Tinfoil Barb
(Barbonymus Schwanenfeldii)
Alternate Names:
Schwanenfeld's Barb

Tinfoil Barb

(Barbonymus Schwanenfeldii)

Size: Can grow to 14 Inches

Temp Range: 72°F to 77°F

pH Level: 6.5 to 7.0

Lifespan: 10 years

Tank Size: 85 gallons

Diet: Pellet, Flake, Frozen, Live

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard

Geographic History

This Barb originates from the Mekong and Chao Phraya River basins of Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, and Malayan Peninsula. They live in river channels and deep fast flowing streams.


Tinfoil Barbs require a very long tank with lots of open swimming area. You must keep a strong current and powerful filtration in order for this fish to be healthy. Any plants must be well anchored.


These guys are not well suited to a community tank that has small fish in it. You should keep them with large fish such as South American Cichlids, Loaches, and Giant Danios. They will eat smaller fish.


There are no external differences between male and female Tinfoil Barbs. Watching the fish to see which ones are chasing others and sparring with each other may give you an indication of the males.


This can be a peaceful fish when it is kept with four to six of its own kind. They will be aggressive to much smaller fish, most likely by eating them. Being a large fish when it is an adult, they are very strong. They like to forage the bottom for food and will uproot any plants that are not well anchored.


You will need a very large tank to breed this fish. They are not recommended for breeding in the home aquarium setting. Spawning females lay several thousand eggs and you could be overrun with hundreds of potentially large fish.

For more information, go to Wikipedia's Tinfoil Barb page.

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