Dramatic, unique coloration, peaceful disposition, and small size makes this barb an ideal fish for the nano and planted community aquarium! This species of many names is also known as the Orange Buffalo Barb.
The Snakeskin Barb (Desmopuntius rhomboocellatus), also known as the Rhombo or Orange Buffalo Barb, is a very peaceful schooling species that is an excellent fish for the community nano or planted aquarium. It is known for its python-like markings and small size. It is rather exceptional in appearance, but not as often available as many more widespread barb species. It is native to Indonesian Borneo. When kept in larger groups, males will display their best coloration while competing to attract females.
The Snakeskin Barb typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish. It may prey on smaller dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can make good tankmates. The Snakeskin Barb must be kept in groups of 6 or more, although larger groups are more ideal so that subdominant specimens are not bullied by dominant individuals during breeding behavior. Its natural habitat is tropical rainforest areas that typically have clear water. It requires clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark substrate. This fish is native to somewhat dimly-lit streams, so low-light plants such as Java Fern, Anubias species, and Bucephalandra (Buce) species are excellent plants for its aquarium.
While not a picky eater, the Snakeskin Barb will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of omnivorous foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and live, frozen, or freeze-dried Artemia, microworms, Tubifex, and finely chopped bloodworms will all be readily accepted.