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Puntius denisonii
Red-Lined Torpedo Barb, Rose Line Shark, Denison's Barb

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Red-Lined Torpedo Barb - Puntius denisonii

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Puntius_denisonii_3.jpg (19kb)
Photo Credit: Brian Reiter

Name: Puntius denisonii
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Southern India
15 cm 200 L 7.3 22°C


In the wild, these fish inhabit fast-flowing freshwater streams and rivers in India. Puntius denisonii, formerly known as Barbus denisonii, were initially scarce in UK aquatic stores and came with a hefty price tag. They are now becoming more widely available. As a shoaling fish, they are happier when kept with others (preferably in groups of 4-6) and prefer a larger tank, 200 L or up with plenty of swimming space. They are extremely fast and active. I keep my 4 with rainbowfish in a 400 L, and they are my favourite fish overall. Certainly one of the more peaceful barbs I have ever kept, and amazing centrepiece fish for a larger planted tank. They are naturally this colourful - when I initially saw them I thought they had been dyed, but their colours are natural. They reach approximately six inches when adult, and accept a wide range of foods. Mine love bloodworm! They did not look very 'bright' in the store tank, but soon coloured up when settled in my tank.

Contributed by Kate Claxton

I bought this fish under the name Rose Line Shark 3 months ago, mainly because I wanted a peaceful fish that looked like a shark. My local pet store has a pair of them in their show tank and they are absolutely BEAUTIFUL when they are full grown, which prompted me to buy two of them for a whopping $29.95/each. The only difference that I've seen is that as they grow, the upper part of their body above their black line turns from silver to a medium green. Now I've heard that you should keep them in a group of at least 4, but I just have a pair and they are inseparable so far. They show no signs of aggression in my 284 L tank with various Rainbows, various Tetras, a Kribensis, and a Rhino Pleco. Now keep in mind that they do grow to 15 cm, so they will need at least a 200 L tank to be fully satisfied and to have plenty of swimming space. Overall, these would have to be one the most beautiful fish out right now, and if spending at least $30/fish doesn't bother you, I highly recommend this barb.

Contributed by Matt Rezny

These fish are also called Rose Line sharks, however, I have also seen them on the net as Red-line Sharks, or in one pet store as Denisonii Barb. They are members of the barb family, and are very hardy. When I did my own research before buying them, I read they were plant eaters. After taking the chance with my first two, I found that mine are not plant eaters at all. My local pet store also stocks them in heavily planted aquariums. I have 4 in a 200 L tank set at about 28°C and my water is alkaline and very hard (perfect for livebearers). They don't seem to mind the higher temp or water at all for now. I also use an Aquaclear 300, and use CO2. So far they've been getting along with my Rainbows, my Bolivian Rams, Swordtails, Platies, White Cloud Minnows, Oto Cats, and Siamese Algae Eaters. They accept any food given to them, whether frozen or flake. One of mine actually has a whiter body than the others, but he is not albino as there are no red eyes. I would recommend this fish for larger aquariums, and I'd say buy the largest healthiest ones you can buy. I find the smaller babies don't pack the same colour or impression punch as the larger fish in a larger, planted aquarium. I wish there were more info on the net about these fish, it's very hard to find! Hopefully these posts will start the ball rolling!

Contributed by Vito DiBlasi

These beautiful fish come from the state of Kerala in South India. They were originally categorised in 1865. However the local Keralites have known of them for much longer. Their name for these fish translates as 'Bleeding eyes'. They are an excellent alternative to silver (bala) sharks which are really unsuitable for most home aquaria when fully grown. But these fish can get to 15 cm and still need a sizable aquaria. I would agree 200 L should be the minimum. I have kept them for three years now and have built up to a shoal of nine in a 400 L aquarium. The top part of the body above the bright red/pink line does turn a greenish colour as they mature. Very peaceful, graceful fish. I keep them in a heavily planted tank (with open areas) along with rainbowfish. In my experiance they do not eat plants, are not fussy about what fish food you give them and are very hardy.

Contributed by Sanjeev Kumar

These are wonderful fish that can be kept in a communtiy tank. I have kept them with serpae tetras, hocky stick tetras, bala sharks, and discus. They are absolutely beautiful when they are fully grow. Can be sensitive to cold conditions. Also, can get aggressive if not with others of its own kind. They are sensitive to sudden drops of temperature. In India they are known as Danni Soni's.

Contributed by Sam S.

This is a great fish to add in any large community aquarium. Large being the key word. I could not keep them in a 280 liter, but have not had a problem with my 800 liter. This fish is very susceptible to pH shock and even slight temperature changes. The fish has a few other trade names: Denison's Flying Fox Loach, Red Target Barb, Red Torpedo Barb.

Contributed by John Wolff

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