Puntius pulcher Rendahl 1922; Systomus pulcher (Rendahl 1922)
- Puntigrus: formed from part of the generic name Puntius and tigrus, a word created to sound like the Latin word tigris, meaning ‘tiger’, in allusion to the barred colour pattern and the common name ‘tiger barb’ used for some members.
- pulcher: from the Latin pulcher, meaning ‘beautiful’, presumably in reference to the species’ attractive colour pattern.
- Order: Cypriniformes
- Family: Cyprinidae
The range of this species is restricted to the Indonesian region of eastern Borneo, although the exact limits of its distribution are not entirely clear. Official records indicate that it has been observed in the Kayan River, which is located in the province of Kalimantan Utara (North Kalimantan), as well as in the Mahakam River in Kalimantan Timur (East Kalimantan). The type locality, where the first specimen was collected for scientific description, is identified as the Kayan River near Bulungan, which is situated in northeastern Borneo, Indonesia.
While there is no confirmed information specific to this species, it is worth noting that other members of its genus typically prefer to reside in forest streams and tributaries that have clear water and sandy to rocky substrates. Therefore, it is possible that this species may exhibit similar habitat preferences. However, further research is needed to confirm this hypothesis.
Maximum Standard Length
At least 27.4 mm, probably 50-60 mm.
An aquarium measuring at least 80 ∗ 30 cm is required.
While the choice of decor for the aquarium housing this species is not necessarily critical, a well-decorated setup may enhance the vibrancy of its coloration. Additionally, members of this genus have shown an appreciation for the addition of floating or overhanging vegetation, as well as driftwood roots or branches. These features can provide not only aesthetic benefits, but also serve as potential hiding spots and sources of food for the fish. Therefore, the inclusion of such elements may contribute to the overall health and well-being of the aquatic environment.
- Temperature: 20 – 26 °C
- pH: 5.0 – 7.5
- Hardness: 18 – 179 ppm
It is believed that this species is an omnivore and feeds on a variety of food sources, including insect larvae, zooplankton, plant material, and organic detritus.
When keeping this species in an aquarium setting, it is recommended to provide regular meals that consist of small live and frozen foods, such as chironomid larvae (bloodworm), Daphnia, and Artemia. Along with these options, offering high-quality dried products is also important for their nutrition. By offering a diverse range of food items, the nutritional needs of this species can be met, which can promote overall health and well-being.
Behaviour and Compatibility
Based on limited aquarium observations, it appears that this species can coexist peacefully with other tankmates when housed in a sufficiently large aquarium and with appropriate tankmates.
This species is known to be gregarious and will form loose hierarchies, with males constantly competing with one another for both female attention and their own position within the group. To ensure the social and mental well-being of this species, it is recommended to keep a group of at least 8-10 individuals. This will provide the fish with a more natural social structure and can help minimize aggression towards other members of the aquarium community.
In general, adult males of this species are known to be slightly smaller and slimmer in build compared to their female counterparts. Additionally, they typically exhibit a more intense and vivid coloration pattern than the females. These differences between the sexes can help to facilitate identification and differentiation of individuals within the species.
There has been at least one documented instance where successful captive breeding of this species has been achieved in an aquarium setting.