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Cyprinds / Barbs / Tinfoil Barb

Tinfoil Barb, Schwanenfeld's Barb
Puntius schwanenfeldi

Synonyms: Barbus schwanenfeldi
Physical description: A high-backed fish with a laterally compressed body. The mouth has two pairs of barbels The body is silvery with a bluish to yellow iridescence. The scales have a metallic look. The dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins are bright orange-red. The tip of the dorsal fin is black and white, and the caudal fin is dark red. The iris of the eye is amber-gold.
Size/Length: To 16" (41 cm) in nature, although rarely larger than 13" (33 cm) in captivity.
Similar species: None
Habitat: Southeast Asia; Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A tank measuring 48" (122 cm) with a capacity of 50 gallons (190 L) is sufficient for fish to 5.5" (14 cm). Adult fish require a much larger tank such as a 72" (183 cm) with a capacity of 100 gallons (378 L). This fish needs lots of large open swimming areas and as a result must be moved to larger tanks as it grows. Eventually the Tinfoil Barb should be donated to a public aquarium or a tank of the size recommended above. Use large, robust plants in the corners and rear of the tank.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.7 (6.8), dH 2-15 (5), 70-77°F (21-25°C)
Social behavior: A lively and peaceful species that forms schools. Combine this species with other large fish including peaceful cichlids.
FOOD: Plant matter; spinach; lettuce; live; crustaceans, insects, insect larvae, fish fry; pellets; flakes. A greedy feeder.
Suggested companions: Giant Danios, Gouramis, Loaches, Doradids, Loricarids, Epalzeorhynchus, Acaras, Eartheaters, Oscar, Pacu, Leporinus, Anostomus.
SEX: No external signs can be seen.
Breeding techniques: This species is actually fairly easy to breed in a large tank, over 175 gallons. Use soft, neutral water with a temperature from 77-82°F (25-28°C). Furnish the tank with bunches of plants and coarse gravel or marbles. The pairs will lay 2000-4000 eggs among plants. Feed the pair abundantly during the spawning so that they will not consume their eggs. The adults should be removed right after spawning. The eggs hatch after a couple days and the fry are free-swimming about a week later. Start feeding with Artemia nauplii.
Breeding potential: 8. The most difficult part in spawning this fish is obtaining a large enough tank.
Remarks: This species is not recommended for private aquariums. If this species is not fed enough vegetable foods, it will attack plants. The Tinfoil Barb grows very quickly.
Difficulty of care: 6. This species reaches a large size, although it is very hardy.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com