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Arulius Barb Fact Sheet

The Arulius Barb, Puntius Arulius, is bigger than many Aquarium barbs, growing to 12 cm (5 inches.)  Other common names include Tamiraparani Barb, Silas Barb and Longfin Barb

 It comes from Asia as do many barb species.  This fish can live for ten years under good conditions.

Water Conditions

The Arulius Barb comes from slightly acidic water, and can tolerate a pH of between 6 and 7.5.  I keep mine at 7 (Neutral.)  Temperatures of from 19 – 28degrees C (66-82 degrees F) are suitable, but it will survive slightly higher temperatures.  It will tolerate a wide range of hardness.


The Arulius Barb is more peaceful than many barbs.  However, it is a schooling fish and I definitely recommend a minimum of 4 in an aquarium; more would be better.  This will reduce this barb’s slight tendency to nip fins.  Also remember that it grows a bit bigger than most of the small, peaceful community fish; you should not expect a four inch Arulius Barb to be an ideal companion for a one inch Neon Tetra.

I would definitely not suggest this as a good companion for Guppies, Siamese Fighting Fish, or other slow swimming fish with long fins.

I suggest that some of the larger Tetra species like Colombian Tetras as well as barbs and Corydoras Catfish are reasonable companions for this fish.  Choose fish that are of similar size and temperament.

Avoid putting them with really aggressive fish like Barcoo Grunters or the more aggressive Cichlids, but they are sometimes used as a companion for the less aggressive Cichlids.


Although one of the common names is Longfin Barb, this is mainly applicable to the male rather than the female because the male has along dorsal fin.  The Males also tend to be more colourful, and the females are plumper, especially when in breeding condition


The Arulius Barb is an easy fish to breed and is one of those fish that will tend to breed frequently in aquariums without its owner being aware of it.  Of course, in most cases all the eggs of very young babies will be eaten, either by their parents or by other fish in the aquarium.

If you want to raise some babies, you will usually need to set up a breeding tank.  The conditions appear to be much less critical than with most fish, and they will breed in most types of water.

This is a fairly big fish, so I suggest a minimum sized aquarium of about 75 litres or 20 US gallons.  The females lay their eggs on plants; fine leaved ones are better.  The parents will need to be removed after spawning or you will lose most of the babies.  Low light is suggested.


The eggs should hatch in about 24 hours.  The babies do best on infosoria at first although this can be supplemented with very fine commercial fry foods.  At all stages the babies will benefit from live food of a suitable size.

Pest Fish

This barb certainly has the potential to damage ecosystems it is not native to.  Although historically the most irresponsible introductions of foreign species have often been by governments, as aquarists we still need to be vigilant and prevent any possibility of introducing fish from other places into our native ecosystems.

Sources and Picture Credits
Aquafish and Aquaria Now Home.
First picture by Marcus Knight (email from author via Rohan Pethiyagoda) [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Second picture by Rupert A. Collins [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons