The Cherry Barb is an extremely hardy fish and this is the reason why they make such good beginner fish. They do not usually pick up diseases as long as you keep the water conditions as stable as possible. They are easy to take care of and will require little attention. This means that no matter your level, from beginner to expert, these fish will be amazing additions.
Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya) are native to Sri Lanka, but they are now making homes in Mexico and Colombia, where they live in large groups in heavily shaded, calm bodies of water. Their populations are declining in the wild; however, their numbers in the aquarium trade are thriving.
Due to their schooling behavior, they bring so much color and activity to the middle of your tank. The reason for this stems from the fact that the more fish in a group you have the more confident they will get. From a social and survival aspect, a group of fish is more likely to survive an attack than an individual.
Having plants in their tank will mimic their natural habitat and give them areas to hide. Also, these fish will look brighter because they’ll stand out against the green in the tank. No specific plants are needed but Java Fern, Hornwort, or Anacharis are great examples. Another way to help them stand out is to have a darker substrate. While they do not require any specific substrate, having a darker, coarse gravel or sand makes the red stand out even more.
You should allow 20 litres per Cherry Barbs. The space is important for their health. Keeping 5 or 6 in a 100 litre tank will be perfect because it allows them to school as well as have enough room to hide if needed.
Cherry Barbs are very peaceful and should be put with fish that share that nature such as Tetras, Celestial Pearl Danios, and Glass Catfish will make perfect mates for Barbs. This peaceful nature extends to shrimp and other invertebrates so you can have Ghost Shrimp, Cherry Shrimp, or Mystery Snails etc. Some other ideal tank mates include:
- Neon or cardinal tetra
- Harlequin rasbora
- White cloud mountain minnow
- Otocinclus catfish
- Clown or kuhli loaches
- Rainbow shark
Barbs make great additions to peaceful communities. Keep in mind that the first few days you add your fish you may not see much activity as they will be hiding under plants or away from the center until they adjust to their new surroundings. Avoid fish like the Tiger Barb, even though a species of barb, they harass others and are known for attacking fins.
In a tank setting you can feed them practically anything and they’ll eat it. Frozen or live foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms will keep these fish happy. Also use flakes that contain some amount of plant material.
These fish are extremely hardy; this is the reason why they make such good beginner fish. They do not usually pick up diseases as long as you keep the water conditions as stable as possible.
Because they are so hardy it is unlikely that you will have to deal with your fish getting sick, however if your water parameters change or the quality of your water doesn’t stay optimal, your fish may get some of the common fish diseases (fin rot and ich).
Fin rot is a bacterial disease caused by poor care and a dirty tank. You’ll notice infected fish look like their fins are torn and almost rotting away. There are medications that you can use to treat fin rot, but the most important one is to clean the tank and keep it clean by carrying out weekly water changes.
Ich is probably the most common fish disease. Fish will have small white spots, almost like bits of salt, all over their body. You’ll notice them scratching their body against surfaces for relief. Fish get ich when their immune systems are not functioning as well, usually when they’re stressed.
Click for Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebel Pets.
|Adult Size:||3 to 5 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Beginner|
|Minimum Tank Size:||100 litres for 5 +20ltr per adl fish|
|Temperament:||Peaceful, good community fish|
|Tank Level:||Mid dweller|
|Diet:||Omnivore, eats most foods|
|Temperature:||23 to 27°C|
|pH:||6.0 – 7.5|
|Hardness:||4-15 dGH (soft)|