Tag Archive | "Karnataka Barb (Sahyadria denisonii)"

Karnataka Barb (Sahyadria denisonii)

Karnataka Barb (Sahyadria denisonii)

The Karnataka Barb (Sahyadria denisonii) is a new variety of Denison barb that has been collected from a new area in the state of Karnataka, India.   Karnataka is south of Kerala, in southern India where the majority of Red Line Sharks, up until recently, have been collected.

Although known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Karnataka Barb, Red Lined Torpedo Barb, Denison Barb, or Rose Line Shark, all are shoaling species synonymous to Sahyadria denisonii and are found in the fast flowing rivers, streams, and tributaries of southern India.

Like the Denison Barb, the Karnataka Barb is torpedo shaped and much longer than most other barbs.   They are fast swimmers that are shaped for speed and live in huge shoals to protect themselves from other predatory species.   In their natural environment they are frequently observed jumping out of the water.

Karnataka Barb (Sahyadria denisonii)

Karnataka Barb (Sahyadria denisonii)

The Karnataka Barb is predominately a silver color with a dark black line running the length of its body from the nose, through the eye and ending at the base of the caudal fin.

A bright red stripe that blends into a yellow stripe begins at the nose and runs through the eyes to about mid body, just above the black stripe.   The leading edge of the dorsal fin is bright red and the caudal fin is transparent with black over yellow accent stripes toward the tips.   The pectoral and anal fins are mostly transparent.

The Karnataka Barb has much more red than the Denison Barb, which makes it even more desirable to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Like the Denison Barb, the Karnataka Barb is a peaceful fish that is a welcome addition to any large community aquarium.   They need good water flow with highly oxygenated water and they get along well with wide range of other similarly sized peaceful and semi-aggressive tropical fish species.

Karnataka Barbs are best housed in a densely planted aquarium of at least 55 gallon capacity, with a sandy or fine gravel substrate, some driftwood roots for them to hide among and some floating plants like Water Hyacinth, to provide security and minimize jumping.

Karnataka Barbs should be housed in groups of at least 6 to 8 specimens, and because of their skittishness and tendency for jumping, their tank must have a tightly fitting cover if floating plants are not provided.

A canister filtration system with a powerhead is recommended to provide the necessary current and oxygenation that this species requires.

In the wild, Karnataka Barbs consume both plant and animal based foods.   Although they are not picky eaters, in an aquarium environment they should be fed a balanced diet of plant, algae, and meaty foods.

Live, frozen, or freeze dried bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, tubifex, a quality omnivore flake food or carnivore pellet will keep your Karnataka Barbs healthy and happy.

Almost all Denison Barbs sold to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts are specimens that have been bred in Indonesia, however, the Karnataka Barb so far is collected exclusively in the state of Karnataka, and is quite difficult to obtain.

When available from specialty shops or online dealers, they can be up to 6″ in size and quite costly.

Karnataka Barb (Sahyadria denisonii)

Karnataka Barb (Sahyadria denisonii)







Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 60-78° F, KH 4-10, pH 6.8-7.8
Max. Size: up to 6?
Color Form: Black, Red, White
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Good Community Tank Fish
Origin: Karnataka, India
Family: Cyprinidae
Lifespan: 8 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

Posted in Barbs, Featured Articles, Freshwater Fish, Tropical Fish SpeciesComments (0)

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