They are in the largest order of fresh-water fish, with over 2000 species. The Barbs and Danios are popular schooling fish for the community aquarium. Most come from Southern and Eastern Asia, with a few from Africa and Europe. They inhabit all types of water systems. Although not tropical the ever popular Goldfish belongs to this family. The loaches also belong to this order, but I have given them there own section To view some statistics on many more individual Cyprinids, just click on any picture.
Barbs and Danios can be recognized by the small Barbels at the corners of the mouth, but sometimes you have to look very close to see them. A very few species do not have them. The body shape is elongated to high-backed and slightly compressed laterally. The upper and lower profiles show the same Convexity. Generally they are the typical fish shape.
Barbs and Danios are often confused with the similar looking Characins, but unlike the Characins, they never have an adipose fin between the Dorsal and Caudal fins.
The tank should be set up in dark colors, densely planted, but leaving open spaces for swimming. Puntius species like to burrow into substrate, so the bottom material should be soft in nature. The Brachydanio species are sun loving, and only display their full liveliness under bright lighting.
A great barb tank
Water: and Behavior:
- Neutral to slightly Acidic water is best for almost all the species.
- Most of the species are schooling fishes. Therefore at least six of any one species should be kept to keep them happy. Danios usually stay in the upper to middle regions of the tank and rarely feed from the lower strata. All species of the genus Punitus stay in the lower to middle areas of the tank and rummage the bottom for food. The loaches also inhabit the lower reaches.
Most members can be kept with other fish of the same size and temperament. Really good ones to keep are the Cherry barb, Rosy barb and all members from the families Rasbora and Bracydanio. Members from the species Puntius cannot be kept with calm, slow moving long finned fish, as they tend to nibble and nip on the fins. Some like the Tin foil barb and the Clown loach will get too large for most community setups and others like Epalzeorhynchos bicolor (Red tail Black shark) should be kept as single specimens. It is imperative to research any fish before purchasing and adding it to your aquarium.
The Cyprinids are seasonal spawners and with today’s equipment our aquariums tend to maintain water parameters and temperatures on a daily basis. In order to hopefully breed them we have to induce their instinctive need to reproduce with the cues they use for breeding. A water change and lowering the water depth can be one of the triggers to start breeding. They should be placed in a special tank set up for breeding, with many bushy plants and other areas for the eggs to disappear into. Most species require soft, slightly acid water to breed. They are egg scatters and will eat any eggs they can find.
- Barbs and Danios do not engage in brood care after laying their eggs. The newly hatched fry need the finest of food, usually newly hatched Brine shrimp or very fine flake food. Breeding Barbs and Danios is not that easy and does require time and patience.