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OK I have a 8x2x2.5 ft tank waiting to be decked out, water added and some fish.... I was planning to do it a big African cichlid setup but im starting to think i want big fish in there...

I love Barra... But I also like colour and a few fish rather than one big fish...

So if i was to start this tank with all fish roughly the same size im wondering what would make this tank interesting and compatible with a barra.

One thing is knowing what will live with the barra another is availability of the species...

Fish I like:




Peacock Bass (are these available anywhere ?)what are they worth approx?



archer fish

Would these grow up together in a large tank without to much trouble?

Also do barra grow to a certain point in an aquarium or do they outgrow it?

Sorry if these questions seem stupid but Im keen to hear from people who have experience with these fish.

Thanks Will post the setup when its completed :)

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The first thing to remember is that Barra only come into fresh water to spawn, they live in fresh water as juveniles, but eventually migrate out into brackish and salt water, Bass tend to do better in cold water or temperate temps, not hot tropical waters like the Barra like, they are also freshwater only, so at the later stages when you need to start adding salt, the bass is not going to be happy.

Saratoga, depends on which one you want to keep, leichardti tend to be calm, and i have seen them live with barra before, but jardini are aggressive and rarely will the share their space with another fish once they start to mature, but in saying that, in my experience with fish, and this applies across the board, when talking about characteristics in fish, these are always generalisations for a particular species, and individual fish can be the complete opposite to the rest, and i have seen jardini in large tanks living with other large aggressive species.

Peacock bass, these are a large predatory cichlid from the amazon, they can potentially grow up to 3 feet, but in a tank it is more likely to reach around 2 feet, they are territorial and aggressive, the first problem i see is that barra are not aggressive fish and as such usually dont do well with cichlids, the second problem is water, peacock bass basically live in water that is usually soft with a pH as low as 5.5, barra like their water high and hard. when i ran the fish room at a pet shop, we never put barra and cichlids together because the cichlids always beat up the Barra.

Catfish should be fine as long as they are large catfish, good choices here would things like salmontails, eelcats, larger synodontis species, and larger Loricariids. Obviously the thing to remember is that if its small enough to fit into a fishs mouth, you can guarantee it will get eaten.

If it was me i would go with golden perch, they grow larger, are more tolerant of temperature, and will live in water that has a salt content that is almost as high as seawater.

Archer fish are a good choice, they can grow anywhere up to 40cm, they dont usually get that big though, 25-30cm is probably a more likely size, they live in fresh to salt water, and like warm tropical water.

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L127 has made good points,Be intresting to see what would happen if some of your choises were grown up together in your lg tank?? Peacock bass are about $10/20ea for fry.

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Cheers for the reply's!

I wouldn't have thought barra needed salt? They only require salt water to breed???

The state of Queensland has a booming barramundi impoundment scene boasting some of the biggest fattest and healthiest barra on earth, even produced the world record sizes. These fish live in freshwater only their entire lives??? And I would imagine a huge proportion of fingerings sold to serve the aquarium world would come from the same or similar stockists as those who supply some of the dams up there?

I had a massive Jardini a few years back and your right, thinking back he attacked anything that moved so ill scratch him off the list....

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I pretty much agree with everything posted above. L127's reply is spot on with everything, but it should be said that barramundi can do just fine in freshwater their entire lives. (That is as far as us humans can detect based on visual observations)

I wonder what filtration you have planned for this tank if you want 'large' fish. Large fish = lots of waste = big filter which can = lots more money.

Maybe something to consider before deciding that you want a huge predator tank. A cichlid tank would be alot more colourful and filtration wise probably alot easier to setup. From the list of fish you have posted, there is only really one species I'd call colourful being the peacock bass. All the others are variations of silver which can be very bland to the eye. Sure they have a wow factor but it does get boring after a while.

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Filtration will be fine whatever I decide to go with ( Africans or tank busters)

And as you say the colour thing is the main thing that lets down natives. After considering my options I decided to run with Africans.... maybe I need another 8ft tank.... :dntknw::lol3:


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you can have a awesome display of natives in a 8ft tank mangrove jacks will be fine if given the room and plenty of driftwood hidey holes also barra dont need salt and bass can handle the same temp as barra and also can handle high levels of salt as they go to the salt or brackish to breed i have caught them in pure salt as with all native tanks its trial and error i had a 1600lt tank with over 30 different species of natives in it with no problems most of them being over 30+cms shouldnt have sold it :(

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