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Barbus content of rhombocellatuses


To date, African barbs, with the exception of several species, have not been widely used by aquarists. This is primarily due to political instability in this region of the globe, because of which it is difficult to organize stable and full-scale supplies of African fish. In addition, the most interesting species are not fertile enough and, like all fish caught in natural reservoirs, are very cheap, especially in comparison with the famous African cichlids, whose fashion is still preserved all over the world.

The natural habitat of aquarium African barbs spans tropical regions from Guinea to Angola in West Africa, extending to the Zambezi basin in the east of the mainland. To date, for the above reasons, as well as because of the harsh climatic conditions and dangerous tropical diseases, many areas are not sufficiently explored, and amazing African novelties are still waiting for their discoverers. Indeed, almost every African premise carries unpredictable surprises, regardless of whether fish, plants or invertebrates are ordered.

In addition, there is a lot of confusion in the names and scientific descriptions of fish, since they, on the one hand, are very varied and have many local forms, and on the other, they are very similar to each other. Therefore, based solely on literature data on aquarium studies, it is sometimes possible to form an incorrect idea of ​​the actual state of affairs.

Many small barbs, growing only to a size of 3-4 cm, for example B. hulstaerti, B. jae, prefer soft water (DGH 35 degrees) with a slightly acid reaction (pH = 6) and a temperature of 24-25 ° C. Others B. gambiensi are not so sensitive and can withstand almost any aquarium conditions.

There should not be any specific features in the design of the aquarium for keeping African barbs. All small species are exceptionally peaceful. With the right complete diet, they do not damage aquatic plants and are suitable for a Dutch aquarium. Combining them in the same pond with cocky neighbors is undesirable. In terms of nutrition, they are unpretentious and omnivorous.

Gambian barbus (Barbus gambiensis Swensson, 1933) was first brought to Russia in the late seventies by the Moscow amateur aquarist V. Kuteyshchikov, who worked for several years in Guinea. Among many other interesting species brought to Moscow, barbs were caught in the Dubreka River near Conakry. Initially, the fish were identified by V. Kuteyshchikov from photographs as B. holotaenia Boulenger, 1904, but, according to the description, the distribution area of ​​this species is located much south (Zaire, Angola). Therefore, the author of the book, based on the description of fish in the famous book of prof. Gunther Shterba, proposed another name - the Gambian barbus. Thanks to successful breeding in Moscow, these fish soon found their admirers in the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, where they are still popular today, though recently under the name B. ablabes (Bleeker, 1863). Unfortunately, as far as the author knows, nobody seriously dealt with the definition of this barbus, as well as many other types of aquarium fish.

In aquariums, the size of the Gambian barbs usually does not exceed b-8 cm, and when spawning, the fish are quite content with 30-40 l tankers filled with fresh slightly softened (up to 5-6 degrees of hardness) water with an active pH close to neutral. The males are runnier than the females, brighter colored. Spawning is typical of all barbs and usually occurs in the morning. Fish are very prolific, and for one spawning from a pair you can get 500 or more eggs. Feeding juveniles, especially in the presence of "live dust", is not a problem. Fry, like most barbs, grow quickly.

Barbus barilioides (Barbus barilio />

To breed barilioides barbs, an aquarium with a volume of 15-20 liters is enough, densely planted with small-leaved aquatic plants. At the bottom you need to put a plastic safety net, as the fish very actively eat their own eggs. Water should be soft (4-6 degrees) with pH = 6.2-6.5. Caviar is rather tender and susceptible to infection, therefore, the entire contents of the spawning grounds — vegetation, plastic substitutes, the net and, of course, the aquarium itself — must be thoroughly disinfected (see the book “Tips and Recipes”, as well as other editions of the Aquarium Fish Breeding series). ) The training of producers consists in their separation and enhanced feeding (avoid the tubule maker!) With high-quality feed. It is not bad to improve the metabolism of feeding barbs with vegetable food with blue-green algae - spirulina.

Spawning occurs according to the pattern typical of all barbs. Caviar pecks at a temperature of water in the aquarium of 26-27 ° C after 35-40 hours. After another three to four days, the fry begin to feed. Starting feed is the smallest "living dust", carefully screened. In extreme cases, you can use an infusoria or a home-grown rotifers. Then you can switch to artemia, microworm, grindal, etc.

Reproduction of rhombocellatus barbus

Barbuses rhombocellatuses (unlike their closest relatives - Sumatran barbs) are suitable for keeping in the general amateur capacities of novice aquarists. They will be interesting to experienced breeders who wish to receive offspring from barbs. Naturally, I also wanted to propagate barbs of rhombocellatuses.

Photo young barbus rhombocellatus

For spawning, I prepared a 20 L plexiglass jar. Poured into it 10 liters of water from the "native" fish aquarium and 10 liters of distilled for 2 weeks. The chemical parameters of this solution were as follows: total hardness - 5 ° dGH, pH - 6.2. After mixing, the water was subjected to intensive aeration for a week.

Before releasing manufacturers into spawning, I covered the bottom of it with a safety net, put a bunch of nylon threads and limited the flow of air coming from the microcompressor to the atomizer to get a quiet stream of bubbles, and the water warmed up to 25 ° C.
Having finished the preparatory operations, I caught the pair of barbs that I liked most and placed her in this temporary dwelling.

The can was lit with natural light from the window, artificial lighting was not used. I covered her front glass with dark cardboard so that the fish were not afraid of the movement of people near the spawning ground.

For two days, manufacturers timidly huddled in the far corner of the can, not making any hints at the desire for procreation. Moreover - their coloring has faded significantly, and this hardly portended anything favorable.

Late in the evening of the third day I drained a third of the water from the spawning grounds, adding in return the same amount of boiled tap water. In the morning, before going to work, I noticed that the color of the fish acquired an unprecedented brightness, the male began to actively pursue the female and tried to snuggle up to her from the side near the bundle of threads.

In order not to worry the fish, not to frighten off luck, I quietly sat obliquely from the spawning ground. Such a position could hardly be considered optimal, but it allowed observing the entire spawning process.

The race continued for about an hour and a half, after which the spawning ended. I caught the producers and, having removed the remnants of caviar from the female abdomen, I released the fish into a common aquarium.

Photo barbs rhombocellatuses

Having removed the net and the substrate from the spawning grounds, I found about 300 large transparent eggs at the bottom of the tank. Having closed the entire can from the light, I went to work, and in the evening, having returned, I again examined the bottom. Unfortunately, about 70% of the caviar turned white. In order to save the remaining fertilized eggs from saprolegnia, he introduced a few drops of methylene blue into the water until blue.

By the next evening, the bottom and walls of the can were decorated with large gray larvae with rather impressive ones with yolk sacs. Three days later, a spread began and the larvae received the first portion of food - freshly-bite Artemia nauplii.

Subsequently, the larvae of crustaceans were asked regularly - in the morning and in the evening - and the fish fry hunted them with excitement and swallowed with appetite.

Artemia feeding lasted 2 weeks, then I transferred the fry to a pond cyclops, and a month and a half later I also introduced a cut tubule into their diet.

By the month the juvenile body shape began to resemble adult fish. The color was gray-yellow, blurry, and the rhombuses were just outlined, appearing in the form of pretty black dashes. Only by the age of three months did the teenagers outwardly fully take shape and finally found the coloring characteristic of adult individuals.

Barbus rhombocellatus for some reason, it’s still not very widespread among Russian aquarists. It's a pity. In my opinion, rhombic barbs look much more elegant and brighter than many of their closest relatives, besides they are absolutely calm, not pugnacious, omnivorous. Even a small flock of B. rhomboocellatus can significantly decorate a common aquarium with harazinc and small representatives of cyprinids. What else does an amateur farmer need?

Journal Aquarium 2009 №4

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Comments added by:Sergei
Date: 2018-06-15

I bought dozens of rhombocellatuses or dozens of rhombus barbuses on the market. It has not yet been possible to separate them, but I hope that after reading this article I will succeed.


Endemic to the island of Kalimantan, aka Borneo. It occurs in peat bogs and streams / streams flowing from them. Prefers to stay in areas with dense aquatic and coastal vegetation. The water in these reservoirs is usually colored saturated brown due to dissolved humic acids and other chemicals that are formed during the decomposition of organic materials (the substrate is littered with fallen leaves, branches) with low mineralization. The hydrogen index fluctuates around 3.0 or 4.0.

Fish Parameters:

    Size - up to 5.5 cm. Food - any

Adult individuals reach a length of about 5 cm, and males are noticeably smaller than females and differ in a more slender body and rich color, which is greatly influenced by the level of illumination. In natural dim light, the colors are close to pink with a golden coating. Bright light makes the color less elegant, it becomes silver. The body figure contains 3-4 large black marks in shape resembling a rhombus.

In nature, it feeds on small insects, worms, crustaceans and other zooplankton. In the home aquarium, he will take any dry and freeze-dried food of a suitable size in combination with various frozen and live food (daphnia, brine shrimp, bloodworm). You can not feed monotonous foods, the diet should combine all types. Feed 2-3 times a day in the amount eaten in 5 minutes, all leftover food not eaten should be removed to prevent water pollution.

Maintenance and care, arrangement of the aquarium

A flock of diamond-shaped barbs requires very specific conditions, therefore it is suitable mainly for biotope aquariums. Optimum conditions are achieved in a tank of 80 liters or more, decorated with a soft substrate based on peat and dense thickets of plants arranged in groups along the side walls. The presence of additional shelters in the form of snags, branches and tree roots is only welcome, and the addition of several pre-dried leaves will give the aquarium a more natural look.
Water parameters have a slightly acidic pH and a very low level of hardness. When filling the aquarium, a neutral value of the hydrogen indicator is allowed, which, in the process of maturing of the biosystem, with time, it will settle at the desired level. An important role here is played by the filtration system. It is recommended to use filters where peat-based components are used as filter material. Other equipment consists of low power lighting devices, a heater and an aerator.
Maintenance is reduced to weekly replacement of part of the water with fresh (15–20% of the volume) and regular cleaning of the soil with a siphon from organic waste.

Behavior and Compatibility

Peaceful, active flocking species, perfectly combined with other cyprinids, immigrants from Southeast Asia, in particular Rasbor Hengel, Rasbor Espes and Rasbor Harlequin. Avoid the sharing of very noisy large neighbors, they can intimidate the diamond-shaped Barbus.
Keeping in a pack of 8 individuals favorably affects the behavior and color of fish, especially males, since they will have to compete among themselves for the attention of females, and they can only do this by enhancing their own color.

Breeding / breeding

Like most small cyprinids, barbs can spawn in a common aquarium without recreating special conditions. They do not show parental care, therefore they are able to eat their own offspring. A certain number of fry can survive and survive to adulthood without any intervention from the aquarist, but their number can be significantly increased if spawning is carried out in a separate tank.
Spawning aquarium is a small tank with a volume of 30-40 liters, filled with water from the main aquarium. A simple sponge filter and heater are installed from the equipment. The installation of lighting is not required, the light falling from the room is quite enough. In the design, you can use shade-loving plants, aquatic ferns and mosses. The main attention should be paid to the substrate, it should consist of balls with a diameter of about 1 cm. Or of ordinary soil, but covered on top with a fine mesh. When the eggs roll into the space between the balls or fall under the net, they become inaccessible to parents, which helps to protect them from eating.
Spawning at home is not tied to any particular time. Always watch the fish and if you notice that some of them are noticeably rounded, it means that they will soon wait for the addition. Females and the selected male - the most beautiful and largest - are placed in a spawning aquarium, soon everything should happen. When tightening the process, do not forget to feed your pets and timely remove waste and non-eaten food debris.
Caviar fry appear within 24–36 hours, however, they begin to swim freely only on 3-4 days; from this moment, you should start serving specialized micro food, which is supplied to most pet stores.