Name: Barbus oligolepis
Origin: Indonesia, Sumatra
I decided it was time for a switch in my aquarium, and tried to stay away from Barbs because I had had two that were just, quite frankly, mean! I was at the pet store and fell in love with Checkered Barbs, and brought two of them home. They're one of the most peaceful barbs, and they are sooo adorable! I would recommend them as a small addition to any aquarium!
I recently bought a trio of these: 2 boys & a girl. They are so CUTE! I liked them for their silhouette. They sort of resemble sharks. I like the very erect, triangular fins, and their coloring. The males have the darker hues, and the females are more pale. All are peaceful, and they do not bother anyone else in the tank. The two males chase each other, but I have yet to see a fight of any sort. I'm discovering they will eat anything I put into the tank. I like that. It makes it easier to offer them a wide variety of nutritious foods. I also like that they are very "neutral" toned. In my 70 liter planted tank (where my trio of checkered barbs live), I have a "theme" of dwarf sized fish, and all are "natural" colored fish. In other words, there aren't any fish that are red & blue (like neons) and there are no fish that are orange (like platys). The fish are mostly brown with metallic highlights (sparkling gouramis, threadfin rainbows, corydoras hastatus and corydoras hasboras, otocinclus), and the barbs fit right in! I recommend them for any peaceful community tank!
I keep a dozen checkered barbs in my heavily planted 170 liter bowfront tank. They share the tank with a dozen zebra danios, and two flying foxes. The barbs are awesome. They are active, peaceful, and a true joy to watch. They wiggle through the plants and use every square inch of the tank. Checkered barbs are without a doubt among my favorites.
I just recently purchased 3 of these (2 females, 1 male) to complement my Cherry Barbs. Unfortunately the male Checkered Barb was very aggressive and constantly nipped the Cherry Barbs as well as the female Checkered barbs. The Females have been very docile. I ended up taking the male back so that I would not loose any of the other fish to his nipping. The remaining females get alone great with the Cherry Barbs and everything is back to a calm state. They are very wonderful to have and are a great addition to the tank, just be careful of the males as they can be a bit aggressive.
I was never a fan of barbs, having worked in a few petshops and seeing the damage that tiger barbs do to other fish. I happened upon some checkered barbs in a shop recently and bought a trio, a male and two females, just for laughs. They have become some of my favorite fish in my tank. The males colors were amazing once he got used to the tank, and the females, while not as colorfull, still have a nice checker board look to them. A great addition to any community tank, due to their small size, peaceful nature, and beautiful looks.
I have 4 of these guys in my 100 liter tank. They mainly stay on the bottom, and hide under plants, unless it's feeding time. Occassionally one will chase another away from 'his spot' in the plants, but never presents any danger of hurting the others. When they were much younger, all of the original 6 were in my 40 L tank with a dozen Zebra Danios. That fish combination may have been my favorite ever - the fish never cared about each other and always played and schooled as one.