Lambchop rasbora

Aquarium fish: Lambchop rasbora (Trigonostigma espei)
Size: 3.5 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 23-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 54 l

Lambchop rasbora (Trigonostigma espei ) – a small, shoal freshwater fish, often kept in aquariums.


Asia. Two main populations of this species are known, one in the southwest of Thailand and the other in the south of the country, near the Cambodian border. Their range of occurrence extended to the Prek Tuk Sap river basin in Cambodia and the largest island of Vietnam – Phu Quoc. Espei razbory most often inhabit slowly flowing sections of forest streams and tributaries, with abundant vegetation.

Their natural habitats are characterized by soft, slightly acidic to neutral, yellow or brown colored water due to the high presence of tannins and other chemicals. In the province of Krabi in southern Thailand, they live in a karst area with neutral to alkaline water. This habitat is made up of a series of deep limestone coves that form pools on the surface, and a small overflow ditch. The water there is very clear and has a light blue-green color. Depending on the origin of the fish, their color may be more or less intense.

Characteristics and disposition

Adult specimens reach up to 3 cm in length. A wedge-shaped black-blue spot on the body, reaching the base of the tail, is a characteristic external feature of the fish. Sexually mature females have a more rounded belly and are slightly larger than slender and more intensely colored males. In males, the outline of the sphenoid spot is sharper. Razbory is a shoal species and should be kept in a group of min.

8-10 individuals. In larger quantities, they are not only less stressed, but also look better in the tank. Males also color the best by competing with each other for the favor of females. Interestingly, in the aquarium they swim close to each other, creating even a small shoal. The fish have a very calm disposition, they are perfect for a general aquarium.

Razbora espei is often confused with razbora hengela .

Nutrition and feeding

It is best to give a varied dry food, supplementing the diet with frozen and live food, e.g. bloodworm larvae, mosquitoes, daphnia, artemia.


Considering that espei is a herd fish, the aquarium should have min. 60 cm long.

They are most effective against the background of dark ground, dense vegetation and not very bright lighting . The tank should also contain decorations made of roots and broad-leaved plants, on which fish are more likely to lay eggs. When choosing companions for a selection, remember that they are small and can become a meal for larger predatory fish. For example, they can be kept with small cyprinids , tetras or catfish . Cover the aquarium with a lid – it will prevent fish from jumping out.


Compared to other cyprinids, the Razbora espei does not spread the roe, but lays it on the underside of the leaves . In densely overgrown, mature aquariums, spawning takes place quite by accident. If we want to get more fry, we have to prepare a spawning tank, which we shade. At the bottom of the tank, we place a net or aquarium cotton wool, which will prevent the eggs from being eaten, and broadly leafed plants such as Cryptocoryna , Mikrozorium, Anubias . The ideal breeding water is pH 5.0-6.0, hardness 1-5 ° H and temperature 26-28 ° C.

Fish should be around 1 year old. Feed copiously with live food a few days before spawning. When the females are more rounded and the males have acquired more intense colors, the spawners, preferably in the evening, are transferred to the previously prepared aquarium. Spawning usually takes place in the morning. However, if it does not happen within 3-4 days, we try with another couple.

As soon as the eggs appear, we catch the parents as soon as possible. Hatching takes about 24-48 hours. The fry begin to swim after about a week. We feed small fish with dust or slurry until they are large enough to be able to eat small live food.


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