Aquarium fish amaze with its diversity. In this article we will focus on barbs. The name of the fish in Latin sounds like Barbus – this is the name of the genus of aquarium fishes, which includes many species.
In the natural habitat of fish barbs are found in rivers of Africa, South and Southeast Asia. Mostly live in small flocks. Small fishes, from 4 to 6 cm in length.
Barbus are considered peaceful beings. But in rare cases, the flock can be aggressive and eat other aquatic inhabitants. It happens that the fish quarrel among themselves.
This type of aquarium fish is called tenacious. Average life expectancy is up to 5 years. Over the years, the ability of barbs to reproduce decreases, so after 3 or 4 years young people are addicted to the aquarium.
Representatives of this species can not be called whimsical. Their content does not require special skills. But some principles should be considered.
As it was said, barbs are fish of school life and therefore they need to buy a big aquarium for them. It is advised to take a rectangular aquarium, a round aquarium is not suitable for them. The volume of the aquarium should be 50 liters or more.
In the wild nature of this species of fish live in flowing waters. The aquatic environment of the home aquarium should also not stagnate. You can simulate the flow in your home aquarium with a water pump and filter. In the cold season to maintain a comfortable temperature for the existence of fish in the aquarium place the heater.
The optimum temperature for the safe existence of these fish – from 20 to 25 degrees.
The aquarium is filled with settled tap water. Fresh tap water is not suitable because of the chlorine content, which leaves on standing for several days. The aqueous medium is periodically renewed and oxygenated with an aerator.
At the bottom of the aquarium with barbs lay out the soil of a dark color. Such a background will successfully highlight the bright colors of the fish, which are unique for each species. There should not be a lot of vegetation in an aquarium: spaciousness is important for a moving and brisk company of barbs. It is not necessary to use a primer painted with chemical dyes, it is better to take natural (pebbles, basalt, gravel) size of the fraction from 3 to 7 mm. Particles of soil should not have sharp edges, so that the fish do not hurt. In the corner of the aquarium, you can make a corner of algae – in this place the fish sometimes like to hide.
What to feed a barb
The barbs are not picky about food, these creatures can certainly be called omnivorous. Their menu may include live daphnids, cyclops, ducts and moths. The latter give even frozen. For feeding fish prepare mixtures with dried daphnia, use factory granulated feed. Barbusy love to profit from the vegetation, and if the plant food for them is not enough, they begin to eat the greens of the aquarium.
Difference male from female
Barbs of different sexes outwardly differ from each other. these distinctive traits vary for each species. We note some of them on the example of the bar of Sumatran.
First, the female is always larger than the male and has a volumetric abdomen.
Secondly, the male is always colored brighter and more contrast.
Thirdly, after 3 months of life, the edges of the tail fin in the male become reddish.
The procedure for breeding this type of slave, like many other aquarium fish, is not difficult. Fish grow quickly and are able to produce offspring in after 8-10 months of life. Some aquarists remove a couple of producers in a separate aquarium, sometimes spawning occurs in the general aquarium. The readiness of the female for spawning can be easily noticed by her rounded abdomen. Then a couple of manufacturers are deposited in the spawning area, and do it in the evening. With the first rays of the sun, the female begins to spawn.
For spawning, a frame aquarium or a container made of whole glass with a volume of 10 liters or more is usually used and arranged so that it will be exposed to light in the morning. The aqueous medium should consist of old water; fresh water is added about one third part. Soil in the breeding ground is not laid. A layer of plant material is placed at the bottom – it is used as a substrate for throwing caviar and does not allow fish-producers to eat it. It is possible to use a special net that will separate the caviar from the general aquatic environment and save it from destruction.
During one spawning, the female barb produces several hundred eggs. At the end of the spawning season, the producers’ fish are deposited in a common aquarium so that they do not eat their eggs. On the second day the larvae appear from the eggs. At first they hide in the algae, and it is quite difficult to see them. On the fourth day of life, the fry swim up and begin to eat. At first, the fry are fed with the simplest – infusoria and rotifers (while the fry are still very small and are not able to eat large meals). Later the fry are offered small crustaceans and similar food. The young grow up quickly. From time to time, young individuals are recommended to be sorted by size, so that large ones do not eat small ones.
Barbusy – quite viable aquarium fish. With proper care and a balanced diet, they almost do not get sick. The causes of diseases of these fish are most often errors in their content.
Barbs often suffer from overeating – they can eat as much as you offer them. Often the fish that do not know the measures in food, become obese and die. Scientists have found that for the normal existence of an adult fish enough to eat such a quantity of feed, which is 2-3% of its weight. Once a week they arrange a “fasting day” for aquarium inhabitants, i.e. they are not fed at all.
Due to inappropriate conditions for spawning, a female ovarian cyst may appear in the female barb. For the treatment of this disease, it is better to consult a specialist.
Barbus quickly respond to toxic substances secreted by the simplest parasitic microorganisms. In this case, ectoparasitic diseases occur. In this disease, bicillin-5 powder is used, which is dissolved in aquarium water in the ratio of 500,000 units per 10 liters of water. The course of treatment is 6 days. You can use biomitsin. For treatment, 1.3-1.5 g of the drug is dissolved in 100 liters of water every 6-7 days for a whole month.
Gill rot is considered the most serious infectious disease of barbs. Infection affects the gill vessels and arteries, causing them to rot and decay. Sick fish refuses to eat and basically keeps the top of the aquarium, only occasionally going down to the bottom. At the very beginning of the disease, rivanol and griseofulvin are used. Medicines diluted in the aquatic environment of the aquarium according to the instructions.
Types of barbs
Alloplavnichny barbus (Barbus stoliczkae) in the habitat of the wild nature it can be 10 centimeters, aquarium congeners rarely grow to 6 cm. The fish has an oval shape, slightly flattened on the sides. The color is bluish-silver or yellow-silver. Near the head there is a dark speck, such a mark with a golden edging is on the tail stem. The body of the fish is covered with large plates of scales with dark edges.
The male has a blood-red dorsal fin with inclusions of dark color and black border along the edge, other fins of yellow or reddish tints. Females are more modest in appearance, their fin on its back is reddish without color inclusions, the others are transparent and colorless.
Live well in the composition of a small flock. Usually contain 6 – 7 individuals. For them, you need an aquarium of 30 liters and 60 cm in length. Permissible weakly acid reaction of the water environment – about 6.5. The optimal temperature for the existence of fish of this species is 20-25 degrees.
Fishes of this species are peaceful. Skirmishes between males are possible. Permissible joint content barbs of other types, swordtails, neons, etc.
Food is not picky. Preference is given to live feed – crank, pipe worker, daphnia and cyclops.
Barbus scarlet (Barbus ticto) grows up to 6 cm. The fish has a flattened shape, its height is almost 1/2 of its length. Representatives of this species have a silver-brown color.
Males of this species have a bright scarlet longitudinal side. Its front edge enters the gill slit, and the posterior edge rests on the tail. In females, this strip is not so contrasting. Females and juveniles of both sexes have solitary dark specks near the head and behind the tail.
The view is not quite whimsical to the content. A couple of such specimens of this species will live wonderfully in a tank of 10 to 20 liters (it is important that the aquarium be extended in length). The bottom of the aquarium is covered with dark colored soil and filled with settled water with slightly alkaline or neutral reaction.
The scarlet barbus is a calm creature, but the sluggish inhabitants of the aquarium can eat the fins.
To feed the scarlet barb any suitable food. It is advised to choose live food – bloodworm, tubule, Cyclops, etc.
Barbus arulius (Barbus arulius) – a representative of large barbs, the length of individuals in the aquarium reaches 10 – 12 cm. In the rivers of India you can find exeptals up to 15 cm. Body shape is elongated, color is yellowish-gray with a metallic sheen. From the back of a gray fish with blue. On the sideline are visible green dots with glitter. On the upper part of the back there are several black stripes, the belly is silvery yellowish.
The male barbus arulyus possesses prolonged fin rays on the tail, which is not observed in the female. By the beginning of the spawning period, the male changes color to bright blue, its tail and anal fins turn red.
Aroulius barbs contain groups of 6 to 8 individuals in a large and elongated aquarium with a capacity of 50 liters or more. The composition of the aquatic environment for specimens of this type does not matter, they feel good in the old water, which does not change for a long time.
For the nutrition of the barb of this type take a variety of different kinds of live food, useful and supplements of vegetable content – spinach leaves, lettuce. Periodically give crushed wheat bread and various types of dry food.
The fire barbus (Puntius conchonius) grows up to 15 cm in the wild, reaches 6-8 cm in a home aquarium. The body is flattened laterally, but high. The overall color is silver, the olive-green fish is from the back, the belly and side surfaces are yellow or red. Close to the tail there is a dark spot.
The male fire barbus is significantly smaller than the female. Before the spawning period, the body becomes bright red, and the fin on the back is orange with a black stripe along the border or a dark spot. The female is not so bright in color, often gray or dull bronze with colorless fins. During spawning period, it noticeably recovers.
For the maintenance of a group of 6-8 specimens take a spacious aquarium of up to 50 liters of rectangular shape. For a pair of such fish suitable aquarium 20 liters. The chemical composition of the aquatic environment of the special requirements of the fire barbus is not marked. But it is imperative that you place the water pump in the aquarium – for this type of fish, the flow of oxygen is important and the aeration of the water must be around the clock.
For the feeding of fiery barbs any kind of live food, dry food and crumbled white bread will do. The diet is desirable to diversify the addition of vegetable feed, with their lack of fish will eat the vegetation of the aquarium.
Barbus Oligolepis or Barbel Island
The barbus olthgolepis (Barbus oligolepis) is a small fish that grows no more than 5 cm. The body is a silver-greenish shade with large scales. At the base of each scale is a speck of black.
The back of the island mustache is mostly brown in color, the belly is lighter, of ocher color. The dorsal, anal and caudal fins of males have a dark edge, the fins of females are colorless. By the beginning of the mating season, the body color of the males becomes brighter and the brilliance increases. The head part of the body acquires burgundy coloring, the back becomes velvety green.
For keeping a couple of mustaches, an aquarium of 10 liters is suitable. It is advised to take a flock of 6 to 8 copies and place them in the aquarium for 25 to 30 liters. For these fish, as well as for almost every type of barbus, there is no need to change the water often – they are absolutely free from old-fashioned water. Also not required aerator.
The temperature of the contents of the island mustache should be from 24 to 26 degrees. if the water temperature drops below 20 degrees – the fish begin to ache and die. With the onset of winter cold in the aquarium place the heater.
For food use all types of live food. High fat foods are given in small portions. Once every 7 days the fish are not fed at all.
Interesting facts about the barbs
Barbus amaze, first of all, a huge variety of species, each of which has its own unique features.
- Subspecies of these fish easily intersect and give new forms. The famous barbus with a black body and red fins.
- To obtain new mutations and forms in laboratories, representatives of the same line were crossed among themselves and the eggs were treated with ultraviolet light.
- In Russia, the barbus appeared for the first time in 1946, Europe recognized this fish in 1935.
- The length of the largest Sumatran barb is 8 cm.
- Owners of aquariums have noticed that the behavior of this fish depends on its environment. If one barb lives in an aquarium, it behaves quietly, but a flock of 2 to 5 individuals mischievously and finds out the relationship with other inhabitants of the aquarium.