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This months profile was written by Ashraf
an active contributor
to the site.
With barbs like p. tetrazona and p. denisonii taking constant spotlight
in the barb world, this beauty has taken a backstage and is not very
well known nor appreciated, a shame, for its beauty can be captivating.
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||Up to 6 inches (15 cm) is whats to be expected of
healthy adult specimens.
||40 gallon long minimum (150 L minimum)Preferably a 55 gallon.
||Mainly midwater. Will feed at the top and bottom though.
||6 - 7, tolerates wide range
||dh range 2 – 15°, Not critical, tolerates wide range
||68°F to 76°F (20°-25° C)
Filament barb (reference to dorsal fin extensions), blackspot
barb, mahecola barb.
Asia: Native to India, specifically its Southwest states of Kerala,
Tamil Nadu and Karnatake(possibly restricted to the South here).
General Body Form:
Typical puntius shape, with strong lateral compression. Dorsal rays
of sexually mature males have long extensions that fan out delicately
as they swim.
Base colour of both sexes is a metallic hue of greenish silver - gold.
Gill plates of particularly colourful males are light blue with pinkish
bellies. Right before the caudal fin there is a very pronounced black
mark that usually takes the form of a spot, which varies considerably
in size. The upper and lower part of the tail has a single orange and
Undemanding, provided water is kept clean and nitrate levels are low.
Likes flow, so slap on a powerhead on one end to give them a chance
to “stretch their fins”. Lots of smooth (not glossy) rocks and a substrate
of fine sand should they feel the need to hunt for non-existant snacks.
Diet: Omnivorous; like the usual, a good quality flake/pellet as the
staple, but supplement as often as possible with a multitude of live
and frozen foods to get the most vibrant colours from them. Veggies,
they will probably not accept, but like most riverine fish they will
take nips at algae growing in your tank for whatever goodies may reside
According to Pethiyagoda and Kottelat (2005) this species is most common
in coastal floodplains. It is found in both fresh and brackish waters
of rivers, estuaries, coastal marshes and reservoirs. Mostly found in
flowing rivers and streams with highly oxygenated water, alongside fish
like danios, loaches, and channa. These tend to have rocks and boulders
strewn across the bottom which is made up of sand. Aquatic plants are
rarely a feature in their habitats, but terrestrial plants growing by
the banks are often lush and draping into the water, where the fish
frequently seeks refuge from the current.
Not the easiest, but not exactly a cardinal tetra feat. You'll need
to set up a separate tank in. Something around 36" x 12" x 12" in size
would be acceptable, but for you conservatives, go ahead and go wild.
This should be dimly lit and contain clumps of fine leaved plants such
as Java (spawning mops could also be used) to give the fish somewhere
to deposit their eggs. Alternatively you could cover the base of the
tank with some kind of mesh. You want the holes to be big enough for
the eggs to fall through, but too small for the adults to get through.
The water should be of around neutral pH, gH < 8, with a temperature
of around 75 - 80°F. A small air-powered sponge filter bubbling away
very gently is all that is needed in terms of filtration. Plonk in 6
of each sexes, condition them heavily by feeding foods rich in protein.
Check for eggs every morning.