Max Size: 5cm

Drape Fin Barb (Oreichthys crenuchoides)

Drape Fin Barbs are small peaceful fish that are relatively active. However, these Barbs can be quite sensitive to water fluctuations, so water conditions need to be just right. In addition, due to their sensitivity and small size, these Barbs are not suitable for most community aquariums; therefore, these fish are more suited to a more advanced aquarist rather than a beginner. However, when these Barbs are together, they make an impressive centrepiece for any aquascaped or planted aquarium.

Drape Fin Barbs are shoaling fish that develop a specific pecking order, and rival males will display some exciting sparring behaviour in the aquarium. These Barbs are best maintained in a group of 8 or more individuals; however, you must decorate the aquarium so that many broken lines of sight are provided. If you keep these fish singly, in a tiny group or cramped conditions, they can become withdrawn, and dominant fish may bully subdominant fish perpetually.

You can keep Drape Fin Barbs in either a species only aquarium or an aquarium with other small peaceful fish. Ideal tankmates could include Micro Rasboras, Tetras, Dwarf Gouramis and other Dwarf Barbs as well as Khuli Loaches and Catfish. However, you must avoid housing these Barbs with larger, more aggressive or boisterous species; otherwise, they will be intimidated and outcompeted for food.

Drape Fin Barbs appear to do best in neutral, slightly alkaline water and moderate hardness with aquatic vegetation and woody structures. Adding floating plants to reduce the light in the aquarium seems to be appreciated, and adding dried leaf litter is also beneficial and gives the aquarium a more natural feel. The water flow should be relatively slow, and the substrate should be soft.

Drape Fin Barbs have a silver body with prominent scales. These Barbs also have a large, black blotch at the base of the caudal fin. In addition, the male's dorsal fin is bright yellow with black splashes throughout, and the female's dorsal fin is yellow with a black blotch on the tip; all the other fins are transparent.

Tank Mates for the Drape Fin Barb

1 ideal tank mate ideas for the Drape Fin Barb include:

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)
Quick Facts
Scientific NameOreichthys crenuchoides
Year Described2009
Other NamesIndian high fin Barb, Drape Finned Barb
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 - 4 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH2 - 8
TDS50 - 180
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃

Photos of the Drape Fin Barb

Drape Finned Barbs
Drape Fin Barb
Drape Fin Barb
Drape Fin Barb
Drape Fin Barb

Natural Habitat

Drape Fin Barbs are endemic to the waters of the Jorai River and the Brahmaputra River in West Bengal, which is close to the border with Bangladesh and Assam in India, as well as the Ghoti Ganga River in the Cooch Behar district. You can also find these Barbs at the Buxa Tiger Reserve, a forested area in the sub-division of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri district. These fish inhabit clear, slow-flowing waters in streams and rivers with muddy substrate and plenty of aquatic vegetation.

What to feed the Drape Fin Barb

The Drape Fin Barb is not fussy and will eat all kinds of small dry foods such as flakes and micro pellets. However, this should be supplemented with live, frozen or freeze-dried food such as bloodworm, brine shrimp or daphnia as these will help keep your fish healthy and colourful. In addition, these Barbs have small sensory barbells underneath their jaw, which they will use to forage for leftover food.

How to sex the Drape Fin Barb

It is straightforward to differentiate between male and female Drape Fin Barbs. Males develop an extremely lengthy dorsal fin that hangs back over the caudal fin and are slightly larger than females. The males also exhibit stronger colouration compared to females. In contrast, the female is duller than males, has a smaller and more rounded dorsal fin, is somewhat smaller than males, and becomes more rounded when full of eggs.

How to breed the Drape Fin Barb

Drape Fin Barbs are egg scatterers that indicate no parental care. When in spawning conditions, they will lay small numbers of eggs daily, and, in an established, well-decorated aquarium, small numbers of babies may start to appear without intervening.

However, if you would like to improve the fry yield, a more controlled approach will be required. It would be best if you separated one or two pairs and placed them in a separate tank containing spawning mops or batches of broad-leaved plants such as Anubias.

The females will lay many eggs on the underside of broad plant leaves or other solid surfaces while swimming in an upsidedown position. You can leave the pair where they are for two or three days; however, you must remove them as soon as the first eggs start to hatch; otherwise, the parents will consume them if given a chance.

The eggs will usually hatch after 48 to 72 hours, depending on the temperature where the young will live off their yolk sacs for approximately five more days. Therefore, it would be best to feed the fry on Paramecium or other microscopic foods for a further week or until they are large enough to accept microworm and baby brine shrimp.

Frquently asked questions about the Drape Fin Barb

Are Drape Fin Barbs a shoaling species?

Although Drape Fin Barbs are sociable species by nature, they are a shoaling species rather than schooling fish that develop distinct pecking orders. Rival males will display some impressive sparring behaviour in captivity. It would be best if you kept drape Fin Barbs in groups of 8 or more individuals; however, the aquarium should be designed so that you provide many broken lines of sight. If you keep them on their own, in a very small group, or in crowded conditions, they can become withdrawn, and subdominant fish may bully them regularly.

Are Drape Fin Barbs suitable for a community aquarium?

Unfortunately, Drape Fin Barbs are unsuitable for most community aquariums as they may be outcompeted for food or intimidated by more boisterous, larger tankmates. However, small, peaceful Cyprinids such as Boraras or Trigonostigma species, as well as many South American Characins, would make ideal tankmates for Drape Fin Barbs.

How big do Drape Fin Barbs grow?

Drape Fin Barbs usually reach lengths of up to 5 cm in the aquarium, with the males growing slightly larger than the females.

What aquarium setup do I need for Drape Fin Barbs?

Drapefin Barbs need a relatively good-sized aquarium, so 75 litres would suffice. The substrate needs to be softer to mimic the rivers muddy bottom, so using sand or very fine gravel would be ideal. You should also use several large leaves on the bottom and have several driftwood pieces mixed in with plants. You could also combine some floating plants to reduce the lighting in your tank. The flow of water does not need to be great and will depend on your filter choice. However, you must remember these Barbs need pristine water, so bear that in mind when choosing your filter. Lastly, the water temperature needs to be between 73 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the pH level should be between 6.0 and 7.5.

What should you feed Drape Fin Barbs?

Drape Fin Barbs will accept good-quality dried foods such as flakes or micropellets of a suitable size; however, you should not feed them this exclusively. It would be better to offer your fish daily meals of small live and frozen fares such as artemia, daphnia and mosquito larvae; this will result in the best colouration and health and will encourage your fish to get into breeding condition. You should note that Drape Fin Barbs are shy, reluctant feeders.

Where do Drape Fin Barbs originate?

Drape Fin Barbs are endemic to the tributaries of the Brahmaputra River in West Bengal state, in eastern India. This species comes from the Jorai River near the border of Assam, but they have also been collected elsewhere, including the Ghoti Ganga River, in the Cooch Behar district. Drape Fin Barbs are also known to be found in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, a forested area in the sub-division of Alipurduar in the Jalpaiguri district. These fish inhabit slow-flowing, clear waters with a muddy substrate.

Other Barbs of interest

African Banded Barb(Barbus fasciolatus)
Arulius Barb(Dawkinsia arulius, Puntius arulius)
Black Ruby Barb(Pethia nigrofasciata)
Blue Spotted Hill Trout(Barilius bakeri)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
Checker Barb(Oliotius oligolepis)
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Date Added: 28/05/2020 - Updated: 10/03/2022 17:35:25