Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma Espei): Ultimate Care Guide


The Lambchop Rasbora is a small, colourful fish that is highly recommended for beginner aquarists. One of over 100 species of Rasbora, the Lambchop Rasbora is known for the distinct black markings on its tails. These little but active fish are a shoaling species that can make a beautiful addition to a community tank.

The Lambchop Rasbora is a tropical, blackwater fish that is typically found in the southwest regions of Thailand and the southeast regions of Cambodia.

Not only do these fish create a beautiful spectacle but they are hardy species that require minimal care. There are just a few basic requirements for their tank to see these fish thrive. This guide will help you understand how to properly care for Lambchop Rasboras.

Lambchop Rasbora Facts

The Lambchop Rasbora is a tiny, scaled fish with a body of deep red to orange. Its name comes from the black marking from the centre of the body the caudal fin which is shaped like a lamb chop. The Lambchop Rasbora has an average body size of 1.5” (3.8cm) and can grow to a maximum length of 2” (5cm). Typically, they have an average lifespan of between 3 to 5 years. 

Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma Espei)
Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma Espei)

Lambchop Rasbora Care

As a general rule, a 10-gallon (40 litre) tank is the minimum size required for a group of 6 Lambchop Rasbora.  It is recommended that the tank also has a tight-fitting lid as these fish are known to jump if they are startled or excited. The Lambchop Rasbora is typically found in forest streams and tributaries, so they prefer an environment with slow-moving water.

One of the reasons this fish is so easy to care for it that it lives in stable water parameters. The optimal water temperature for a Lambchop Rasbora is between 73°F – 83°F (23°C – 28°C). This is because they are found in tropical environments in Southeast Asia. The recommended pH level for Lambchop Rasbora is between 5.5 – 7.9. They will also require a tank with a hardness level between 2 – 11° dH and an alkalinity level between 2 – 10 dKH.

In the wild, the Lambchop Rasbora inhabits blackwater streams and tributaries which have a blackwater environment. Blackwater conditions can be simulated in their tank using dim lighting and adding floating vegetation or small bags of aquarium peat to further diffuse the light. To decorate the Lambchop Rasbora’s tank, start with a soft, sandy substrate that is dark to better display their colouration. They need plenty of swimming space, so it is recommended to add aquatic plants to the border of the tank as well as wood roots and branches to create shady spots and caves.

Lambchop Rasbora Food & Diet

The Lambchop Rasbora is an omnivore, thriving on a balanced diet of meat-based foods and vegetation. The Lambchop Rasbora can be fed fresh or frozen bloodworm, Daphnia, Artemia, brine shrimp and, insect larvae for meat-based foods as well as lettuce, zucchini, and kale for vegetable options. In captivity, they can also eat dried flakes and pellets however they should not be fed this exclusively. It is recommended that Lambchop Rasbora are fed several, small meals throughout the day. Only offer what they can eat within 3 minutes and remove any leftover food after this time.

Lambchop Rasbora Tank Mates

The Lambchop Rasbora is a shoaling and schooling fish, meaning they form large groups that swim together. Typically, Lambchop Rasbora should be kept in groups of 8 to 10 fish but can be kept in a school as small as 6. Creating a large group in your tank will keep these fish from becoming nervous and will also produce a more captivating, natural-looking display.

The Lambchop Rasbora has a docile temperament which makes them a favourable addition to community aquariums. As they do not require too specific water parameters, they can cohabitate with many popular aquarium fish. The ideal tankmates for Lambchop Rasbora are Catfish, Dwarf Cichlids, Livebearers, Loaches, Tetras and, Snails.

The Lambchop Rasbora does not coexist successfully with larger or aggressive fish due to their small size and peaceful temperament. An exception to this rule is for bettas, who coexist with Lambchop Rasbora in the wild. If you plan to have these two species as tank mates, ensure you closely monitor them and keep the Rasbora’s in a large group to deter attacks. Brilliant Rasbora should also not be kept with smaller species, such as shrimp, as they will see them as food to eat.

Breeding Lambchop Rasbora

The Lambchop Rasbora is an egg-scattering species and can be bred in captivity however this can be a difficult process. For best success, a controlled approach is recommended which requires a separate, smaller tank that is heavily planted or has a layer of mesh at the bottom for the eggs to fall through. The optimal water temperature of the breeding tank is between 77°F – 83°F (25°C – 28°C) and the pH level should be between 5.9. – 6.0.

Lambchop Rasbora breed in pairs of males and females. Females can be identified by their rounder bellies and larger size in comparison to males. Males can also be distinguished by their black markings which have a sharper, more-defined outline compared to the female’s rounded markings.

Lambchop Rasbora does not exhibit parental care and will eat any eggs they find. Because of this, the mature fish or the eggs should be removed as soon as they can be seen. The eggs usually hatch within 24 – 48 hours and will grow into free-swimming fry approximately 7 days later.

Conclusion

If you are looking to purchase your Lambchop Rasbora in a pet store, you can expect to pay between

It is clear to see why the Lambchop Rasbora is recommended for beginner aquarists. From their stable water conditions to having an unfussy diet, this little fish is easy to care for and can add a fascinating display to your tank for people to watch.  With their ability to cohabitate with a wide range of other species, the Lambchop Rasbora makes for a unique, hardy addition to any aquarium.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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