Narayan Barb (Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani)
Narayan Barbs are generally peaceful fish and are an ideal resident of the community aquarium.
This species of Barb places no particular demands when it comes to water chemistry. You can house these with many of the most popular fish in the hobby, including other similarly peaceful fish such as small Cyprinids as well as Livebearers, Tetras, Anabantoids, Rainbowfish, Loaches and Catfishes. However, avoid species with long fins as they may prove too much of a temptation.
Narayan Barbs are schooling species that you should keep in groups of at least 8 to 10 individuals. The larger the group, the more confident they will feel, making them less nervous and resulting in a more effective natural-looking display. Also, males will display their best colours as they compete with each other for female attention.
The Narayan Barbs have a silver body with a pinkish gold sheen. The fins are transparent except the dorsal fin, which is an orangy-red. They display a black botch on the caudal peduncle and a colour pattern consisting of three dark, vertically-orientated flank markings; however, these are pale and dull on some individuals.
|Scientific Name||Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani|
|Other Names||Sunset Barb|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||5 - 8 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||2 - 12|
|TDS||90 - 268|
|68 - 79℉|
20 - 26.1℃
Narayan Barbs are endemic to Hemavathi, Tunga, Kumaradhara and Cauvery in India's Western Ghats in South Asia. They inhabit slow-moving small rivers, hill streams and backwater pools where they congregate in deeper areas. Ther habitats are usually covered with abundant vegetation and decaying material.
Other Barbs of interest
What to feed the Narayan Barb
In the aquarium, Narayan Barbs are easily-fed. However, for the best colours and condition, you should offer them regular meals of small live and frozen fares such as daphnia, artemia, brine shrimp and bloodworm. You should also provide them with high quality dried food such as granules, pellets and flakes that contain additional plant or algal content.
How to Sex the Narayan Barb
It is effortless to distinguish the male from the female Narayan Barb. Males are slightly slimmer, smaller, and possess a more intense colour pattern than females. In contrast, females are fuller-bodied, and their patterning is much duller.
How to Breed the Narayan Barb
When in good condition, these Barbs will spawn often, and in an established aquarium, small numbers of fry may start to appear without interference. However, if you want to maximise the yield, a more controlled method is required.
You may still condition the adult group together, but it would be better to set up a smaller aquarium filled with seasoned water. This should be dimly lit, and the bottom covered with a mesh of a significant enough grade to enable the eggs to fall through but small enough so the adults cannot reach them. Artificial grass matting can also be used and works well, so does a layer of pebbles or marbles. Alternatively, filling a majority of the tank with fine-leaved plants or spawning mops can also deliver decent results.
The water should be slightly acidic to neutral pH with a temperature towards the range's upper end. It would be best also to include an air-powered sponge filter or air stone to provide oxygenation water movement.
Once the adults are well-conditioned and the females look full of eggs, you should then introduce one or two pairs into the tank, and spawning should take place the next morning.
Another method is to spawn the fish in a group, with half a dozen individuals of each sex being an ideal number, although a much bigger aquarium may be necessary.
In either situation, adults will more than likely consume the eggs if given a chance; therefore, you should remove the eggs as soon as you notice any.
The eggs should hatch within 24 to 48 hours, and then the fry will become free swimming 24 hours after that.
It would be best to feed your fry on an infusoria type food for the first few days until they become large enough to accept things like artemia, microworm and suchlike.