Tinfoil barbs are large active and fast moving fish which grow rapidly. Their size apart they are easy to care for but they obviously require a very large aquarium and they aren't suitable for the average home aquaria even as juveniles. Most captive species come from the wild since they aren't bred for the aquarium trade because of the limited demand for them due to their size. Tinfoil barbs require very good water quality which is high in oxygen and so excellent filtration is required along with a good maintenance regime. As with a lot of other barbs, Barbonymus schwanenfeldii is a shoaling fish and does better in a group of at least five individuals. Tinfoil barbs are caught for their flesh, they are a popular food fish in their native lands.
Tinfoil barbs are true omnivores but with a strong preference for vegetable matter. In the wild their diet includes aquatic and terrestrial plants, algae, detritus and insects, larva, worms even smaller fish.
There are no reliable external differences between the sexes.
Barbonymus schwanenfeldii has never been bred in the home aquaria, nothing is known about their natural breeding behaviour.
The range of Barbonymus schwanenfeldii is very large and although some local populations have had their difficulties the species is under no immediate threat in the wild.
pH: 6.5 - 7
dGH: 4 - 10
Temperature: 22 - 25°C (72 - 77°F)
Diet: Omnivore / herbivore
Size: 35cm (14in)
Min tank size: 675 litres
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Middle
Origin: Asia: Mekong and Chao Phraya basins, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo.
Habitat: Found in rivers, streams, canals and ditches. Occurs in medium to large-sized rivers and enters flooded fields.
Species: B. schwanenfeldii, (Bleeker, 1854)
Synonyms: Puntius schwanenfeldii, Barbus schwanenfeldii, Barbodes schwanenfeldii.