moved this to here for discussion: --Cat 11:19, 9 March 2008 (CDT)
I strongly believe that the Golden Barb is NOT Puntius semifasciolatus. I have been keeping fish for over 50 years and in my younger days, Puntius semifasciolatus was often found as a contaminant in shipments of carp fingerlings from China. These were discarded, and small feral populations established themselves here in Singapore.
Puntius semifasciolatus has never been a very common fish here, but I have caught and kept enough of them to know that they are different in shape, size and behavior from Golden Barbs, which I also keep.
Nobody except Tom Schubert knows how the Golden Barb was created. It could be a sport of Puntius sachsi, or it could be a hybrid, using Puntius semifasciolatus as one of the parents, just as the various Flower Horn cichlid varieties are hybrids of Vieja, red devils and Texas cichlids.
One thing I do know about Golden Barbs is that they are not 100% safe with aquarium plants. They are OK with big plants such as Amazon Swords, or things that don't taste too good, such as Ceratophyllum and Indian Fern.
But they go through small carpeting plants like swimming lawnmowers.
Lee Chiu San