How to Care for Your New Tinfoil Barb

Aqualand's inside scoop on Barbodes schwanefeldi

 
Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Lance Fern
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

 

Tinfoil Barb Factoids

Origin

Southeast Asia

Temperature

70 to 80F
Size 16 inches, 12 more likely
Age  10+ years

Substrate

Immaterial

Security

Speed and schooling

Foods

Omnivore -- not picky

Breeding

Easy with hormones

Threats

Low oxygen

 

 


LA
Red-tail schwanefeldis look most attractive.


Name:  “Tinfoil” refers to the metallic sheen of their scales.  “Barb” refers to the two sets of barbels that grow from their mouths.  Originally called red-tail tinfoil barbs because of their red tail and red fins, tinfoils now come in several different varieties -- all attractive in their own right.  A school of tinfoil barbs -- young, medium, or mature adults -- never fails to catch your attention.  Their colors, size, and speed make them a classic favorite and a good mixer with many varied species.

LA
At 10 inches, tinfoil barbs are formidable eating machines.

Origin:  Tinfoil barbs are widespread across much of Southeast Asia.  They consider them a tasty food fish and a small sport fish.  Most of our tinfoils come from fish farms in this region.

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

Smacked Noses:  Startled tinfoil barbs tend to jump out or run into the ends of their tank.  You can avoid smashed mouth tinfoils by putting plastic plants at the ends of their tank.  Avoid desiccated tinfoils by covering your tank tightly.

Temperature:  Room temp to 80F works well for tinfoil barbs.  Higher temps can take the oxygen out of their water -- more on this later.

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 -- one of eight or so varieties available today.

LA
Hard to photograph the one inchers.

LA
Just traded in today.  Seems his cichlid roommates would not leave him alone.

LA
Actually, he didn't do well in this tank elther.

LA
Gold tinfoil barbs stand out quite well in a barb tank. 

LA
3-inch albino barbs plus one normal in the middle.

LA
Tinfoil barbs easily grow to "eatin' size."

Size:  In the wild, tinfoil barbs top out at 16 inches.  Happily, they max out at a smaller size in our tanks.  Their size and speed make them a small sport fish where they come from.  They never come close to the lunker catfishes they grow over there, but they fight well and are tasty.  Huge lunkers are rarely the tastiest fish in the pond. 

LA
Not a lot of color at four inches.

Age:  Most tinfoil keepers shed themselves of their former charges before they approach anywhere near their full potential.  They trade them in at somewhere around six inches, never coming close to seeing how attractive these large barbs (the largest barbs, by the way) can become.

LA
Tinfoil barb right in the melee's middle.  They mix with many American cichlids.

Schoolers:  Sure, you can keep one tinfoil barb in your tank if you are so inclined.  But you’ll enjoy them more if you keep several.  They hang together like Goths, Slackers, and Tokers.  When one zips off, the others are in close pursuit.  Singles may tend to nip a bit instead of hanging with their own kind.  

LA
Three-inch tinfoil barb co-existing with a five-inch electric yellow (several of both in this tank).

LA
Half-grown schwanefeldi barbs co-existing with arowanas.

Mixers:  Of course you can mix Tinfoil barbs with other barbs.  You can also mix them with non-fancy goldfish.  They might pester angels and long-finned goldfish, but they get along great with most of the local toughs -- oscars, dempseys, and many assorted American cichlids.  They also mix with many of the African cichlids (at least the sissy ones like peacocks and electric yellows).

Substrate:  Probably their substrate makes more difference to their owners than it does to the tinfoils.  A darker substrate darkens or intensifies their colors.  Use a substrate that permits good filtration.

 

Security:  Tinfoil barbs rarely hide.  They don’t need to.  They are faster than most predators.  They are more effort for predators to catch than most predators are willing to put forth.  Tinfoils also school, which further confuses predators.  Like in the cartoons where the dumb villain asks:  “Which way did he go?  Which way did he go?”

Water Conditions:  Schwanefeldi originally came from soft, slightly acid waters.  They adapt instantly to our Des Moines moderately hard, slightly basic water.  However, their waste products can convert our water to yellow, slightly acid water.  They do appreciate frequent water changes.  They eat like piggies and excrete like piggies.

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

LA
Tinfoil barbs chowing on the peel of a zucchini left by the silver dollars.

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

Feeding:  While your other fish are still looking over your wine list, your tinfoil barbs have already devoured their rations and are saying:  “Please, sir, may I have another?”  Your tinfoil barbs will always be first, second, and third in the chow line -- depending on just how many of the hungry little beggars you keep in your tank.

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

Breeding:  Of course, you can breed tinfoil barbs.  The pros breed them like the DNR guys at our Spirit Lake Walleye Factory.  Tinfoils are ready to rock and roll at two year of age.  You need two males per plump female.  Each female spews 5,000 eggs on average.  You condition them with CPE (Carp Pituitary Extract) and HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadatropin), knock 'em out with Quinaldine, squeeze the eggs and sperms out, and aerate the fertilized eggs in those conical cylinders.  If you can get the ingredients, the rest is simple.  You will also need a micro-hypodermic needle and a good scale.  Good luck with your 5,000 baby tinfoils.

LA
This trade-in tinfoil barb came in belly-up in the transport bucket barely alive.

Threats:  You never see it mentioned in the literature but these guys need well aerated water.  If your power goes off, your tinfoil barbs die first, then your bala sharks, and so on.  If you move a batch of fish in a bucket, your tinfoils belly up first.  Maybe none of the others even look uncomfortable.  If you forget and leave a tank draining while you get distracted, your tinfoils, balas, and iridescent sharks are all on the “Most Likely to Croak” list.

Last Words:  If you have the room and  the patience, tinfoil barbs make excellent aquatic residents.  They’re not expensive, they just look expensive.  LA

© 2005 LA Productions

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

Home

Fish

Other Stuff

 

Anabantids
Betta Leaf 
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Info
Betta  Housing
Betta Pla Kat
Choc Gourami
Climbing Perch
Gourami Pix
Kiss. Gourami
Osphronemus
Pearl Gourami
More Pearls
Paradise Fish  
Snakehead
Spawn Gourami
T. trichopterus

Catfish  
Banjo
Bullheads
Bull Sharks
Channel  
Corydoras
Cory Pics
Electric
Glass
Hoplos
Otocinclus
Pangassius
Pictus
Plecostomus
Pleco Bristle
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly V
Pleco Costly VI

Pleco Costly VII
Raphael
Red-Tail
Shovelnose
Sun
Synodontis
Synodontis petricola
Turushuki Catfish
Upside-down
USD Gold Flake
Misc Catfish
Misc Catfish II
Misc Catfish III

Misc Catfish IV
Misc Catfish V

Cichlids
African I
African II
African III
African IV

Af. Furniture
Amer. Small
Amer.  Med 
Amer. Large
Angelfish I
Angelfish II
Angelfish III
Angelfish IV
More Angels
Buttikoferi

Chocolate
Chocolate Spawning
Cichlid Decor
Cichlid Food
Convicts
Convicts 2
Convicts 3
Convicts 4
Dempseys
More Dempseys
Jack Dempsey Spawn
Discus
Dither Fish
Flower Horn
Green Terror
Jaguar
More Jaguars
Jaguar Spawning

Jaguar Spawning II
Jewel Fish
Keo's Flowerhorns
Keo's Flowerhorns II
Kribensis

Odd Couple Spawn
Oscars 1
Oscars 2
Oscars 3
Oscars 4
Oscars 5
More Oscar
More Oscar II
More Oscars III
More Oscars 2007
More Oscars 2007.5
Oscar Spawn
Peacock Bass
Red Devils
More Red Devil

Red Parrots

Red Parrots Spawn
Red Parrot Spawn II
Pikes
Pink Tilapia
Rams
Red Bay Snooks
Red Bay Snook Spawn
Roger Stephen's Cichlids
Severums
More Severums
Severums III

Tanganyikans
Texas Cichlid
Texas Spawning

Texas Spawn II
Uarus
Misc Cichlids I
Misc Cichlids II
Misc Cichlids III
Misc Cichlids IV
Misc Cichlids V
Misc Cichlids VI
Misc Cichlids VII
Misc Cichlids VIII
Misc Cichlids IX

Livebearer  
Guppies
Half-Beak
Mollies
Moons/Platys
Swordtails

Minnows/Tetra 
Barbs
Barbs, Black
Barbs, Gold

Barbs, Rosy
Barbs, Tiger
Barbs, Tinfoil

Danios

Danio Egg Saver
Distochodus
Fathead Minnows
Headstanders
Killies, Econ.
Killies, Golden
Killies, Peat
Killies, Plant
Misc Mini-Fish
Pacús 

Piranha, Black
Piranha, Red
Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon
Rainbowfish, Irian

Silver Dollar
Tetras, Larger
Tetras, Smaller
Tetras, Spawn
Tetra, Vampire
White Clouds

Pond Fish
Carp
Channel Cat
Gold. Comets
Gold. Fantails
More Fantails
Gold. Oriental  
Gold Oriental II 
Gold. Spawn
Kloubec Koi Farm
Koi
Koi II

Koi III
Oranda Spawn
Plecostomus
Shubunkins

Oddballs  
Af. Butterfly
Af. Lungfish
Af. Mudskippr
American Eel
Archer Fish

Arowana
Bichirs
Borneo Suckers
Brackish I
Brackish II
Brackish III
Brackish IV
Brackish V
Michael Troung's Pix
Butterfly/Wasp
Chameleon Fish
Chromides

Chin Alg Eater
Crazy Fish
Crocodile Fish

Datnioides

Dojo
Dwarf Puffers
Electric Cat
Electric Eels

Elephant Nose
Exodon paradoxus
Flounder
Gars
 
Glassfish
Goby Bumble
Goby Butterfly
Goby Dragon
Goby Misc.
Half-Beak
Knife African
Knife Clown
Knife Ghost
Loach Botias
Loach Clown
Loach Kuhli
Loach Weather

Longear Sunfish
Moray Eel  
Peacock Gudgeons
Polypterids
Puffers

Ropefish
Scats
Siam Algae Eater
 
Spiny Eels 
Snakehead
Stingray
Stonefish
Wasp Fish
Wolffish
Wrest Half-Beak
Misc Mini-Fishes
Misc Odd
Misc Odd II
Misc Odd III
Misc Odd  IV

Misc Odd V
Misc Odd VI

Sharks  
Bala
Black
Bull
Chinese Hi-Fin Banded
Iridescent
Red-Tail
Siam Algae Eater

Pond Info 
Blank Park Zoo
Bob Humphrey's Ponds
Cattails
Maffett Reservoir
DMACC's Pond
D.M. Botanical Center
D.M. Water Works
Dr. Ervanian's Garden
Duckweed

Dwarf Lily
Ewing Park "Pond"
Jan & Chris's Water Garden
John McDonald's Pond
Hall's Four Acres
Klines' Water Garden
Landscaper Effects
Mini-Pond Pics
Pioneer Corn's Pond
Pond Fish Predators
Pond on 38th Street 
Pond Pics
Pond Plants
More Pond Plants
Pond Plants III
Reiman Ponds
River Scenes
Riverview Island
Selin's Water Gardens
Selin's Japanese Garden
Tom's Used Cars Pond
Urbandale Duck Pond
Water Hyacinth
Water Lettuce
Wild Ponds