Sumatran barbus (lat. Barbus tetrazona) It is very popular with aquarists, it is one of the most beautiful fish of the carp family, it belongs to the genus Barbus.
Its natural habitat is the area of Sumatra, Malaya, Borneo, in fact, in honor of the historical main habitat (the island of Sumatra) the fish got its name.
Sumatran Barbus has a slightly flattened laterally torso with four vertical stripes of black with a lilac shade. The first crosses the eyes, the second passes in the region of the pectoral fins, the third arch describes the dorsal and anal fin, and the fourth lies near the root of the caudal fin. Barbs have glossy golden scales, pink scales are also found.
The nose and lips of fish are pink in females, and in males in crimson or scarlet. Pink painted sides and back.
The fins are light pink, the eyes of the fish are black. Males are brighter in color than females, they have a taut belly, and they are much smaller in size than individuals of the opposite sex.
photo: Barbus of Sumatran
There are other types of coloring barbs – the so-called mutations. They occur as a result of exposure to masonry or X-ray manufacturers or significant temperature differences. Often there are albino forms of fish – monochrome coloring, and also displacement or mixing of strips.
Sumatran barbs reach 4-6 centimeters in length. In good conditions, they live 3-4 years.
photo: Mutation of the barbat of Sumatra, mossy barb
The most complete description of the Sumatran barb was first given by the ichthyologist Peter Blecker. He gave the name to the species in 1855, calling it Barbus tetrazona, and later he added confusion and renamed the barbus to Capoeta sumatrus.
For a long time, ichthyologists equivalently operated with both names, but in the 30s of the 20th century, ichthyologists unambiguously identified the name – Barbus tetrazona.
photo: Latin name of Sumatran barbus – Barbus tetrazona
The fish came to Europe for the first time in 1935, the barbs are beautiful in their own right, but aquarists wanted to bring out new beautiful subspecies, so they started crossing. Both methods were used – interspecific and intraspecific crossing. The main goal was to enhance and change the natural color.
As a result, the size has also decreased: the barbs who live in natural conditions exceed the dimensions of their aquarium counterparts. The body of the barbs living in the waters of Sumatra is colored silver with bright orange stripes, and the aquarium barbs are golden in color.
There are many hybrids of barbs and numerous mutations.
- As a result of crossing the subspecies of barbs, many new forms were bred – black with red fins, albino, “mossy barb” with a greenish body and red fins;
- If the offspring is obtained from parents with mutated color or albinos, then 75% of the fry will look like them, the rest will have the color of the original form;
- Some scientists, in order to obtain new mutations, crossed representatives of one offspring or treated the clutch with ultraviolet rays;
- For the first time the barb was brought to Russia in 1946, in Europe it appeared a little earlier – in 1935;
- The longest Sumatran barb in the aquarium has grown to 8 centimeters.
Barbusses are schooling fish, so a group of representatives of this family should be planted in an aquarium. The tank should be sized from 50 liters so that the fish have enough space for swimming.
You can contain barbs with non-aggressive fish. It is not recommended to take fish to the barbs of a veil-shaped form or leading a sedentary lifestyle – they risk losing the fins that frisky barbs love to bite.
It is not advisable to keep barbs with fish fry, because they eat them.
photo: Sumatran barbs – schooling fishes
Males of barbs are quite belligerent, and if there are no females in the aquarium, they may well fight each other, this also needs to be taken into account when selecting fish for maintenance. Basically barbs float in the lower or middle layer of water, they do not like the abundance of light, so it is advisable to plant an aquarium with dense vegetation, better than small-leaved: for example, myriophyllum, cambeba and another.
The soil is preferable to dark – on its background the color of the fish will be allocated more profitable.
Maintain the temperature at 21-25 degrees, every week, change 25% of the water to the fresh one at the same temperature. The total hardness of the water should be between 8 and 12 °, the pH is neutral.
Barbs are very sensitive to the lack of oxygen – if you see fish swimming near the surface of the water with your head protruding – change the water sooner.
photo: The maximum size of a Sumatran barb is 8 cm.
Barbusses are omnivorous, so they can be given both artificial and live food. Do not overfeed the inhabitants of your aquarium: these fish are prone to obesity and overeating, so the amount of food should be strictly limited.
Not excessive will be in the diet of vegetable feed – nettle, lettuce, algae. You can give koretra, daphnia, pipemaker, bloodworms. Fish eat food in 2-3 minutes, the remnants of food should be removed from the aquarium in a timely manner – they sink to the bottom and pollute the aquatic environment.
It is advisable to arrange once a week “fasting day”.
If you decide to breed this beautiful and unpretentious fish, make it easy. Sometimes amateurs even allow spawning in the general aquarium – at the same time extra females are removed from females.
If the female has not spawned for a long time, she becomes ill and may die. True, the barbs immediately eat up young offspring, so it is better to provide them with a separate breeding ground. For this fit a vessel with a volume of 10 liters.
Maintain a water temperature of 25–26 degrees, gH up to 8.0 °, pH – 6.5 °. Choose juveniles, and males should be older than females.
Spawning can be paired, and maybe a group.
Before spawning, selected fish-producers are seated in separate containers and fed with low-fat and vegetable foods. During this period, the males are quite aggressive, so placing them together is undesirable. Small-leaved plants are planted in the spawning aquarium, on which females will lay eggs.
Professional aquarists use special grids or thin nylon fishing line woven into a ball. Aeration should be weak, it is better to turn off the filter for a while, manufacturers are not fed to the breeding ground.
photo: A pair of Sumatran barbs
Placed in the spawning barbs in the evening, since the process begins after 12 hours. The female sweeps 400-600 eggs, which the male fertilizes. After that, the fish are removed, so that they do not eat the offspring, the aquarium should be placed away from the window, so that direct sunlight does not fall on it.
It is advisable to add an anti-fungal drug to the water. The larvae hatch in a day, and after 3-4 days they turn into fry and begin to feed on their own.
Live dust, infusoria, and then artemia and other feeds serve as food for babies. You can also use industrial feed, the bottom periodically needs to be cleaned of food debris, regularly change the water.
The barbs are growing unevenly, so you have to sort the fry by height and plant in other containers. Gradually, the temperature in the aquarium can be reduced to 24 degrees.