Cherry Barb: Diet | Breeding | Lifespan | Size | Care Guide

If you’re considering getting a cherry barb fish or already have one, it’s important to know what to do when it comes to their care. In this article, we cover all aspects of keeping and caring for Cherry Barbs. We cover cherry barb: Diet, Lifespan, Size, and Breeding.

These small fish are known for having bright colorings and make perfect community aquarium fish. Their tendency to school makes buying a few of them really fun!

The good news about this type of fish is that the cherry barb is fairly hardy. This means that whether you have had fish before or are new to taking care of fish at more of a beginner stage, you will probably have success when it comes to keeping these fish. While you will need to purchase a tank and set it up, these fish will adapt well to tanks with plants.

We’ve assembled this informative guide that will tell you more about this pet fish as well as how to take care of them properly so that they are healthy and happy! Read on below to find out more about this fish, its diet, and more.

Species Profile

Common NamesCherry Barb
Scientific NamePuntius titteya
FamilyCyprinidae
Size1-2"
Care LevelEasy
TemperamentPeaceful
Diet Omnivores
Ideal FoodsFlake foods, Brine shrimp, Bloodworms, Mysis Shrimps. Daphnia
ColorsRed, Black, White, Grey
Tank Size20 Gallon Plus
Community fish?Yes
Good Schooling fishThese are perfect Aquascaping and Schooling fish
Water Conditions74-79° F, KH 4-10, pH 6.0-7.0
Recommended DecorWell planted aquariums, Rocks and Driftwood
JumpersYes, When first introduced to the aquarium
Cost$2 each

Cherry Barb Diet and Feeding

When it comes to being in the wild, Cherry Barbs tend to be omnivorous. As a result, they will pretty much consume anything that they come across that they can eat. They are not that selective when it comes to their diet out in the wild. Barbs will eat everything from worms to small insects to plant matter, algae, diatoms, crustaceans, and zooplankton. They’ll consider it a great chance to eat and will get right to it!

Having these fish in the setting of a tank means that their omnivore preferences can transfer right over. You can feed them a variety of things and they would be happy to eat it. However, some of their favorites include live or frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, or daphnia. Owners can also choose to utilize flakes that include plant material to help enrich their diet.

This will ensure that the fish have all of the required minerals in their diet. Feeding the fish should happen two to three times every day. Do this and they will stay healthy. You will want to make sure to feed the fish the correct amount as described on the food packages, taking care not to feed them too much or too little.

How To Breed Cherry Barbs

Just like the other fish that they are related to, this type of fish is ‘egg scattering’. What this means is that they spawn the eggs but then proceed to give minimal to zero care to their progeny as parents. They do spawn quite often, which does mean that they are easier to breed than other types of fish. A pair of Cherry Barbs can lay 200-300 eggs, which are often laid on the substrate, on rocks, and on plants.

You can tell the spawning is getting underway by observing the male Barbs’ moods and temperament. See also their color, as a red that is very bright may be a sign that the fish are getting ready to lay eggs. You will need plants in the tank for breeding because this is where the eggs are laid. Owners can also opt to add a tool to catch the eggs like a spawning mop. This is a sponge or thread-like material that collects the eggs more efficiently and makes it easier for them to be removed.

Cherry Barb: Diet | Breeding | Lifespan | Size | Care Guide 1
A cluster of eggs

When eggs have been successfully put down, you should remove them as quickly as possible. Eggs should be placed into a separate tank so that they can be protected and are not consumed at all. The tank should be smaller and lit dimly, having the water moving not all that much. Water should be slightly acidic and higher temperatures to mimic the natural environment and habitat conditions that they would be used to.

Then all that you have to do is wait for the fish to hatch. The fry will come into existence after a few days, swimming their way around the tank just shortly after. You do need to feed these little guys, so be sure to pick up some small food that will be appropriate for their diet. This includes micro worms and vinegar eels. Once they are larger, you can graduate their diet to include brine shrimp.

The fish keep on growing, making their way to the important two-month status and becoming adults. You will be able to observe a change in their size. When this time comes, they can be added to the regular tank. You may even notice that males may become aggressive, so you may want to let the female fish recover from laying eggs separately if it appears they would benefit from this.

Cherry Barb Care Guide

Caring for these fish is easier than others. For one, they are hardy and known for being great for beginners for this very reason. If you can keep their conditions stable and livable, they will not get sick or become diseased. However, they may get more frequently picked-up diseases such as fin rot if the quality of water does not stay consistent. Avoid this by having a clean tank and attending to your fish with the proper care, including changing the water each week.

They may also contract ich, which is noticed by the visible white spots found on their bodies. They’ll even turn to rub themselves against surfaces to get the small spots and finally get some relief. This can also occur due to low-functioning immune systems from tank temperature or even stress. Increase tank temperature by 2-3 degrees for 48 hours or pursue medication to help cure them if this is the case.

cherry barb fish

Cherry Barb Lifespan

The Cherry Barb will live on average for four years. However, these fish can last up to seven years in, if they are well cared for and all goes well. Barbs in captivity can be expected to live to around five years.

Color And Appearance

This fish is small and slender, especially when you put it up against other Barbs in the family. The streamlined body is found to be aesthetically pleasing thanks to its coloration. Oranges and reds can be viewed on full display with the Cherry Barb.

The male has a cherry red color, especially during spawning time, which contributes to its name. The females tend to be whiter in color and have a round stomach, compared to the slimmer bodies of the males. These barbs sport lateral brown lines that extend from head to tail.

Cherry Barb F.A.Q

Q: Where do Cherry Barbs live in the wild? A: These fish find their native home in Sri Lanka. Populations also live in Colombia and Mexico.

Q: What type of environment can they be found in naturally? A: Small streams and ponds located on the rainforest floor.

Q: What types of fish make the best tank mates for the Cherry Barb? A: These calm fish go well with fish that have similar dispositions. Good mates include Glass Catfish, Tetras, Platies, Celestial Pearl Danios, Mystery Snails, or Cherry/Ghost Shrimp.

Q: What type of tank do they require? A: A tank that is 25-30 gallons is perfect for these fish, giving them enough room to swim, hide, and spawn.

Q: What should the tank conditions be? A: The tank should have a temperature that ranges from 73-81 degrees Fahrenheit. The hardness should be from 4 to 15, with a pH of the tank resting at anywhere from 6 to 7.5. A moderate water flow is best for this type of fish. Keep lighting low with plants in the tank to provide hiding spots and shade.

Q: How big do these fish grow to? A: The average largest size for a Cherry Barb to grow to will be two inches.

Q: How many of these fish can I keep? A: These fish love to school. A good amount to have would be up to 6, allowing them to group together in a 30-gallon tank.

Q: What type of female to male ratio should I have? A: Generally, it is a good idea to have a ratio of two females to every male to reduce aggression from males during spawning.

Q: Are these the type of fish that would be a good fit for my aquarium? A: That depends. If you already have an aquarium with fish in it, you will have to check to make sure that they are compatible with the Cherry Barb before adding them in. However, if you are starting from the beginning, then you can make an aquarium that has the perfect conditions for this fish along with the best tank mates for them. As they are easy to care for and calm fish, they make a great addition or main focus to any home aquarium, whether you are an expert or a beginner.

Q: How can I make my Cherry Barb fish stand out in an aquarium? A: This is easily accomplished. You can add certain green plants to the tank that will add color and help the red of the fish stand out. Anacharis, Hornwort, and Java Fern are all good picks. A darker coarse substrate in the tank will provide the contrast than that of gravel, helping the red fish to truly shine as the main focus of your aquarium.

Conclusion: Cherry Barb Complete Guide

We hope we have tempted you into purchasing some Cherry Barbs you won’t regret it, I can assure you.

A small school of 10-12 will look amazing in the right size aquarium. Set their colors against bright green live plants (check out our 21 Most Popular Aquarium Plant Guide Here) and they’ll look incredible in any Home Aquarium.

These easy to care for Barbs are inexpensive to purchase and are easy to feed and breed. So, what are you waiting for? Pop down to your local pet store and take a look for yourself.

Carl Broadbent