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Lambchop Harlequin Rasbora (ESPEI)

Lambchop Harlequin Rasbora (ESPEI)

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Overview of Lambchop Rasboras (Trigonostigma espei)

Common Names: Lambchop Rasbora, Porkchop Rasbora, False Harlequin Rasbora

Scientific Name: Trigonostigma espei

Native Location: Thailand

Climate: Tropical

Size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm)

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Breeding: Easy-Moderate

Temperature Range: 72° - 79° F (22° - 26° C)

Preferred pH Range: 6.0 - 7.0

KH Range: 2 - 10 dKH

Minimum Aquarium Size: 10 gallons

Potential Tankmates: Other peaceful fish, snails, shrimp, live plants

Care Level: Beginner-Intermediate


Lambchop Rasboras are captivating fish known for their vibrant red or orange bodies adorned with a distinctive black or dark purple mark on their sides, resembling a lambchop. This unique pattern, along with their peaceful nature, makes them a popular choice for community aquariums. They are particularly striking against dark-colored substrates, which highlight their bold colors.

Physical Characteristics

Lambchop Rasboras have bright red or orange bodies with a distinctive black or dark purple lambchop-shaped mark on their sides. Males tend to be more colorful with more pointed lambchop markings, while females are rounder with more rounded markings. Their small size, typically 1 - 1.5 inches, makes them ideal for nano tanks.

Behavior and Compatibility

These fish are peaceful and thrive in schools, making them ideal for community tanks. They are compatible with other non-aggressive species, as well as snails, shrimp, and live plants. Keeping them in groups of 6 or more reduces shyness and promotes natural behavior.

Diet and Feeding

Lambchop Rasboras are omnivorous and not picky eaters. They will readily accept flake foods, pellets, and algae wafers. To enhance their colors and encourage breeding, their diet should be supplemented with frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and insect larvae. They also enjoy blanched vegetables like lettuce, zucchini, and kale.

Tank Setup and Care

  • Tank Size: A minimum of 10 gallons is recommended.
  • Water Conditions: They prefer temperatures between 72° - 79° F (22° - 26° C) and a pH range of 6.0 - 7.0. The recommended KH range is 2 - 10 dKH.
  • Aquarium Decor: Provide plenty of plants, rocks, and driftwood for cover. These elements mimic their natural habitat and make them feel secure.
  • Social Behavior: These schooling fish do best in groups and will school with other rasboras and danios.


Lambchop Rasboras can spawn in a well-maintained, densely planted aquarium. Males display brighter colors and court females by performing a dance. Fry may appear if conditions are optimal and the tank is well-cycled. Ensure a varied diet to encourage breeding.

What We Like About This Fish

  • Unique pattern with striking colors
  • Forms schools with each other and other rasboras and danios
  • Safe with plants and peaceful tankmates
  • Ideal for both beginners and experienced aquarists


Lambchop Rasboras are an excellent addition to any aquarium, bringing vibrant colors and peaceful behavior. Their unique markings and ease of care make them a favorite among fish enthusiasts. With proper care, they will thrive and create a lively, visually appealing display in your tank.


*Sample Photo is for reference only. Exact fish will vary in size and colour*

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