Sunday, September 10, 2006

Harlequin Rasbora

Data Sheet

Scientific Name: Rasbora Heteromorpha
Other Name:Red Rasbora
Family: Cyprindae
Origin:Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia)
Adult Size:1.7inches (4.5cm)
Social:Peaceful social fish
Lifespan:6 years
Tank Level: Mid Dweller

Minimum Tank Size:10 Gallons
Breeding:Egg Layer
Ideal pH: 5-7
Temperature: 72-83F (23-28C)
Tank setup:

Some space for open swimming and dense plants for shelter
Sexing: Females are usually deeper than the males and when ready to spawn has a deeper gold coloration


For a Rosbora, the body shape for Harlequins is unusual in that it is quite deep compared to other Southeast Asian Rosbora. It's body is a reddish metallic (copper?) in color and in some places, it is named Red Rosbora. The most striking feature of this fish is the blue-black triangular wedge in the lower half of the body.


Harlequin Rasboras can be found throughout the lowland waters of Southeastern Asia, where the water is soft and acidic. They prefer an environment with dense vegetation for shelter, an open area for swimming, a dark substrate (helps to encourage mating), and subdued lighting.

Because they are from Southeast Asia, where the water is warmer, they require water that is between 74 and 78 F (23 -26 C). They are most comfortable in a school, and should be kept in groups of at least four or more.

Mixing with other fishes:

Harlequins make excellent community fish, and will not nip at, or quarrel with any other species. Good community fish for it includes neon tetras, rummynose tetras, guppies and other similar size fishes.


Harlequins are omnivorous and readily accept any accept flake, dried, frozen, and live foods. A varied diet will ensure that digestive problems does not occur.


Groups of young Harlequins may be bred in a single aquarium. When spawned in groups, two males should be kept for every female. Optimum water temperatures are between 76 and 80 degrees F, and the breeding tank should be planted with broad leafed plants.

Spawning will usually being in the morning, and is initiated by the male dancing before the female. This spawning behavior is intended to direct the female beneath a suitable plant for depositing the eggs. The male may be seen nudging the females sides and rubbing his belly against her back in an effort to move her to the spawning location.

When ready to spawn, the female will turn upside down and rub her belly against the underside of the leaf, signaling the male to join her. The male will approach her while continuing to dance, then wrap himself around her body and fertilize the eggs as they are released. The fertilized eggs rise and adhere to the underside of the leaves. Over the course of one to two hours, as many as one hundred eggs may be laid. When spawning is complete, the breeding stock should be removed from the aquarium, as they will consume the fry once they hatch. In water temperatures of 80 degrees F, the eggs will hatch in approximately twenty-four hours.

Fry should be fed food suitable for fries (usually microgram food), and gradually moved to larger foods as they grow in size. Young reach sexual maturity in approximately six to nine months.

Photo Galley

Got a photo? Contact me.

References Cited:

1. Bad Man's Tropical Fish, Rosabora Heteromorpha, [Online], Available
2. Shirlie Sharpe, Harlequin, [Online], Available,
3. Aquatic Hobbyist - Caring for your Aquaria [Online], Available,
4. David Goodwin [2001], The Aquarium Fish Handbook, SilverDale Books, UK.
Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng, A guide to common freshwater fish of Singapore, [Online], Available

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Glowlight Tetra

Data Sheet

Scientific Name: Hemigrammus erythrozonus
Other Name:GlowLight Tetra
Family: Characidae
Adult Size:1.5" (4cm)
Social:Peaceful community fish
Lifespan:up to 5 years
Tank Level: mid- bottom dweller.

Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons for 1-2 tetra.
Breeding:Egg Layer
Ideal pH: 6.0-7.5
Temperature: 22-26oC (72-79oF)
Tank setup: Planted tank of 2ft/60cm or larger, dark substrates and/or backgrounds will show the colour to best effect.
Sexing: Males are noticeably slimmer.


This fish tends to be clear/silver/semi-transparent fish with a large stripe running down the body from the front of the eye, over the top of the eye, down the body, and ending at the beginning of the caudal fin (tail). The stripe tends to be neon orange color.

There are a few variants including the albino glowlight tetra which has an orange body and a duller stripe. Its eyes are also orange appearing.


Glowlight tetra are happiest and show off their colors best in a tank with subdued lighting and a dark substrate. The water should have a pH of 7.0 and the temperature maintained between 72ºF and 82ºF, hardness to 20º. The tank can be small and decorated with live plants and some driftwood. Stock the aquarium with equally peaceful species and keep them in as large a school as possible. Once established they are easily fed and cared for with flake and frozen food.

These fishes may not seem to school together like rummy nose or neon tetra, but they tend to do better in groups of at least 5 tetra.

Mixing with other fishes:

Glowlight tetra do well in community tanks and can be safely mixed with Neon tetras, Cadinal Tetra, Rummynose Tetra and Congo Tetra.

Because of their small size, they should never be kept in a community tank with bigger fish that may have them for dinner, such as arowana, bigger discus.


Since they are omnivorous the Glowlight Tetra will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat.


The female is larger and stronger than the male and has a round ventral section. The male is slenderer and has more color. The Glowlight Tetra are egg layers. When they spawn they lock fins, then while clasped they perform a type of roll-over process in the vegetation. Thus the female releases about a dozen eggs at time and the male fertilizes them.

To breed them, use a 10 gallon (38 L) breeding tank furnished with Java Moss and other plants. The tank should have dim or no lighting and a water temperature from 79-82°F (26-28°C). Peat filtered water makes for the best results. After conditioning a pair on live foods for a few weeks, introduce the pair into the breeding tank during the evening. The pair should spawn within two or three days. If the pair does not spawn within three days, try the process over again. 120-150 eggs are dropped in plants and on the bottom. The fry hatch in 20 to 25 hours. Feed the young crushed flakes and paramecia and Rotifers. After about 15 days, the young develop the characteristic orange stripe.

Photo Galley

Got a photo? Contact me.

References Cited:

1. Glowlight Tetra [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006,
2. Robyn's Glowlight Tetra [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006,
3. Glowlight Tetra [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006,
4. Tropical Fish [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006,
5. Glowlight Tetra Information [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006,

Friday, August 25, 2006

Jinjin and Sasa Adventure in Pasir Ris Farmway 2

This section list the adventures of Jinjin and Sasa as they embarked a visit to Pasir Ris Farmway 2 Fish Farm in Singapore.

Pasir Ris Farmway is one of the areas that are designed for the breeding of pets in Singapore. If you are looking for puppies, kittens or fishes (both fresh and saltwater fish are available here) this is the place to visit. Unfortunately, it is not very accessible and is not well served by bus, making this place difficult to reach.

Map of Pasir Ris Farmway

Sale!! I love Sale!

Sasa with bag of new guppies.

Real Cheap fish (gold fish and koi from $1..)

Unidentified fish. Name welcomed.

Stingray available for sale

We first visit the Hiap Khoon building - where there is a huge variety of fishes for sale. There are salt water and freshwater fishes available here. Our first stop is a small area behind the Hiap Khoon building, where we marvel at the marine (saltwater) fishes. Jinjin's mental notes: 'Must read up on saltwater fishes'. Saltwater fishes are harder to care for, and highly expensive to maintain, but these fishes are highly colorful, distinct and unique.

Marine fish sells a variety of coral and salt-water fishes

Aquarium Marine Fish

Just in front of the Marine fish is the discus shop, where a variety of discus are available for sale. These pretty fishes demand a lot of your attention and care.

Leopard snakeskin discus

Wet Farm Interior

For the traditionist who love goldfish and koi, there is a wide variety of gold fish and koi at very competitive prices (from SG$1/= US 65 cents) and up. Baby gold fish were 10-20 fishes for a dollar, but these fishes were often purchased as feeder fish for larger fish.

Fantail Goldfish


Our hunt brings us to Hiap Khoon, a quality supplier of many smaller fishes such as guppies, terta, betta and swordtails in Singapore. And really, the fishes here are relatively cheap, at SG 30 cents (around a quarter) for a guppy. Me and Sasa purchased a bagful of six guppies, 4 females and 2 males. I was sorely tempt to purchase the beautiful betta, but knowing how aggressive it is, refained from buying.

Golden Arowana

Parrot fish

Other highlights of the walk and tour includes the Asian Arowana - who said they are endangered and in short supply has never been here.. Arowana of all colors and variety thrive here, although the prices seem to be daylight robbery. There are also the man made parrot fish available for sale, and it is very popular in Malaysia and Singapore.

Fishermen and anglers looking for worms, crickets and scorpions as bait will find them cheaply here.

Quality bait and feeds for mid-larger fishes - worms

Urghh.. Alligator Gar! These fishes have the snapping jaws of a crocodile.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Jinjin and Sasa Adventure in Underwater World Singapore

This section list the adventures of Jinjin and Sasa as they embarked a visit to Underwater World in Singapore

Underwater World Singapore situated on Sentosa Island of Singapore, is a unique and well-known oceanarium showcasing some 2500 marine life from 250 species from around the regions and is extremely popular with visitors for providing fun, leisure and educational experiences.

Pink Dolphin at Lagoon

Sand Tiger Shark

See the size of the fish behind sasa

Sea Angels

Urghh.. Attack of the Crabs

This crab is bigger than
Jinjin and sasa

An eel (Moray?)

Sasa kissing a giant fish that is going to eat her up..

Shh... A tiger shark above Jinjin's head..

The trip to underwater world comes with a complimentary visit to dolphin lagoon, where a total of 5 pink dolphins are living. Underwater has some problems and run-in with animal conservation bodies regarding the feasibility of keeping pink dolphins in a small lagoon, but they stubbornly (in the name of profit making) refused to release these lovely creatures, even after the dolphins in their care have died. Read about them here and here. As we were late, we did not have the opportunity to visit the pink dolphins.

Green Turtle

Pic of turtle nest

Outside the aquarium is the turtle conservatory area, where we can learn more about turtles. Of interest to me is the pic of the turtle nest, where the newly hatched baby turtle was shown to be crawling out of a sand pit. There is also a turtle pond, and a sting ray pond outside the aquarium.


Sea Dragon

Venturing inside the aquarium, the first sight that greet us is the touch pond. There is a variety of coral, starfish, archer fish, and even sharks (I am not kidding) - available for touching. Further up is a small showcase of coral reef. As I glance in to the coral reef, a sea of colors greeted me - fishes of all shapes and colors were swimming leisurely in the coral reef. The breathtaking sight left me standing flabbergasted.

Sasa in touch pool

coral reef

Next, we visited the dinosaur showcase - featuring some oddballs and unknown species of marine life, such as the ammonite and the funny sea creature below. My jaw dropped open in amazement at the variety of sea life. At a corner, we found the sea angel (see right panel) - a species of sea slug that looks like jelly fish.

funny Sea Creature looking like it is from Age of Dinosaur

Ammonite (Live) - There are fossils of huge ammonite millions of years old!

As we go down the stairs, we were assaulted by waves of crabs. A huge variety of crabs of all sizes and shapes greet us. The Spanner Crab, Mud Crab, Fiddle Crab, and a crab that is bigger than Sasa and I (see right) were but some of the crabs on display.

Dugong - a seal like creature
that feed on Sea plants.

Sawtooth Shark??

As we enter the tunnel that is characteristics of all underwater world, we were amazed by the slight of sawtooth sharks, dugong, and a wide variety of fish. There were even a sunken ship mock up in the display tank. I like the hologram of great white shark. And I love the jellyfish world that greets us as we exit from Underwater world.

Hologram of great white shark ready to bite us.

Jellyfish world

This experience is very interesting, but I wish that there were more exhibits - the underwater world in Singapore is really tiny compared to those in Australia.