Genus name: Barbonymus Schwanenfeldii
Also known as: Schwanfeld’s Barb
Distribution: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia
Length: up to 14″ (35cm)
Minimum Tank Length: 36″ (90cm)
Water Temperature: 68-77F (20-25C)
Diet: Worms, crustaceans, insects, dried food, plant matter
Water: fairly soft and slightly acidic preferred
Breeding: Egg layers
Community Tank (keep with large species only)
The Tinfoil Barb is an elegant fish, which has a compressed body, with a profile that looks like an elongated lozenge. It has two pairs of barbels on the upper jaw. The back, flanks and underside of the Tinfoil Barb are silvery, sometimes with yellow or bluish iridescence, hence the name, Tinfoil Barb.
The Tinfoil Barb is a very active fish, which should be kept in a small shoal. They are really only suitable for the home aquarium when small, as at 14″ (35cm) most home aquarium are not large enough.
Large Tinfoil Barbs can become somewhat aggressive, and should only be kept with larger fish. They may well attack and eat any small fishes which will fit in their mouths.
The aquarium should be spacious enough to allow for swimming, and the substrate should be soft. Like many other barbs, Tinfoil Barbs are partial to vegetation and will eat the aquarium plants. This annoying habit can be prevented, to some extent, by giving Tinfoil Barbs plenty of lettuce leaves to eat.
The Tinfoil Barb is a great eater, and is well known at feeding time to attempt to fill it’s mouth with as much food as possible.
There are no obvious differences between the male and female Tinfoil Barbs, and they are not known to breed in home aquariums, although they are bred commercially for sale to aquariums.