Red-Line Torpedo Barb aka Denison’s barb, Roseline Shark, or Miss Kerala (Sahyadria denisonii), named after the Governor of Madras India (1861-66), Sir William Denison. This fish is a relatively new addition to the fish keeping hobby. The Red-Line Torpedo is a schooling fish that is usually kept in groups. It tends to be peaceful but some have been known to be slightly aggressive around food, especially if kept in less space than they require.
These fish are naturally found in only a very small number of locations in the hill streams and rivers of the Western Ghats mountain range in India. They are supremely adapted to life in cooler, fast-flowing, oxygen-rich water. Their torpedo-shaped bodies produce little hydrodynamic resistance, allowing them to speed through the water or to fight against strong currents. Their colour palette is simple but striking, with a red flash on the front half of their mirror-like flanks, and yellow dashes on their tail.
Red-Line Torpedo barbs are usually a very peaceful fish if kept in groups. As with most social species, keeping just one or two should be avoided as not only will these individuals never thrive or colour up properly, they may well become aggressive and troublesome with their tank mates. Mature specimens will often develop a beautiful shade of emerald green on the head.
Although often seen as juveniles (around 3-4 cms) in shops, these fish can reach in excess of 15 cm and prefer to be kept in shoals. They require a large, strongly filtered aquarium to thrive, at least 250 litres for a shoal of 6. They are gregarious and in their natural environment they swim in shoals around rocky pools with thick vegetation along their banks. As a result the water is highly oxygenated and teeming with plant life. You should replicate this environment to help your fish reach their full potential.
For substrate, use a layer of sand or fine gravel. You can add some rocks and pebbles to the substrate for a more natural look. Then, add some plants such as Anubias, Java Fern, and anything else that adds some vegetation to the environment. Just make sure that everything is anchored in nicely and that there is plenty of free swimming space in the middle of the tank. The most important thing they need is open swimming space. Create some hiding spots with driftwood, rocks, and other natural decorative items.
Red-Line Torpedos need strong flow and good oxygen levels, too. Use a powerful filtration system with a robust outlet tube or use submersible jets to create a adequate flow in the tank. Position them so that they point down the length of the tank. This will keep the water oxygenated while providing adequate flow.
Fit your tank off with a secure lid. They are known to leap out the water from time to time.
Ideal tank mates would be any larger community fish that will also thrive in fast flowing conditions including some of the larger Danio species and members of the Devario & Barilius groups. Red-Line Torpedo barbs are usually a very peaceful fish if kept in groups. As with most social species, keeping just one or two should be avoided as not only will these individuals never thrive or colour up properly, they may well become aggressive and troublesome with their tank mates. It’s best to keep a small group of Denison Barbs together. These fish do not do well when they’re alone and rely on social interaction to stay healthy. At the very least, you should keep a group of half a dozen.
Here are some good tank mates:
- Larger Types Of Tetras
- Cherry Barb
- Celestial Pearl Danio
- Rosy Barb
- Rainbow Fish
- Tiger Barb
- Kribensis Cichlid
- Odessa Barb
Red-line Torpedo barbs are omnivores and will readily accept just about any food once they are settled in, although it is said that you can enhance the redness by feeding a diet rich in carotenoids such as astaxanthin. They eat bloodworms, shrimp, meat, fish flake and some vegetation.
Red-line Torpedo barb care isn’t a very difficult if you’re comfortable with the fundamentals. However, their active lifestyles and sensitivity to water changes will require a bit of attention and preparation.
Red-line Torpedo barbs don’t suffer from a species-specific disease. However, they can experience all of the common ailments that affect freshwater fish. They may be more sensitive to issues like Ich than many other species. Ich is a disease that covers the fish in tiny white spots. It’s typically a byproduct of stress, which is caused by poor living conditions. These fish are used to living in pristine conditions. Their natural habitats in the mountains of India are clean and clear. They will not tolerate waste buildup in the tank and if you let it accumulate, you will have to deal with stress-related diseases like Ich. Make sure that you’re using a powerful filtration system and performing regular water changes. Vacuum up waste and leftover food. You should also clean the gravel regularly.
Taking all of these steps will keep ammonia and nitrate levels undetectable, which will help your fish avoid disease.
See Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebel Pets for help with diagnosing and treating diseases.
|Adult Size:||15 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Intermediate (due to large size and fast swimming)|
|Minimum Tank Size:||120 litres, +20 litres/add. fish|
|Temperament:||Generally Peaceful in groups|
|Tank Level:||Mid dweller|
|Diet:||Omnivore, eats most foods|
|Temperature:||18 to 26 °C|
|pH:||6.8 – 7.8|
Image credit: Wikipedia