Mahecola Barb (Puntius mahecola)
This Mahecola Barb is usually peaceful and makes an ideal inhabitant of a community aquarium.
These Barbs are relatively hardy and have no special requirements in terms of water conditions. You can combine these fish with many other species of fish.
These Barbs are a schooling species and should be kept in groups of at least eight individuals. You should maintain them in adequate numbers as this will make the fish less nervous and result in a more effective, natural-looking display. Keeping them in larger groups will also encourage males to display their best colours as they compete with one other for female attention.
Mahecola Barbs are uncommon in the aquarium trade but are quite popular among hobbyists of native species in India.
As juveniles the Mahecola Barb has a straightforward and dull-looking body with two dark splotches but as they mature they lose the second splotch only displaying it on their caudal peduncle, located behind the anal fin.
|Scientific Name||Puntius mahecola|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||up to 5 years|
|Temperature||64 - 75 ℉ (17.8 - 23.9 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||2 - 15|
|TDS||90 - 268|
You can find Mahecola Barbs in rivers draining much of the Western Ghats mountains in Kerala, Tamil Nadu States and Karnataka in South India.
They inhabit shallow, slow-flowing rivers with a muddy or sandy substrate with dense vegetation along their banks. You can also find them in artificial lakes and lagoons formed by damming of rivers.
Other Barbs of interest
Diet & Feeding
In the home aquarium, these Barbs are easily fed. However, if you would like your fish to have the most excellent colours and condition you should offer them regular meals of small live and frozen fares such as artemia, bloodworm and daphnia. It would be best if you supplement these with high quality dried granules and flakes, making sure these also incorporate algal or plant content.
It is somewhat straightforward to distinguish male from female Mahecola Barbs. Adult males are typically smaller and slimmer than females as well as displaying more intense colour patterning than females.
Unfortunately, there are no records of successful breeding in the home aquarium and little to no information available on how to breed this species. However, I can imagine they would produce similar to other Puntius species.
Frquently asked questions about the Mahecola Barb
Are Mahecola Barbs a Shoaling fish?
What are the differences between female and male Mahecola Barbs?
What is the best set-up for my Mahecola Barbs?
The lighting can be somewhat subdued, and you can add lower lighting plants if you want. The temperature of your aquarium should be somewhere between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the pH level should be somewhere between 6.0 and 7.5, and the water hardness should be somewhere between 90 and 268 ppm.
Although choppy water conditions are not required, Mahecola Barbs do better when the water is well-oxygenated with some degree of flow. Therefore, using an oversized external filter or two is suggested. You should perform weekly water changes of around 30 to 50 per cent.