Cherry Barb Fish (Red Barb) – Care, Habitat, Feeding, Breeding & Details

Cherry Barb Fish (Puntius titteya) also known as Red Barb fish is among a variety of aquarium fish that is loved and adored for its beautiful colors.

The color of the fish is dark red, and in the natural environment – even brighter. But today this species is listed in the Red Book since it is on the verge of extinction.

Lovers have been enjoying this beautiful fish for more than half a century. During spawning, their color acquires the most vivid color.

Quick Stats

Scientific Name: Puntius titteya
Common Name: Cherry barb, red barb
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Color Form: Red with a Dark Band from Head to Tail; Males are Brighter
Lifespan: 5-6 Years
Size: 1-2 Inches
Diet: Omnivorous
Family: Cyprinidae
Minimum Tank Size: 25 Gallons
Tank Set-Up: Planted Community
Compatibility: Other Peaceful fish
Temperature: 73°F to 81°F (23°C to 27°C)
pH: 6-8

Cherry Barbs Description & Appearance

In a common aquarium, cherry barbs will look great. It will become a real decoration of any aquarium and its unpretentiousness and high adaptability will be a godsend for any owner of the aquarium.

The size of the fish is small – up to 5 cm. Their body resembles a torpedo shape, which is important for swimming speed. The pectoral and ventral fins are small, and the caudal fin is bifurcated.

There is an intermittent spotty strip of dark color along the spine. The color of the female is calmer, while the male is very bright, and during spawning, its color is almost scarlet.

The quality of care and nutrition affects their life expectancy. On average, they live for about 5 years. But under favorable conditions, they can live up to 6 and even 7 years.

Cherry Barbs Habitat

Under natural conditions, this species is most often found in rivers of Sri Lanka and Ceylon. These fish prefer shallow streams and quiet shady backwaters, serving them as natural shelters and protection from various enemies.

The flocks of cherry barbs were chosen by dense thickets of aquatic plants in the depths because their bright color makes them easy prey for larger and more predatory fish, which actively prey on cherry barbs.

Their natural population has been greatly reduced due to the great popularity among aquarists, and the process of breeding of cherry barbs is under threat. Therefore, in some countries, there are now nurseries that are breeding cherry barb fishes.

Aquarium Maintenance

There should be enough space in the aquarium, as the fish swim very actively. It should be noted that they are very shy, so there should be enough plants in which they will hide.

The ideal decor would be snags and grottoes. It takes 5 liters per individual. Thus, for a school of 10 fish, you need an aquarium of at least 50 liters.

It is recommended to install water filtration, which will create a flow favorable for the swimming of fish. Such stimulation of the activity of fish will resemble their inherent element. Alone, this species does not contain.

You should keep a flock of no less than 5 pieces of Cherry Barb. A smaller number will cause stress in the fish, and this will affect not only their color but also their lifespan. In large packs, they feel safe.

A flock of 10 Cherry Barb Fish needs an aquarium with a volume of 50 liters

Dark soil and diffused light are a suitable medium for them. The temperature of the water should be between 22–27 degrees. In spawning conditions – from 24 to 26 degrees. You should clean the aquarium every week, thoroughly cleaning the soil, and replacing a quarter of the volume of water.

Cherry Barb Fish Tank Mates

Given the compatibility of the cherry barbs with other fish species, it is worth keeping it with small fish so that it does not become easy prey for large individuals.

Cherry barbs can easily get along well with Neon Tetras, Glowlight Tetra, Betta FishEmber Tetras, and other small peaceful fishes.

Angelfish and Guppies should not be kept this these fishes are they are aggressive in nature and they might harm your barbs.

Cherry Barbs Breeding

Males and females are bred in different aquariums and fed with live food for at least a week. By the end of the feeding period, the female becomes fat, and the male acquires a more intense cherry color.

Then the fish are placed in a different aquarium. Females spawn eggs on the ground and plants, while males fertilize it. After spawning, adult fish are separated from fry.

Caviar ripening time is two days. On the fourth day, the fry begins to swim, and they are given ciliates. Alternatively, you can use a dry starter feed, but they grow worse on it.

It will be possible to return young barbs to the general aquarium when they reach a size of at least 2 cm. Adults will not be a danger to them.

Cherry Barb Feeding

In order for the fish to be healthy and for a long time to please their beautiful view of the owner, they must be properly fed. They are omnivorous and unpretentious in food. The food in nature is crustaceans, insects, and algae.

At home, they can be fed different types of food like:

  • dry
  • ice cream;
  • live food

The key to success is a balanced diet:

  • live food (bloodworm or daphnia );
  • any dry vegetable flakes;
  • grated cucumber or zucchini;
  • spinach or nettle (blanched);
  • scalded boiling water lettuce;
  • soaked and steamed peas;
  • frozen food.

Food debris must be removed within the first few hours, otherwise, the water will go bad. Feed the fish three times a day in small portions.

Usually fish eat food in 5-7 minutes. You can’t overfeed them, as this will lead to obesity, and their health condition will deteriorate, which can lead to the death of the cherry barbs.

With a varied diet, fish is always active. When feeding, attention should be paid to weaker individuals, as they may not receive food.

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