Wild Fact #705 – Freshwater Jaws! – Barb

Wild Fact #705 – Freshwater Jaws! – Barb

Photo by André Karwath (Wikicommons)

I just finished my amazing Thanksgiving dinner of Turkey, Rice, Broccoli, Cauliflower and a nice, refreshing glass of milk so I figured I better write up the newest Wild Fact before I take a nice, refreshing nap.  Today we are going to talk about Barb.  No, not my Aunt Barb but instead a small fish that can be found in the freshwater lakes and rivers of the southern hemisphere.  There are about 2000 species of Barb throughout Asia, Africa and South America so we shouldn’t have a tough time finding one.

The Barb only grows between 2.5 – 7 cm (1 – 3″) long yet are known as freshwater sharks.  I know what you are thinking, how can a tiny, little fish like that possibly be referred to as a shark.  It has to do with the fact that these little guys are one of the few freshwater fish that actually have rows of teeth, similar to a shark.  Despite their small stature these fish are very aggressive hunters and actually dominate in their small fish ecosystem.  Isn’t that cute, it is like a miniature freshwater shark with pretty colours.  Even though Barbs prefer small fish and insects they have also been known to indulge themselves with an aquatic plant salad from time to time.  I have said it before and I will say it again, it is all about balance.

Tiger Barb - Photo from Wikicommons

As you can imagine the Barbs small size and beautiful colours make them a target for becoming household pets. They are fairly hardy fish so they could make great pets.  Obviously they are not the type of pets you take for a walk and throw a ball to but they are pets nonetheless.  If you decide to get a Barb for your aquarium, please don’t put them in a tank with other small fish.  Remember, they are Jaws of the freshwater fish world so your pet guppy won’t stand a chance.

Barb Fast Fact – If you are looking to minimize the aggression from your pet Barb (honestly, every time I write this I think of my Aunt.  For the record she is not a pet) then you should be placing them in a tank with at least 6 other Barb’s and preferably more.  Since Barb’s are a schooling fish this helps calm their mean streak.

That does it for me on this Thanksgiving Day.  A Happy Thanksgiving to all that are celebrating.  Enjoy the rest of your day.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    nothingprofound October 12, 2010

    Interesting post, as always, Nathan! And a happy Thanksgiving.

    • Avatar
      Nathan October 12, 2010

      Thanks NP!

      I hope you enjoyed your weekend as well.

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