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The Espei Rasbora comes from Southeast Asia throughout the eastern slopes of the Gulf of Thailand in the countries of Cambodia and Thailand, and a recent population was also found on the Island Phu Quoc of Vietnam. The Espei Rasbora inhabits thickly vegetated streams, ponds, pools, marshes, and swamps where the waters are calm or gently flowing. Due to the dense plant matter, tannins and other chemicals from decomposing organic debris sometimes stain the water a yellowish brown. The water is also soft and weakly acidic or neutral, and the forest canopies often keep it heavily shaded. These fish swim in schools and are known as micropredators, feeding on small insects, worms, crustaceans, and zooplankton.
The Espe’s Rasboras are omnivorous. In the aquarium, their diet should be based around a quality flake or pellet food supplemented by the occasional live snack of brine shrimp or bloodworms. These fish will do best when fed several times a day, but only offer what they can eat in 3 minutes or less at each feeding. If you feed only once per day, provide what they can eat in about 5 minutes.
These fish are not exceptionally difficult to care for provided their water is kept clean. At least 25 to 50% of the tank water should be replaced once a month. If the tank is densely stocked, replace 20 to 25% weekly or every other week. The substrate should also be vacuumed during water changes to avoid accumulation of waste.
The Espei Rasbora is a hardy schooling species that will spend much of its time in the middle and upper regions of the aquarium. The tank should be no less than 45 cm long to allow these fish to comfortably school and swim back and forth. This rasbora’s colours can be quite stunning and will show best in soft, slightly acidic water conditions. Provide a good filter, but as these fish come from very sluggish waters, strong filtration is not necessary. The tank should be carefully covered as these fish are liable to jump if startled or excited.
A heavily planted tank will make them feel much more at home. A good aquascape would be dense plantings reaching the surface of the aquarium around the sides and back with a few broad-leaved plants for shelter. A dark substrate and areas of shadow will bring out this fish’s redder hues. Adding floating plants will give the fish extra security and help to diffuse the light entering the tank. Bogwood is also a great addition, as the tannins help maintain water parameters more closely resembling their natural environment.
- Species – Trigonostigma espei
- Common Name – Espei Rasbora
- Origin – Southeast Asia throughout the eastern slopes of the Gulf of Thailand in the countries of Cambodia and Thailand, and a recent population was also found on the Island Phu Quoc of Vietnam.
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – 6 – 8
- Temperature – Tropical 23°c – 28°c
- Breed Type – egg layer
- Current Size – approximately 2-2.5cm (Grows up to approximately 3cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed