Max Size: up to 18 cm

Spanner Barb (Barbodes Lateristriga)

The Spanner barb is a hardy, active and relatively peaceful fish although it can be a little boisterous and may chase some fishes; however, if the aquarium is large enough it will make an ideal fish for the community aquarium.

The Spanner Barb has a golden body with pinkish fins. They display three dark bar markings that represent a shape of a spanner, hence their name.

The first marking is just behind the gill cover and forward of the dorsal fin, the second bar is below the forward end of the dorsal into which the colouring extends, and then the third is a lateral line that extends from the fork of the caudal fin to just below the rear of the dorsal.

There are also four spots, two of which are on the tail, one is on the back, just behind the dorsal, and the last spot is on the lower body near the forward edge of the anal fin.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameBarbodes Lateristriga
Other NamesT-Barb
OriginsSoutheast Asia
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature73 - 84 ℉ (22.8 - 28.9 ℃)
GH4 - 12
Spanner barb
Spanner barb
Spanner barb
Spanner barb


The Spanner Barb is native to southeastern Asia where it is found in Sumatra, Borneo, Malay Peninsula, Java, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

They inhabit clear oxygen-rich streams and prefer mountain areas with a lot of rocks and boulders to hide among commonly throughout the base of waterfalls.

Other Barbs of interest

African Banded Barb(Barbus fasciolatus)
Black Ruby Barb(Pethia nigrofasciata)
Blue Spotted Hill Trout(Barilius bakeri)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
Checker Barb(Oliotius oligolepis)
Cherry Barb(Puntius titteya)
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Diet & Feeding

The Spanner Barb is straightforward to feed as it will accept almost all types of food. It will be best to provide them with a varied diet based around flake food, but it will also need to contain live and frozen food as well as vegetable matter. This arrangement will guarantee your fish to maintain their best colours.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is not that simple to sex Spanner Barbs although when in spawning and when they reach maturity; there is a noticeable difference. Females tend to be less colourful and fatter then the males, in contrast, the males are more slender and more vibrant in colour.


The Spanner Barbs are simple to breed as long as they are provided with a large enough breeding tank. It is a large species that carry out intense spawning rituals and therefore need a big aquarium to spawn in.

The tank should be relatively shallow, and the bottom of the tank should be covered in pebbles or marbles or a mesh to protect the eggs from the parents as they will consume them. The tank should also contain dense areas of fine-leaved plants and java moss. Spawning mops can be used as an alternative if you don't want to use live plants.

Separate females and males and condition them for three weeks feeding them a varied diet of live and frozen food this should induce spawning.

Move the biggest, healthiest female and the most colourful male into the breeding tank. Spawning should then take place the next morning.

The Spanner barb is a very abundant species, and one spawn can result in up to 3000 eggs. When all the eggs have been laid, you will need to remove the adults.

The fry will hatch approximately 24-48 hours later and will become free-swimming a few days after that.

Due to the fry's small size, they will need to be fed infusoria or other small foods until they are large enough to start eating newly hatched artemia and, later, crushed flake food.

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Date Added: 14/09/2020 - Updated: 15/09/2020 13:13:53