The Weald Aquatics Blog - A fantastic fish - the torpedo barb Puntius Denisonii - another blog post from Weald Aquatics | Aquarium & Pond Fish Shop in Kent


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A fantastic fish - the torpedo barb Puntius Denisonii

Blog post written by Andy | 16 May 2018 | Category: Tropical fish

There is a fish we keep in the shop which has become incredibly popular recently, so much so that when I order them, customers have already reserved them and picked them up before other people get a chance to even know we keep them.

I'm talking about the Denisonii or torpedo barb Puntius Denisonii.

This is an incredible looking shoaling fish from Southern India and is relatively new to the fish keeping hobby. It is an amazing looking fish that grows to a maximum size of around 6" and has a lifespan of between 6 and 8 years. It has a very streamlined body (hence the name "Torpedo Barb") covered in silver scales with a bright red line starting on the tip of the nose, through the eye and ending midway down the body. Below this is a dark line that runs the length of the fish, the tail develops yellow tips and a bright red dorsal fin.

Torpedo Barb
The torpedo barb in all its glory

They are found in shoals in fast flowing rivers and in rocky pools with thick vegetation growing around.

It has been reported recently that this fish has been heavily exported from India and in a bid to re-establish natural numbers, the number of fish exported will be monitored closely. Captive breeding programmes are now being started to help re-establish these fantastic fish.

As they get to a decent size and need to be kept in groups, the bigger the fish tank the better. I would say the minimum would be 3 foot long but with a view to a bigger tank eventually. Good filtration is essential not only for the water quality but also to replicate the water movement found in their natural home. Planting up the back of your aquarium will encourage these fish to stay towards the front and offer hiding places should they become spooked. They do well in a community tank but I have come across a couple of customers who have said one has become aggressive to long finned fish, being a barb this is in their nature so I would always keep them with short finned fish. They do well on a mixed diet of dried foods, frozen bloodworm, brine shrimp and vegetable pellets or wafers. We have found a varied diet brings out the colours of the fish more quickly.

These really are a fantastic looking fish. One customer has a shoal of around 12 in his 5 foot tank with some clown loach going along the bottom, lots of tall Vallis growing along the back with lots pieces of bog stacked around. It’s one of the best aquariums I have ever seen.

If you want a stunning group of show fish for your aquarium with bright colours that gets to a decent size... Jackpot!!