Wedge barb

The wedge-spotted dar ter (lat.: Trigonostigma heteromorpha), which originates from Southeast Asia, belongs to the genus of carp fishes and is a member of the family of bearblings. It is a much sought-after ornamental fish and especially suitable for beginners in the aquarium business. The lively fish are an enrichment for every aquarium, because they not only have a beautiful coloration, but are also easy to keep.

Data sheet for wedge spotted barbs

Scientific name:
Rasbora heteromorpha
Origin / area of origin: South East Asia
PH value: 6,5
Temperature: 25 -25°C
Food: Omnivores
Breeding: known – but not easy
Ideal swarm size: From a group size of 12

What distinguishes the wedge barb?

It is named after the striking dark wedge-shaped spot on the side of the barbel. In its natural distribution area, the fish inhabits small black water streams and swamps. Wedge-tailed barbels are considered robust and are naturally rather shy. Apart from that they are particularly curious and friendly towards other fellow inhabitants as long as they are peaceful fish of the lower half of the tank. Swarm fish of the upper half of the water are not so popular.

The appearance of wedge-spotted barbs

© mikhailg

The high-backed body shape of the barbel is particularly striking, which usually distinguishes it from other animals of the genus. Another distinguishing feature is the dark, wedge-shaped patch that extends from the dorsal fin to the tail. The body colour of the genus is silvery, but likes to show a slight reddish to purple shimmer. In front of the dark wedge the colour of the barbel varies from a slight copper to golden undertone.

Similar to other carp fish, the lateral line of the wedge-tailed barbel is not completely mature. In the wild, this lively species of fish can reach a size of up to five centimetres, in aquaria they only grow between two and a maximum of four centimetres long.


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Gender differences

In males the wedge-shaped spot is slightly rounded at the front, in females it is straight. Males have a dark line drawing on the anal fin, this is hardly present in females. In addition, the eyes of males are usually more reddish in colour. Female wedge-tailed barbs are however considered to be more robust and larger than their male counterparts.

Water values for wedge-tailed barbels

The barbels make special demands on the water values, which aquarists should absolutely observe:

  • Tank size: At least 100 litres
  • Water temperature: 22° C to 26° C
  • pH value: 5,0 to 7,0
  • Total hardness: 5° to 15° dGH

Keilfleckbärblinge are particularly keen on swimming, which is why the aquarium should be at least 100 litres in size. The water should be low in lime and slightly acidic – a pH-value below 7 is also highly recommended. The schooling fish feel particularly well at a total hardness of 5 to 15° dGH and a water temperature of 22° C to 26° C.

Food and nutrition for wedge-tailed barbs

The curious fish do not have high demands and are satisfied with both live and dry food. Feeding several small portions daily is recommended – large meals should not be given if possible. If kept in appropriate conditions, wedge-tailed barbs can live up to seven years.

The ideal aquarium for wedge-tailed barbs

© xusenru

Wedge-spotted barbs prefer aquariums that have been faithfully recreated from their native habitat. Barbels are schooling fish, so they should only be kept in larger groups of eight or more. They need a lot of space to swim, so it is advantageous to have a larger aquarium. The small fish like to stay in the middle water zone.

To make the barbels feel comfortable, a lot of attention is paid to decoration. The animals only feel really comfortable between a particularly large number of delicate plants and strong roots. Furthermore the fish like to stay above dark ground. At the same time the unique pattern of the wedge-tipped barbels is particularly well exposed.

Due to their origin it is recommended to add either peat filtration or peat extract to the water. Although this is not absolutely necessary, it increases the well-being of the animals enormously. Aquarists should also make sure that the cichlids are always supplied with sufficient oxygen – during the day and at night. Apart from that, keeping the fish is not difficult.

Housing conditions

  • Wedge-spotted barbs are ideal fish for beginners, as they are easy to care for and simple to keep.
  • In a community aquarium, however, they should only be socialized with peaceful fish of the lower half of the water.
  • The conspicuous fish should be kept in groups of at least eight.
  • The tank should always have a water volume of at least 100litres.
  • At a temperature of up to 26° C, a pH-value below 7.0 and a total hardness between 5° and 15° dGH the animals feel particularly well.
  • The animals must always be supplied with sufficient oxygen.
  • Peat filtration or peat extract increases the well-being of the fish.
  • Many delicate plants, a dark bottom and various root systems are essential in an aquarium.

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