Barilius sp. '2'

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Heiko Bleher shows off a colorful new Barilius, or hillstream trout, that he discovered on a recent expedition to India.

Origin: These very colourful Barilius were caught in a tiny mountain creek in the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka.

Water: pH 6.87, GH 5, water 19.8°C/67.6°F, air 30.2°C/86.4°F.

Habitat: I discovered this new species in a clear water creek that was drying up. The only water remaining was a 1.5m/ 5’ diameter pool about 30cm/12” deep teeming with fish — this Barilius and a single catfish from the clariidae family. There was no aquatic vegetation and the creek was surrounded by dense, high tropical forest.

Notes: Barilius are members of the cyprinid family (carps and minnows) and most of the 30 known species come from India. The northernmost species is B. mesopotamicus from the Tigris-Euphrates basin. The smallest is B. borneensis, from Borneo, which reaches just 3.8cm/1.5”.

Barilius are very active and swim constantly, so need a medium to large aquarium. They are continuous spawners, similar to rainbowfish. Several species are on sale in UK shops, but many are not correctly identified.

This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.