As with most barb species, it is very important to keep this species in groups of 6 or more. Although the Odessa Barb is not known to be overly aggressive towards other tankmate species, they will truly thrive when kept with a group of their own kind that they can playfully chase and nip at each other. When kept in a group, this species will gladly ignore other more slow moving or long finned species in the aquarium such as gouramis, angels or Betta in turn sticking with their own kind. An ideal tank for this species would be a long moderately planted tropical aquarium with warmer water temperatures and plenty of space for this active fast swimming species.
Odessa Barbs are very easy to take care of as they are tolerant of a range of aquarium conditions and will eat any type of tropical freshwater flake, pellet, frozen or live foods.
Males of this species have a very pronounced wide red stripe that runs from their head to the caudal fin, with very defined black outlined abdominal scales. Females do not have the red stripe and have bodies that are more grayish in color with less prominent black markings on the body and outlining the scales. Both sexes possess a vertically elongate dark humeral blotch and a small, inconspicuous dark blotch on the side of the caudal peduncle.