Tinfoil Barb (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii) 5cm
The Tinfoil Barb comes from Thailand, the Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. They inhabit large waterways including rivers, streams, canals, and ditches and will enter flooded fields to spawn and feed. The larger river channels will flood during the wet season. During that time this barb migrates into the flooded forest to feed and spawn, and then returns to the river when the flooded areas begin to dry. In nature these fish are omnivores, but with a largely herbivorous diet. They feed on filamentous algae along with aquatic and submerged land plant matter as well as worms, crustaceans, smaller fish, and even the carcasses of dead animals.
Tinfoil Barbs grow very large and will swim in all areas of the aquarium. They need a school of 5 or more of their own kind and a very large tank to feel comfortable. A group of fully grown adults should be kept in a tank of least 600 – 800 litres. The bigger the better. An external canister filter is needed to keep this messy fish’s tank clean and will aid in maintaining high levels of oxygenation and water flow. Additionally, the tank should be securely covered as these fish are skilled jumpers and will probably do so if given the opportunity.
This fish prefers a setup that replicates its natural habitat of flowing rivers and streams. Powerheads can be used to create currents. Provide a substrate of sand or gravel with scattered smooth rocks and pebbles. These fish are large and can knock over most decorations. Large pieces of driftwood and firmly anchored plants can be used for decor. Make sure the plants are hardy varieties and not soft-leaved, or this barb will feed on them. Immaculately planted tanks won’t work well with this fish as it will gladly devour all but the sturdiest of aquarium plants.
Tinfoil Barbs are not exceptionally difficult to care for provided their water is kept clean. At least 25% of the tank water should be replaced every fortnight. If the tank is densely stocked, 20 to 25% should be replaced weekly. An algae magnet can be used to keep the viewing panes clear of algae.
Aquariums are closed systems, and regardless of size, all need some maintenance. Over time, decomposing organic matter, nitrates, and phosphate build up, and water hardness increases due to evaporation. To combat these ever-changing conditions, water should be replaced on a regular basis.
Since they are omnivorous, the Tinfoil Barb will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance, give them a high quality flake food every day. They will also like some live food treats like worms or shrimps. But even though they like proteins, they need lots of vegetable foods. Vegetable substitutes suggested for these fish in the aquarium are algae wafers and spinach. When offering food just once a day, provide what they can eat in about 5 minutes. The rule of thumb when offering food several times a day is to offer only what they can consume in 3 minutes or less at each feeding.
- Species – Barbonymus schwanenfeldii
- Common Name – Tinfoil Barb
- Origin – Thailand, the Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo.
- Diet – Omnivore
- PH Range – 6.5 – 7.5
- Temperature – Tropical 22-25°c
- Breed Type – egg layer
- Current Size – approximately 5cm (Grows to approximately 35cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed