It’s a schooling species by nature and really should be kept in a group of at least 8-10 and makes an ideal accompaniment and commonly used in a aquascape tank.
Greater Sunda Islands, Jambi province, Sumatra, West Kalimantan (Kalimantan Barat), Borneo, Tambesi river, a tributary of the Batang Hari/Jambi river in Sumatra.
Mostly inhabits gently flowing sections of forest streams and tributaries where submerged aquatic plants such as Cryptocoryne species grow thickly.
The water is sometimes stained faintly brown/yellow due to the presence of tannins and other chemicals released by decomposing organic matter and the substrate scattered with fallen leaves, twigs, and branches.
Such environments characteristically contain soft, weakly acidic to neutral water and are often dimly-lit due to dense marginal vegetation and the forest canopy above.
25 – 30 mm.
Temperature: 23 – 28 °C
pH: 5.0 – 7.5.
Hardness: 18 – 179 ppm
Probably a micropredator feeding on small insects, worms, crustaceans, and other zooplankton in nature.
In the aquarium it’s easily-fed but the best condition and colours offer regular meals of small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, Daphnia, and Artemia, alongside good quality dried flakes and granules.
This species is very peaceful indeed making it an ideal resident of the well-maintained community tank.
As it places no extreme demands in terms of water chemistry it can be combined with many of the most popular fish in the hobby including other small cyprinids as well as tetras, livebearers, dwarf cichlids, catfishes, and loaches.
As always when selecting a compatible community of fish thorough research is essential and its small adult size must be a consideration, however.
Maintaining it in decent numbers will not only make the fish less nervous but will result in a more effective, natural-looking display.
Males will also display their best colours as they compete with one other for female attention.