Name: Trigonostigma hengeli
Origin: Sumatra, Borneo, Indonesia
In the past Rasbora hengeli has been confused with Rasbora espei and has recently (1999) been reclassified into the Trigonostigma genus. This small Rasbora is a delightful fish with a shy temperament. The markings on their bodies are a brilliant orange "Nike" - an upside down "swoosh" with a black line below. Colouring and contrast between the orange and black become more intense when they feel good and are well fed. Most of the body of this fish is translucent and you can see their guts. These fish live in swampy dark waters and slow flowing streams of SE Asia. They are excellent swimmers and, judging by their body style, they should be kept in a 60 cm tank to satisfy their swimming needs. Like many schooling fish, they need to be kept in groups to make them feel comfortable and secure. These fish are small as adults, so tank mates should also be calm and not able to gobble them up with a single gulp. Lighting and currents from filters should be kept to a minimum. I have fed my Rasbora hengeli fish flakes, tubifex worms and sinking pellets and they have enjoyed them all.
I have 10 of these cute little guys. They look awesome mixed in with my normal Harlequins. They are doing great in the soft, acid, tannin stained water in my 230 litre tank. These fish should get along with anything that won't eat them, as they are very friendly but pretty small! Mine have grown quite a bit, some are almost as big as my full grown regular harleys, but I don't think they will grow quite as large. They are VERY active, and love chasing each other in circles around the tank. Please keep at least six of them together, as they look better and feel more secure; mine were very nervous when I first got them and I think would fade away without their own company.
Hengel's Rasbora are brilliant, tiny fish that deserve to be more popular. Pictures do not do justice to their shining orange coloring. Similar in behavior to the small, peaceful tetras I keep them with (neons and pristellas in my case), they do not bother other fish but are very easily eaten by larger fish! Be warned! Hengel's are the most tightly schooling fish I have ever kept and must be kept in a school with lots of swimming room. Rarely do I see one leave the school for even a few minutes. My own observation is that they seem to enjoy a bit of shade from floating plants, as well as shelter from filter currents. I feed them on tetra flakes and occasional blood worms.
These cute fish don't grow as big as the regular harlequin rasbora. I had 10, 1 died when I moved house. They are in my 150 cm tank with regular harlequins, large gouramis, bristlenoses and kuhli loaches. Sometimes the male Harleys pick on them, but nobody ever gets hurt. They all make one big Harley gang and look great with the regular Harleys. I have had mine for 6 months with no problems. They greedily eat anything that fits in their mouth. Keep at least 6, feed them a variety of small food - they have small mouths - and keep them in soft, acid water, pH 6.5-7.0. Meet their basic needs and you should have beautiful, healthy fish. Happy fishkeeping!
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