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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > Cyprinids > Arulius Barb
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This months profile was written by superpap56 an active contributor to the site.



Puntius arulius

Puntius arulius


    This barb is an extremely active schooler and does better in larger groups of at least 6 ,many claim that uneven numbers are best to avoid pairing off and aggression and to keep it's attention within it's own group.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: 4.7 inches ( 12cm )
    Tank: 40 gallon minimum (150 L minimum)Preferably a 55 gallon
    Strata: All, mostly middle.
    PH: 6 - 8, tolerates wide range
    Hardness: Not critical, tolerates wide range
    Temperature: 66°F to 77°F (19°-25° C)


    Order: Cypriniformes (carps)
    Family: Cyprinidae
    Genus: Puntius
    Species: arulius


Common name:

    Arulius Barb, Tamiraparani Barb, Silas Barb, Longfin Barb


    Badmans' Forum

Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs


    Asia: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Cauvery river system, and the Tambraparani river system in India

General Body Form:
    Slender and elongated shaped like tall, slightly laterally-compressed torpedoes.

Puntius arulius

    Adult fish are dark brownish olive on the back, becoming lighter on the sides to white on the ventral surface. Males have silvery bodies with green near their lateral line region and three large black spots (and some smaller less-clearly defined ones) which go from dorsal surface to lower edge of green stripe. The region above their green stripe is orange-red. Females are generally a rosy pink in color with some green to gold iridescence, but they maintain the same spot pattern. Both sexes have a bifurcated caudal fin, red edges to their caudal and anal fins and a dark dorsal which is almost violet in color on some individuals. The fins are thin and transparent or translucent. Adults possess more pronounced colors than the juvenile.

    It is compatible with other peaceful fish large enough and bold enough not to be food or intimidated. Good tankmates are other similarly-sized Puntius, larger rasboras and danios, botiine loaches and gouramis of the genus Trichogaster. Mine were fond of forming a train and using the whole tank to swim swiftly throughout. I found that having 2 males were not a good idea while waiting on the others to arrive as they fought constantly. They thrive in well oxygenated water and really do not do very well in temperatures much above the stated range.
    Diet: Omnivorous - High quality flake and floating pellets supplemented with live foods such as small worms and crustaceans (especially for conditioning for breeding) Pretty much eats what is offered.
    Temperament: Mostly peaceful but can be a fin nipper.

    Inhabits large streams, rivers, and lakes.


    Males dorsal fin has a thin long extension trailing from it's top edge. Females are plumper and males are more colorful . When breeding males develop white tubercules around the mouthparts.

    Quite easily bred, although you'll need to set up a separate tank in which to do so if you want to raise any numbers of fry. Something around 30" x 12" x 12" in size is usually recommended. This should be very dimly lit and contain clumps of fine-leaved plants such as Java moss or Myriophyllum (spawning mops could also be used) to give the fish somewhere to deposit their eggs. Alternatively, you could cover the base of the tank with some kind of mesh. This should be of a large enough grade so that the eggs can fall through it, but small enough so that the adults cannot reach them. The water should be of around neutral pH, gH < 8, with a temperature of around 75 - 80°F. A small air-powered sponge filter bubbling away very gently is all that is needed in terms of filtration. It can be spawned in a group, with half a dozen specimens of each sex being a good number. Condition these with plenty of small live foods and spawning should not present too many problems. Depending on your setup, simply check the spawning medium or tank base each morning for eggs. Alternatively it can be spawned in pairs. Under this technique, the fish are conditioned in male and female groups in separate tanks. When the females are noticeably full of eggs and the males are displaying their best colors, select the fattest-looking female and best colored male and transfer them to the spawning tank in the evening. They should spawn the following morning. In either situation, the adults will eat the eggs given the chance and should be removed as soon as eggs are noticed. These will hatch in 24-48 hours, with the fry becoming free swimming 24 hours later. They should be fed on an infusoria-type food for the first few days, until they are large enough to accept microworm or Artemia nauplii. The species is quite fecund, and up to 2000 eggs can be produced from a single spawning event.

    Fishbase , and , and my own experience having kept them.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Brian Beckett
About 14 years ago I got a pair that bred and had about 5 of the fry survive before I realized what was going on. Age has taken it's toll (I just lost one of the last 3 the other day) but you couldn't ask for a more hardy species IMHO.
From: Andrew Givens
Definitely keep in a shoal - behaviour as with many barbs is much more satisfactory this way! My 6 (2 male, 4 female) lived in a 180litre Fluval Duo120 with 6 Filament barbs, 3 Denison's barbs and a Synodontis ocellifer - pH7 (1 part tapwater, 2 parts rainwater) at 25c with heavy aeration and Fluval305 external filter. I find most Indian cyprinids all seem to love the high O2 level and strong current! Very active and peaceful, they never once nipped fins (not even the denison's tail-flashes), and ate whatever dried or frozen foods were offered (daphnia, tubifex, artemia, bloodworm, mysis) - as well as all the soft-leaved plants! I replanted every six weeks and planted heavily with Hygrophila species and Ludwigia to allow for this... Water changes would involve a slight temperature drop and 'freshening' effect which - as with Corydoras catfish - is the trigger for spawning behaviour; watching the males go head-to-head in their fast rotational 'combat dance' (like tiger barbs) in highly-coloured spawning dress made the entire experience worthwhile. They breathe VERY heavily in between bouts! I never did breed them though, due to lack of breeding tank. Wish I had.





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