Cyprinds belong to the order Cypriniformes and the family Cyprinidae.
This order includes over 1,700 species
and 220 genera of minnows and carp.
The Cyprind family is the largest in the world, representing over 1400
The fish of this family are distributed throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America and live
almost exclusively in freshwater.
Cyprinds are to Asia as Characins are to South America.
They inhabit almost every habitable
body of water throughout Asia.
Characteristics of Cyprinds include "pharyngeal teeth, " teeth used to grind
food; a lack of an adipose fin; and the presence of barbels on many species.
Cyprinds range greatly in size; from
at 0.4" (1 cm) to the large
Barbus tor, which reaches the length of
6 feet (1.8 m).
In this work, Cyprinds are broken into the following groups:
Bala Shark, Tricolor Shark, Silver Shark [Pictures]
Balantiocheilus melanopterus SYN: Barbus
melanopterus, Puntius melanopterus, Systomus melanopterus PD: A slender, elongated fish with a tall, erect dorsal fin and a forked caudal fin.
head is small and dominated in size by the eye.
The body is dark gray with a silver iridescence.
The rear parts of all fins, have wide,
This species has a streamlined look. SIZE: To 16" (40 cm) SS: None HAB: Southeast Asia; in large rivers and streams of Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Thailand
S: middle TANK: A tank measuring 32" (81 cm) with a volume of 30 gallons (114 L) is suitable for
Adults over 10" (25 cm) are recommended to be kept in a tank measuring 72" (183 cm)
with a capacity of 100 gallons (378 L).
These fish need large open swimming areas, and prefer long tanks. The
tank should have well-planted corners and a tight-fitting cover, for these fish jump.
WATER: pH 5.8-8 (7.0), 5-15 dH (7), 72-84°F (22-29°C)
SB: An active fish that can be kept in a community tank with small to large fish.
species will not harm plants. SC: Gouramis, Barbs, Danios, Rasboras, Loaches, Knifefish, tetras,
Corydoras, Angelfish, livebearers, Loricarids.
FOOD: Live; Tubifex
, insect larvae, crustaceans, insects; flakes; small pellets.
SEX: The females are fatter during spawning season.
B: Breeding has only been successful in large tanks of 100 or more gallons.
Asian fish farmers use hormones to breed the Bala Shark, although little success has been reported in captivity.
Reports of successful spawning in captivity are non-existent.
R: This active fish grows quickly and needs a large swimming area. The hardy Bala Shark
is an excellent jumper that has been known to make audible clicking sounds.
A robust, lively species ideal for a community tank.
Carassius auratus SYN: Cyprinus
The common Goldfish has an elongated, stocky body.
The basic body color is green-gray to
orange with a variable iridescence in reflected light.
From this base, breeders have developed the numerous forms available
today. SIZE: Up to 18" (45 cm) is nature, although most domesticated breeds are considerably smaller.
HAB: Asia; originated in China.
Now distributed abroad.
S: bottom, middle TANK: A 20" (51 cm) or 10 gallon (38 L) tank is sufficient for young Goldfish.
Goldfish require a 36" (91 cm) or 35 gallon (132 L) tank.
The tank should include tough cold water plants.
Goldfish is a messy feeder.
Make frequent water changes.
WATER: pH 6-8 (7.0), 4-25 dH (10), 46-68°F (8-20°C)
SB: A peaceful species that is suited to a cold water community.
The Goldfish will eat soft and fine
Do not keep the Goldfish with tropical fish.
SC: Weather Loach (
Misgurnus species), White Cloud, other cold water
species. FOOD: Flake; pellet; tablet; vegetables; plant matter; live; insects, crustaceans, insect
SEX: Males are slimmer and the rear of the anal fin is concave.
A large tank with a neutral pH and a water temperature from 68-72°F (20-22°C) should
The tank should be clean.
As many as 1000 eggs are released.
The parents should be removed and the
eggs hatch in five days.
The young can be raised on small live and dry foods.
The young take nearly a year to develop
their coloration. BP: 4.
An easily bred egg-laying species. R:
The Goldfish has been subjected to selective breeding for hundreds of years and the result
is countless body and color forms.
Among the most popular are the Comet, Moor, Shubunkin, Veiltail, Lion-head,
Oranda, Telescope, Pearl-scale, Celestial, and Fantail.
Goldfish are commonly used as feeder fish though they often harbor
The goldfish is an ideal fish for the novice to expert aquariast.
The Goldfish is not a tropical species.
Red-Tailed Black Shark; Red-Tailed Labeo [Pictures]
Epalzeorhynchus bicolor SYN: Labeo
bicolor PD: Elongated fish with slight lateral compression.
The mouth faces downward and two pairs
of barbels are present.
The main body color is black which provides an impressive contrast with the striking bright
Specimens kept in unsuitable conditions are paler. SIZE: To 6" (15 cm) SS: None HAB: Clear and muddy rivers with wood and stones.
Southeast Asia in the Me Nam Chao Playa
basin to the Paknampo region in Central Thailand.
S: bottom, middle TANK: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm) with a capacity of 35 gallons (132 L) is sufficient.
multiple hiding places with caves, wood, roots, and rocks.
Use a fine gravel or sand substrate for this
species will burrow.
The tank should be well-planted with robust plants and have dim lighting.
WATER: pH 6-7.7 (7.2); 5-18 dH (10); 73-82°F (23-28°C)
SB: Can be kept in a community tank.
Keep only one specimen to a tank, because this
species is very aggressive to their own and other similar looking species.
Keep more than one individual in large
tanks (i.e. tanks over 50 gallons).
The Red-tailed Shark establishes a territory to defend aggressively.
fish may become aggressive towards all other fish. SC: Gouramis, Barbs, Danios, Bala Shark, Loaches, Acaras, Eartheaters, Angelfish, hatchetfish,
Characins. FOOD: Algae; flakes; tablets; vegetables; lettuce, spinach; live; insect larvae,
crustaceans, aquatic insects.
SEX: The female is less colorful and larger.
The male is slimmer and has an elongated
dorsal fin. B: Difficult because of their aggressive behavior towards their own species.
are not bred often, although it has been in accomplished in peat filtered water with a pH of 6.8.
Use dim light or no light.
spawn in rocky caves and fry hatch after 30 to 60 hours.
The fry are free swimming after four days.
feeding with small live foods.
Their colors change from silvery to silvery brown, to brown and finally to black.
red tail develops after 7 to 10 weeks. BP: 9.
Breeding is very difficult and rare in captivity.
R: Many natives make a living catching Red-Tailed Black Sharks in their native countries.
are caught in a similar manner to the Clown Loach.
These fish are actually not related to the shark family as their misleading
name suggests. DC: 4.
The Red-tailed Shark is a species that is a bit aggressive and requires a diet that includes
Red-fin Shark, Rainbow Shark, Ruby Shark [Pictures]
Epalzeorhynchus frenatus SYN:
Labeo frenatus, L. erythrurus PD: An elongated species with a more pointed snout than
The belly has a relatively flat profile
and the caudal fin is forked.
The body color is gray brown to black, with an occasional violet iridescence.
fins are orange-red to red.
The rear parts of the anal fin of males are black.
A short stripe extends from the gill
cover, through the eye, and to the snout. SIZE: To 5.5" (14 cm) SS: None HAB: Southeast Asia; the Mekong River in Thailand.
S: bottom, middle TANK: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm) with a volume of 30 gallons (114 L) is adequate.
recommendations for E. bicolor
. WATER: pH 6.2-7.5 (7.0), 2-15 dH (10), 73-79°F (23-26°C)
SB: A territorial and intolerant fish, especially of its own and co-similar species.
fish can be kept in a community tank with robust, dissimilar species.
Each fish will establish a territory
and defend it against all intruders.
It is possible to keep more than one specimen in a 48" (122 cm)
Some have success with keeping several fish (six or more) in one tank, as the aggressiveness can
be evenly distributed. SC: As for E.
bicolor. FOOD: Algae; flakes; tablets; vegetables; lettuce, spinach; live; insect larvae,
crustaceans, aquatic insects.
SEX: Males are smaller with brighter colors.
The anal fin is outlined with a black
marking. B: Spawnings have been reported, although details have not been made available.
is likely similar to that of E.
Few details are known about successful spawnings.
R: An albino form is widely available.
A territorial and aggressive species which requires a diet including live foods.
Flying Fox [Pictures]
Epalzeorhynchus kallopterus SYN: Barbus
kallopterus PD: An elongated fish with a flat belly profile.
The back is olive brown to dark brown
while the lower-parts are yellowish white.
A brown-black, lateral stripe extends from the snout, through the eye,
and to the fork of the caudal fin.
Above this is a more slender, gold stripe.
The dorsal, anal, and ventral fins have
a black band and a white edging.
The iris of the eye may be bright red. SIZE: To 6" (15 cm), although rarely larger than 4.7" (12 cm) in aquaria.
SS: Siamese Flying Fox (
HAB: Inhabits fast-flowing streams and rivers in foothill areas.
Southeast Asia; Borneo, Java, Sumatra.
S: bottom TANK: A 32" (81 cm) tank with a capacity of 30 gallons (114 L) is adequate for fish smaller
than 4" (10 cm).
Fish larger than this must be kept in a tank measuring at least 36" (91 cm) with a capacity
of 35 gallons (132 L).
The tank should be heavily planted and have a moderate to strong current.
Provide hiding places with rocks, roots,
and wood and use strong lighting to promote algae growth.
Use a fine gravel substrate.
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (6.5), 2-12 dH (6), 73-81°F (23-27°C).
SB: The Flying Fox should be kept singly or in schools.
If kept in small groups, territorial
disputes quickly arise.
Peaceful towards dissimilar species, the flying fox is recommended as an algae eater for
a community tank.
SC: Gouramis, Danios, Barbs, Loaches, Acaras, Angelfish, Eartheaters, tetras, Rasboras,
Knifefish. FOOD: Algae, vegetable flakes, vegetables; spinach, lettuce; tablets; oatmeal; live; planarias,
, crustaceans; aquatic insets.
SEX: Unknown B: Unknown BP: 10.
No spawnings in captivity have been reported.
R: This species will not eat Thread Algae.
This species has a habit of resting
propped up by its pectoral fins.
The Flying Fox is a decent algae eater that can be easily kept in a community tank.
partial water changes two or three times a month to keep this fish in good health.
Indian Algae Eater, Chinese Algae Eater, Sucking Loach [Pictures]
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri SYN: Gyrinocheilus
kasnakoi, Gyrinocheilops kasnakoi, Psilorhynchus aymonieri PD: An elongated fish with a flat belly profile.
The mouth is located on the underside
of the snout and is suction-cup shaped.
The caudal fin is forked.
The back is a copper-brown color, while
the lower parts are silvery-white.
A brown stripes extends from the snout, through the eye, and back to
the caudal fin.
SIZE: To 11" (28 cm) in nature SS: None HAB: Eastern India, Southeast Asia; Thailand
S: bottom TANK: A 30" (76 cm) tank with a capacity of 20-30 gallons (75-114 L) is recommended for
fish up to 4" (10 cm).
Larger fish should be kept in larger tanks.
Use strong lighting to promote the growth
Use roots, wood, and rocks to provide hiding places.
Tough plants can be used.
WATER: pH 6.5-8 (7.2), 5-20 dH (10), 75-82°F (24-28°C)
SB: A fish territorial towards others of its own species.
Well suited as an algae eater for a
community tank with larger fish.
SC: Gouramis, Danios, Barbs, Loaches, Acaras, Angelfish, Eartheaters, Knifefish.
FOOD: Algae; vegetables; spinach, lettuce; vegetable flakes, tablets; live; worms, crustaceans.
SEX: Unknown, Some claim that males have more "thorns" around the mouth.
B: Unsuccessful BP: 10.
Breeding has not been successful. R: In nature, fish have been observed spawning at the length of 5" (13 cm)
A fine algae-eating fish that is peaceful in "community" situations.
Long-finned Apollo Shark [Pictures]
Luciosoma spilopleura SYN: Leuciscus
A fish with an elongated, laterally compressed body.
The mouth is hinge-like and turned upwards.
caudal fin is deeply forked and the other fins are elongated.
The eye is large, and the upper part of the iris
The back is light olive, while the flanks are silver-gray with a silver iridescence.
lower parts are gay.
The coloration may vary a bit depending on this fish's population.
A faint, row of spots runs from the
gill cover to the caudal peduncle, where the row becomes a stripe.
The stripe passes on to the caudal fin
and runs to the tip of the upper lobe.
On the lower lobe is a similar marking.
SIZE: To 10" (25 cm) SS: Other Luciosoma
species. HAB: Southeast Asia; Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam.
S: Middle, top TANK: A 48" (122 cm) or 55 gallon (209 L) tank is suggested for adult Apollo Sharks.
large open swimming areas and use a tight-fitting cover.
Some floating plants are welcomed.
WATER: pH 6-7.5 (7.0), 4-15 dH (8), 75-82°F (24-28°C)
SB: An active species that will feed on smaller fish.
The Apollo shark is intolerant of similar
species and should only be combined with dissimilar, large fish.
SC: Loaches, Pimelodids, Doradids, Tinfoil Barbs, Knifefish, Acaras, Cichlasomines, Eartheaters,
Cyprind sharks. FOOD: Live; fish, worms, insects, insect larvae; occasionally flakes and pellets.
SEX: Unclear B: Unknown BP: 10.
Has not been bred in aquaria. R:
This species is not suitable to the average community tank.
This large, hardy species requires a spacious tank.
Small fish will be eaten by this predator.
White Cloud, White Cloud Mountain Minnow [Pictures]
Tanichthys albonubes SYN: None PD: An elongated species with an up-turned mouth.
The back is dark olive brown as is the
body, although the belly is white.
A slender, lateral gold stripe extends from the eye to the caudal fin.
this stripe, is a parallel blue-black line.
An obvious spot is locate as on the caudal peduncle, and the caudal
fin has a reddish wedge-shape.
The anal, dorsal, and ventral fins have a broad yellow tip.
SIZE: 2" (5 cm) SS: None HAB: China; Clear streams in White Cloud Mountains, near Canton.
S: All TANK: A tank measuring 16" (41 cm) with a capacity of 5 gallons (19 L) is sufficient.
tank should be well-planted and have open-swimming areas. WATER: pH 6-8; 6-20 dH; 60-75°F (16-24°C)
SB: A peaceful, schooling fish that can be combined with species that can tolerate lower
water temperatures. SC: Rosy Barb, Corydoras
, Neons, Danios, Barbs, Red Phantom Tetra. FOOD: Live; insects, Brine Shrimp,
Daphnia, Tubifex, insect larvae; flakes.
SEX: The male is slimmer and more colorful B: Use breeding tank with lots of plants and a water temperature from 68-72°F (20-22°C).
takes place when the male curls the rear part of his body around the female.
The eggs are attached to plants.
parents after eggs are laid.
If the parents are well fed, they will not eat the eggs.
Sometimes fertilized eggs will be ignored.
fry hatch after 36-40 hours and they grow rapidly.
Feed them with paramecia and liquid foods.
In well planted, sparsely populated
tank, some young will usually survive until adult-hood. BP: 4.
An easily bred, prolific species. R: There are several different color varieties. Do not keep the water temperature higher
than 77°F (25°C) for their colors fade.
The young have better colors.
The White Cloud was first called the
"Working Man's Neon" or the "Poor Man's Neon" in the 40's and 50's because Neon Tetras were
very expensive while the White Cloud was not.
The White Cloud is said to have been discovered on the White Cloud
Mountain near Canton by a Chinese boy scout named Tan.
Thus the genus name
Tanichthys originates from his name while
the species name, albonubes,
means "white cloud."
Selectively bred forms are known, differing
in color and fin size. DC: 1.
A robust species that should be kept in cooler waters.