Breeding and rearing the Denison’s barb
Breeding and rearing the Denison’s barb (Puntius denisonii), at Chester Zoo
The Denison’s barb (Puntius denisonii), has seen a dramatic increase in popularity within the aquarium hobby, which has caused concern for its wild population, which is strictly endemic to Kerala in the Western Ghats, India.
Large numbers have been collected for aquaria, yet they do not readily breed in captivity. They do not reach reproductive age until approximately 18 months old. Although they are now bred using hormone inducement for the trade, it is likely a successful natural breeding event at Chester Zoo Aquarium was the first of its kind. T
he percentage survival of offspring has been very high, with most successfully reaching adult size. Aquarium staff members have continued to breed and rear this species trying different techniques whilst monitoring behaviour, identifying reoccurring problems, working on nutrition and recording water quality etc.
It has been ascertained this species produces robust offspring that grow fairly rapidly and there is no reason to believe the techniques developed in Chester cannot be adapted to commercial breeding ventures in India without the continued use of hormones.
COMMENDATION received in BIAZA Awards 2011 for Significant Contribution to Conservation Breeding