Max Size: 4 - 5cm

Drape Fin Barb (Oreichthys crenuchoides)

The Drape Fin barb got their name for their spectacular large dorsal fins of adult males. They are a small peaceful barb, hardy and active and also quite shy.

A group of this species makes for an impressive centrepiece for an aquascaped or planted aquarium.

There are only two species of this fish, Cosuatis and Parvus. cosuatis has a bigger dorsal fin, and often a black edge to the scales and parvus is more slender and elongated and less colourful.

The real cosuatis lacks the black spot on the caudal peduncle and is a much slimmer looking fish.

Drape fin barbs are quite sensitive, so water conditions need to be just right.

These particular species 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 also seems to be appreciated.

Water flow should be relatively slow, and the substrate should be soft.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameOreichthys crenuchoides
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℃
Drape Finned Barbs
Drape Fin Barb
Drape Fin Barb
Drape Fin Barb
Drape Fin Barb

Natural Habitat

Drapefin barb species hail from the waters from the Jorai river, close to the border with Assam. Still, it's been collected elsewhere, including the Ghoti Ganga river, and the Cooch Behar district.

It's also known from the Buxa Tiger Reserve, a forested area in the sub-division of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri district.

It is known to habituate slow-flowing open land rivers with muddy substrate containing quite clear water.

Other Barbs of interest

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Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
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What to feed the Drape Fin Barb

The Drapefin Barb are not fussy and will eat all kinds of small dry foods such as flakes and micro pellets but will need to be supplemented with some good quality live food like bloodworm, brine shrimp or daphnia

these fish have small sensory barbells on the underside of the jaw which they will use when foraging, after all, they are timid so will miss out on the initial feeding.

How to Sex the Drape Fin Barb

The body shape of females is very different from the males.

Males develop a very long dorsal fin which drapes back over the tail fin whereas the females dorsal is smaller and more rounded. Also, males grow a little larger than females and exhibit stronger colouration on the body and fin.

How to Breed the Drape Fin Barb

Drapefin barbs are an egg-scattering, continuous spawner that exhibits no parental care.

While in spawning, Females will deposit a small number of her eggs daily onto the underside of broad plant leaves or other solid surfaces while swimming in an inverted position. You will see small numbers of fry appearing without needing intervention.

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.

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Date Added: 28/05/2020 - Updated: 03/11/2021 19:36:00