lots of leaf litter. PH is 6 to 7, and Normohamphus halfbeaks are found along with them.
Breeding the Red Flame Ricefish is fairly simple. Because of their small size, a pair will breed readily in a 2 ½ gallon drum bowl with a sponge or UG filter. The female will often be seen with a small cluster of eggs at her vent which she brushes off on plants. A nylon spawning mop is ideal to collect the adhesive eggs, which are fairly large for this small a fish. I prefer to pick the eggs every day or two and hatch them in a separate pan with tap water and methylene blue. A pair will usually lay 3-8 eggs a day which take around a week to hatch at 78 degrees. They begin as clear and turn a brownish color as they develop. The fry will eat microworms and then baby brine shrimp when they become free swimming. More frequent but smaller water changes on the fry are recommended, which I learned about when I did a 50% water change on a tank of fry and lost them all. Even the adults are somewhat sensitive to large changes in temperature or water chemistry. They are fairly slow growers and it takes 6-8 months to get adult size.