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Tinfoil Barbs: Big, Shiny Beauties

A school of these fish can be a striking sight — but make sure your tank is big enough.

By Mike Hellweg |

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The big, beautiful, schooling tinfoil barb (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii) has been a mainstay in the hobby for generations. It has a bright metallic sheen over its entire body, looking as if it is covered in shiny foil. The fins are brilliant red. The dorsal fin has a black tip, and both lobes of the caudal fin are outlined in black, often with a brilliant white margin. The body is high-backed and diamond-shaped. It is a peaceful, stately and majestic schooling fish that actually stays together in  a school, swimming in the open water right in front, coming up to the surface to beg for a meal any time anyone comes near the tank. It should be no wonder that fishkeepers who see this fish just have to have them.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the October 2009 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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