Best kept in a well-decorated set-up with aquatic vegetation and woody structures. The addition of some floating plants to diffuse the light entering the aquarium also seems to be appreciated and the addition of dried leaf litter can add a natural feel. Filtration, or at least water flow, should be relatively gentle, and use a soft substrate if possible since Oreichthys species have miniscule sensory bristles on the lower jaw which are used when foraging.
Unsuitable for most community aquaria as it may be intimidated or outcompeted for food by larger or more boisterous tankmates. Small, peaceful cyprinids such as Trigonostigma or Boraras species make good choices and we suspect it will also do ok with many South American characins, Otocinclus or pygmy Corydoras catfishes. Potential additions from the Ganges basin include Badis badis, Pangio pangia, and Colisa chuna.
Although gregarious by nature it’s a shoaling rather than schooling fish which develops a distinct pecking order and rival males will exhibit some interesting sparring behaviour in captivity. It’s best maintained in a group of 8 or more but the tank must be decorated in such a way that many broken lines of sight are provided. If kept singly, in a very small group or in cramped conditions it can become withdrawn and subdominant fish may be bullied incessantly.
Will accept dried foods of a suitable size but should not be fed these exclusively. Daily meals of small live and frozen fare such as Daphnia, Artemia, and suchlike will result in the best colouration and encourage the fish to come into breeding condition.
Temperature: 24 – 28 °C
pH: 6.5 – 7.5
Hardness: 90 – 268 ppm