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African and Asian barbs have been sold in the aquarium trade for many years. Wild stocks of some species such as Barbus titteua (cherry barb) from Sri Lanka are very low, but the species is still widely available in the hobby, due to captive breeding. The majority of the small barbs are bred by the thousand in fish farms in the Far East, South Africa, eastern Europe, and Florida. Captive-bred fishes are easier to transport and not as sensitive to changes in water conditions as wild fishes, and so are easier to acclimatize.

Barbs are found in all bodies of water, from streams and rivers to lakes, and are shoaling fishes. Applying this to the aquarium, when purchasing fishes you should get a group of six to ten, more if you have room. A sparsely planted aquarium is ideal as this allows plenty of swimming space in the mid to lower levels. With the exception of Barbus tetrazona (tiger barb), most small barbs are compatible with equal sized fishes in the community aquarium. Tiger barbs are noted for their quarrelsome nature, but even this can be overcome provided they are kept as a shoal of eight or more in a large aquarium, when, as they are so busy chasing each other, they leave the other fishes alone. Only if kept in smaller numbers do they really cause any trouble.

With some of the medium sized species, keep the aquarium well covered as they may jump, especially if chasing around at feeding time. Arulius Barb Rosy Barb Cuming's Barb Lemon-fin Barb Dorsalis Barb Clown Barb Striped Barb Filament Barb Golden Dwarf Barb Spanner Barb Ember Barb Black Ruby Barb Odessa Barb Checker Barb Five-banded Barb Roloff's Barb Golden Barb Schuberti Barb Tinfoil Barb Half-banded Barb Tiger Barb Green Tiger Barb Red Tiger Barb Ticto Barb Cherry Barb Banded Barb Walker's Barb Barb/Bibliography

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