The group of cyprinids currently has about 2,000 species of freshwater fish, spread throughout the world , except for South America, northern Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar and Iceland.
This great geographic extension provides a good amount of habitats and different natural environments.
Among aquarists are especially appreciated the barbel, the danios and rasboras. Small fish, which are easily acclimatized and can be reproduced without too many complications.
A differential morphological fact of cyprinids is the absence of buccal teeth, which are replaced by pharyngeal laminae.
Within the cyprinids, we could or should distinguish two especially important groups, the Barbels and the Carps.
All carp are considered cold water fish , the Red Fish (Goldfish), the Koi Carp … are some of the typical specimens.
The Barbos or better said «Barbus», are a fairly large genus of species , which tends to cause some controversy, since some call the Barbus as Puntius or Capoeta, although the most widespread and accepted version is Barbus.
Within the cyprinids we have varieties of hot water fish and cold water varieties. Some of the best known hot-water cyprinids are:
It is a calm fish, suitable for an aquarium of about 80 liters in size, in which it can share space with other fish of the same gender.
Although the colors of the long-finned barbel are attractive, they are muted, which detracts from some interest, which however makes up for the fact that it is very active and can be seen swimming frequently.
The water should be slightly acidic, soft and with a pH around 6 to 6.5.
It is a difficult barbel to reproduce in captivity.
The striped barbel is somewhat reminiscent of the Clownfish for its stripes, although they really have nothing to do with color, or logically «habitat».
They are gregarious, very active and need a large aquarium, at least about 200 liters, where there is room to swim.
The water must be kept at a temperature between 24º to 28ºC, it must also be soft and slightly acidic.
They measure about 15 centimeters when they reach their adult stage, and a difference in size can be observed between the largest female, and the smaller and slender male.
The most surprising thing about this variety of barbus is that at the time of spawning (mating) the male completely changes color.
It is usually silver in color, but it turns purple-red in color.
It is a gregarious fish, which needs to live in a group of fish, where it will be very active.
As for the aquarium, it needs to have at least 80 liters, with a temperature between 22º and 26º, with soft water.
They are big fish. In aquarium they can measure about 15 centimeters, but in nature they reach 18 centimeters.
It is one of the most original barbels. It is small, measuring about 5 centimeters, its color is reddish and its fins are markedly red, when conditions are optimal. It is furrowed by vertical blue-black bands.
It is a very active fish, like most barbels and although it is usually peaceful, it can sometimes be a bit aggressive.
It is easy to reproduce, however it is not easy to bring the fry to fruition.
It is a fish native to Sumatra, where it can be found in the stagnant waters of rice paddies and in areas where river waters are calmer.
To have danios in the aquarium, it is convenient to have a good group, since they are gregarious. Tireless and dynamic swimmers, we will never get bored of watching them swim.
They are not demanding with water, which can be from the tap, as long as we use good filtration and aeration systems.
The water temperature must be around 23ºC, although it can be up to 30ºC.
It is called a zebra, because it is crossed by very striking horizontal bands.
It is a very easy to care aquarium fish, suitable for the most beginners in the aquarium world.
They are very active fish, they need to live in a community, at least a group of 10 , which does not have to be a big problem, since they are small. In adult stage, they measure about 5 centimeters.
See: Danio zebra
Red-tailed black shark
It is a fish native to Southeast Asia. If the conditions of the aquarium allow it, it grows a lot, reaching 20 centimeters long. It is quite social.
We need a large aquarium, about 200 liters, with a lot of decoration in which to hide.
The water temperature should be between 24º and 26ºC and slightly alkaline. It needs partial renovations of the water.
See: Bi-color labeo
Harlequin fish, red rasbora
The harlequin fish is native to Thailand and Sumatra, where we will find it in rivers and streams.
It is a very vital fish, which needs an aquarium of at least 100 liters and to be in the company of more fish of its species, between 8 and 10 specimens are ideal.
In the aquarium we must add plants, so that they swim and facilitate their reproduction. The female lays the eggs on the underside of the leaves, and then the male fertilizes them.
The water temperature must be kept between 24º and 27ºC, with a slightly acidic pH, lower than 6.5.
See: Harlequin Fish
Red line rasbora
This fish is endemic to Sumatra, where we can find it in the river courses where there is a lot of vegetation and organic remains.
It is of a bright color, which is accentuated if the bottom of the aquarium is upholstered with a dark substrate based on peat or black sand.
It grows to a size of 7 centimeters, in a 70 liter aquarium.
Flying Fox Fish
The flying foxfish is a territorial species , becoming very aggressive as it ages. It is omnivorous, although it usually feeds on algae and is known for this particularity.
Despite its aggressiveness, it is a very common fish in aquariums , perhaps due to the fact that it keeps the aquarium clean of algae.
It is a fish native to Thailand and Malaysia, where it is found in rivers with a certain flow of water, so it likes aquariums with sandy bottoms or covered with small pebbles.
See: Flying foxfish
The Boraras Brigittae fish, also known as Mosquito or Boraras Mosquito , is a fish native to southwest Borneo. It is a very small fish, only about three centimeters long.
It is a very calm fish, excessively shy , so it is better to have only specimens of this fish in an aquarium.
But … if we want to have it in a community aquarium, we must put it with very small fish, similar to yours.
In the aquarium we must reproduce their natural habitat, with a good number of plants, and a dim light.
See: Boraras Brigittae
The cherry barbel is very common among aquarium enthusiasts , it is one of the most common barbs and also very easy to care for in the aquarium.
Its name, Barbel cherry, is due to its spectacular «cherry red» color, which it adopts during the mating period.
They are very calm fish, which can be perfectly in a community aquarium, as long as we are careful to introduce several specimens … they cannot stand being alone (as a species).
They feed without any problem, they are omnivores.
See more: Cherry barbel
The Barbo Tigre, is one of the fish of the genus Barbus from Sumatra and Borneo, most requested by lovers of acuriaries.
They are very active and fast swimming fish, which are somewhat aggressive with other slower and more calm specimens. The trick so that they are not so aggressive is to keep a small school of between 6 and 10 specimens.
In return, we have a very resistant variety of fish, with very attractive colors, which add showiness to a community aquarium.
They are omnivores, they eat almost everything, they have a voracious appetite. Their preferred diet is small live prey, such as brine shrimp.
Read more: Barbo Tigre
The Rasbora Galaxy fish is one of the smallest cyprinids that you can put in your aquarium , even so, they are fish with a really attractive coloration, which depending on their mood can vary in color and intensity.
It is advisable to introduce a small shoal , so that the fish does not suffer from stress and to be able to appreciate this beautiful aquarium fish in all its beauty.
Regarding the necessary care, it is a relatively simple fish to care for, suitable for any hobbyist who is starting in aquariums.
Learn more: Rasbora Galaxy