he Tinfoil Barb is a tropical Southeast Asian freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae. This species was originally described as Barbus schwanenfeldii by Pieter Bleeker in 1853, and has also been placed in the genera Barbodes and Puntius. The specific epithet is frequently mis-spelled schwanefeldii.
Nowadays it is usually placed in the genus Barbonymus, which was only established in 1999. It is the genus' type species, and indeed seems to represent a quite distinct lineage of large "barbs". It is not very similar to the barbels which are the core of the genus Barbus, and though closer to these than to some African barbs, they seem to be closer still to the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and to Cyclocheilichthys than to either of the aforementioned.
It is distinguishable from other species of the genus in having a red dorsal fin with a black blotch at the tip, red pectoral, pelvic and anal fins, red caudal fin with white margin and a black submarginal stripe along each lobe, and 8 scale rows between dorsal-fin origin and lateral line. Large individuals are silvery or golden yellow while alive with its dorsal fin red and caudal fin orange or blood-red. It grows up to 14 inches (35 cm) in length. Tinfoil Barbs have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
The tinfoil barb is a schooling species that prefers to be placed with a number of its own species. It prefers living in water with strong currents similar to those found in their native streams. It is also recommended that they be kept with fish of similar size or larger. Many unwary buy young specimens and find out too late how large the tinfoil barb can grow. The tinfoil barb is often seen in large aquaria as companions to large cichlids e.g. the oscar cichlid, Astronotus ocellatus. The tinfoil barb is an active, peaceful species that spends most of its time in the mid-level and bottom of the water. A greedy eater, it will attempt to fill its mouth with as much food as possible during feedings. In captivity, it will eat almost anything provided to it.