Fish hobbyists love the harlequin rasbora—it has a beautiful metallic color and it is easy to care for. A large school makes an aquarium vivid and vibrant with movement. This is a great fish for a smaller-sized community tank as it is peaceable with most other species. It is a smaller fish, so keep it with like-sized specimens; larger fish might be attracted by its shimmer and try to make a meal out of it.
|Origin||Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Thailand|
|Social||Peaceful, suitable for community tank|
|Tank Level||Top to mid-dwelling|
|Minimum Tank Size||10 gallon|
|pH||6.0 to 7.5|
|Hardness||Up to 12 dGH|
|Temperature||73 to 82 F (23 to 28 C)|
The harlequin rasbora is a native of Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, and southern Thailand. It inhabits streams and waters that are characterized principally by their low mineral content and high concentrations of dissolved humic acids, which is typical of water that flows through swamped forests. The waterlogged soils of these forests inhibit the complete decay of leaf litter, resulting in the formation of peat, which leaches humic acids. These conditions resemble those found in the blackwater habitats of South America.
Colors and Markings
Of the more than five dozen species of rasbora, the harlequin is arguably the most popular of them all. Often referred to as a red rasbora, the body is a reddish-copper color that is accented by a striking black wedge covering the rear half of the body. The distinguishing triangular patch begins near the dorsal fin and comes to a point near the base of the caudal fin. This species looks similar to Rasbora espei and R. hengeli.
The harlequin rasbora is a shoaling fish; it should be kept in schools of eight to 10 individuals. Schools of even larger numbers make for a beautiful display. You can keep harlequins with any fish as long it’s not large and predatory. It will not nip at or quarrel with any other species. Some potentially good tankmates may include cardinal tetras, bettas, neon tetras, small barbs, dwarf gouramis, danios, other small rasboras, and cory catfish.