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Cherry Barb

(Puntius titteya)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 2"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-80° F, KH 4-18, pH 6.0-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Sri Lanka   • Family: Cyprinidae
• Species: Barbs   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Cherry Barb native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya) is a tropical community species endemic to the lakes and river basins of Sri Lanka. Their name comes from the red coloration of the male, that obtains a vibrant cherry red color that they use to attract females of the species. Female Cherry Barbs are more brownish/tan in color, but still have an attractive stripe that runs the length of their body.

Females are larger and more plump than the males, who have a more stream lined body shape and brighter coloration. In the wild, Cherry Barbs are found in shady areas of thick vegetation or among tree roots, where they hunt for food and stay protected from larger fish species that cannot easily maneuver in the dense vegetation.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Cherry Barb in the home aquarium.

Cherry Barbs should be housed in peaceful tropical community aquariums that contain plenty of plants, driftwood and root structures in order to provide them an environment that emulates their natural habitat. They are a peaceful and somewhat shy species that depend heavily on dense vegetation to afford them a sense of security when kept with other larger and more boisterous community species.

An ideal aquarium setup would contain a sandy or fine substrate with a mix of densely planted areas, branch type driftwood, tree root and open swimming areas. Cherry Barbs should be house with other peaceful community fish and/or semi-aggressive community fish not large enough to eat them. If kept with semi-aggressive species like Angelfish and Gourami, it is important to provide plenty of dense foliage and tree root to provide the Cherry Barb with plenty of protected areas.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Cherry Barb and provide a healthy diet.

In their natural habitat, Cherry Barbs consume both vegetable and meaty foods ranging from plant matter to insects and small worms. Omnivores like the Cherry Barb should be fed a varied diet containing both plant and meaty foods in order to provide them all the nutrients that they need to support a healthy immune system and slime coat.

Hobbyists should feed the Cherry Barb a quality flake food designed for tropical omnivores mixed with algae or plant based flaked foods. In addition to quality flaked foods, Cherry Barbs should be offered quality frozen foods, blood worms, tubifex worms, brine shrimp and similar fair to mix up their diet and provide them a wide range of nutritional foodstuffs. They should be fed 2 to 3 times per day an amount of food that will consume within a few minutes.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Cherry Barb in the aquarium environment.

Breeding Cherry Barbs is a fairly straight forward process that generally only requires a small aquarium (10 gallons), some plants or similar decorations and a mated pair or a single male with a group of females. Place the male/female pair or male and female fish into the planted breeding aquarium. When the male is ready to breed, he will begin chasing the females about the tank, which will stimulate them to lay their eggs among the leaves of the plants. The male will then fertilize the eggs, after which they will hatch within 2 to 3 days.

The parents should be removed from the aquarium after the eggs are laid and fertilized so that they do not eat the eggs or hatched fry. Fry can be fed commercial foods specifically designed for fish fry, then moved to crushed flake food as they grow. Lastly, be sure to cover all filter intakes with sponges to prevent the fry from being sucked into the filter.

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