Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Cherry 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. Cherry barbs typically exhibit sexual dimorphism – males are the characteristic “cherry red” color in which their name is derived, while females are a more washed-out orange color. Both sexes have a dark brown lateral stripe that runs the length of their body. Despite “barb” in their name, Cherry barbs are rather timid and peaceful compared to the boisterous barb species we think of (e.g., Puntius tetrazona [Tiger Barb, Green Tiger Barb], P. padamya [Odessa Barb]). Cherry barbs are natural schooling fish, requiring at least 8 to 10 individuals to avoid skittishness. 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. An adult Cherry barb can reach a size of approximately 2″. Cherry barbs are one of the few cyprinids that will graze on nuisance hair algae. Aquatics Unlimited recognizes the impact of the aquarium trade on certain wild fish populations. Therefore, all of our Cherry barbs are sourced from aquaculture.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Cherry 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. The red pigmentation of male Cherry barbs may be accentuated further if fed a food with a high concentration of the carotenoid astaxanthin (such as New Life Spectrum Ultra Red pellets).
Care Requirements: An established minimum 10 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small group of Cherry barbs. Cherry barbs are intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters favorable (Nitrates < 30 ppm). Because we offer only aquacultured Cherry 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 Cherry barbs happy, but a darker substrate, driftwood and other natural-looking arrangements will bring out the beauty of this barb. Cherry barbs have been observed to show exceptional coloration in dense live planted aquariums. Cherry barbs are extremely peaceful and rarely conflict with tank mates. Their timid nature, however, may make them not suitable for community aquariums that have overly rambunctious or competitive species. Mix Cherry barbs with fish that have a similar temperament. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 4-10, pH 6.0-8.0.
Purchase Size: Small: 1/2” to 3/4”, Medium: 1” to 1-1/4”, Large 1-1/2” to 1-3/4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.