Denison Barb (Puntius Denisonii) Fish Species Profile

The Denison Barb is long torpedo-shaped fish (hence one of its other popular names "Torpedo Barb") which grow up to 6 inches in length. Due to their larger size, an aquarium of at least 200 litres is recommended.

The Denison Barb is described as being mainly silverish with a greenish tinge that appears once mature. A black line which runs from the snout to the tail fin and is contrasted by an adjacent red line running from the nose to the midpoint.

The dorsal fin is edged in red, while the caudal fins exhibit prominent black and yellow stripes. It's a beautiful looking fish and a very active fish best maintained in groups.

The popularity of this beautiful fish resulted in intense overfishing of the wild stock, pushing them into becoming endangered. Thankfully they are now captively bread which has taken the pressure off of the wild population and reduced the selling price in the hobby.

There are also rarer gold and grey morphs of the Denison Barb which have been line bred for the inclusion in the fishkeeping hobby.

Scientific NamePuntius Denisonii
Other NamesRedline Barb, Roseline Shark, Torpedo Barb, Denisonii Barb, Denison's Flying fox
OriginsWest India
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan4-5 years
Maximum Size15 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature65 - 80 ℉ (18.3 - 26.7 ℃)
PH6.8 - 7.8
GH5 - 25
KH4 - 10
TDS50 - 140

Denison Barbs


The Denison barb originates from Western India, mainly in the rivers Chalakkudipuzha, Chaliar, and Kallada. Denison barbs are now captively mass bread and are readily found throughout local fish shops around the world.


In the wild, the Denison barb feeds mainly on insects and water crustaceans as well as eating algae and plant matter. In an aquarium, the barbs will eat almost everything you provide, all types of natural and artificial food.

To ensure they remain in optimal health, you should supplement their diet with live and frozen food and some vegetable matter such as boiled broccoli.

Sexing the Denison Barb

The male and female Denison Barb are similar in appearance and colour, making it challenging to determine their gender, especially when juvenal. However, as they mature, the females become plumper, making it simpler to differentiate.

Breeding the Denison Barb

There is currently very little information or recommendations on how to breed this beautiful species of the barb in your home aquarium.

There have been some anecdotal reports from some hobbyists of accidental breeding instances. However, so far without hormone treatments currently used in the fish farm environment, there is no clear documentation on how to replicate this.

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Date Added: 5/9/2020 - Updated: 5/15/2020 2:34:04 PM