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Trigonostigma espei - False harlequin


  • Trigonostigma espei - False harlequin

    Photo thanks to ducky

    Scientific name: Trigonostigma espei - False harlequin
    Common name: False harlequin
    AKA: Espe’s rasbora/ Lambchop rasbora/ Copper rasbora

    Country of origin:
    South-East Asia

    pH: 5.5 - 7.5
    Temperature: 23 - 28c
    Hardness: 18 - 179 ppm
    Water flow: low - standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 3cm

    Diet: Live, frozen, flake & pellet foods.

    Breeding: Males - slimmer & more brightly coloured. Females - the black mark is rounder & less defined.
    Breeds at 28c in soft acidic water.
    Pairs 1 year+ old spawn on the underside of leaves, crypts are ideal. The eggs stick to the leaves.
    Remove the parents once they have spawned to prevent predation on eggs & fry.
    Feed fry on infusoria, then BBS.

    Tank companions: It lives in a similar habitat to South American fish, and goes well with other peaceful tetras, cardinals, corydoras, even discus. It is peaceful, and a good community fish.

    It naturally occurs with Betta simplex.

    It is a shoaling fish, and should be in a group of 8 or more.

    As with all fish, it will eat anything it can fit in its mouth, and equally can be eaten by fish able to fit it in their mouth. It is a relatively small fish, and this should be taken into account when choosing tank companions.

    Minimum of 3ft tank for a small group.

    It does best in a tank with a dark substrate, with heavy planting & low light, or alternately a bioscape with sand, driftwood and tannins.

    It is often confused with:
    Trigonostigma heteromorpha - copper with black triangle
    Trigonostigma hengeli - clearer fish, copper above & below black lambchop mark
    Trigonostigma espei - copper with black lambchop mark
    Trigonostigma somphongsi - the black is a thin stripe only. Extremely rare in the trade.

    Trigonostigma espei are NOT legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:
    however they may have been on previous import lists, have entered Australia prior to the implementation of import lists, or been misidentified on importation.

    The IUCN Red List reports Trigonostigma espei as a species of least concern with a stable population trend at 21/10/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    It is a good fish for beginners.

    Photo thanks to ducky
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