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Barbonymus schwanenfeldii
Tinfoil Barb

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Tinfoil Barb - Barbonymus schwanenfeldii

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tinfoil1.jpg (25kb)
Photo Credit: Cichlid Scene

Name: Barbonymus schwanenfeldii
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Southeast Asia
40 cm 400 L 6.8 25°C


This calm, gentle fish is a great addition to large communities. They can get rather large, but this takes a long time to reach. Not picky at all about water conditions, they are great for beginning hobbyists. Just as long as you have a large tank for them!

Contributed by Eric

I love these fish. I have had one get to almost 25 cm. I have them in the same tank with Red Terrors and Managuenses and they always do fine. They are also very owner responsive.

Contributed by Zach

I have 3 tinfoil barbs in my 75 liter tank and they are my favorite fish! They eat pretty much anything and are very active. I had 3 big ones that ate about 5 shrimp pellets each and almost jumped out of the water for their food. I get them younger, then when they´re about 15 cm, I turn them in for smaller ones :) I recommend them to anybody with a 120 liter tank or larger.

Contributed by Ryan Coulter

I raised a tinfoil from 3 cm to over 20 cm before he outgrew the tank. Tinfoils are usually schooling fish that go well in most any community tank larger than 75 liters. They are docile and tend not to bother other fish. One fair warning - if there is a mirror on the back of the tank, as a back drop, they will tend to congregate and swim along the back wall. They tolerate almost any chemistry but prefer 6.8-7.4 with a temp between 22-26°C.

Contributed by Andrew Watson

Tinfoils are beautiful fish. They are the first to greet you when you approach the tank, and although very active, they are not aggressive. They do grow large, and may eventually need larger accommodations as a result. Recently, one of mine, about 16 cm in length, jumped up through the reflector cover, dislodging it. It plunged approximately five feet to the hardwood floor, and had flapped down the hall by the time I reached it. A bit shaky after returning to the tank, it gradually recovered over the next few days.

Contributed by (no name given)

Tinfoil barbs are certainly a must for beginning aquarists with a 120 L or larger tank. They'll eat anything, rarely bother other fish (unless they can eat them), grow like weeds, and can tolerate almost any water condition. Regretfully, they are often confused with Bala sharks, which are far less hardy. The only drawbacks I've found with the Tinfoil is they are aggresive, sloppy eaters and don't retain their good looks when they get big as much as the before mentioned Bala.

Contributed by Scott

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