Cyprinidae

Widely distributed over the planet the Cyprinidae (barbs, danios, rasboras, labeos, carp, etc.) form one of the largest freshwater families, with more than 2,000 species. The smallest species - only a few centimeters in length - are very well known and extremely popular with hobbyists. The largest, which can grow up to 1 m in length, constitute an important human food source: the annual captive production of various types of carp - the most familiar member of this family -exceeds 6 million tonnes, and if we lump together all species (including freshwater and marine aquaculture) we end up with a figure of around 17 million tonnes.

The Cyprinidae are characterized by a frequently thick-set body and rather broad scales; most surprisingly, the teeth do not grow from the jaw but are relegated to the throat. These fish originate from quite diversified biotopes, but acclimatize to the domestic aquarium without difficulty. They are omnivores, and some species detect their food by means of their barbels.

A Barbus oligolepis

The checker barb is a gregarious species. Spawning (relatively uncomplicated) demands slightly acidic conditions and fine-leafed plants. It is easy to cross with other barbs. Size: 5 cm.

A Barbus oligolepis

The checker barb is a gregarious species. Spawning (relatively uncomplicated) demands slightly acidic conditions and fine-leafed plants. It is easy to cross with other barbs. Size: 5 cm.

Barbusschwanenfeldi

The tinfoil barb or Schwanenfeld's barb can exceed 25 cm in the aquarium. More or less peaceful it does however require plenty of space, with abundant food, including supplements of vegetable ^ 0 material. Size: 25-30 cm.

BARBS FOR THE BEGINNER

The rosy barb (Puntius con-chonius) is very gregarious. It breeds easily (the male taking on a pink coloration) in soft, seasoned water. The eggs - sometimes over 100 in number - adhere to plants and other suppor the parent fish must be removed after laying. Hatching takes place after 36 hours. For the first 2 days after they are free-swimming, feed the fry on infusoria. Enthusiasts have evolved a veil variety by selec tive breeding. Size: 8 cm.

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