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Rasbora Espei vs. Hengeli vs. Harlequin (The Best Option for Your Tank)

Rasbora Espei vs. Hengeli vs. Harlequin (The Best Option for Your Tank)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Buying rasboras for your fish tank should be a fantastic idea. These fish are good for beginners so you can handle them even if you’re a newcomer to the hobby.

There are many rasboras to choose from, too. You can find rasboras that come in different colors and sizes.

Some of the most popular rasboras are the harlequins, hengeli rasboras, and espei rasboras. Are you trying to choose between these three options?

Continue reading to learn a bit about these three rasbora types. It’ll make it easier to decide which rasbora is perfect for your fish tank.

Espei Rasboras

Espei rasboras are better known by the name lambchop rasboras. If you find these rasboras at a local pet store, they’ll surely be sold as lambchops.

These fish are fantastic options for beginners who want to care for rasboras. They’re hardy fish that don’t have incredibly strict care requirements.

Lambchop rasboras look quite similar to harlequin rasboras in many ways. Their bodies are mostly bright red or orange, but they also have black or dark purple marks on their sides.

The markings look sort of like lambchops and this is why they’re called lambchop rasboras. The coloration of these fish makes them look amazing when you have a dark substrate material in the tank.

Most lambchop rasboras will grow to be one and a half inches long. Some might grow to be as large as two inches long, but this is less common.

These hardy fish are known to live between three and five years in a fish tank setting. You need to keep them in 10-gallon fish tanks or something larger.

Lambchop rasboras must be kept in groups of six or more to be happy and healthy. They do best in water temperatures that range from 73 degrees Fahrenheit to 83 degrees Fahrenheit.

They can tolerate pH balance levels between 5.5 and 7.9. The hardness level should stay between 2 and 11 dGH.

Hengeli Rasboras

Hengeli rasboras are more commonly referred to as glowlight rasboras. This is the name that you’ll typically see when you find them being sold at aquarium stores.

Glowlight rasboras are very pretty fish overall. They typically only grow to be a bit over one inch long, and that makes them rather small.

The majority of the glowlight rasbora’s body is translucent. It has a bright orange marking placed on the lateral line that you can see in the center of the body.

This marking goes all the way to the caudal fin, and there is a black marking underneath the fin. It’s a hardy fish that should be a good option for beginners.

Many people love these fish because they look good under aquarium lights. They’re also not too hard to care for, and you can expect them to live between three and five years so long as you meet their care needs.

These fish do best in fish tanks that offer at least 20 gallons of space. You need to keep at least six of them in the tank.

Ensure that the temperature of the water stays between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH balance of the water should be between 6.0 and 7.5 dGH.

Water hardness can be between 1 and 15 dGH. It’s not recommended to put these fish in an aquarium if it’s new so you should wait until it’s properly cycled.

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin rasboras are among the most popular types of rasboras. These might be the most common rasboras that you’ll find being sold in pet stores.

These fish are decidedly easy to care for. They’re quite hardy and it’s good for any beginner to choose these fish.

They grow to be two inches long at maturity, but some will be slightly smaller than this. It’s best to keep these fish in ten-gallon fish tanks or something larger.

Harlequin rasboras look pretty similar to both lambchop rasboras and glowlight rasboras. The big difference with these fish is that they have stockier bodies and their bellies are more convex.

The majority of the harlequin’s body is tinted red with the inner section of the forked caudal being clear. You can see the red being concentrated on the outer sections of the tail.

Harlequin rasboras also have a black triangular marking on the back half of the body that is positioned parallel to the gills. It goes from the dorsal fin up to the edge of the caudal fin’s base.

These are highly active and peaceful fish that work well in community fish tanks. To keep them healthy, it’s best to keep the temperature range between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

These fish can tolerate pH balance ranges from 6.0 to 7.8. The water hardness should be between 2 and 15 dGH.

Which Fish Is Best?

All of these fish are great choices when you’re new to caring for rasboras. They all make great beginner fish even when you have no experience keeping aquariums in your home.

Harlequin rasboras, glowlight rasboras, and lambchop rasboras are all very similar. They have bodies that look similar and it’s easy to mix these fish up if you don’t know what to look for.

The harlequin rasboras happen to have stockier bodies with bellies that are convex. The coloration is a bit different as well, but it’s very easy to confuse lambchop rasboras for harlequin rasboras at a glance.

Since all of these fish are easy to care for, it just comes down to which rasbora type appeals to you the most. You might even decide that you like all three.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the differences between harlequin rasboras, lambchop rasboras, and glowlight rasboras. All three fish are great choices when you’re putting together a community aquarium.

They’re all peaceful fish that will get along with others in a community tank. Since they’re easy to care for, they’re good options for beginners that are just getting used to the hobby.

Each of these fish will look good in your fish tank, too. Depending on your sensibilities, you might prefer one over the others.

You can find all three fish being sold in aquarium stores. If you don’t have luck finding any locally, they’re commonly sold online.

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