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LA
Nice looking female tiger barb -- sometimes bitey.

LA
2-inch tiger barb that shows a clue as to where green tigers came from.

LA
Impressive school of green tiger barbs.

LA
Platinum tiger barbs.

LA
Relatively new platinum tiger barb.
.

What’s a “Barb?”  When we say “Barbs,” most people think of tiger barbs – named tigers for their orangish-colored bodies with black bars.  “Barbs” refers to the two tiny barbel “whiskers” that appear at the corners of their mouths.  Not all barbs have these barbels.

LA
At the other end of the size spectrum, you'll find the red-tail tinfoil barb.

LA
Tinfoils like vegetation and meaty foods.  They're true omnivores.

LA
Most people buy their tinfoil barbs at this under two-inch size.  This one's a yellow tail.

LA
Here's a small albino tinfoil barb.

LA
Looks like these guys bashed into the ends of their tank too many times.

LA
Silver dollars eat the same thing but are much slower.

LA
Fast moving three-inch tinfoil on left eating a 1.5-inch rainbow shark.

LA
Four-inch tinfoil barb.

LA
2-inch hampala barbs,
Hampala macrolepidota.  Grows to two feet, five pounds.

Schoolers.  Most barbs school with their own species – not the tight formations of the tetras – but in loose groups that hang together.  Color makes no difference.  For instance, all of the tiger barb varieties hang together.

LA
Every barb wants to go to the head of the chow line.

LA
Male and female odessa barbs plus one giant danio.


LA
Young green tiger barbs well under an inch hanging out together.

 

Tiger Barbs.  Barb breeders have transformed the original attractive tiger barb into a small rainbow of different colored tiger barbs.  You now also see:
     Albino tiger barbs
     Blushing tiger barbs
     Moss green tiger barbs
     Black tiger barbs

Young tiger barbs look pretty good.  Adult tiger barbs are striking.  Their oranges and reds literally glow – especially when you feed them color foods.  Their blacks grow quite intense.  They color up even more at breeding time.

LA
Black ruby barbs as they mature.

Black Ruby Barbs.  Closely resembling tiger barbs when small, the black rubies turn nearly jet black as adults.  The males turn ruby red when breeding.  The little spangles add to their looks.  Good looking fish.

LA
Spanner barbs add variety to your barb tank -- about four inches here.

LA Pic
About 1.5 inches here.

LA
Good schoolers.

LA

LA
3.5-inch examples.

LA

T-Barbs.  Also called “spanner barbs,” due to the pattern on their side that resembles a “T” or a “spanner” (Brit-speak for crescent wrench), these interesting little barbs add action to any tank.  They make a good addition to but not the foundation of your barb tank.


LA
2-inch male panda barbs


Pamda Barbs.  Like nearly every otherbab, panda barbs like to school with rheir own kind.  Males carry much more color.

Six-Zone Barbs.  These guys feature more of a torpedo shape with six bars.  They remind you of a skinny, stretched-out tiger barb without the bright oranges and red pigments.

      LA
Male cherry barbs turn bright red as they mature.  Still quite young.  Not quite 1.5 inches.

LA Pic
Great color at 2 inches.  Too bad his fins are down.

Cherry Barbs.  These little barbs stay too small to pick on any other fish.  Adult males turn a rich crimson color.  The juveniles in stores are only a hint of their potential.  Females never develop the brightest colors, but without them your males will never achieve their true “cherry” colors.

LA Pic
The originals look better than albinos.

Albino Cherry Barbs.  Obviously, these are a variation of the cherries without any black pigments.  These make good mixers with the originals.  They add an additional color to your school of cherry barbs.

LA
1.25" checkered barbs.  Very young.  No orange fins yet.

LA
Couple months older here.  Males starting to get their orange fins.

LA
Probable female and male checkered barb.

Checkered Barbs.  When we get in small checkers, they sell slowly.  Big (still under two inches) ones sell fast.  Both sexes sport a checker pattern.  Males get much darker and develop orange fins.

LA
Female gold barb on left.                                 Male on right.

Gold Barbs.  Want to add the color of real gold to your tank?  These guys do it.  The males are smaller and have an added black pattern.  Golds will also put up with colder temperatures.  By the way, the original “golds” were green.  You rarely see the greens these days.  We saw them last in the 80s.  Go to the gold barb page to see how their colors develop.

 

LA
Male rosy barbs pop right out and hit you in the eye.  They mix with many American cichlids.

LA
L/F rosy barb.

LA
Neon rosy barbs.

LA
2.5-inch male glass barb (from the rosy stock).

Rosy Barbs.  Now we’re getting into the medium barbs – up to four inches.  Adult male rosies are extremely colorful.  And this is another barb with lots of versions:

     Hi-fin rosy barbs

     Neon rosy barbs

     Metallic rosy barbs

     Glass barbs

     And others

All will adapt to cooler waters.

LA
1.75-inch Staliczka barb new to us August 2, 2013.

LA
Quite a bit of variation.  Closely resembles rosy barbs.

(Puntius stalczkanus)

LA
Five-stripe barbs mix well in communities.

LA Pic
Sold to us as striped barbs.  Same as above.

LA
Older five-stripe barbs develop stronger colors

LA

Five-Striped Barbs.  Most barbs are barred (up and down).  These larger, torpedo-shaped, long-striped barbs make a nice contrast to the barred barbs.

LA

LA
1.5-inch striped barbs

LA
1.5-inch striped barbs

Striped Barbs.  Our striped barbs showed up in 2013.  Hadn't seen these before this year -- probably from India.

LA
Sold to us as a red-sided barb (about 2 inches long).  No red yet.

LA
Six weeks later.  Still no red.



LA
1.5-inch barred (barulius) barb that also showed up in 2013 -- great big mouth.

LA
About the same size as a swordtail.

LA
Good-sized mouth on these little guys.

LA
Rhombo barbs.

LA
Rhombo barbs could also be called five-barred barbs, but the name's taken already.

LA
Adults look much better.

LA
Slightly younger group.

Rhombo Barbs.  The little guys look good in loose schools.  Rhombo adults like to school.  They look even better patrolling a well planted tank.  Their bars resemble the bars on the aurulius barbs.

LA
Eight young aurulius barbs at 1.5 inches (before they develop their finnage.

LA
Even younger aurulius barbs (less color).

Aurulius Barbs.  These barbs grow a long, graceful dorsal fin.  Keep these in larger tanks.

LA
Some barely over an inch-long clown barbs.

LA
Clown barbs color up nicely over dark gravel.

Clown Barbs.  So named for their attractive polka dots, these mid-size barbs show up well in larger tanks.

LA
Too small (nearly 1.25 inches) to see what they look like.  We'll try to find larger flying barbs.

South Indian Flying Barbs.  Whether they really fly or not, be sure to cover these guys.  They look more like a danio than a barb.  Why not?  They are pretty close relatives.  Their barbels extend to the middle of their bodies.

LA
Silver horned(?) sharks.  Silver I see.  Horned I cannot detect.  Disappointing.

Silver Horned Sharks.  Here’s another so-called shark.  Most of the freshwater “sharks” are really barbs or catfish.  As sharks go (or barbs, for that matter), these particular guys score high on the Dullometer.  In addition to terminal plainess, they love to pick on large angelfish.  Maybe the adults look better?  And at the price, one of the most over-rated fish on the market.
 

Anthony Lam, Malaysia, September 12, 2006
I'm from Malaysia and I frequently visit aqualandpetsplus.com for pet
profiles and have found it very informative.
I'd just like to let you know more about the "silver horned barb" which you
have categorized under "barbs"...
Here in Malaysia it's known to be a very pricy fish. And even though it
looks kinda boring or dull, it really looks quite impressive when it reaches
adult size. The "horn" can be more clearly seen as it reaches a length of at
least 1ft, but it can grow bigger than 2ft or 3ft. At full adult size, the "horn" will often be bigger than the rest of its head. And it will have a very nice blue colouration on its body. Of course, the "horn" will only be found on males, not females, just like cichlids. They grow really really slow. And a 7-8 inch specimen could cost close to USD100.
Some people here call it the "mekong dolphin" as it grows really huge and is
supposedly native to Thailand's Mekong River.
ok. That's bout all I guess. I can give you more information if you need to know anything else. Thanks...

A:  Thank you for the info.  I added it to my barb page.  The adults sound more interesting.  Unfortunately, all the youngsters I've seen look like plain ol' "bait."  LA

LA
Similar -- mahseer (Hindi for big head) barb, Tor khudree, grows to six plus feet.

LA
Mixed in with black ruby barbs we see arrow sharks (?).

Arrow Sharks?  Arrow sharks look much more like barbs than sharks.  We suspect theyre really barbs.

LA
Spotted barbs are new to us this year.  Haven't seen adults.

 
LA
Almost as soon as we typed the above, someone traded in this pair.

LA
Here's a pair of three-inchers with a black belt cichlid.

LA
Looking better when moved into a tinfoil tank.

LA
Three weeks later looking super.

LA
Many barbs take a while to "develop."

LA
About the 6-inch size here -- kinda rowdy.

Spotted Barbs.  Their colors are subtle and probably increase with age.  They stayed right out front from day one.  They grow very attractive when fed well in the right surroundings.

LA
4-inch aurulius barb.

LA
3-inch denisonii barbs.

LA
Half-grown schwanefeldi barbs -- tinfoil barbs

LA
Tinfoils love eating plants, but check the mouth of the guy in the middle.

LA
At 10 inches, these guys are formidable eating machines.

LA
Red-tail schwanefeldis look the most attractive.

LA
The two males are trying to spawn this chunky four-inch female.  They all eat like piggies.

Tinfoil Barbs.  Now we’re into foot-long plant eaters.  Tinfoils eat every plant that is not hornwort or plastic.  Some of our customers say theirs also eat hornwort.  These high-bodied, shiny lunkers with large scales (and usually red tails, although there are several tail colors) require large tanks.  They demand more oxygen than most fish.  If your filter stops, they will die.  Nearly a half dozen varieties of these guys (and gals) can be found at different times.

LA
Gold sharks at two inches.

LA

LA
Ditto.

LA
At nine inches, these guys are still growing.

LA
10-inh gold shark

LA
Same guy.

LA
17-inch gold shark.

LA
Looking even more "barbish" at this size and profile.

Gold Sharks/Silver Sharks.  Another foot-long barb, this guy sort of resembles a “shark” in shape.  It also has a splash of red on it.  Does it jump?  You bet.  Cover it or lose it.  You won’t see these very often.

LA
1.5-inch male odessa barbs next to anacharis on left.  Female above next to giant danio.

LA
Even at 1.25 inches, male odessa barbs look super.

LA

LA
Males, 2011.

LA
Nearly 2-inch odessa barbs.  Male on left.  Female on right.  More common in 2008.

LA
Odessa barbs snacking on filamentous algae.

Odessa Barbs.  New to us in 2003, the odessas came in as drab as baby checker barbs.  Two days later, they swam out front and knocked our eyes out.  Can’t wait to see these a year from now.

LA
1.5" panda barbs -- another new one (for us) in 2003.  Male ( bottom) probably gets redder.

LA
Another panda barb in 2005.

LA
Panda barb in 2011.

LA
Not exacly improved over the years -- just more expensive.

LA
3.5-incher.

LA
Maharaja barbs under two inches.  New to us.

LA
Pentazona barbs.

Feeding.  Barbs eat any food you offer them.  They are always at the front of the chow line.  Several small meals per day work best.  All barbs respond very well to color foods.  Color foods bring out their reds, oranges, and blacks.

LA
Young tiger barbs -- easily the most commercial barb.

LA
Hampala barb at 3.5 inches.  Extra fin belongs to another hampala barb.  They like each other.

LA
Six-inch gold-fin barbs -- relatively new to us.  They never stop moving.

LA
And, they want to school together.

LA
Very reminiscent of a young carp.

LA
2-inch denison barbs (also called roseline sharks).

Décor.  Schools of barbs (except tinfoils) look best in planted aquaria – especially densely planted aquaria.  Thick planting in the background provides a feeling of security that brings out their potential colors and causes them to swim (fast) front and center -- especially at chow time.  LA.

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