The Harlequin Rasbora, scientifically known as Trigonostigma heteromorpha, is a captivating and peaceful freshwater fish species renowned for its stunning coloration and shoaling behavior. Native to Southeast Asia, particularly in regions like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Harlequin Rasboras are a favored choice among aquarium enthusiasts for their striking appearance and ease of care. Here is a detailed description of the Harlequin Rasbora:
- Size: Harlequin Rasboras are relatively small, with an average size of about 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 centimeters) in length when fully grown.
- Body Shape: They have a streamlined, slender body with an attractive, torpedo-like shape. Their body is laterally compressed, which allows them to navigate through densely planted areas with ease.
- Coloration: The most defining feature of Harlequin Rasboras is their striking color pattern. They have a shimmering silver-blue body with a characteristic bold, triangular, and iridescent orange-red patch that starts behind the gill covers and extends to the caudal fin. This vivid coloration is what gives them their common name "Harlequin."
- Peaceful Nature: Harlequin Rasboras are known for their gentle and non-aggressive temperament. They are excellent choices for community aquariums and are compatible with various peaceful fish species.
- Schooling Behavior: These rasboras are highly social and thrive when kept in groups of at least six or more individuals. In a school, they exhibit natural shoaling behavior, creating a visually stunning display as they swim together in coordinated movements.
- Origin: Harlequin Rasboras are native to Southeast Asia, where they are commonly found in slow-moving streams, tributaries, and forested areas with ample vegetation.
- Aquarium Setup: To mimic their natural habitat, provide an aquarium with plenty of live or artificial plants, floating vegetation, and subdued lighting. Harlequin Rasboras appreciate water conditions with a temperature range of 73-81°F (23-27°C), a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5, and very soft to moderately hard water.
- Omnivorous Feeders: Harlequin Rasboras are omnivores and accept a variety of foods. They primarily feed on high-quality flakes or pellets but also enjoy live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. A balanced diet that includes some plant matter ensures their health and vibrancy.
- Peaceful Tankmates: Harlequin Rasboras are peaceful and can coexist with a wide range of compatible tankmates, including other peaceful community fish and similarly sized species. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or nippy fish that might harass them.
- Egg Scatterers: Harlequin Rasboras are egg scatterers. In a separate breeding tank, provide fine-leaved plants or a spawning mop for them to deposit their adhesive eggs. Once the eggs are laid, it's advisable to remove the adults, as they may consume their own eggs.
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