Fun Giant Barb Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 15, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 09, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Giant barb facts are fun to learn because of their size.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.5 Min

The giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis) is the largest species of carp in the world. It is also known as the Siamese giant carp due to its geographical range of distribution. The species was quite commonly found in Southeast Asia (primarily in Cambodia and Vietnam), but its population has decreased drastically.

These fish do not guard their eggs or larva. Therefore, the eggs and larva are preyed upon by other carnivorous fishes.

The larva that hatches into young fish is independent from the very beginning. Consequently, they are also preyed upon by larger fishes. This is why they cannot reach sexual maturity, but die before they can continue the cycle of reproduction.

In addition to that, this fish is also a target of excessive commercial fishing. Due to river pollution and the creation of dams, the habitat of these migratory fish has also depleted in quality and quantity.

However, several conservation efforts and projects have been started in Vietnam in order to conserve the largest species of carps. Their results so far have not been very promising, but scientists are determined to make it work.

Keep on reading to know more interesting facts about the giant barb! If you like this article about giant barb facts, also check out these amazing articles about the grass carp and common carp.

Giant Barb Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a giant barb?

A giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis) is a type of fish.

What class of animal does a giant barb belong to?

The giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis) belongs to the Actinopterygii class of marine animals.

How many giant barbs are there in the world?

The exact population of giant barb species (Catlocarpio siamensis) in the world is not known currently. However, by the 2000s, only 10 giant barbs were caught commercially through fishes.

Where does a giant barb live?

The giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis) is found in the Mae Klong, Chao Phraya River Basins along the Chao Phraya River and areas adjacent to the Mekong River of Southeast Asia.

What is a giant barb's habitat?

The ideal habitat for giant barbs includes floodplains, flooded forests, canals, and most large pools found in the Mekong River and Chao Phraya River Basins. Young giant barbs are also found in tributaries and swamps.

Who do giant barbs live with?

Giant barbs are mostly seen swimming together in pairs. They may also be spotted in small groups.

How long does a giant barb live?

While the exact lifespan of a giant barb has not yet been calculated by scientists, most carp fishes have an average lifespan of 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

Giant barbs reach sexual maturity when they become seven years old. They have a unique method of reproduction whereby males and females broadcast the eggs and sperm into the water, and fertilization occurs on its own.

What is their conservation status?

According to the Red List prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Siamese giant carp or giant barb is currently listed under the category of Critically Endangered. Due to excessive commercial fishing and gradual habitat loss, the population of this Siamese giant carp species has slowly declined over the years.

In 2010, there was an effort to preserve their population in Vietnam by releasing 50,000 young fish into their natural habitat. However, very few of them actually survived in the wild and did not succeed in restoring their population from the Critically Endangered status.

Giant Barb Fun Facts

What do giant barbs look like?

The giant barb has a head and mouth relatively larger in length when compared to the length of its body. It has pink lips and off-white, cream-colored cheeks. The fins and tails of this fish are quite dark in color. It has huge scales, which are mostly dark gray to black in color. The scales also have bluish-green edges.

Giant barb facts are interesting because of their conservation status.

How cute are they?

Giant barb fish aren't really cute at all! Their huge size and beady, round eyes make this slow-moving fish quite a bizarre carp species. They are also not as colorful as guppy fish.

How do they communicate?

Barb fishes mostly communicate through body language by nipping each other.

How big is a giant barb?

The maximum length a giant barb can reach in size is 10 ft (3 m).

This makes the giant barb smaller than a tiger shark that grows up to 11-14 ft (3.3-4.3 m) in length.

How fast can a giant barb swim?

Although the exact speed of this fish species while swimming is not yet known; they are observed to be quite slow-moving in nature.

How much does a giant barb weigh?

This fish species is the biggest barb fish in terms of weight. The range of weight of this species is around 220.5-661 lb (100-300 kg). However, giant barbs within that weight range are hardly found nowadays. This is because most juveniles do not become mature enough to have a weight in that range.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names to refer to the male and female fish of this species. Thus, they are usually referred to as a male giant barb or a female faint barb.

What would you call a baby giant barb?

There is no separate, unique name for a baby fish of this species. Therefore, once they grow out of the larva stage, they are commonly referred to as juvenile or young giant barb.

What do they eat?

The giant barb is omnivorous in nature, and they mostly feed on algae, phytoplankton, and fruits found in the big pools or the large rivers they are found in. They rarely feed on other fishes found in the same big pools and large rivers as them.

Are they dangerous?

Giant barbs are not known to be dangerous to human beings or even other fishes.

Would they make a good pet?

The giant barb fish is not very popular as a pet, unlike the neon tetra. This is due to the fact that they are quite low in number and have a Critically Endangered status.

They also need large aquariums to be kept in because of their size. In addition to that, they are also a demanding species to be kept as a pet and have specific dietary needs. Therefore, only experts should try to keep them in their aquariums.

Did you know...

The country of Cambodia announced this fish species to be the national fish in order to raise awareness about its dwindling population. They were made the national fish in the year 2005 by a royal decree since Cambodia currently has a monarchy ruling it.

Are barb fish related to carp?

Barb fishes are freshwater fishes that belong to the same family as carp fishes. Both barb fish species and carp fish species belong to the Cyprinidae family.

Can you eat barb fish?

This Siamese carp fish species is quite popular for eating. They can be eaten fresh, while some people also turn them into pickles to eat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these green jack facts and king salmon facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable grass carp fish coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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