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Barbels belong to the carp family. They are freshwater fish, gregarious. This means that they need tanks with at least eight fish in them. The fish should be kept in sufficiently numerous shoals to maintain a mild character. Otherwise, especially when kept singly or in pairs, she may be aggressive. When she feels safe, she is gentle.
The Sumatran barb has a yellow body with dark vertical stripes that also extend across the fins. However, it is worth knowing that these barbs also come in color varieties. And yes, green is called moss barb, for example. Other fish are also available, such as red or platinum barbs. The barb grows to about 5 cm in length.
The other most popular barbels
While Sumatran fish are the most popular fish, barbs are available in other species and varieties as well. They differ slightly in the requirements when it comes to the perfect tank. Their appearance is also different. The most common barbs, apart from Sumatran, are:
This Asian barb grows up to 30 cm in length in tanks. She feels best in large groups and becomes aggressive in smaller ones. It has a silver coloration with black fin edges. Due to its size, it needs a very large tank, which additionally has a tight lid. The water must imitate a river current. Virtually does not reproduce in aquariums.
A bar in nature found in Asia. In too small herds it can show aggression. In the reservoir it requires a strong movement of water. It breeds frequently, but eats both eggs and fry. It reaches a length of about 5 cm, and on the laterally flattened body it has two characteristic black spots – at the back and at the tail.
This species of barb is native to Asia and is widely used for laboratory research. These aquarium barbs have an intensely pink color, sometimes even red. The fins are black and iridescent. Interestingly, this is the color of mainly males, because females are silvery and less visually attractive. These barbs live in large shoals and are rather gentle. They grow up to 12 cm in length.
This unique species of barbel only lives in a certain area of Sri Lanka. It only grows up to 5 cm in length. It lives in groups of at least six individuals. He appreciates hiding places, so it is worth offering the barbs an environment covered with dense vegetation. This barb is characterized by visible sexual dimorphism – the male is more maroon, only the fins of the females are maroon. Additionally, two horizontal stripes run through the body.
These barbs live mainly in India, in mountainous areas. They grow up to 15 cm. Unfortunately, due to very great difficulties in reproducing in captivity, these barbs were caught in large numbers, and therefore they are now an endangered species. They are calm, they live in groups. It is very important to check where the fish you are buying is coming from – the caught fish are illegal.
Barbels – feeding
Aquarium barbs are not demanding when it comes to the type of food they should eat. They are perfect for feeding with live food, previously disinfected. They will also grow well with frozen food. They can eat ready-made foods, such as cereals, but it is better if this is not the basis of their diet. Additionally, you can also serve them with typically plant-based food.
Usually aquarium fish – barbs as well – reproduce only under favorable conditions. In the case of barbs, this is even more complicated, as some species do not want to breed in captivity at all. Others, in turn, must be multiplied under specialized conditions, such as professional breeding farms, if the breeding process is successful.
What aquarium for a barbel?
A barb usually needs, loosely, 1 liter of water per 1 cm of fish body. Of course, this does not apply to shark barbs, for example. Heavyweight sand is the ideal substrate. The planting is also important – the flora in the tank should be rich, especially in the background. There should be a heater in the aquarium, as well as a filter. The cover can be equipped with lighting, as long as it is not too intense.
Barbell – water parameters in the tank
As freshwater fish, barbs feel best at a temperature of about 23ºC, with fresh water. The optimum pH is around 7. Barbels require very well aerated, clean water. Ideally, the filter should have at least some cleaning media. External filters work especially well. It is good to use a sprinkler with a filter, as it will intensively move the water surface. For this, it is also necessary to change it every 17 days. You should replace approximately 40% of the water in the tank.
Sumatran barb – what kind of fish can it live with?
If you’re planning a multi-species tank, you need to know something about Sumatran barbs – what kind of fish they can live with. It is very important to prevent possible conflicts. These could lead to fin-biting or other disturbing habits, for example.
Sumatran barb should live primarily with fish that prefer similar conditions. It is not suitable for companionship for fish that prefer still water and are rather calm. Fish are very active, mobile, so they will annoy more static species. they also need a lot of space to swim. They get along well with active fish that prefer to live near the bottom.
As aquarium fish, barbs are relatively compatible and, by the way, pretty. It is also fun to observe their herd behavior. As long as you have the conditions in your tank for this species, you should consider buying it for your aquarium.