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Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Indian Hifin Barb - Oreichthys cosuatis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Indian Hi Fin Barb are somewhat rare, small, attractive and rather timid barbs that can make an ideal addition to any nano or well-planted aquarium that houses other small temperate species. However, these Barbs are not recommended for the general community aquarium because of their small size and delicate nature. The Indian Hi Fin Barb is often mistaken for the Drape Fin Barb, but they are significantly smaller and easy to differentiate to the trained eye. Ideal tankmates for Indian Hi Fin Barbs could include other nervous Dwarf Barbs such as the Eight Banded False Barb, Golden Dwarf Barb and the beautiful Butterfly Barb, as well as other small Cyprinids such as Chilli Rasbora, Vietnamese Cardinal Minnows and smaller Danios such as the Dwarf Spotted Danio. You can also house these Barbs with smaller Tetras, Corydoras Catfish and Otocinclus. However, it would be best if you did not keep these Barbs with larger, aggressive or more boisterous fish; otherwise, they will be intimidated and easily out-competed as they are a very slow feeder. Indian Hi Fin Barbs are shoaling fish that develop an interesting hierarchy, and rival males will display some exciting sparring behaviour in captivity. Therefore it would be best to maintain these fish in a group of 8 or more individuals making sure the aquarium is decorated so that many broken lines of sight are provided. It would be best if you did not keep these fish singly, in small groups or in cramped conditions; otherwise, they can become withdrawn, and dominant fish may bully subdominant fish to death. The Indian Hi Fin Barb would thrive in a fully-decorated aquarium with plenty of aquatic plants and woody arrangements made with bogwood or driftwood. It would also benefit your Barbs if you added some floating plants to decrease the light entering the aquarium. The water flow and filtration should be relatively gentle, and the substrate should ideally be soft as these Barbs have tiny sensory bristles on the lower jaw, which they use when grazing. Indian Hi Fin Barbs have silvery bronze bodies and relatively large scales. These fish also have a stunning transparent dorsal fin contrasted with significant black markings across the top edge of the dorsal fin. In addition, these fish have red ventral fins and a black spot on their anal fin, which develops as they mature.

Indian Hifin Barb Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively simple to differentiate between male and female Indian Hi Fin Barbs. The males grow slightly larger than the females, are a tad more colourful, and have an extended dorsal fin. In contrast, the females are smaller, duller and are generally deeper-bodied than males.
Featured Male
Featured Female
Male Female

Quick Facts

Scientific NameOreichthys cosuatis
Year Described1822
Other NamesIndian Hi-fin Headstander Barb, Hifin Indian Headstander Barb, Hi-Fin Headstander Barb
OriginsIndia Bangladesh Nepal Thailand
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH8 - 12
TDS90 - 268
75 - 82
23.9 - 27.8

Natural habitat

Indian HiFin Barbs are endemic to Nepal, India and Bangladesh, where you will find them in the Ganges and Brahmaputra River Drainage in the states of West Bengal and Odisha. These fish also occur in Thailand, Myanmar, and southern India's Western Ghats mountains. These fish inhabit slow-flowing clear waters in creeks, ditches, ponds, streams and canals with dense and overhanging vegetation.
 Brahmaputra River - China
China Flag
 Ganges River - India
India Flag

How to breed the Indian Hifin Barb

Indian HiFin Barbs are egg scatterers that may often spawn in a heavily planted aquarium. However, if you would like to increase the yield of fry, a more controlled approach will be required. You can still condition the adults together, but you should also set up a separate breeding tank. The breeding tank will need to contain a fair amount of java moss or a couple of spawning mops to give the Barbs somewhere to scatter their eggs. It isn't essential to use filtration, but you can use a small air-driven sponge filter if you would prefer. Introducing a single pair of well-conditioned adult fish to the breeding tank would be best; however, make sure you transfer them slowly to avoid stressing your fish unnecessarily. If the Barbs like the conditions in the breeding tank, they will start to spawn. Once spawning has begun, it should continue at irregular intervals daily. At this point, the plants or spawning mops become extra helpful as they offer a place for females to hide if they need to escape the attentions of the over-eager male. When the fish have finished spawning, you should remove the adults; otherwise, they will predate the eggs. The incubation period for the eggs is temperature-dependent, but they usually hatch between 24 and 36 hours later. The fry will initially feed on their yolk sac for a couple of days; then, once the entire yolk sac has been consumed and the fry has become free swimming, you can then provide them with paramecium or other microscopic foods. As the babies develop, you can give them baby brine shrimp and microworm.

Diet & feeding

Indian Hi Fin Barbs are not particularly fussy and will accept good-quality dried foods of a suitable size. However, it would be best not to feed them this exclusively. Providing these Barbs with daily meals of small live, frozen and freeze-dried foods such as artemia, daphnia, and Tubifex will result in the best health and more vibrant colouration of your fish. It will also help encourage your fish to come into breeding conditions.


Indian HiFin Barb - Oreichthys cosuatis - Rare Freshwater Barb Aquarium Fish Profile & Care Guide Thumbnail

10 tank mate ideas for the Indian Hifin Barb

Looking for some awesome tank mate ideas for your Indian Hifin Barb? Look no further! Here are 10 of the most captivating and fascinating options that will liven up your aquarium!

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