Max Size: 18cm

Spanner Barb (Barbodes Lateristriga)

Spanner Barbs, Barbodes Lateristriga, are hardy, lively, and relatively peaceful fish. Even though they can be boisterous and chase some fish species, Barbs are ideal for community aquariums with larger species. It is crucial to provide a large aquarium for these Barbs, as they have the potential to grow quite large.

The Spanner Barb is best kept in groups of 6 or more, and they are not recommended for aquariums with much smaller fish as they will become a snack if they're kept with them.

Since Spanner Barbs prefer a diet rich in vegetable matter, planted aquariums are not recommended. Due to this species' sensitivity to poor water quality, frequent partial water changes are imperative. In the wild, Spanner Barbs are frequently found near waterfalls, where the water is highly oxygenated; therefore, you must make sure you imitate this in the aquarium.

The bodies of Spanner Barbs are golden with pinkish fins. The Barb also displays three dark bars resembling a spanner's shape, hence its name.

The first marking is just behind the gill cover and forward of the dorsal fin, the second bar is beneath the forward end of the dorsal fin into which the colouring extends, and the third bar is a lateral line extending from the caudal fin fork to just below the dorsal fin's rear. Additionally, there are four spots on the body, two on the tail, one on the back, just behind the dorsal fin, and one on the lower body, near the anal fin.


Spanner barb
Spanner barb
Spanner barb
Spanner barb
Quick Facts
Scientific NameBarbodes Lateristriga
Year Described1842
Other NamesT-Barb
OriginsIndonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
GH4 - 12
73 - 84℉
22.8 - 28.9℃


In the home aquarium, the Spanner Barb will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

Before Spanner Barbs reach sexual maturity, it can be challenging to differentiate between them. Compared to males, females are slightly larger, less coloured, and have fuller bodies. Males, on the other hand, are smaller, more slender and develop a more intense colour pattern than females. In addition, during spawning conditions, males show visible tubercules on their heads.

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)
Borneo Red Fin Silver Shark(Cyclocheilichthys janthochir)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 14/09/2020 - Updated: 22/08/2022 15:19:52