Barb Species: Information on Care and Profiles

Gold barb fish swimming with gold and black-spotted scales closeup

Barbs are vivacious, resilient, and vibrant fish. Remember that this family of fish is all schooling species and that they thrive best when kept in groups of five or more. Most people like well-aerated, soft acidic water that is slightly colder.

Barbs should only share a tank with species that can put up with their loud company because to their high level of activity. Members of the Barb family typically do not make the ideal tank mates, especially long-finned fish. You may select the Barb species that are best for you using the descriptions provided below.

  • 01 of 07

    Black Ruby Barb

    Puntius nigrofasciatus - Black Ruby Barb

    When a male Black Ruby Barb reaches reproductive age, it takes on a stunning deep red color and resembles the well-known Tiger Barb in form. They should be maintained in schools of five or more since they are calm and easy to care for. When paired with barbs like the Tiger Barb, which have vertical stripes, they are quite appealing.

    • Scientific name: Puntius nigrofasciatus
    • Also known as: Purple-headed barb or ruby barb
    • Adult size: 2.5 inches/6.5 centimeters
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Minimum tank size: 20 gallon
    • pH: 6.0 to 6.5
    • Hardness: 5 to 12 dGH
    • Temperature: 72 to 79 F/23 to 26 C
    • Tankmates: Peaceful schooling fish
  • 02 of 07

    https://www.thesprucepets.com/thmb/GpT76zsQTccH5ST459XIj9oEmAw=/800x681/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/Puntius_denisonii_Mark_Connell_800-56a32eef5f9b58b7d0d0d8fe.jpg

    This kind of Barb, which is bigger, should only be maintained with fish of comparable sizes. They only work well in bigger aquariums since they are schooling, huge fish. Even if the shop's specimens are modest, bear in mind that they will eventually get considerably bigger.

    • Scientific name: Puntius denisonii
    • Also known as: Bleeding Eye Barb, Denison’s Flying Fox, Red Comet Barb, Red Line Barb, Red Lined Torpedo Fish, Roseline Shark, Torpedo Barb, Miss Kerala
    • Adult size: 6 inches/15 centimeters
    • Lifespan: 5+ years
    • Minimum tank size: 55 gallon
    • pH: 6.8 to 7.8
    • Hardness: 5 to 25 dGH
    • Temperature: 60 to 77 F/15 to 25 C
    • Tankmates: Peaceful with similarly sized fish
  • 03 of 07

    Gold Barb

    https://www.thesprucepets.com/thmb/xHavazh_Ex74-vAIGY95BvrrS4o=/3000x2000/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/golden-barb--schuberti-barb--puntius-semifasciolatus--in-a-home-aquarium-1195762587-ce796273eb2943e795bcad5bc842298f.jpg

    Gold Barbs are a resilient, low-maintenance communal fish. Although they are typically green in hue, the gold hybrid has grown to be so popular that it is sometimes the only shade offered for purchase. They get along with other calm fish and should be maintained in schools of at least six.

    • Scientific name: Puntius semifasciolatus
    • Also known as: China Barb, Chinese Barb, Chinese Half-Striped Barb, Gold Barb, Green Barb, Half Banded Barb, Half-Stripes Barb, Schubert's Barb, Six-Banded Banded Barb
    • Adult size: 3 inches/7.5 centimeters
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Minimum tank size: 20 gallon
    • pH: 6.0 to 8.0
    • Hardness: 10 dGH
    • Temperature: 64 to 75 F/18 to 24 C
    • Tankmates: Peaceful schooling fish
  • 04 of 07

    https://www.thesprucepets.com/thmb/YXPrxiksJJNMxkV1A-dSg6W9vRg=/1977x1977/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/Puntius_conchonius_Dornenwolf-56a32ff15f9b58b7d0d0dfd6.jpg

    One of the more well-known species of bigger Barbs is the rosy barb. They are a popular starter fish since they adapt easily to changing water conditions and thrive in a brand-new aquarium. Don't keep them with slow species, especially if they have long trailing fins, as they have a reputation for biting other fish.

    • Scientific name: Puntius conchonius
    • Also known as: Red Barb
    • Adult size: 6 inches/15 centimeters
    • Lifespan: 5 years
    • Minimum tank size: 30 gallon
    • pH: 6.5
    • Hardness: 10 dGH
    • Temperature: 64 to 72 F/18 to 22 C
    • Tankmates: Peaceful schooling fish
    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    https://www.thesprucepets.com/thmb/Ubr1-4m6TIn_odi8OgtKr-T-F_0=/800x650/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/Tiger_Barb_2_Kai_Schreiber_800-56a32f353df78cf7727c487b.jpg

    Tiger fish are by far the most well-known members of the Barb family and are quite common in domestic aquariums. Their propensity to nip fins, especially those of slower-moving fish, is another well-known trait. They are therefore not appropriate for all community aquariums. It is recommended to keep them in sizable groups with other vivacious Barb species.

    • Scientific name: Puntius tetrazona
    • Adult size: 3 inches/7 centimeters
    • Lifespan: 6 years
    • Minimum tank size: 20 gallon
    • pH: 6.5
    • Hardness: 10 dGH
    • Temperature: 68 to 79 F/20 to 26 C
    • Tankmates: Active that nips fins
  • 06 of 07

    Tinfoil Barb

    https://www.thesprucepets.com/thmb/xOMtVLMA7il3Y7l_RGZpYUUXvpk=/500x344/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/tinfoil_barb_LG-56a32dc93df78cf7727c3bbe.jpg

    The biggest member of the Barb family is a tinfoil barb. Unfortunately, when they are sold, they are sometimes just an inch or two long, and many owners are unaware of how big they may go. Only huge tanks of 55 gallons or more with other large kinds of fish should be used to house them. They pair well with huge cichlids and other sizable species like silver dollars.

    • Scientific name: Barbonymus schwanenfeldii
    • Also known as: Schwanefeld's Barb
    • Adult size: 13 inches/35 centimeters
    • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
    • Minimum tank size: 55 gallon
    • pH: 6.5
    • Hardness: 10 dGH
    • Temperature: 72 to 77 F/22 to 25 C
    • Tankmates: Peaceful, but keep only with large fish
  • 07 of 07

    Zebra Barb

    https://www.thesprucepets.com/thmb/L4lbAR1iDwDnWPjwlNJPLWrchU4=/500x262/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/Zebra_Barb_500-56a32dba3df78cf7727c3b30.jpg

    This kind of Barb, a lovely and gentle animal, is less frequently seen being sold. The Zebra Barb gets its name from the fact that, in contrast to many members of its family, its stripes are horizontal rather than vertical. Despite their size, they are rather active and require a larger tank to accommodate their swimming needs.

    • Scientific name: Puntius johorensis
    • Also known as: Striped Barb
    • Adult size: 4.25 inches/12 centimeters
    • Lifespan: 5+ years
    • Minimum tank size: 30 gallon
    • pH: 5.8 to 6.3
    • Hardness: 2 to 3 dGH
    • Temperature: 73 to 77 F/23 to 25 C
    • Tankmates: Peaceful schooling fish

You'll be able to decide whether to add one or more barbs to your tank with better knowledge about the many varieties available. If they aren't the best fit for your family of fish right now, keep them in mind for the future—especially if you intend to expand your collection's tank.

LEAVE A COMMENT