Cherry Barb

a Cherry Barb fish swimming in an aquarium

Are you looking for a new fish to add to your home aquarium? If so, you may want to consider the Cherry Barb. This small, peaceful fish is a great choice for first time pet owners and can make an excellent addition to any home aquarium.

The Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya) is a member of the Cyprinidae family and originates from Sri Lanka. They’re a small fish, growing to a maximum size of around 2 inches long. They have an elongated body shape and are usually a bright orange-red color with black stripes running along their sides.

Although they are small, they are very active fish and they need plenty of room for swimming to live a long, healthy life. Cherry Barbs are very easy to care for, requiring minimal maintenance. They are also very tolerant of each other, and are one of the less aggressive freshwater fish in most home aquariums.

Cherry Barbs are a common fish in freshwater aquariums. The fish are preferred by aquarists for their ease of maintenance and tolerance of a wide range of water conditions. The fish has bright red colors and enjoys living in a group of 6 or more, filling your tank with beauty and activity.

Despite Cherry Barbs being common in aquariums, they have almost become extinct in the wild due to the loss of their natural habitat. 

Cherry Barbs are relatively inexpensive, costing about $2 to $3 per fish.

Cherry Barbs are a great choice for first time pet owners. They are easy to care for and can make an excellent addition to any home aquarium. With their bright colors and peaceful nature, they can be a great source of entertainment and enjoyment for the whole family.

Cherry Barbs are also very active and can be seen swimming around the aquarium in search of food. They are also known to form small schools and will often swim together in groups. This makes them an interesting addition to any home aquarium.

In conclusion, the Cherry Barb is a great choice for newer aquarium owners looking to add some color and activity to their home aquarium. They are easy to care for, peaceful, and can make an excellent addition to any home aquarium . With their bright colors and active nature, they can be a great source of entertainment and enjoyment for the whole family.

Information about Cherry Barbs

  • Average size: 1 to 2 inches
  • Color appearance: Red with a dark coloration running from their head to their tail fin
  • Attention Needs: Low
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
  • Good Pet: yes
  • Good with Other cherry Barbs: Yes
  • Good with Other fish species: Only the peaceful ones
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Minimum tank size: 25 gallons
  • Health Concerns: Fin Rot and White Spot Disease
  • Average Life Span: 5 to 6 years

Physical Appearance of Cherry Barb

a Cherry Barb swimming near some aquatic plants

Cherry Barbs have an elongated body, females having a rounder body around their tummies. The dark stripe running from the head to the tail is darker in males while in females it tends to have a brownish tinge. Males tend to be more brightly colored than females. The red cherry color is more pronounced in males and the females have a whitish appearance.

Cherry Barb Varieties

Before we cover anything else we should list the most common varieties of Cherry Barbs.

  • Longfin Cherry Barb
  • Veiltail Cherry Barb
  • Albino Cherry Barb

Temperament of Cherry Barbs

Cherry Barbs are a very timid and peaceful fish. Don’t let their timidness fool you. If kept in a group of 6 or more fish, they become very confident and active. They will happily swim around the tank in a pack. 

Their confidence comes from their group.  If they are placed alone in the tank  they will spend most of their time hiding. These fish are usually very stressed, and can easily become sick especially if not kept in a group.

They love swimming from the middle of the aquarium but it’s also common to find them at the surface or the bottom of the tank. During mating, the males may become aggressive, especially if there isn’t a good ratio of males to females in their tank.

You should not place one male and a female in one tank because the female may become stressed and tired from all the chasing during the mating season. The best living arrangement is a ratio of 2 females to 1 male to give the females time to rest.

Tank Conditions

a Cherry Barb swimming near aquatic plants in a well lit aquarium

In the wild, Cherry Barbs live in calm waters with deep rooted trees that form canopies and only allow minimum light into the water. Due to the presence of many trees and leaves that fall to the bottom of the waters, the waters in the fish’s natural habitat tends to be slightly acidic.

If you choose to keep Cherry Barbs, try mimicking the natural conditions to make your pet comfortable. The aquarium should have many plants to give your fish hiding places and to give their home a natural feel. The plants also create shade in their tank, minimizing the amount of light inside.

Coarse gravel mixed with some fine sand gives your fish a good substrate. As you choose the substrate, choose darker colors so that your fish stand out with their bright colors in the aquarium.

The water temperature should be kept between 73°F and 81°F. They do well in a variety of temperatures. The water pH should be kept between 6 and 7.5.  The water flow should remain slow to minimal. Water flow is determined by the suction from the filtration system you have in your tank.

Tank Maintenance

To give your fish the best habitat and life, maintain their fish tank with regular cleaning and maintain the water conditions at optimal levels.

A substrate vacuum cleaner will pick up all food particles that end up at the bottom of the tank and should be done at least once a week. 25 percent water changes should be done every other week to ensure water quality remains safe for your fish.

Water testing kits are a must have if you own Cherry Barbs. Testing the pH, salinity, and water hardness helps prevent any drastic changes from occurring and that could stress or cause your fish to get sick. Having a thermometer at one end of your tank also helps you monitor the temperatures of the water at all times.

Lighting in your fish tank should be dimly lit because Cherry Barbs thrive in darker habitats in the wild. Having plants like Java Fern is a good way of limiting the amount of light that comes into your aquarium. The plant grows rapidly spreading its roots and branches creating shade for your fish.

As you can see from the maintenance requirements, they don’t require a lot of attention, making them a great choice for beginners.

Best Tank mates for Cherry Barbs

a Cherry Barb swimming near the bottom of a white sandy aquarium

Because Cherries are a community fish, they love living in groups. As you choose tank mates for your fish, only choose peaceful species. Here are some of the best fish to place together with your Cherry Barbs.

Some aggressive fish like Guppies, Cichlids, and Oscars shouldn’t be kept together with your Cherry Barbs because they could harass them or even nip on their fins. When Barbs are under stress they tend to look paler and can easily get sick.

Health Issues

Cherry Barbs are a healthy species of fish and rarely catch common fish illnesses. The only time they may become ill is if the quality of the water in their tank deteriorates. If you maintain water conditions at the recommended levels, then you shouldn’t have any health issues with your Barbs. 

The diet also contributes towards strengthening the immunity of your fish such that they don’t easily contract diseases.

Here are some of the common illnesses fish could have.

White Spot Disease

Also known as Ich, the illness is caused by a protozoan called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. The disease mainly occurs when the water temperatures drop suddenly probably due to a malfunction in the water heater. 

It’s also possible to introduce the disease during addition of new fish into the tank. It’s also possible to introduce the disease during water replacements, if you add cold water into the aquarium. 

Sick fish usually have white spots on their bodies and they tend to scratch on obstacles in the aquarium. You may also observe signs of labored breathing with a sick fish, or difficulties when swimming. A sick fish should be removed from the tank and placed on a quarantine tank.

The rest of the water should be replaced gradually to improve its quality. It also helps to raise the temperatures in the water to the maximum the fish can handle for two weeks. The high temperatures speed up the life cycle of the disease causing germs and they eventually die.

The sick fish can be treated using commercially available medications. White Spot Disease isn’t life threatening and your fish could get healthy within two weeks of isolation and treatment.

Fin rot

Fin rot is the other common health issue among Cherry Barbs. The disease is also caused by poor water conditions or drastic changes in the water. A sick fish shows signs of lack of appetite and the fins seem damaged, disintegrated, or crumbled together. If you act immediately by improving the water conditions, your fish can recover.

Feeding Cherry Barbs

colorful fish flakes

Cherry Barbs aren’t picky eaters and will eat whatever they’re offered. The most available food for Cherry Barbs is commercial flakes. Before buying anything, confirm that the flakes are enriched with protein and plant matter for nutrition.

Their diet can be supplemented with frozen or live daphnia, bloodworms, insects, algae and brine shrimp.

Vegetables are also a good addition to your fish diet because they are loaded with vitamins and other essential minerals. Finely shredded fresh vegetables such as carrots, peas, spinach, and cucumbers make the best vegetable meals for Cherry Barbs. 

Well-fed fish have bright colors and are much less susceptible to diseases than other fish. The line between underfeeding and overfeeding is very thin and can pose life threatening challenges to your fish. Make sure not to feed them more than what they can eat in 3 to 4 minutes or they’ll overfeed.

They should be fed twice  a day. As you feed your fish, observe how much they eat and adjust how much you feed them accordingly. If you feed your fish vegetables such as spinach, make sure to remove any leftovers because they will contaminate the tank when they start decomposing.

Related Questions:

Can I Breed Cherry Barbs?

Cherry Barbs lay eggs that then hatch into tiny fries. The females can lay between 200 to 300 eggs during the spawning season. It’s a good idea to have plants where they can lay and hide their eggs to prevent other fish from eating them.

If you plan on breeding Cherry Barbs, you should also place a spawning mob when you notice signs of males wanting to mate. A spawning mob is a sponge-like material that can help you collect the eggs. 

It’s possible to notice when they want to mate because the males become more brightly colored and will chase the females around. A female that’s ready to lay eggs seems to have a rounder belly.

Since fries hatch in just a few days, the eggs should be transferred into another smaller tank. The tank should be kept at 81°F, have dim light, and slow water flow. Transferring their eggs into another tank prevents bigger fish from eating the baby Cherry Barbs.

You can let your fries grow in the smaller tank until they reach adulthood in about two months. After that, you can transfer them into the bigger aquarium with the rest of the fish.

Do Female Cherry Barbs Look Less Energetic After Laying Eggs?

It’s very common to find the female Barbs looking less active and tired after the spawning season. During mating the males chase the females a lot which drains their energy. Laying eggs also takes up a lot of energy and the fish needs some time to rest. If the females seem tired and inactive, you could transfer them into another tank without the males so that they can recover.