Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Black Ruby Barb, sometimes referred to as the Purple-Headed Barb, is endemic to the wet zone and drainages of Sri Lanka. The geographic isolation of the wet zone, coupled with its specific habitat that harbors a moist and warm climate, has lead to exceptional localized biodiversity here. Black ruby barbs typically exhibit sexual dimorphism – males possess the characteristic “dark or black” ruby-red color in which their name is derived, while females don’t have this coloration and are rather a pale-yellow color with three black vertical bands along their body. Juvenile or young Black ruby barb males can look like females, but will often have subtle spots of their ruby-red coloration peaking through. Black ruby barbs are one of the barb species, along with members of the genus Puntigrus (Tiger/Green Tiger Barbs), that have a bad reputation for being nippy. While the Black ruby barb is not as boisterous as the Tiger Barb, nippy behavior is typically encountered when this barb is kept in too small of an aquarium and in too few of numbers. A natural schooling fish, Black ruby barbs require at least 8 to 10 individuals. More than one male can be kept in a school, but they may occasionally flare up at one another to gain the attention of females. Having females in the group will encourage males to display their best coloration. An adult Black ruby barb can reach a size of approximately 2″, with males getting slightly larger than females. Aquatics Unlimited recognizes the impact of the aquarium trade on certain wild fish populations. Therefore, all of our Black ruby barbs are sourced from aquaculture.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Black ruby barbs are omnivores. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based and protein based flake foods, sinking micro pellet foods and bug bites are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia. Some emphasis should be put on offering ample plant or algal based foods for this species. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: A minimum 20 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small group of Black ruby barbs. Black ruby barbs are one of our listed “hardy fish” because they are able to endure the initial break-in cycle of a newly set-up aquarium. After the cycle is completed, biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters favorable (Nitrates < 30 ppm). Because we offer only aquacultured Black ruby barbs, they have a range of water parameters in which they can adapt to. The aquarium does not need to be aquascaped with anything in particular to keep a school of Black ruby barbs happy, but a darker substrate, driftwood and other natural-looking arrangements will bring out the beauty of this barb. Black ruby barbs have been observed to show exceptional coloration in dense live planted aquariums. In the proper environment, Black ruby barbs can be relatively peaceful compared to Tiger Barbs in which they are usually lumped with in terms of temperament. However, we do not recommend mixing this barb with slow-moving fish or fish with decorative fins that could be tempting to nip such as angelfish and guppies. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 5-12, pH 6.0-7.5.
Purchase Size: Medium: 3/4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.