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Tinfoil Barb – Barbonymus Schwanenfeldii


Common name: Tinfoil Barb, Redtail Tinfoil Barb, Blacktail Tinfoil Barb

Scientific name: Barbonymus Schwanenfeldii

Average Adult Fish Size: 14 inches / 35 cm

Place of Origin: Rivers of Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Typical Tank setup: Asian riverine biotope with sturdy live or imitation plants, rocks, and driftwood / bogwood. Rocks, wood, and decorations should be kept in the lower half of the aquarium. This fish can be extremely active and can injure itself if startled. Give them plenty of unobstructed swimming space.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 40 gallons  / 160 litre for fish up to 4 inches /  10 cm and 100 gallons / 400 litre or larger for adult fish.

Compatibility: They are a very active and peaceful fish if kept in schools of 5 or more and in aquariums of sufficient size. If kept with less active fish make sure the slower fish get enough food. They make a great dither fish when kept in schools with other large fish.

Temperature: 72 –  90 Deg. F /  22 –  32 Deg C , but do better at temps in the 74 – 80 Deg. F /  23 – 27 Deg C range. If kept at higher temperatures they are extremely active.

Water chemistry: pH 6.5 – 7.0

Feeding: Omnivorous, and will eat most foods. They also eat live plants along with certain types of algae. Feed a varied plant based diet of flakes, pellets, and frozen foods when smaller and a diet of larger pellets, chopped meaty foods such as market shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, and chopped earthworms when larger. They can be a very active feeder and splash water out of the aquarium when feeding.

Sexing:  Sexing Tinfoil barbs is a bit tricky, since there are no obvious difference between males and females.

Breeding: The Tinfoil barb is an egg scattering species and the female Tinfoil barb can produce several thousand eggs per spawning. Since Tinfoil barbs grow so large, they are not easy to breed in captivity. According to unverified sources, a public aquarium has managed to breed Tinfoil barbs in captivity at least once, but as of 2006, no public aquarium has published any details regarding how to breed Tinfoil barbs. If you want to go about breeding Tinfoil barbs, you will need a pond in a tropical climate or a very large aquarium.

Additional Information: There are at least 4 different color varieties. Black, red, yellow, and silver tailed varieties are the most common. They are a food fish in some Asian countries. Large fish require adequate filtration along with regular partial water changes. Tinfoil barbs appreciate a moderate to strong current of highly oxygenated water. This fish will eat constantly if given enough food, but a limited amount of food is best. When viewed from above the fish should have a broad look and the belly should be rounded. If this is the case they are getting enough food.