Small schooling fish, such as the Glowlight Rasbora, also known as Trigonostigma hengeli, are great to have in a home aquarium due to their fun and gaiety behaviors.
With their glowing personality and cheerful yellow colors, a large group of this species is a surefire way to brighten up a drab tank. Best of all, caring for Glowlight fish is not a troublesome task given how low maintenance they are!
Glowlight Rasbora Stats
|Scientific Name||Trigonostigma hengeli|
|Synonyms||Rasbora hengeli, Meinken 1956|
|Size of Fish||1.5 inches|
|Colors & Patterns||Yellow, neon orange line, black lambchop marking|
|Min. Tank Size||20 gallons|
|Temperature||72 – 79 F|
|pH||6 – 7.5|
|Hardness||1 – 15 dGH|
Trigonostigma Hengeli Background
The Trigonostigma hengeli goes with the trade name “Glowlight Rasbora” due to its yellow and orange colors that glimmer under the light. Beginning aquarists may often confuse it with the Harlequin Rasbora and Lambchop Rasbora, but each fish is a breeze to identify upon close inspection.
– Where Do They Come From?
The exact origins of this little beauty remain a moot point, but the records are all pointing to the Sundra Islands. Currently, most of the collection is coming from Jambi Province and West Kalimantan of Indonesia. There, the Glowlight Rasbora inhabits black, slow-moving streams and rivers associated with ancient forests.
Due to the dense rainforest canopy, there is barely any light penetrating the water surface. The presence of decaying branches, twigs, and leaves that fell on the substrate also produces tannins that stain the water. This occurrence has weakened the acidity of the water, as well.
– Are They Getting Extinct?
Despite having unclear origins, the Hengel’s Rasbora is far from being extinct. The Glowlight fish are coping well in the wild, and they are likewise a cinch to breed in captivity. Therefore, the species is not considered endangered at all.
Glowlight Rasbora Appearance
A school of Glowlight fish is a sight to behold! You can sit back and watch these fish bring yellow and orange glints across your aquarium, especially if you have lighting installed.
– How Big Does a Glowlight Rasbora Get?
An adult Glowlight Rasbora grows over an inch in length, but this fish species seldom maxes out at two inches. As with other species, the growth potential of these rasboras can be affected by their diet and living conditions.
– What Are Their Distinct Features?
Healthy specimens have a translucent silver or ivory body with lemon yellow patches here and there, including the fins. On the contrary, the saturation of the colors depends on several factors, including the stress levels of the fish and the conditions of the tank. The Glowlight fish also sports a thin vivid stroke of neon orange just above their black markings.
All in all, the color combination and pattern of this species isn’t something one would call unique. Nevertheless, a group of these fish schooling together makes for an interesting spectacle!
– How Can You Tell If a Glowlight Fish Is Male or Female?
Glowlight fish are impossible to sex as juveniles, but they give out clues as they grow older. Females, unfortunately, lack the happy colors that males have, although they still sport the thin neon orange coloration. When males are eager to mate, they would saturate and display their intensified colors to attract a female’s attention.
– Glowlight vs Lambchop vs Harlequin Rasbora: Are They the Same?
The Glowlight Rasbora is often confused with the Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma espei) and vice versa. Both these species are also marketed under the same monikers, including “false Harlequin rasboras.” So how do these species differ?
Know that a genuine Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha) has a larger vertical body than the Glowlight Rasbora and Lambchop Rasbora. Harlequins are much easier to identify due to their red metallic color and black triangular patch that covers nearly half of their body. Right off the bat, the appearance of the fish will remind you of Harlequin from the original Batman series!
Glowlights and Lambchops have black markings as well, but the black patch of the Harlequin Rasbora is larger and darker than that of the two species. Compared to Harlequins, the Lambchop Rasbora has a smaller vertical body that appears either bronze pink or copper rather than red. Its trade name alludes to its black patch, which resembles a lamb chop.
The Glowlight Rasbora, on the other hand, has a translucent silver or ivory body and shares a similar black marking as the Lambchop. However, Glowlights feature a strip of neon orange that runs along the upper edge of its black marking.
Glowlight Rasbora Behavior and Temperament
Apart from their happy yellow color, the Glowlight Rasboras have a sunny disposition, which adds to their charm. A school of this species is a surefire way to light up your tank!
– Decoding Trigonostigma Hengeli Behavior
Glowlight Rasboras always seem on the go! Like tiny torpedos, these active swimmers love to dash across the middle and top levels of the aquarium. You may also find them loafing around the bottom looking for bits of food, but not always.
Albeit boisterous, these fish prefer to make peace with their tank mates instead of harassing them with their numbers. As long as they are not regarded as food, they are willing to live with many other species.
Since the Trigonostigma Hengeli is a schooling species, you want to keep them in a group of 10 specimens or more. Glowlight fish feel more confident and secure when they are in large numbers. The bigger the group, the more impressive they look when performing schooling behaviors.
– Are They Aggressive?
A fish so small doesn’t pose any threat to other species. If anything, the Glowlight Rasbora is more likely to become a victim of larger, dominant fish. Due to their size, you don’t want to house your Glowlight fish with larger species that could devour them whole.
Proper Glowlight Rasbora Care
– Glowlight Rasbora Diet
Glowlight fish are micro predators that feed on insect larvae, crustaceans, and other zooplankton in the wild. Fortunately, you won’t have to hunt such fare to provide your pet fish a hearty meal; these fish are known to accept flake food and granules with enthusiasm.
While these rasboras don’t fuss about their food, you should offer them daily meals of small live or frozen fares, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. A varied diet promotes optimal conditions, thus making the fish healthier and more vibrant.
– Water Parameters and Maintenance
The Glowlight Rasbora is not demanding in terms of water chemistry. Their natural habitat can vary from clear streams and stained brooks that move in slow currents. Although the conditions differ between these habitats, a few things remain consistent. The waters are warm, and the pH is anything but acidic.
- Temperature: 72 – 79 degree F
- pH: 6 – 7.5
- Hardness: 1 – 15 dGH
- Water Changes: 20 to 30 percent each week
Ammonia concentrations can build up dangerously fast in small aquariums. To prevent ammonia poisoning, you need to perform weekly water changes. Adding fresh water will help dilute the toxins that could otherwise cause mass casualties.
– Health Risks
Another reason to love Glowlight Rasboras is their hardy nature; they don’t get ill often. Regardless, these fish can still fall prey to Ich, dropsy, fin rot, and other diseases. Stress caused by dominating tank mates, poor diet, and filthy water weakens their defenses, making them ill.
Glowlight Rasbora Breeding
Glowlight Rasboras are bred in a similar way as other Trigonostigma species.
Not much preparation is required if the fish are kept in a species-exclusive aquarium. So far, there are only two steps to follow.
The first step is to condition your fish with a high-quality protein diet, followed by adding a thick layer of marbles or plastic grass matting on the bottom of the tank. The eggs that fall through the crevices will be protected.
Nevertheless, it’s wiser to set up a five-gallon breeding tank to maximize the yield. Fill the tank with soft acidic water, ideally having a pH of five and a temperature veering toward the upper end of the recommended range. Furnish the tank with a plethora of plants. Filtration is unnecessary, but an air stone might prove helpful.
– How Can You Tell If the Fish Are Ready To Breed?
A consistent diet of live fare encourages Glowlight fish to reproduce. However, you should wait until your fish have aged a year to ensure they make the best candidates for spawning.
While it may take a few weeks to condition your fish, you can tell right away if they are ready to breed. The male would appear more vivid than ever, while the females will look gravid. By then, introduce two pairs into the breeding tank.
The spawning should take place early the next morning. This is often preceded by intense courtship. Eventually, the female starts laying small batches of eggs that the males will fertilize.
– How Do Glowlight Rasboras Care for Their Young?
Unlike other species, Glowlight Rasboras do not scatter their eggs in a random manner. The females will choose a broad surface to lay their eggs on, such as the underside of a large leaf. Therefore, the pair will have to perform an inverted position in which the eggs and milt will adhere to the plants.
Unfortunately, this species does not provide parental care. You will have to remove the adults right after spawning, lest they will eat the eggs and fry themselves. The eggs will hatch within 48 hours, and the fry become free-swimming within a week.
Fry that are about 10 days old are big enough to accept baby brine shrimp. You can feed them crushed flakes after another week.
Glowlight Rasbora Tank Mates
One thing I like about this species is the fact they have no extreme demands in terms of water parameters. Thus, you can combine them with many beautiful fish in your aquarium. These include dwarf cichlids, livebearers, catfish, and loaches.
Glowlight fish are peaceful, but they are timid and overly cautious on their own. These fish need to be part of a large group so that they can feel more at ease in a community aquarium. You can tell if they are happy and confident when they are displaying interesting behaviors.
Glowlight Rasbora Tank Setup
– What Is the Right Tank Size?
A school of 10 Glowlight Rasboras should be kept in an aquarium with a capacity of at least 20 gallons. Anything smaller will not provide enough space for them to carry out their natural schooling behaviors.
– Which Aquarium Substrate Should You Use?
The aquarium substrate plays a vital role in fish health and color. For light-colored fish like the Glowlight Rasbora, we recommend a dark-colored substrate to create a stunning contrast! But at the end of the day, the color of the substrate is a personal choice. Pick one that will complement the theme of your aquarium.
You are also free to choose between gravel, sand, and aqua soil. After all, these fish seldom hang out at the bottom. But if your rasboras live with catfish and loaches, it would be best to choose a fine substrate for their best interest.
– What Plants and Decorations Should You Add to the Tank?
Feel free to embellish the aquarium with ceramic ornaments, small riverworn rocks, and whatever you see fit. Decorating an empty fish tank is one of the most enjoyable and stress-relieving activities in fishkeeping. Just remember not to go overboard.
When adding plants, put them along the sides and at the back portion of the aquarium to leave more open space in the middle for the fish to swim in. Glowlight Rasboras are active swimmers. They need ample swimming areas for them to exercise schooling behaviors.
– How Do You Choose Which Equipment to Use?
Setting up a small aquarium can be a cinch even for the beginning aquarist, but did you know that small tanks are more difficult to manage than large ones? Stabilizing water conditions in a nano leaves no room for mistakes. That is why we advise that you start with a 20-gallon tank or larger and install the following equipment.
We recommend an external canister filter if you are trying to set up your aquarium as a table centerpiece. One of the advantages of canister filters is that you can install them out of sight. Above all, you can add your own customized mix of filtration media and adjust the flow rate.
Another fantastic option is a power filter. Also known as hang-on-back filters, these systems provide mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. Power filters are accessible since they sit right on the edge of the aquarium.
Due to their small size, nano tanks demand more frequent maintenance. A few minor changes in the water might prove insignificant for a large tank, but it could deliver a devastating blow in a nano tank. Therefore, you need to have an aquarium water test kit on hand and keep yourself updated with the water parameters.
We recommend the Glowlight Rasbora to anyone who is looking for a pet fish with few specific care requirements. This fish species is generally low maintenance. Here’s a quick summary of what we discussed earlier:
- The Glowlight Rasbora is a hardy fish, but poor nutrition and contaminated water raise their likelihood of falling ill. Cleaning your tank and keeping tabs on the water parameters are simple yet effective preventative measures to make sure your fish stay healthy.
- Keep at least 10 specimens. Schooling fish needs to be in large numbers; otherwise, they get stressed out. Besides, a large group of Glowlight fish will reward you with an impressive display of bright colors.
- There’s a long list of freshwater species you can house with these rasboras. These fish have a peaceful and sunny disposition, thus making them ideal residents of a well-maintained community aquarium.
- The omnivorous Glowlight Rasbora doesn’t require a complex diet plan, but we encourage you to provide your fish a varied diet for better coloration and stronger immunity against disease.
- A few decorations and a small arrangement of plants are enough. You must leave ample space for them to swim.
- These fish species are active swimmers, so their tank size is important.
- Keep them away from dominating tank mates to avoid stress.
There are many things we wish to add, but rest assured that this amount of information is already enough to get you started in rearing Glowlight rasbora. If you have more questions, feel free to leave your comments or message us!
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