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Maximum size : 18 cm

Spanner Barb - Barbodes Lateristriga : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Delightful and full of character, Spanner Barbs (Barbodes Lateristriga) are hardy and vivacious fish that bring a sense of liveliness to any aquarium. Though they can be quite exuberant and tend to chase some species of fish, they are generally peaceful and ideal for larger community aquariums. It's worth noting that these delightful creatures require ample space to thrive, as they have the potential to grow to a considerable size. These delightful creatures thrive in groups of six or more, but it's essential to avoid adding smaller fish to their habitat, as they are prone to making a snack out of them. While Spanner Barbs prefer a vegetable-rich diet, planted aquariums may not be the best environment for them. They're also sensitive to poor water quality, which means that frequent partial water changes are a must. In the wild, Spanner Barbs are often found near waterfalls, where the water is highly oxygenated, so it's crucial to create a similar environment in the aquarium. Their golden bodies are complemented by pinkish fins, and they feature three distinct dark bars resembling a spanner's shape, hence their name. The first bar is located just behind the gill cover and forward of the dorsal fin, followed by the second bar beneath the forward end of the dorsal fin, into which the coloring extends. The third bar is a lateral line extending from the caudal fin fork to just below the dorsal fin's rear. Adding to their charming appearance, Spanner Barbs boast 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 Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Prior to attaining sexual maturity, distinguishing between male and female Spanner Barbs can pose a challenge. In comparison to their male counterparts, female specimens exhibit relatively larger body size, less conspicuous coloration, and fuller physiques. Conversely, male Spanner Barbs feature slimmer builds and more vivid coloration, with intensified patterns. Moreover, during the spawning phase, male individuals exhibit discernible tubercles on their cranial regions.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBarbodes Lateristriga
Year Described1842
Other NamesT-Barb
OriginsIndonesia Thailand Malaysia Singapore
Max Size18 cm
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

Natural habitat

The Spanner Barb is native to the mountainous regions of southeastern Asia. Found in Sumatra, Borneo, Malay Peninsula, Java, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, these remarkable creatures inhabit clear, oxygen-rich streams that provide the perfect environment for them to thrive. In their natural habitat, the Spanner Barb prefers mountainous areas with a lot of rocks and boulders, which provide excellent hiding spots. You'll commonly find them at the base of waterfalls, where they can explore their surroundings and forage for food. What's truly remarkable about the Spanner Barb is its ability to adapt to a wide range of environments, from freshwater to brackish water. It's a testament to their hardiness and versatility, making them an excellent choice for any aquarist looking for a unique and captivating addition to their collection. Prepare to be mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Spanner Barb and the wonders of the natural world. With their unique natural habitat requirements and fascinating behaviour, these fish serve as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to protect and preserve our planet's precious ecosystems.

How to breed the Spanner Barb

Breeding the Spanner Barbs can be a straightforward process provided that a sufficiently spacious breeding tank is provided. Given their substantial size and intense spawning behaviors, a substantial aquarium is required for this species to thrive. To ensure optimal conditions for the eggs, the tank should possess a relatively shallow depth, with the bottom covered in pebbles, marbles, or mesh to prevent parental consumption of the eggs. Additionally, the presence of fine-leaved plants and java moss in dense clusters is recommended, although spawning mops can serve as a viable alternative. Prior to spawning, males and females should be separated and conditioned for three weeks on a varied diet of live and frozen foods to stimulate breeding behavior. The most robust and colorful male, along with the largest and healthiest female, should then be transferred to the breeding tank, with spawning expected to occur the following morning. A single spawn event for the Spanner Barbs can yield up to 3000 eggs, necessitating the removal of adult specimens once all eggs have been deposited. After 24-48 hours, the fry will hatch and become free-swimming within a few days. Given their small size, appropriate food sources such as infusoria or other small foods should be provided until the fry are large enough to consume newly hatched artemia and, subsequently, crushed flake food.

Diet & feeding

Feeding the Spanner Barb is a relatively uncomplicated task, as this species displays a high degree of dietary versatility, readily accepting most food types. However, to optimize their coloration and overall health, a well-rounded diet consisting of flake food supplemented with live and frozen fare and vegetable matter is recommended. Employing this approach will help to ensure that the Spanner Barb maintains its vibrant hues and optimal physical condition.

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