Fishes of the genus Barilius are ecologically best compared to trout in the Indian region, where they do not naturally occur. Barilius thus prefer to live in clear waters with a gravelly bottom and some current. They are mostly seen in loose groups, they are not really schooling fish. They like to “play” among themselves, chasing each other over short distances, but without harming each other. They are small predators that prefer to eat insects that fall on the water surface, but also insect larvae living in the water, crustaceans or even small fish belong to the prey spectrum. The mouth gap of Barilius is comparatively large.
The coloration of Barilius is also comparable to that of young trout. Both have a number of dark vertical stripes on the flanks. There is a lack of striking colors, but Barilius are nevertheless often very colorful, especially yellow and blue colors iridesce on their bodies depending on the incidence of light.
Quite different from trout, however, is their reproductive behavior. While trout are migratory fish that move upstream to reproduce and dig pits in the ground where they spawn, Barilius, as far as this is known at all, dive into the ground and spawn in the gravel. However, it must be said at this point, the reproductive behavior of Barilius species is virtually unexplored.
One of the most beautiful Barilius species is B. ardens from the Indian state of Karnataka, which we can offer just once again. The magnificent fish grows (with caudal fin) about 12 cm long.
Very similar (and apparently sometimes mixed with B. ardens) is B. malabaricus, which differs from B. ardens by smaller flank spots and a differently colored caudal fin; in B. malabaricus the median caudal fin rays are not white.
For our customers: the animals have code 372842 (md) and 372843 (lg – xl) on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.
We have already mentioned it: currently we have three species of the genus Hoplias from Venezuela in our stock. The common wolf tetra (Hoplias malabaricus) has a huge distribution area, but it is very likely that this “species” proves to be a species complex consisting of several, at least partially undescribed species.
With the “Hoplias malabaricus” from Venezuela we noticed for the first time that males and females are very easy to distinguish. For the photo session we simply have chosen two presumable couples due to the belly circumference. When they were to be brought back to their conspecifics after the shooting, we saw that the tail of the two suspected females behind the dorsal fin is considerably shorter than that of the suspected males. These Trahiras are, by the way, relatively tolerable among each other – provided there is enough food.
For our customers: the animals have code 258703 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
For the first time we can offer this predatory tetra as German bred ones! Hoplias malabaricus is one of the most widespread species of tetra in South America; it is therefore suspected that it is more likely to be a number of externally very similar, so-called cryptic species. The offspring was bred with a pair of wild-caughts from Brazil (unfortunately no closer catching area is known), the male is about 30 cm long, the female 28-29 cm. The male is 2.5-3 years old, the female about 2 years, the animals were not acquired together, but at intervals of about half a year. The aquarium is furnished with coarser sand, roots and robust plants (Cryptocoryne crispulata var. balansae).
Hoplias are very calm fish, lurking hunters who do not move much. The breeding animals are fed with smelt, sprats, mussels, worms, but meat is also popular. The water values in the breeding tank: Temperature 26°C, pH value 6 to 7.5 (with scarcely 6 they have spawned); otherwise Hoplias have no big demands on the water values.
Spawning takes place, as the breeder S. Schroers informs us, in the evening hours. The male digs a hollow in the ground, where the eggs (several thousand) are laid by the female. The male guards the nest and takes care of the brood. This can lead to quarrels between the parents. The male is very aggressive and irritable in this time.
The offspring specimens, which we can offer now, are currently 6-8 cm long and quite compatible with each other – provided there is enough food.
For our customers: the animals have code 258722 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.
Text: S. Schroers & F. Schäfer, Photos: Frank Schäfer