Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Sahyadria denisonii

Red-lined torpedo barb

Red-lined torpedo barb, Sahyadria denisoniiRed-lined torpedo barb, Sahyadria denisonii
Photos by Andy Rapson



Sahyadria: Named after ‘Sahyadri’, the vernacular name for the Western Ghats mountain ranges. A noun..

General Notes:

Red-lined torpedo barbs are lively peaceful fish which need a lot of swimming space and the company of their own kind so try to keep at least six individuals, more if space allows. When being fed red-lined torpedo barbs may try to control access to the food so delicate species may be out competed. There is a very similar species Sahyadria chalakkudiensis but which is larger and slightly less colourful, it is also more aggressive. Most fish in the hobby are now captive bred as a result their price has fallen and although still relatively expensive a small shoal of these fish is within the reach of most hobbyists.


In the wild these fish have a diet of algae and other vegetation along with small aquatics inverts and terrestrial insects. In captivity they are bold feeders accepting flake food, suitably sized pelleted food, freeze dried food, live or frozen food but it is important that their diet also contains some fresh greens.


The two sexes are very difficult to tell apart reliably. Adult females are said to be more plump than adult males.


These fish have proved to be very difficult to breed although there are a few confirmed successes. Commercial breeding is carried out with the use of hormones to stimulate spawning.

Wild status

Red-lined torpedo barbs are endangered in the wild and at risk of extinction. Their endangered status is due to over exploitation.

Information at a glance

pH: 6.8 - 7.8
dGH: 5 - 25
Temperature: 15 - 25°C (59 - 77°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 15cm 6in)
Min tank size: 250 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Red-lined torpedo barb, Sahyadria denisonii

Origin: Endemic to India

Habitat: Pools of rocky hill streams with over hanging vegetation.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Sahyadria
Species: S. denisonii(Day 1865)

Common name:
Red-lined torpedo barb

Synonyms: Puntius denisonii, Barbus denisoni, Barbus
denisonii, Crossocheilus denisonii,
Labeo denisonii,