Jae Barb (Enteromius Jae) Species Profile & Care Guide
These fish are shy with a modest nature; they can be easily intimidated by other larger, more boisterous tank mates who will outcompete them for food. Therefore they are not suitable for most community aquariums. Ideal tankmates would be peaceful species that are similar in size.
Even though these fish are sociable, they are not a schooling species. They develop a distinct pecking order between males. It would be better if you kept Jae Barbs in groups of at least eight, and the tank needs to be sufficiently sized with hiding places to allow weaker individuals some respite from the more dominant ones.
The Jae Barbs are small fish with slender reddish-orange bodies that display several vertical dark bars down the flanks. Their fins are translucent with hues of red.
These fish vary in both colour and patterning, depending on where they were collected. Some individuals are blood red but only when in the breeding season, others turn red on the rear half of the body, and some have an almost entirely grey body colour combined with deep red to black ventral and dorsal fins.
|Scientific Name||Enteromius Jae|
|Other Names||Dja Barb, Charcoal Barb|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||70 - 77 ℉ (21.1 - 25 ℃)|
|PH||5.5 - 7.5|
|GH||1 - 5|
|TDS||18 - 90|
Natural Habitat of the Jae Barb
The Jae Barbs are native to the River Nyong Basin in Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in west Africa. They inhabit shallow, slow-moving, rainforest streams and swamps with thick vegetation.
The water is stained a brown colour due to the release of tannins and other chemicals from decomposing plant matter. The substrate is covered with fallen twigs, leaves and branches. These environments contain very soft, acidic cold water and are often fairly dark due to the rainforest canopy above.
Other Barbs of interest
In the home aquarium, Jae Barbs will readily accept dried foods of a suitable size, but you should not feed them this solely. Daily meals of small live, freeze-dried or frozen fare such as artemia, daphnia and suchlike will result in the best health and colouration and encourage the fish to come into breeding status.
Breeding the Jae Barb
Jae Barbs are seasonal spawners with breeding activity occurring over two periods each year from March to June and September to November.
These fish are an egg-scattering, continuous spawner that shows zero parental care and as long as they are in good condition and there are males and females present they may lay small numbers of eggs daily in an equipped aquarium. Hence, it is therefore likely that small numbers of fry may start to appear without human intervention.
If you want to enhance the yield of fry, they will require a somewhat more controlled means. You can still condition the adult group together, but you will need to set up a separate breeding tank with similar water parameters and temperature.
Decoration can be straightforward; good-sized clumps of Java moss or a couple of sinking spawning mops will give the fish somewhere to lay their eggs, A handful or two of real peat moss will help to create the right water conditions. If you prefer to keep the bottom of the tank bare for maintenance purposes, a small air-driven box filter filled with peat and set to run slowly is a good alternative. However, filtration is not necessary. The addition of a few almond leaves is also a good idea.
It would help if you then introduced a single pair of well-conditioned adult fish into the breeding tank. It is better to make the change slowly to avoid unnecessary levels of stress, but if conditions are to their desire, they should begin to spawn daily usually in the evening.
Whether Jae Barbs consume their eggs or not is unclear, although it doesn't seem to hunt for them actively.
Once spawning has begun, it should continue sporadically daily, and it is at this point that the plants or spawning mops become doubly useful as they offer cover for the female when she needs to flee the attentions of the often over-zealous male.
The adults can be left in the tank to spawn until you notice the first free-swimming fry. This is usually around 7-10 days later, and at this point, it would probably be best to remove the adults.
The tiny babies will survive on their yolk sacs for another two or three days, after which they will need to be fed Paramecium or other microscopic foods. Around 6-7 days after that they should be large enough to accept microworm, artemia and nauplii.
As the days go on, the additional fry should start to appear from later spawning results. It's best to wait a week or two before starting to perform small water changes to avoid unnecessarily shocking the young fish.