Janthochir Barb (Cyclocheilichthys janthochir) Fish Species Profile

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.

Scientific NameCyclocheilichthys janthochir
Other NamesBorneo Red Fin Silver Shark, Burmese Red Fin Silver Shark
OriginsSoutheast Asia
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan4 - 5 years
Maximum Sizeup to 20 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature71 - 80 ℉ (21.7 - 26.7 ℃)
PH4.0 - 7.0
GH1 - 12
TDS18 - 179

Origins of the Janthochir Barb

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.


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.

Sexing 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.

Breeding the Janthochir Barb

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

You maybe interested in the following profiles

Read More
Cardinal Tetra
Read More
Skunk Loach
Read More
Siamese Algae Eater
Read More
Emerald Dwarf Danio
Read More
Chilli Rasbora
Date Added: 10/14/2020 - Updated: 10/14/2020 8:28:52 PM