Species profile- snakeskin barb

Discussion in 'Barbs' started by harpua2002, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    If you're like me, you know a lot of aquarists that enjoy the look and activity level of barbs, but shy away from keeping them to avoid aggression and fin nipping issues. As we know, many species of barbs are prone to nipping, especially if not kept in a proper school (at least 6-8 specimens). However, the same is not true of the snakeskin barb (Puntius rhombocellatus). This beautiful species is an excellent choice for community or species-only aquariums of 29 gallons or more. Snakeskin barbs are native to Indonesia and grow to approximately 1.5-2 inches total length. In contrast to other species of barbs, they behave passively toward their tankmates. They are not fin nippers and can be kept with long-finned tank mates such as angelfish. They are much less boisterous than other barbs and won't stress slower moving tank mates like gouramis. If you are lucky enough to find these peaceful little barbs at your LFS, expect them to look washed out and even a little plain. Don't worry though- when you bring them home and give them a little TLC, they will really brighten up your tank! Once your snakeskins settle down, they will display a beautiful shade of reddish-orange, and the black "snakeskin" patterns on their bodies will show a greenish shimmer.

    Feeding the snakeskin barb is not difficult. These fish have small mouths, so you should choose a high quality staple food in a small fish formula. New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula pellet is a great choice for them. You should supplement their diet with frozen or live foods such as bloodworms or enriched brine shrimp. The preferred pH range for snakeskins is from 6.0-7.0, but like many other tropicals, it is best to keep them in a tank where the pH is a little outside the preferred range rather than trying to alter pH. Good water quality is important for them, so be sure to get a maintenance schedule in place that works for you, and stick to it. Snakeskin barbs are best added to a cycled, mature aquarium. Ammonia and nitrite levels should always read 0, and nitrate levels should be kept at less than 20.

    Snakeskin barbs are more active and colorful when their tank has plenty of plant cover, driftwood, and caves. Artificial plants and decorations are fine for them too, as long as you place enough decor in the tank to make them feel secure. In my experience, snakeskins are equally colorful with a dark or a light substrate, so choose any color that appeals to you. They will pick at the substrate, but they do not dig, so either sand or gravel is perfectly fine for them.

    If you are shopping around for a peaceful, active, colorful addition to your community aquarium, I highly recommend Puntius rhombocellatus.

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  2. peacemaker92Well Known MemberMember

    They're beautiful! :D
  3. navyscubaWell Known MemberMember

    Humm I think I want some. ;D
  4. bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    I was thinking the same thing. I just put them on my "if I have a compatible tank" list.