The Filament Barb, Blackspot Barb, Mahecola Barb, Dawkinsia Filamentosa Care, Maintenance Breeding

barb fish care guide

The Filament Barb, also known as the Blackspot Barb or Mahecola Barb, is a species that often goes unnoticed in the aquarium hobby. However, despite its lack of popularity, this fish possesses captivating beauty and is a great addition to any aquarium.

Native to India, specifically the Southwest states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnatake, this species is found in both fresh and brackish waters of rivers, estuaries, coastal marshes, and reservoirs. Its vibrant colors and undemanding nature make it a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.

In this article, we will explore the care, maintenance, and breeding of the Dawkinsia Filamentosa, providing valuable insights for those looking to keep and breed this beautiful fish.

So, let's dive into the world of the Filament Barb and discover the secrets behind its care, maintenance, and successful breeding.

Key Takeaways

  • Dawkinsia filamentosa is an often overlooked and underappreciated barb species in the aquarium hobby.
  • It can grow up to 6 inches in size and requires a minimum tank size of 40 gallons.
  • This species is native to the Southwest states of India and is found in both fresh and brackish waters.
  • Dawkinsia filamentosa is an undemanding fish that requires clean water, good water flow, and a varied diet for optimal care.

Overview and Distribution of Dawkinsia Filamentosa

dawkinsia filamentosa distribution and overview

Dawkinsia filamentosa, commonly known as the Filament barb, is a barb species native to the Southwest states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnatake in India. It is found in both fresh and brackish waters of rivers, estuaries, coastal marshes, and reservoirs.

This species has specific habitat requirements, preferring coastal floodplains and sharing its habitat with other fish species such as danios, loaches, and channa. It is an undemanding fish as long as the water is kept clean and nitrate levels are low.

In terms of conservation status, there is limited information available, but it is important to monitor and protect the habitat of Dawkinsia filamentosa to ensure its long-term survival. Further research is needed to understand the specific conservation needs of this species.

General Characteristics of Dawkinsia Filamentosa

After understanding the distribution and habitat preferences of Dawkinsia filamentosa, it is important to delve into its general characteristics to gain a comprehensive understanding of this barb species.

Dawkinsia filamentosa exhibits typical puntius shape with strong lateral compression. The sexually mature males possess long extensions on their dorsal rays that fan out gracefully while swimming. Both males and females have a base color of metallic greenish silver-gold, with particularly colorful males showcasing light blue gill plates and pinkish bellies. A pronounced black mark near the caudal fin, usually in the form of a spot, adds to their visual appeal.

When it comes to behavior, Dawkinsia filamentosa is generally peaceful, making it suitable for community tanks. It should be kept in groups of at least six individuals to promote natural schooling behavior. Compatible tank mates include danios, loaches, and channa, which are found in the same habitat.

Maintenance of Dawkinsia Filamentosa

dawkinsia filamentosa care guide

To properly maintain Dawkinsia filamentosa in an aquarium, it is essential to focus on water quality and provide suitable tank conditions. Water parameters should be maintained within specific ranges to ensure the well-being of this species. The ideal temperature for Dawkinsia filamentosa is between 75-80°F (24-27°C), with a neutral pH and a general hardness (gH) of 8.

Regular monitoring of water parameters and regular water changes are necessary to maintain optimal water quality. In terms of tank decorations, fine sand substrate is recommended, as it mimics their natural habitat. Smooth rocks can be added to provide hiding spots and create a more natural environment.

Additionally, the addition of live or frozen foods to their diet will help enhance their vibrant colors. By providing these suitable tank conditions and maintaining water quality, Dawkinsia filamentosa can thrive in the aquarium setting.

Tank Setup for Dawkinsia Filamentosa

Building upon the maintenance requirements discussed previously, creating an appropriate tank setup is crucial for the successful care of Dawkinsia filamentosa in an aquarium. To provide the best environment for these fish, it is important to consider tank decoration and water parameters.

Here are three key elements to focus on when setting up a tank for Dawkinsia filamentosa:

  1. Tank decoration: Provide a natural environment by incorporating live plants, such as Java moss or fine-leaved plants, which can serve as hiding spots and spawning areas. Additionally, smooth rocks can be added to create territories and enhance the aesthetics of the tank.
  2. Water parameters: Maintain a neutral pH level, with a general hardness (gH) of around 8. Temperature should be kept between 75-80°F. It is crucial to regularly monitor and maintain water quality, ensuring low nitrate levels and proper filtration.
  3. Water flow: Dawkinsia filamentosa prefers a tank with good water flow. Consider adding a powerhead to create gentle currents, mimicking their natural habitat.

Feeding Requirements for Dawkinsia Filamentosa

dawkinsia filamentosa feeding requirements

Feeding Dawkinsia filamentosa requires a well-balanced diet that includes high-quality flake or pellet food as the staple, supplemented with live and frozen foods to enhance their vibrant colors. These fish have omnivorous feeding habits and will readily accept a variety of foods. A diverse diet is essential to ensure optimal health and coloration. Live and frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larvae can be offered as occasional treats. It is important to provide a mix of protein-rich foods and plant matter to replicate their natural diet. Additionally, feeding multiple small meals throughout the day is recommended to mimic their feeding patterns in the wild.

Feeding Recommendations
Staple Diet High-quality flake or pellet food
Supplemental Foods Live and frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larvae
Feeding Schedule Multiple small meals throughout the day
Feeding Frequency Daily
Optimal Diet Well-balanced mix of protein-rich foods and plant matter

Breeding Dawkinsia Filamentosa

Breeding Dawkinsia Filamentosa requires specific conditions and careful preparation in order to successfully reproduce this barb species in captivity. To ensure a successful breeding process, the following techniques and considerations should be taken into account:

  1. Separate breeding tank: Provide a separate breeding tank that is dimly lit and contains fine-leaved plants like Java moss or spawning mops. Alternatively, a mesh can be used to cover the tank's base, allowing eggs to fall through while preventing adults from reaching them.
  2. Water parameters: Maintain water parameters around neutral pH, gH 8, and a temperature of 75-80°F. These conditions mimic their natural habitat and promote spawning behavior.
  3. Conditioning the breeding pair: Feed the breeding pair protein-rich foods to condition them for breeding. Regularly check for eggs and provide a suitable environment for the eggs to hatch and grow.

Additional Information

detailed text information provided

Despite being often overlooked in the aquarium hobby, Dawkinsia filamentosa possesses captivating beauty and requires specific care and maintenance to thrive in captivity. When considering keeping Dawkinsia filamentosa in a community tank, there are both pros and cons to consider.

On the positive side, this species is peaceful and can coexist with other peaceful fish species. It adds vibrant colors and activity to the tank, creating an aesthetically pleasing display. However, it is important to note that Dawkinsia filamentosa can be territorial during breeding periods, so careful monitoring and planning are necessary to prevent aggression.

The impact of habitat destruction on the population of Dawkinsia filamentosa is a significant concern. With the destruction of natural habitats such as rivers, estuaries, and coastal marshes, the population of Dawkinsia filamentosa is at risk of decline. It is crucial to raise awareness about the importance of preserving their natural habitats and implementing conservation measures to protect this species.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Common Tank Mates for Dawkinsia Filamentosa?

Potential tank mates for Dawkinsia filamentosa include danios, loaches, and channa. Compatibility with other fish species should be considered based on similar water parameters and peaceful behavior. It is important to research and select compatible tank mates to ensure a harmonious community aquarium.

Can Dawkinsia Filamentosa Be Kept in a Community Tank?

Can Dawkinsia filamentosa be kept in a community tank? Dawkinsia filamentosa is a peaceful species that can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fish species. However, it is important to provide ample space and hiding spots to prevent aggression.

How Long Does It Take for Dawkinsia Filamentosa to Reach Sexual Maturity?

The sexual maturity of Dawkinsia filamentosa depends on various factors such as diet, water conditions, and tank size. On average, it takes about 9-12 months for these barbs to reach sexual maturity and begin their reproductive cycle.

Are There Any Specific Water Parameters That Dawkinsia Filamentosa Prefer?

The water parameters preferred by Dawkinsia filamentosa include a neutral pH, gH 8, and a temperature of 75-80°F. Maintaining optimal water quality is crucial for the health and well-being of this species.

Are There Any Known Diseases or Health Issues That Dawkinsia Filamentosa Are Prone To?

Dawkinsia filamentosa is generally a hardy fish with no specific diseases or health issues documented. To prevent diseases, maintain good water quality, provide a balanced diet, and avoid overcrowding. The lifespan of Dawkinsia filamentosa is typically around 5-6 years.


In conclusion, the Dawkinsia Filamentosa, also known as the Filament Barb or Blackspot Barb, is a captivating and beautiful fish that is often overlooked in the aquarium hobby. With its vibrant colors and undemanding nature, it is a popular choice among enthusiasts.

This species can grow up to 6 inches in size and requires a minimum tank size of 40 gallons. One interesting statistic is that the Filament Barb is native to the Southwest states of India, specifically Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnatake.