Max Size: 20cm

Janthochir Barb (Cyclocheilichthys janthochir)

The Janthochir Barb has a torpedo-shaped body that is silver, their dorsal and caudal fins are a reddish-orange colour edged in darkish grey-black, and the pectoral, pelvic and anal fins are transparent. They display a thin black stripe that runs from the nose to the base of the caudal fin. This fish is sometimes confused with the Denison Barb.

The Janthochir Barb maintains a moderate size, and it is a peaceful, timid shoaling species which should be sustained in groups of six or more in an appropriately sized aquarium.

It would be best if you furnished the tank with a soft sandy substrate, plenty of driftwood, and areas of dense vegetation along the back and sides, including floating plants to help reduce the light. You should leave a large open swimming space along the front of the aquarium.

A decent level of oxygenation and powerful filtration as well as frequent partial water changes to keep nitrate to a minimum is a must. It would be best if you placed the aquarium in a quiet location as these are very skittish fish and are easily startled. Providing them with shaded hiding spots and some very tight-fitting lids to prevent them from accidentally jumping out would be ideal.

Tank Mates for the Janthochir Barb

3 ideal tank mate ideas for the Janthochir Barb include:

Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Denison Barb(Sahyadria denisonii)
Mascara Barb(Dawkinsia Assimilis)
Quick Facts
Scientific NameCyclocheilichthys janthochir
Other NamesBorneo Red Fin Silver Shark, Burmese Red Fin Silver Shark
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan4 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 - 7.0
GH1 - 12
TDS18 - 179
71 - 80℉
21.7 - 26.7℃

Photos of the Janthochir Barb

Janthochir Barb
Janthochir Barb
Janthochir Barb
Janthochir Barb
Janthochir Barb
Janthochir Barbs
Janthochir Barb


Janthochir Barb (Cyclocheilichthys janthochir) Rare Barbs - Live Tropical fish

Natural Habitat

The Janthochir Barb comes from the Kapus River in West and Central Kalimantan in Borneo in Indonesia in Southeast Asia. They inhabit blackwater, rivers, streams, tropical rainforests and ancient peat swamps.

The water is generally stained brown due to the release of tannins and other chemicals released by decomposing organic material and the substrate that is scattered with twigs, fallen leaves, and branches.

Such environments characteristically contain very soft acidic water and are often shaded due to the forest canopy above. Across much of Southeast Asia, these biotopes are under threat from building developments, rubber or palm oil plantations and other human actions.

What to feed the Janthochir Barb

In the home aquarium Janthochir Barbs are not particularly fussy therefore are easily-fed. To optimize their best colours and condition offer frequent meals of live and frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, bloodworm, daphnia, Mysis shrimp and artemia alongside high-quality dried flakes and granules.

Larger individuals will eat krill and finely chopped prawns, and if you are lucky, may also take good quality flake and slow-sinking pellet foods.

How to sex the Janthochir Barb

It is somewhat tricky to differentiate males from females. However, it is believed that sexually mature females are likely to be thicker-bodied and perhaps a little less colourful than males.

How to breed the Janthochir Barb

Unfortunately, to date, there has been no successful recordings of this species being bred in the home aquarium.

Frquently asked questions about the Janthochir Barb

Are Janthochir Barbs good community fish?

Janthochir Bars are Generally peaceful and make excellent residents of the more extensive, well-furnished community setup. However, because of their size and the fact that they are fast-moving, they could stress out smaller, slower-moving timid tankmates.

There are lots of suitable tankmates for these Barbs, including many Cyprinids, Cichlids, Catfish, Loaches, and Characins; still, proper research is essential when selecting a compatible community of fish. A community based around one of their native river basins or countries would also present a worthwhile project with some attractive alternatives.

How do you tell the difference between male and female Janthochir Barbs?

It is somewhat challenging to distinguish male from female Janthochir Barbs. However, sexually mature females are likely to be slightly duller and thicker bodied than males.

What aquarium setup is best for my Janthochir Barbs?

When it comes to Janthochire Barbs, the decor is not as crucial as the water quality and the volume of open swimming spaces provided. It would be better if you kept these Barbs in a large, well-furnished aquarium or a setup designed to recreate a peat swamp-type environment with dim lighting, branches, roots and leaf litter.

Like various species that come from such pristine natural backgrounds, they are intolerant to the accumulation of organic wastes and requires clean water at all times to thrive. Therefore, it would be best if you never introduced them to a biologically immature aquarium. The best water parameters for Janthochir Barbs is a temperature between 71 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, a pH level of between 4 and 7 and a water hardness that ranges between 18 and 179 ppm.

What do Janthochir Barbs look like?

Janthochir Barbs have a torpedo-shaped silver body. Their caudal and dorsal fins are reddish-orange and edged in a dark grey to black colouring. Their pectoral, pelvic and anal fins are transparent, and they display a thin black stripe that runs from their nose to the base of their caudal fin.

What should I feed my Janthochir Barbs?

In captivity, Janthochir Barbs are easily fed. However, to develop these fish's best colours and condition, you should offer them regular meals of live and frozen fares such as daphnia, bloodworm, and brine shrimp alongside good quality dried flakes and granules. More significant individuals especially enjoy chopped prawn and shrimp.

Where do Janthochir Barbs originate?

Janthochir Barbs are endemic to the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, where they are known from the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan Barat and Kalimantan Tengah. These Barbs inhabit blackwater streams and rivers correlated with ancient forest peat swamps. The water is usually stained brown from the release of tannins and other chemicals discharged by decomposing organic matter. The substrate is typically scattered with fallen leaves, branches and twigs.

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)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 14/10/2020 - Updated: 05/01/2022 16:16:50