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Red line torpedo barbs
To add to what Madan has said, after seeing the photos of Madan's fish last
year, I was one of the people who was crazy enough to buy 3 at $40 each when
I was visiting in Seattle last year. (they actually came from a wholesaler
From what I've been told, one of the problems with them is that they don't
ship well. So besides the fact that it's hard to get a hold of them, the
importers have to deal with losses. No wonder they are expensive!
I think that it is possible that a large part of the shipping problem is
that the fish that are coming into this country are quite large, (mine were
4" at time of purchase) and probably need more O2 than is available during
shipping in quantity. I was hand carrying them, so they got better shipping
conditions than usual from Portland to my home on the east coast. Mine were
packed in large separate bags with O2 and black sleeves to keep them quiet
in the bags. (they really liked these... I had to coax them to swim out of
the "cave" at the bottom of the bag when I got them home!)
Once home, they settled in quickly, and ate voraciously withing a couple of
hours of arrival. I have them in a low-light, slow growth 75 gallon tank
that I maintain for ferns and mosses. This is largely because I don't want
to take a chance on a "CO2 incident" with these fish.<g> As Madan
mentioned, mine will eat anything remotely resembling fish food.
I can't say much about their algae eating propensities... mine have been
useless in that department, but so are most SAE's when they reach this size.
This tank is home to two pieces of driftwood that I purposely seeded with a
short cladophora sp. some time ago. The wood is now covered with a coat of
green velvet. They haven't touched this, not have they helped to control
another species of filamentious algae that I DON'T want in the tank.<g>
Younger ones might eat more algae, I don't know. Unlike Madan's experience,
however, mine have NOT bothered any higher plants either. While there are
no extremely delicate plants in this tank, there is Heteranthera
zosterifolia, thread-leaf water sprite and Christmas moss. In my experience
Heteranthera is a plant that most herbivores mow down immediately. If they
were eating the plants, I'd see the loss easily in this slow growth system.
Nor have they uprooted anything.
I agree with Madan that there are some distinct differences between these
fish and SAE's, besides the obvious one of color. They are deeper bodied
than SAE's. (even fat SAE's that I assume are females get round and sort of
sausage shaped rather than becoming deeper bodied) They are much more
active swimmers, constantly cruising the tank, unlike the typical nose-up
"hover" that SAE's do when they aren't activily foraging. Whether that
would exclude them from the genus Crossocheilus, I'm not sure. But then
Puntius seems to be a genus that they dump fish in if they don't know what
to do with them, so who knows?
Mine are also much scrappier among themselves than SAE's. Although I wonder
whether some this is because I only have 3. Based on body shape and color,
I'm guessing I have 1 female and 2 males. There aren't enough of them to
really school, so they do a LOT of chasing each other around, sort of like
too-few tiger barbs would. I now wish I had bought more, but at the time, I
was reluctant to spend even more than I did on fish that I didn't know well!
I hope to eventually pick up at least 3 more to see if this smooths out
their interactions. In the mean time, I added a group of Odessa barbs to
the tank, and while they don't interact a lot, I think the "busy-ness" of
the other barbs is distracting them some-what.
Now that they are settled in, they seem every bit as hardy as SAE's. I have
a feeling that, like the SAE's, the biggest mortality risk would be drying
up on the floor.<g> For this reason, the tank is VERY tightly covered.
I've never paid this much for fish before, but I'm looking at it like a Koi
purchase. They were expensive, but they are the most beautiful fish I've
ever seen. I'm hoping I'll have them 10 years from now. And if they are
anything like most of the larger aquarium cyprinids, I think that's pretty