Puntius (Barbodes) laterstriga



    Once one of the more common species, the Tee barb has fallen out of popularity. This fish still has a large following and deserves an increase in availability.

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: up to 7″ (18cm)
Tank: 48 inches
Strata: Bottom-middle
PH: 6.0 to 6.5
Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 2.0 – 10.0
Temperature: 73°F to 84°F (23-29°C)


Order: Cypriniformes
Suborder: Cyprinoidei
Family: Cyprinidae
Genera: Puntius (Barbodes)
Species: laterstriga


Common name:


Tee barb

    , spanner barb, T bar barb


    Southeast Asia: Singapore and the Malay peninsula.

General Body Form:Typical barb form, elongated and laterally compressed. The mouth has two pairs of barbels. As the fish gets older the upper-side of the fish tends to stretch giving it a taller appearance. In captivity the Tee barb rarely reaches its full wild size.

Coloration:Coloration can vary from the native locale and the age of the fish. In the young fish the background body color is a faint yellow olive, with the underside being more pronounced. The fins have a slight reddish tint. The characteristic bands on the sides are a Black to Bluish tint. The two vertical bands are in the front half of the body and the stripe intersects the last band and extends down to the end of the caudal fin. There is a Black spot above anal fin.


Maintenance:The tank should be fairly large as this like most barbs is an active swimmer and needs plenty of open spaces. Although a 36 inch may suffice I believe the standard 48 inch, 55 gallon would be better. Generally an easy to care for fish the Tee barb should present few problems. Preferring to be kept in schools when young, they tend to form smaller groups when mature. Feeding is never a issue as it will eat all flake frozen as well as live food. The tank should be planted toward the rear and include some floating material if you desire. The Tee will dig, forage and even bury itself in the gravel, so it should be fairly fine and rounded. A darker color will bring out the contrasts nicely. Water conditions are not to critical as they will adapt to almost all variations, but they will benefit from aged water and of course the partial water changes we all make (or should be). Temperature is also not a problem as you see from the quick stats the range is large with somewhere in the middle being ideal. They spend most of their time on or near the bottom so make sure its tankmates swim near the middle or top of the aquarium to give the tank a balanced look. Good tankmates for the tee barb could include other active such as Danios, Rasbora and the loaches


Biotope:Usually inhabits clear streams strewn with rocks and boulders, frequently found below waterfalls. It is also found in the open areas of flooded swamps


Said to be one of the easier barbs to breed. Use the largest tank available and if possible align it so it receives the early morning sun. The tank should have a very thin layer of gravel or none at all. Fill the tank to a water level of four to six inches deep and maintain a temperature in the low eighties. Soft neutral water is best. Decorate the tank with bunches of fine-leafed plants. A few weeks before the attempted spawn the pair should be conditioned on large amounts of mosquito larvae, bloodworms, vegetable foods and just about anything that will promote vigor. Spawning is usually initiated by early morning sunlight. Thousands of eggs are scattered among the plants during several spawning phases. The parents should be removed immediately after all the spawnings are completed as they are voracious egg eaters and even will eat the eggs in the last phases of spawning. Once the parents are removed the tank should be darkened. The fry hatch after a day or so and once free-swimming will attach themselves to the plants and tank sides. Once the egg yolk has been absorbed they can be feed on the finest of foods such as roftiers, baby brine shrimp, Infusoria, and crushed flake foods. Change the water frequently.


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