Barbus denisoni

Puntius denisonii

Denisoni barbus first appeared in Europe only around 1997. Although the scientific description of the species is known for a long time. Its unusual coloration, peculiar behavior make it very attractive for keeping in decorative aquariums. Puntius denisonii is quite difficult to keep, and also restrains its spread by its still high price.

Not so long ago, the price of this fish ranged from 50 to 250 euros per piece, depending on its size. The price remains relatively high to this day. This is due to the difficulties of reproduction in captivity. A clear algorithm has not yet been developed. Although some fish breeders reported the beginning of industrial breeding of this ornamental fish. For industrial breeding is most likely used hormonal stimulation. But it is not known for sure, as it is a trade secret for today. Therefore, all representatives of this species in our pet stores – imported. Therefore, their prices are high.

Habitat.: It inhabits swift, turbulent oxygen-rich mountain streams and rivers of Asia, also found in water bodies of western India.

Barbus denisoni Description

The body has an oblong-lanceolate shape. It has a silvery-golden coloration. A black stripe runs along the midline. Above it from the nose to the level of the dorsal fin stretches a bright red band. The back is colored olive. The caudal fin is fork-shaped.

Puntius denisonii
чем то напоминает торпеду

Its blades have transverse stripes of yellow and black color. The first ray of the dorsal fin is colored red. The rest of the fins are transparent. In the wild reaches a length of up to 15 centimeters. Life expectancy up to 8 years. Prefers to stay in a flock.

Barbus denisoni Differences between the sexes

It is quite difficult to distinguish a female from a male. I can’t name any reliable signs peculiar only to the male or only to the female. However, like other puntiuses, the female has a fuller rounded abdomen filled with eggs.

Barbus denisoni content

Barbus denisoni fish is quite difficult to keep. It likes the society of its own kind. In solitude, this and without that fearful creature becomes paranoid capable of jumping out of the pond from any sudden movement near the sight glass. Therefore, it is better to keep them in a flock of 7 – 10 individuals.

Puntius denisonii
спокойнее чувствует себя в стайке

If the flock will be bigger, even better. But Puntius denisonii is still very rare in our country. If it appears in pet stores, it is most likely imported specimens, so prices for them remain high. The bigger the fish, the more expensive it is. It is better to take fry about 4 centimeters. They grow quickly and are cheaper than adult fish. In addition, it is usually easier for fry to adapt to new living conditions.

Barbus denisoni care and maintenance in the aquarium

Aquarium volume

The housing for Puntius denisonii should be large. Purchased fry can be temporarily planted in a fifty-liter aquarium. But at the first opportunity it is better to equip for them an aquarium with a minimum volume of 200 liters, and better liter 400. After all, the flock should have at least 7 members and each of them will quickly grow to the size of 12 – 15 centimeters. And it will not be a calm soni dozing at the bottom. Puntius denisonii will be carried around the aquarium as torpedoes. This is dictated by the large size of the room reservoir. It is also desirable that the aquarium had an oblong shape. It is also necessary to equip the jar with a lid. Representatives of this species are timid and impetuous. The lid will prevent them from jumping out of their native element, as well as save you from bitter disappointments.


The bottom can be covered with gray river sand or small pebbles. Granite chips or a mixture of several types of substrate can also be used. It is only necessary to take care that the material used as a substrate, was chemically inert. It should also be taken into account that the barbus denisoni looks much more spectacular on a dark background. At the bottom you can put a few not very large snags, and at the side windows to arrange small grottoes.

Recommended Plants

The flora can be very diverse. You can choose it according to your taste. Favor to date, the list of plants available to aquarists is quite wide and continues to expand. You can use for decoration vallisneria, pistole, elodea, cattail, cryptocoryne.


The fish itself does not have any requirements for illumination. Although if we are tied to its natural habitat, probably still desirable bright lighting. In the most general case, try to provide normal lighting vegetation, which you used to decorate the pond. At the same time, you can observe at what intensity of light fish will look the most spectacular.

Puntius denisonii
очень хорошо смотрится на темном фоне

Параметры воды

Optimal water temperature 22-24 degrees Celsius. Hardness 8-12°dH. Water reaction is desirable slightly acidic, but still closer to neutral (according to some reports, a decrease in pH can be a stimulus to spawning. Therefore, there should be a reserve where to reduce it).


Mountain streams tend to be oxygenated, so additional aeration is necessary, and if your aquarium is overpopulated, it becomes essential.


The same goes for water purification. It is necessary to maintain water purity at the level of a mountain stream. There should be no turbidity, no organic contaminants. A simple internal or external filter can cope with the screening of turbidity. With organic contaminants is somewhat more difficult. If there is a possibility, it is better to equip a biological filter. If not, this point can be bypassed by regular replacement of one third of the water every week. Water before refilling should be defended for two days and heated to a temperature equal to the temperature in the reservoir. Another feature of the equipment of housing for these fish associated with their natural habitats. They like to resist the rapid flow of water, so it is not superfluous will be the installation of a pump, which will create this flow. All these systems can be combined.

Barbus denisoni compatibility

Puntius denisoni creature is very peaceful and fearful. When selecting fish for cohabitation with them should be selected peace-loving species with similar conditions of content. Suitable for this purpose representatives of the genus danio, other puntius, neons. With the right selection of fish your underwater world will be very mobile and picturesque.

Puntius denisonii


Denisoni barbs are omnivorous. Will eat anything you offer him. Live moths, pipefish, daphnia. Dried daphnia, gamarus. He needs plant food. Shredded scalded boiled lettuce leaves, tied to a stone, and then lowered to the bottom, will be in the field of his attention all day.

Denison barbs breeding

This species has only recently become known to European hobbyists. For this reason, there are no precise recommendations for its breeding. Nevertheless, the following general recommendations can be offered:

  1. The spawning tank should be about 200 liters in volume.
  2. You have to put the whole flock of fish in for spawning.
  3. The bottom should be covered with javanese moss.
  4. After settling the producers, the water is gradually warmed up to a temperature of 26 -28 degrees Celsius.
  5. The reaction of the medium is gradually lowered to pH – 5.7. The pH should be lowered by adding peat to the spawning tank in small portions.
  6. If spawning occurs, the adult fish should be removed immediately after spawning.
  7. The starting food for fry – infusoria. Further transfer to larger feeds, sorting of young fish by size, gradual adjustment of pH and temperature to normal values for adult fish.

If any of our readers have invaluable experience breeding this very beautiful fish and would like to share it, we will gladly publish his information on our website.

Barbus denisoni, as it appears from the article species for us little studied. He keeps a lot of mysteries associated with both breeding and content. This fish is clearly not for beginners. Although, maybe it is a beginner is able to freshly notice the features of content and breeding of a new species, which escaped the washed-out look of the pros. But you should take into account the complexity of keeping fish, as well as its still high price. But barbus denisoni is worth it.

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