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Red Belly Piranha
2 likes Piranha
(Pygocentrus nattereri) Moderate Aggressive 12" 55 gallons 74-82° F, KH 10-20, pH 6.0-7.5 Omnivore South America Characidae Piranha Other-Monster-Fish The Red Belly Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereriRed) has been available within the aquarium hobby trade for decades. During this time it has developed quite a following among aquarium hobbyists and the general public. They can be found in the aquarium trade under a variety of names including: the Red Belly Piranha, Red Piranha, Red Bellied Piranha and simply Piranha. There are of course multiple species of Piranha, with the Red Belly Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereriRed) being one of the most popular amongst aquarium hobbyists due to its coloration and moderate size. While they can reach sizes upwards of 12 inches in the wild, Red Belly Piranha living in the aquarium environment tend to reach about 10 inches in length when fully grown. Contrary to popular belief, Piranha are typically very calm and will spend most of their time hiding amongst plants, rock work or other aquarium decor. They are also quite skittish when approached by humans at the aquarium glass or when disturbed by hobbyists working within the tank. However, they are very capable of inflicting serious damage with their razor sharp teeth to either tank mates or hobbyists working within the aquarium. Both their activity level and aggression goes up considerable during feedings and it is at this time that other tank mates or fingers in the aquarium are at danger from being bitten. When keeping Red Belly Piranha in the home aquarium, hobbyists should try their best to emulate their natural habitat and water conditions. A typical Amazonian biotope aquarium works best, with a sand substrate, driftwood or submerged wood root, areas with dense vegetation and open swimming areas. They will prefer either dim lighting or lighting that is diffused by lust plant growth within the aquarium. In regards to filtration requirements there is no other way to say it other than Piranha are very messy eaters. Strong mechanical and biological filtration is required along with water changes in order to maintain quality water and the build up of nitrates and other chemicals within the aquarium. While Red Belly Piranha are typically wary of humans and unlikely to attack a hobbyist working within the aquarium, the same cannot be said for their fish tank mates. With the exception of the most heavily armored catfish or extremely large and hardy fish species, it is simply a matter of time before tank mates will be attacked and eaten. Many hobbyists have successfully kept Piranha with tank mates for long periods of time, but the time inevitably comes when they turn on their hapless tank mates. In regards to their tank mates, it is recommended that hobbyists err on the side of caution and keep either a single Piranha, a group of Piranha (3 or more) or mixed with other larger fish species in a very large aquarium. The Red Belly Piranha is capable of attacking any size fish and will most often attack tank mates at some point unless well fed and kept in large aquariums with other large aggressive fish species. Most hobbyists keep Red Belly Piranha in groups of 3 to 10 individuals in species only aquariums as this is by far the most successful way to keep Piranha long term. Red Belly Piranha will consume a wide variety of meaty food items; however, not all meaty foods will provide them all the vitamins and minerals they require for a balanced diet and healthy immune system. Piranha will certainly consume live feeder fish just as they do in the wild. However, captive bred feeder fish bring some inherent issues that wild bait fish do not suffer from. Captive bred feeder fish are often kept in very poor water conditions and in severely overcrowded aquariums. This leads to widespread disease which can be transmitted to the Piranha who consume these feeder fish. For this reason it is generally recommended not to feed live feeder fish or to quarantine live feeder fish in good water conditions for 2 weeks in order to verify that they are disease free prior to feeding to predatory fish like Piranha. A good staple diet will consist of a variety of frozen, freeze-dried and live foods ranging from quality meaty frozen preparations, frozen silver sides, prawns, chopped fish, mussels, krill, insects, crustaceans, worms and other similar meaty items. While the stomachs of wild caught specimens have been shown to contain some plant material, captive Piranha rarely eat anything other than meaty foods. Hobbyists should vary the items they feed their Piranha and monitor the overall girth of the fish to determine proper feeding frequency. Begin by feeding them small amounts of food daily or every other day and adjust quantity and frequency according to the fishes growth rate and overall girth. Juvenile specimens should be fed twice per day, with feedings becoming less frequent as they mature into adult fish.
Florida Gar
4 likes Gar
(Lepisosteus platyrhincus) Moderate Semi-aggressive 34" 180 gallons 68-84° F, KH 8-20, pH 6.5-7.8 Carnivore USA, Florida, Georgia Lepisosteidae Gar Ancient-Fish Florida Gar (Lepisosteus platyrhincus) are found in both Georgia and Florida in the southeastern United States. Their natural habitat consists of streams, river drainage ditches, lowland streams, canals and lakes. They prefer calmer waters with plenty of vegetation and floating sticks and other debris. Florida Gar are typically found in areas with shallow calm water, dense vegetation and sandy or muddy substrates, as this environment is ideal for ambushing prey. Florida Gar are often confused with Spotted Gars, but are distinguishable from each other primarily by their snout length. The distance from the front of the eye to the back of the gill cover is less than 2/3 the length of the snout in the Florida Gar, while it is more than 2/3 of the length in the Spotted Gar. Also the Florida gar lacks bony scales on the throat area. The elongated snout with the nostrils located at the tip is an ideal adaption for the Florida Gar as it allows them to float motionless at the waters surface to mimic a stick floating in the water. Since they can breath with either their gills or a special lung like air bladder the gar can survive in hot, stagnant waters that might not have sufficient oxygen for most other species of fish. Florida Gar will appreciate an aquarium with a habitat similar to their native habitat. Ideally the aquarium should have low to medium water currents, plenty of vegetation and a sand or mixed sand and gravel substrate. Lighting is not critical, but they will appreciate areas of the aquarium with filtered lighting either by floating plants or tree root. Young Florida Gar can be raised up in smaller tanks like a 55 or 75 gallon and then transferred to a larger aquarium as they grow. Adult specimens living in an aquarium will reach somewhere between 24 to 36 inches in length, which means that a 180 gallon aquarium should be considered an absolute minimum tank size for this species. Ideally they should be kept in an aquarium somewhere between 300 to 450 gallons with a wide long foot print and shallow depth. The Florida Gar is not aggressive towards other large fish that it does not see as food, thus their tank mates should consist of other large fish species with a peaceful to semi-aggressive temperament. Florida Gar will most often not fair well in aquariums with very large aggressive Cichlid species like Peacock Bass, Flowerhorns or Managuense as they cannot compete with these ultra aggressive fast swimming species. In the wild young Florida Gar feed mostly on insect larvae and small fish, while adults prey on fish, crustaceans and larger insects. Florida Gar are ambush predators that will float silently near the water surface disguised as a stick or log waiting for unsuspecting prey to get too close and then they snap their head sideways and grab the prey with their sharp teeth. They will need to be fed a variety of meaty foods like fish, prawn, shrimp or crickets in the home aquarium. Hobbyists may find that it takes some time before this ambush predator will adjust to aquarium feedings, but they have strong appetites and with a little persistence should be able to adjust to aquarium life. Florida Gar have strong appetites and grow quickly; therefore, their growth rate and food intake should be monitored closely at first in order to determine the ideal amount of food and feeding frequency to keep them healthy and control their growth. A good starting point would be to feed them 2 to 3 small meals 6 days a week, while monitoring their overall girth until a feeding regime can be established. Florida gar spawn mostly during the months of April and May, but spawning occasionally lasts into the late summer months. The female spawns by distributing her adhesive eggs in shallow pools, weedy backwaters, or shallow areas near the bank river bank. The eggs are greenish-colored and are fertilized by two or more attending males. The newly hatched larva has an adhesive disc on the front of the blunt snout, which it uses to attach itself to gravel or vegetation. The larva remains attached until reaching an approximate length of about 1 inch. As a juvenile, the gar has a fragile fin that extends along the upper edge of the tail and vibrates constantly. The fin is lost during the first year of life. The young grow rapidly feeding on zooplankton and tiny crustaceans that they find in the substrate near the waters edge.
Ornate Bichir
2 likes Bichirs
(Polypterus ornatipinnis) Moderate Semi-aggressive 24" 90 gallons 75-84° F, KH 1-12, pH 6.5-7.5 Carnivore Central Africa Polypteridae Bichirs Large-Bottom-Dweller Ornate Bichirs are arguable one of the most attractive species of Bichir available within the aquarium hobby. An adult specimen with its unique color pattern and large size can become the center piece of the aquarium. In the wild the Ornate Bichir can be found living in the rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes of Central Africa, where they forage amongst the substrate for small fish, worms, crustaceans and similar meaty foods. They can grow upwards of 2 feet in length in the wild, but generally only grow to about 18 inches in the home aquarium. They are considered a semi-aggressive species since they will eat fish small enough to fit in their mouths, but will not bother larger fish species. The majority of Ornate Bichirs available within the aquarium hobby are wild caught specimens; however, they do very well in the aquarium environment when provided proper water conditions and aquarium size. An ideal aquarium setup for an adult Ornate Bichir will have a foot print of 6 x 2 feet or larger, a soft sandy substrate and a mixture of smooth rocks, plants and driftwood. Due to the shape of the Ornate Bichir and its swimming habits it is important to provide an aquarium with plenty of depth and length; however, the height of the aquarium can vary quite a bit as it is less important. Being a nocturnal species, the Ornate Bichir will appreciate areas of the aquarium that are either not brightly lit or are shaded by vegetation or driftwood. Proper tank mates for the Ornate Bichir should be large enough to not be considered food (anything small enough to fit in their mouth), but not so aggressive that they will harass the Bichir. Most larger semi-aggressive African Cichlids and New World Cichlids to quite well with Bichir, along with large Knife fish, other Bichir species, Synodontis and Datnoides species. Moderate to advanced hobbyists should have no trouble keeping Bichir in their home aquarium, as they are a very hardy species that has been successful in nature for millions of years. The Ornate Bichir is a carnivorous species that will consume a variety of meaty foods both in the wild and the aquarium environment. Essentially the Ornate Bichir will see any other fish or invertebrate species in the aquarium that are small enough to fit in its mouth as food. However, in order to provide them the vitamins and minerals that they need to support a healthy immune system they should not be fed a diet solely of feeder fish. A good diet for the Ornate Bichir will have a variety of meaty foods including: earthworms, prawns, mussels, raw shrimp and various types of feeder fish like silver sides and lance fish. Some Bichir have been known to accept commercial meaty pellets and wafers, but generally they do best with live or frozen foods. They should generally be fed one or two times per day an amount of food that they will consume within 5 minutes. When first added to the aquarium, Bichir are more likely to feed with the aquarium lights off or dimmed as they are a nocturnal species. Being a nocturnal species with poor vision, the Ornate Bichir has developed an excellent sense of smell which they use to locate food in low lighting conditions. Feeding them with the aquarium lights off gives them an advantage over tank mates who use eyesight as a primary method of detecting food.
Blue Tiger Shrimp
2 likes Shrimp
(Caridina cf. cantonensis) Easy 2" 10 Peaceful Omnivore 68-78° F, KH 2-10, pH 6.0-7.3 Blue, White, Transparent Southeast Asia Shrimp Atyidae Shrimp Blue Tiger Shrimp are a color variant of the Southeast Asian Tiger Shrimp, where they have been selectively bred over the years to accentuate the blue color morph found in some naturally occurring Tiger Shrimp. Blue Tiger Shrimp are a tropical shrimp species found commonly within lakes and slow moving rivers and streams. They have become very popular within the aquarium hobby over the years due to their relative ease of care and beautiful coloration and behaviors. Blue Tiger Shrimp can successfully be kept with other dwarf shrimp or in peaceful community aquariums that have a mature filtration system and stable water parameters. Blue Tiger Shrimp are considered a very hardy species of tropical dwarf shrimp that can be at home in a dwarf shrimp species only aquarium or a peaceful community aquarium. They do best in aquariums that have a mature biological filtration system, stable water parameters and water that is slightly acidic. When kept in water that is alkaline, the Blue Tiger Shrimp is more prone to have a shorter life span and is unlikely to breed. When kept within an aquarium with softer and slightly acidic water, the Blue Tiger Shrimp has been known to be a prolific breeder with a lifespan of close to 2 years. They do best in aquariums with plants, rocks and driftwood on which they can graze for naturally growing algae and to seek shelter when they feel threatened. As with most all invertebrates, Blue Tiger Shrimp are very sensitive to copper, thus copper based medicines should not be used in aquariums housing Blue Tiger Shrimp. Blue Tiger Shrimp spend much of their time in the wild grazing on algae and decaying vegetation that settles on the lake bottom. Their diet when housed in an aquarium environment should also contain a large amount of algae and vegetable matter in it with a smaller portion of their diet coming from meaty foods. If there isn't enough algae present within the aquarium to sustain the shrimp colony, they can be fed blanched vegetables, sinking algae wafers or pellets and other sinking commercial foods intended for bottom dwelling fish and invertebrates. The Blue Tiger Shrimp is considered easy to breed as they do not have any special breeding requirements and have a long history of successful breeding within the aquarium environment. The main requirement to breed Blue Tiger Shrimp is to provide them an aquarium with stable water parameters that are very close to the following: Ph 6 - 7.25, Temperature 68 - 75 and Hardness 2 - 10 dkh. Lastly, the breeding aquarium must have a least one male and one female and given the correct water parameters they should have no trouble breeding. Females can be differentiated from male Blue Tiger Shrimps as they will have a longer and wider tail section and be slightly larger overall.
Alluaud's Haplo
(Astatoreochromis alluaudi) Easy Semi-aggressive 7" 55 gallons 74-82° F, KH 12-30, pH 7.2-8.6 Omnivore Lake Victoria Cichlidae African Cichlid Cichlid-African Alluaud's Haplo (Astatoreochromis alluaudi) is a widely distributed throughout the Lake Victoria basin, where it can be found inhabiting coastal areas of the lake and nearby rivers. Alluaud's Haplo is most commonly found in more shallow waters near the lake or river banks where it lives in and amongst reeds, vegetation and rocky formations. They spend a good portion of their time looking for small mollusks and crustaceans to prey upon. Alluaud's Haplo is most often found in small groups with a single dominant male and multiple females and sub-adult or submissive males. In the aquarium environment, Alluaud's Haplo can co-exist with other Lake Victorian fish and can also be mixed with African Cichlids from other lakes. Their temperament is best described as semi-aggressive, which for an African Cichlid makes them quite sociable. They can even be considered shy when not housed in groups or with too little vegetation or aqua-scaping to provide them with a solid sense of security. The Alluaud's Haplo will act aggressively towards fish of similar body shape and color perceived to be a threat to their territory, their food supply or attention for their mate. As with other African Cichlids, Alluaud's Haplo prefer an aquarium that has a sandy substrate, some vegetation and plenty of rock formations that provide caves and crevices. Alluaud's Haplo is a shoreline dwelling species and will appreciate the addition of some grass like plants or similar vegetation in which to inhabit and explore. It is important that hardy robust live plants or similarly shaped fake plants are used so that the fish do not damage them. As this is a very active species, it is best to provide them with an abundance of caves throughout the aquarium. Alluaud's Haplo do best in groups and should be housed with other species of similar size and temperament in aquariums that are able to provide them with plenty of space to establish territory for themselves. Alluaud's Haplo is an omnivore that feeds primarily upon insects, snails, and mollusks in the wild; however, in the aquarium, this fish can be fed a wide assortment of foods ranging from flake and pellet foods to frozen foods. Ideally they should be fed a varied diet that consists of both meaty and vegetable matter in flake or pellet foods that they can take from the surface or water column. It is best to feed them as much as they will consume within a few minutes a couple times a day.
Spotted Severum
2 likes Severum
(Heros notatus) Easy Semi-aggressive 12" 50 gallons 72-84° F, KH 4-10, pH 5.5-7.0 Omnivore Amazon Basin, Rio Negro, Brazil Cichlidae Severum Cichlid-New-World Spotted Severum (Heros notatus) are native to the blackwater streams and tributaries of Rio Negro basin and surrounding areas of northern Brazil. Their native river habitat is considered a blackwater biotope, as the aquatic environment in these areas has water that is stained brown from tree root and decaying leaf matter, along with filtered lighting due to the sun being heavily blocked by the thick jungle canopy. While the rivers and larger tributaries often have fast flowing waters, Spotted Severum are usually found living on marginal areas of the water ways in and amongst submerged tree root and dense aquatic vegetation. The Spotted Severum can be considered a community Cichlid species, as the combination of their mild temperament and larger size allows them to be kept with a wide variety of Cichlid species and even larger community fish species such as barbs, larger characins and larger sharks and loaches. They can also hold their own with semi-aggressive to aggressive Cichlid species like Oscars, Jack Dempsey, Pike Cichlids and other similar larger predators. Keep in mind that the Spotted Severum despite having a good temperament, will eat smaller fish that they can fit in their mouth and will be seen as food themselves by very large predators like large Snakehead, Arapaima or even very large Peacock Bass. An aquarium of around 50 gallons should be considered a minimum size aquarium for Spotted Severum, with a pair of Severum needing an aquarium closer to 75 gallons, or if multiple tank mates are added. They ideally prefer a fine sand or small smooth gravel substrate as they will scoop sand with their mouths looking for food items. They will also greatly prefer a tank with plenty of structures for shelter, like driftwood, rocky piles, rock formations, cave-like structures and either live or fake plants. Live plants are greatly appreciated, but do not always last long unless a prolific species is used (Anacharis, Cabomba, Hornwort); although omnivorous they have a sweet tooth for live plants and vegetables. High quality biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration is recommended, as they are Cichlids who with thick bodies and larger food consumption, will put out a fair amount of waste products into the water. They prefer water that is slightly acidic and soft, with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 and a hardness of up to 10°H. Lighting intensity is not an issue; however, to best replicate their native environment some areas of shade or diffused lighting will be appreciated. This can be achieved through floating plants, thick vegetation or larger rocky cave structures. Spotted Severum are omnivorous, who eat a variety of foods including: insects, small crustaceans and vegetable matter present in their natural habitat. They have a tendency to prefer a lot of vegetable matter and will accept peas, lettuce, chopped zucchini, and chopped cucumber; they should also be supplemented with a variety of meaty and vitamin enriched foods such as live, frozen or freeze-dried ghost shrimp, bloodworms, mealworms, earthworms, crickets, and nutritional cichlid and algae (Spirulina) based pellets. They will also do very well with quality stable pellet or stick foods designed for Cichlids and omnivores. It is best to feed between one to three times daily an amount of food they will consume within a few minutes. As the Spotted Severum is not seen for sale nearly as much other Severum species, it is believed that they are not being successfully bred in large numbers with commercial fish breeders. Most specimens commonly found within the trade are imported wild caught specimens or juvenile specimens from boutique or hobbyist breeders. Hobbyists looking to breed Spotted Severum (Heros notatus) will most likely find the most difficult aspect being the acquisition of a group of individuals, from which over time a mating pair can emerge. Beyond establishing a mating pair, providing a proper habitat and maintaining water conditions conducive to stimulating breeding, other aspects of breeding should be fairly common to other Severum species. In general breeding Severum is not overly difficult, but they can often take quite a while to pair up. The parents will look for a cave or a flat rock surface or section of driftwood and the female will lay between 200-800 eggs; the male will fertilize them and then the female will tend to the eggs while the male patrols the perimeter. The eggs will hatch in 3-5 days and the fry will be relocated to a pre-dugout pit area in the substrate. The fry will be free-swimming within a week and then able to accept finely crushed flake food and baby brine shrimp. As with other Severum species, it may take a while for the breeding pair to get it right and it is common for the parents to eat the fry at various stages for the first dozen or so attempts. They will eventually sort things out and get it right, but the fry could also be removed and raised if continuous failed attempts are excessive.
Silver Dollar
3 likes Tetras
(Metynnis sp.) Easy Peaceful 6" 30 gallons 75-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.0-7.0 Herbivore South America, Amazon, Captive bred Characidae Tetras Community The Silver Dollar (Metynnis sp.) fish is a South American species closely related to both Piranha and Pacu, and are native to same South American rivers, streams and tributaries. There a number of subspecies of Metynnis who vary in coloration and pattern based on their origins, some common species of Silver Dollar include: Silver dollar (Metynnis argenteus), Striped silver dollar (Metynnis fasciatus), Spotted silver dollar (Metynnis lippincottianus), Red-spot silver dollar (Metynnis luna), Speckled silver dollar (Metynnis maculatus), Black-barred silver dollar (Myleus schomburgkii) and Red hook silver dollar (Myloplus rubripinnis). They have been available within the aquarium hobby since the origins of the hobby, but have remained very popular due to their bright silver coloration, unique rounded body shape and their active schooling swim style. Silver Dollars prefer to swim in medium to large schools and are generally found in the middle to upper regions of the water column within the aquarium. Ideally they should be kept with a minimum of six individuals, which will allow them to school and provide them a sense of security. In their native habitat Silver Dollars congregate in large schools of fish, where they swim throughout the heavily vegetated shorelines of the numerous streams and river tributaries of the Amazon basin and northern portions of South America in search of aquatic plant life and algae on which to feed. The slender disc like body of the Silver Dollar allows them to move easily throughout both the dense vegetation of the river shoreline and the stronger water currents found in deeper rivers and tributaries. While in nature their brilliant silver coloration and schooling are used as defense mechanism that helps them to avoid being eaten by predators, hobbyists covet Silver Dollars for the brilliant coloration and active swimming style, which looks amazing in aquarium environments ranging from Amazon biotope aquariums to tropical community aquariums. Like other South American fish species whom originate from river habitats, the Silver Dollar prefers warm, soft acidic to neutral water conditions, plenty of moderate or laminar water flow and low to moderate levels of nitrate. As an active swimming and schooling species, Silver Dollars will do best in aquariums that provide plenty of horizontal swimming space. They will also greatly appreciate aquarium decor that mimics their native environment, thus a tank with plenty of plants, either live or fake, combined with driftwood or wood root and open swimming areas will go a long way toward giving the Silver Dollar a comfortable and secure feeling aquarium environment. Additionally, hobbyists should really keep this species in groups of at least 5 individuals, as schooling species like the Silver Dollar do much better in groups as opposed to single individuals or pairs. Hobbyists looking to keep live plants with Silver Dollar fish will need to do some research on which plant species can be kept safely with this species without being consumed. Silver Dollars are known to readily consume many varieties of aquatic plant life and make short work of plants that they find appetizing. Their larger size allows them to be housed with a wide variety of tank mates including other peaceful community species, semi-aggressive community species and even many species of Cichlids as well. At an adult size of around six inches, the Silver Dollar will consume very small fish species like Ember Tetra or smaller Neon Tetra; however, they are not aggressive towards tank mates larger than these very small Tetra species. They can also be kept as dither fish in community Cichlid aquariums containing peaceful to semi-aggressive Cichlid species. The Silver Dollar is a herbivore as the majority of its diet in nature consists of plant material and algae. However, they will consume a variety of meaty items, insects and small crustaceans should the opportunity arise. Hobbyists should make sure that the majority of their diet is plant based in order to provide them with correct vitamins and minerals that they require for good health. It is best to feed a variety of flake, small pellet, freeze-dried or frozen food designed for freshwater herbivores, a couple times a day. Be careful when keeping Silver Dollars with live plants or very small fish like young Neon Tetra, as they will consume certain plants and fish small enough to fit in their mouths. Hobbyists interested in breeding Silver Dollars generally begin with a small group of juvenile fish, roughly 6 to 8 individuals. As the fish mature a male will generally establish himself as the dominant fish within the group and exhibit mating behavior towards a chosen female. This established pair can then be separated from the group and kept in a separate aquarium that is maintained with ideal breeding conditions, which include: warm 80 to 82° temperature, soft slightly acidic water (KH 4-8), dim or diffused lighting, vegetation (real or fake) and lastly a smooth rock, slate or submerged wood on which to lay eggs. Females will lay upwards of 1500 to 2000 eggs somewhere on the bottom of the tank or on piece of hard scape. They fry will hatch within three days and after approximately a week they will be free swimming and able to eat fine foods such as commercially prepared fry food, finely-crushed flake food or freshly-hatched brine shrimp. Silver Dollars are good about not eating their own eggs or fry, but can be removed once the eggs hatch as well, which should generally make it easier to raise the fry without having to also contend with larger adult fish.
Denison Barb
2 likes Barbs
(Barbus denisonii) Easy Peaceful 5" 55 gallons 62-78° F, KH 4-10, pH 6.8-7.8 Omnivore India Cyprinidae Barbs Community Denison Barb's originate from India where they can be found living in fast flowing streams, rivers and tributaries of the southern part of the country. They are a shoaling species that groups in large numbers for protection from larger predatory species. They are also fast swimmers that use rapid acceleration and jumping from the water to avoid attacks from larger predatory fish species. Denison Barb's are commonly sold within the aquarium hobby by a variety of common names including: Denison Barb, Rose Line Shark and the Red Lined Torpedo Barb. As with most fish species that originate from fast flowing rivers and streams the Denison Barb is designed to swim very rapidly, thus they need larger (longer) aquariums than other fish species their size. They also require the aquarium to be fully covered as they have a natural instinct to jump from the water as an escape mechanism when they feel threatened. Denison Barb's require larger aquariums than most tropical community species their size, as they are very active swimmers and need plenty of room to dart about the aquarium. As they originate from fast flowing streams and rivers, they are used to high levels of dissolved oxygen in the water and very high quality water conditions. It is important to provide them with plenty of water flow and oxygen through the use of additional power heads or pumps that agitate the water's surface, which will increase the levels of oxygen in the water. While it is possible to keep a single specimen or a pair of Denison Barb's, it is better to keep a group ( 4 or more) as this will help replicate how they live in the wild. They do very well with other similar sized tropical community species and can be kept with a wide variety of peaceful and semi-aggressive tropical community fish species. In addition to sufficient water flow, the Denison Barb will also appreciate an aquarium with plenty of plants that it can swim among and retreat to when threatened. Lastly, aquariums housing Denison Barb's should be fully covered as they are well known for jumping out of un-covered aquariums. In the wild the Denison Barb will consume a mix of plant and animal based foods. In order to provide them with a balanced nutritional diet, the aquarium hobbyist should make sure that they have a mixture of plant, algae and meaty foods in their diet. They are not picky eaters and will readily consume a large variety of commercially available foods including: high quality flake and pellet foods, frozen foods, freeze-dried worms, bloodworms, tubifex worms, brine shrimp and other similar foodstuffs.