Fun Glowlight Rasbora Facts For Kids

Hannah Bowyer
Jan 14, 2023 By Hannah Bowyer
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
The peaceful glowlight rasbora facts
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.2 Min

The glowlight rasbora, Trigonostigma hengeli, (previously known as Rasbora hengeli) also known as lambchop rasbora and false harlequin rasbora, is a small freshwater fish that a lot of aquarists adore. A school of these fish in the aquarium creates bright little flickers of neon colours in the tank.

This cyprinid can be found in the waters of Southeast Asia, the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, the Greater Sunda Islands of Borneo and Sumatra, and quite possibly Thailand and Cambodia as well. These fish are mostly found in the wild, but most aquarium fish suppliers should have them available.

The glowlight rasbora is often confused with its two close relatives, the harlequin rasbora Trigonostigma heteromorpha and the lambchop rasbora or Espe's rasbora Trigonostigma espei. Both the glowlight rasbora and Espe's rasbora are often sold as false harlequin rasbora.

To differentiate these three from each other, you have to notice these subtle distinctions.

The Espe’s rasbora should be in bronze pink in color and should not have orange markings above the black triangle. The harlequin rasbora is a pale pink to a bright red in color, is much stockier than the two, and its black mark should be more of a triangle in shape than its cousins.

If you like reading this article about this sea creature, you may also want to check out our articles about the  clown rasbora and rainbow trout.

Glowlight Rasbora Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a glowlight rasbora?

Glowlight rasbora, Trigonostigma hengeli, are tiny, slender, and hardy fish. Ideal for beginner aquarists to add to their aquariums.

What class of animal does a glowlight rasbora belong to?

The glowlight rasbora belongs to the Actinopterygii class.

How many glowlight rasboras are there in the world?

There is no official count of glowlight rasboras in the world as they can be found both in the wild and in specialized aquarium shops.

Where does a glowlight rasbora live?

In the wild, these fish can be found in Southeast Asia, more specifically on the freshwater of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, the Greater Sunda Islands of Borneo and Sumatra, and quite possibly in Thailand and Cambodia as well. In an aquarium, they like slightly acidic water with a pH level of 6-7.5.

And the glowlight rasbora, Trigonostigma hengeli, are quite popular in home aquariums too. You just have to make sure that the water temperature and pH are set properly.

What is a glowlight rasbora's habitat?

In the wild, these fish are found swimming in schools, flocking in heavily vegetated, gently flowing slightly acidic waters on the pH scale. In captivity, they are mostly found in an aquarium.

Who do glowlight rasboras live with?

The glowlight rasbora are a kind of fish that likes to be in a school. It's best to have them in groups of six to eight.

The males will tend to stand out as they will try and catch the attention of females. The glowlight rasbora, Trigonostigma hengeli, are tiny a species of fish and can be easily eaten by bigger fish that are in the same tank.

It’s best not to have them share the same tank with larger predatory fish.

Cyprinids are really good companions as well as some of the characins like tetras, livebearers like mollies, swordtail fish, plates, and guppies. Bottom-dwelling peaceful catfish and loaches, and even some of the dwarf cichlids are also good companions for the glowlight rasbora.

This small rasbora can also share a tank with an adult dwarf shrimp, however, they have a tendency to prey on shrimp fry. Bigger, and peaceful, invertebrates can also make good tank companions.

How long does a glowlight rasbora live?

On average if well taken care of, the glowlight rasbora, Trigonostigma hengeli, usually live up to two or three years. Although they are hardy fish, it's best to keep the temperature of the aquarium at the optimal range.

How do they reproduce?

Glowlight rasbora, Trigonostigma hengeli, reproduce when the male is trying to call the attention of the female by flashing its colors with a lot of vibrance. Once the female notices the male's courtship dance, the male then dictates where the mating will take place.

What is their conservation status?

Glowlight rasbora, Trigonostigma hengeli, are Not Evaluated or Listed in the IUCN Red List. Although with lacking data, knowing this fish's hardness and type of water conditions they thrive in, it would be safe to say that it's not critically endangered.

Glowlight Rasbora Fun Facts

What do glowlight rasboras look like?

These tiny fish only reach 1-1.2 in (2.5-3 cm) in length. They are very eye-catching due to their colors, which range from translucent ivory to a pink-flushed orange.

Most healthy specimens have a yellow fin and the most distinct feature they have is a bright orange mark just above a thin black marking on the back half part of their body. They are also called glowing rasbora and Hengel's rasbora.

Pair of Rasbora

*Please note that this is an image of a blackline rasbora, not a glowlight rasbora. If you have an image of a glowlight rasbora, please let us know at

How cute are they?

Glowlight rasbora, Trigonostigma hengeli, are very cute species of fish.

How do they communicate?

Males will perform a courtship dance to invite a possible mate, in other terms it's called peacocking. A widely observed action in the animal kingdom from when they are trying to mate.

How big is a glowlight rasbora?

Glowlight rasboras are very small. These tiny species of fish only reach 1-1.2 in (2.5-3 cm) in length. Females are slightly bigger with a much deeper body. On the other hand, the males may be smaller, but they have more vibrant colors.  

How fast can a glowlight rasbora swim?

There is not much information about how fast they can swim, but, when they do, they usually swim in a school. Ideally, they should be in groups of about six to eight members and above. The more fish you have in the aquarium, the more the schooling instinct will kick in. They are active and peaceful kinds of fish.

How much does a glowlight rasbora weigh?

There's no definitive answer as to what they really weigh, but they are a small fish species, with an average size of 1-1.2 in (2.5-3 cm), so they should be pretty light.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no male and female names of the species, but they have other names. They are also called Hengel's rasbora, lambchop rasbora, glowing rasbora, and false harlequin rasbora.

What would you call a baby glowlight rasbora?

Although there is no definitive name for baby glowlight rasboras, it has been observed in a breeding aquarium during mating times, that the parents have the tendency to eat the eggs that fall off from the underside of the leaves.

So, it's best to have a spawning mop to collect the eggs that fell, and it's also best to separate the parents after spawning, to avoid the eggs from being eaten.

It is also advised to keep the tank a bit dark for an ideal environment for the fry. The fry will usually hatch in about 24 hours and will start swimming within 7-14 days.

You may feed them with fry starter food like infusoria until they become big enough to eat baby brine shrimp, microworms, and other nematodes.

Once the fish become bigger, you may introduce rotifers in their diet after infusoria, as naturally when they get larger, they will seek bigger food.

What do they eat?

The glowlight rasboras are omnivores which means their diet revolves around meat and plants. This species in their natural habitat, which is in the wild, the food they eat is small insects, worms, crustaceans, and zooplankton.

In most aquarium setups, their diet revolves around some quality flake and pellet food. Sometimes their diet is supplemented with some live food like brine shrimp and bloodworms.

In some cases, their diet should also include plants such as blanched lettuce, spinach, and some flake foods is also good for them.

These fish will only eat in about five minutes each day, so make sure when you offer them food to time it well. If you’re planning on feeding them food multiple times a day, make sure they can finish their food in three minutes or under.

Are they eaten by humans?

These fish species are very tiny, and they wouldn't have enough meat for feeding humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Glowlight rasboras would make good pets because they are fairly easy to take care of and they have these vibrant colours that shine really well when they are in slightly acidic water which can be very visually stimulating. Peaceful by nature, and can make a good tankmate if you have other species of fish that aren't predatory.

A good companion for other fish species that thrive in a school. Just make sure that the water temperature is on point, as well as the pH levels, and avoid over-feeding them.

Did you know...

In an observed aquarium, when they are in a school, they will try and establish a pecking order. And males will usually flaunt their colors to get the attention of the females.

Keeping glowlight rasboras

Keeping glowlight rasboras is very easy. They are suitable for beginner aquarists since this type of nano fish doesn't take much room in the house with very minimal real estate requirements.

With only 10 gal (38 l) of minimum aquarium tank size.

They do best in 20 gal (76 l) tanks. Their colors are more vibrant if you keep the water pH slightly acidic.

Also, the hardness of this fish is incredible and can be forgiving to novice aquarists since they have a lot of room for error, as compared to other rasbora species. Glowlight rasboras are a peaceful type of fish and can make a good companion to other fish that you may have in your aquarium.

These fish are active and will go really well if you keep them in a school, with around six to eight members or more.

Although this is an easy fish to care for, it's best to change the water of the aquarium every month, if the tank is heavily stocked, water changes should be done every two weeks. And make sure to cover the top of the tank, as they have the tendency to jump over when they are frightened.

Breeding glowlight rasboras

Although the glowlight rasbora is typically a very hardy fish, when it comes to breeding it could be challenging. Its environment and aquarium should be well-maintained with a lot of plants in it. Like other cyprinids, they show no parental care for their offspring, but their spawning methods slightly differ from each other.

The glowlight rasbora attaches their eggs on the underside of broad-leaved plants, whereas its cousins scatter their eggs in the water. Place the male and the female in a dimly lit breeding tank and keep the water around 6-8 in deep (15-20 cm).

The ideal water conditions and water quality for breeding are as follows: They like slightly dark and acidic water that ranges from 5.3-5.7 pH levels, and temperature that range from 77-82.4° F (25-28° C).

You can add artificial or live broad-leaved plants like Microsorium or Cryptocoryne, so they have somewhere to attach their eggs to.

You may also add spawning mops so you can catch eggs that don’t attach to the leaves because the parents tend to eat them and could make the tank dark. Spawning (laying of eggs) usually happens in the morning.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our fathead minnow facts and Florida pompano facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Glowlight rasbora coloring pages.

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Written by Hannah Bowyer

Bachelor of Communication specializing in Media Arts Production, Communication, and Media Studies

Hannah Bowyer picture

Hannah BowyerBachelor of Communication specializing in Media Arts Production, Communication, and Media Studies

A fitness enthusiast with a passion for helping people find their best selves, Hannah is a qualified personal trainer who is currently training to be a yoga instructor. She is also knowledgeable about mindfulness and meditation. Hannah has lived and worked in many different countries across Asia and the Americas over the last four years, and loves to write about her travels. Her dynamic nature is reflected in her love for running, whether it's towards a plane or a personal best.

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