The Mahseer carps from India are mythical fishes. They belong to the largest carp species of the subcontinent and it is said that they can reach up to 2 m in length. These carps inhabit the same ecological niches in India that are held in Europe by the salmons and trouts. Like in the latter the systematics of the Mahseers are only very little understood and there does existst no possibility to determine the species for sure.
We obtained Mahseer carps from NE India under the name of Tor putitora. The genus is easy to recognize, so we have no doubts the fish belong to the genus Tor. The species Tor putitora has not been illustrated in the original description and there does not exist any authentic picture from that time. So all the later determinations of what should be Tor putitora have to be seen with a big questionmark.
All species of Tor have in common very large scales. They are eurythermic fishes that tolerate a extremely wide spectrum of water temperatures: between 5 and 30°C! Tor are wonderful company for heated Koi ponds. The very large scales of adult specimens shine like diamonds. Another very intersting (and not understood) feature is the fact that at least sometimes adult Tor develop very large upturned lips. In some regions of India Mahseer carps are considered holy animals. In the temple ponds they become very tame and pilgrims can feed and touch them.
There is one thing that has to be kept in mind when Tor spp. should be kept in aquaria: these fish are poweful jumpers! In the wild they can overcome pretty high waterfalls. So the tank for Mahseers has to be covered absolutely densely.