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Odessa Barb

Discussion in 'Cyprinids' started by Hardlife91, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Hardlife91

    Hardlife91 Member

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    Location:
    Nottingham UK
    Family
    Cyprinidae


    Distribution
    To date the species is known only from northern Myanmar (Burma). The type specimens were collected from a man-made pond fed by a small stream in a village called Toe Gyi which lies in the administrative division of Mandalay. It has also been recorded from lower stretches of the river Chindwin (a tributary of the Ayeyarwady) and a "small pond" 500m away from the river itself.


    Habitat
    Ralf Britz (one of the co-authors of the paper describing the species) told us that the type specimens were collected at an altitude of around 3000m above sea level. The waters were generally clear, lacking in aquatic plants and flowed over limestone resulting in a pH value of around 11.0! Substrates in the area were of gravel or mud.


    Maximum Standard Length
    Around 2.75"/7cm.


    Minimum Tank Size
    Very active and deserves a tank measuring at least 36" x 12" x 12"/90cm x 30cm x 30cm/85 litres.


    Tank Setup
    It is quite undemanding provided the tank is well-maintained although it can appear a little washed out in very sparsely decorated set-ups. A combination of fairly dim lighting and a dark substrate will encourage it to show its best colours. It can look quite superb in a heavily planted set-up decorated with pieces of bogwood, twisted roots and a layer of surface vegetation to dim the lighting. Some softer-leaved plants may be nibbled on though so try to select tougher varieties.


    Temperature
    68 - 78°F/20 - 26°C


    pH Range
    This species is quite adaptable and there is no need to attempt to reproduce the somewhat extreme conditions of its natural waters, not least because the majority of specimens encountered are likely to have been captive bred. A pH value within the range 6.0 - 8.0 should be fine.


    Hardness
    5 - 20°H


    Diet
    Like many barbs it's probably a generalised omnivore in nature feeding on diatoms, algae, small invertebrates, detritus and the like. It is certainly easily-fed in the aquarium and will greedily accept just about anything offered. For the best condition and colours offer regular meals of small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, Daphnia and Artemia along with good quality dried flakes and granules.


    Compatibility
    Puntius padamya generally lacks the nasty fin-nipping behaviour associated with some of its relatives and can be mixed with most peaceful fish too large to be considered food. It makes an ideal addition to a peaceful community of Southeast Asian/Indian species perhaps alongside other similarly-sized Puntius, rasboras, botiine loaches and gouramis of the genus Trichogaster. A community based around fish from Myanmar could also make for an interesting project.

    It's a schooling species by nature, and really should be kept in a group of at least 8-10 specimens. Maintaining it in decent numbers will not only make the fish less skittish, but will result in a more effective, natural looking display. Males will also develop better colours in the presence of conspecific rivals.


    Sexual Dimorphism
    The male is by far the more colourful fish, possessing a thick band of bright red/orange colouration on the flanks and exhibiting more well-defined markings in the fins. In sexually-mature specimens the female is usually the thicker-bodied and has some orange pigmentation in the ventral fins. Any red/orange colour no the body is restricted to the caudal peduncle area.


    Breeding
    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 18" x 12" x 12"/45cm x 30cm x30cm in size is usually recommended. This should be very dimly lit and contain clumps of fine-leaved plants such as Java moss or spawning mops 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 around neutral pH, gH <8, with a slightly raised temperature of 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 set-up, simply check the spawning medium or tank base each morning for eggs. Do be aware that the chances of getting a large batch of eggs is vastly reduced using this method as barbs are avid egg-eaters.

    Alternatively try spawning it 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 colours, select the fattest-looking female and best coloured male and transfer them to the spawning tank in the evening. They should spawn the following morning. Be sure to provide plenty of cover for the female as the male may be quite aggressive in his pursuit of her. In some cases she may even require a period of rehabilitation in a tank that does not contain any males.

    In either situation, the adults will eat the eggs given the chance and should be removed as soon as they are noticed. They will hatch in 24 - 48 hours, with the fry becoming free swimming 24 hours or so later. These should be fed on an infusoria-type food for the first few days, until they are large enough to accept microworm or Artemia nauplii.

     

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