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Barbatula toni

by Martin Thoene last modified Nov 13, 2006 10:41 AM


Scientific name:
Barbatula toni (Dybowski, 1869) Common name: Siberian Stone Loach

Synonyms: Cobitis toni, Nemacheilus toni 

Distribution: Korea, China, Siberia, Japan

Sexual Dimorphism: Females are generally larger with a rounder abdomen.

Maximum size: 6.5 inches (16cm)

Similar to: Barbatula barbatula.

Barbatula toni, from "Raising Korean Fish" (used with permission)

Care: The aquarium should have a decent flow rate and be well-oxygenated. A substrate of fine sand to allow digging and lots of smooth rounded pebbles and numerous shelters such as bogwood and slate. 

Feeding: Most foods accepted. Commercial sinking formulations and bottom-dwelling live-foods. Frozen foods such as Bloodworm, Brine shrimp, Daphnia. 

Water parameters: pH: 6.0-7.5 Hardness: Soft-medium Max dh: 12 

Temperature: 57.2ºF to 64.4ºF (14-18°C) Colder in Winter

Breeding: None reported in aquarium. Reported as spawning once a year in streams with low food production, but exhibits multiple spawning within a season if food productivity is high in a particular stream. Eggs are a dull white and laid among stones and water plants.


Not really suitable for a domestic aquarium due to low temperature requirements.

Regarded by many scientists as being a sub-species of Barbatula barbatula, or possibly the same species. Lives in multiple rivers and lakes throughout range. Known to eat benthic crustaceans, molluscs, worms, fish eggs and fry in the wild.

Sensitive to pollution and low oxygen levels, therefore, its presence in a river can be taken as an indication of good water quality.

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