Introduction to Cherry Barb

The cherry barb (Puntius titteya) is a commercially important tropical ray finned aquarium fish which belongs to the Family Cyprinidae under Order Cypriniformes of Class Actinopterygii. In 1929 the cherry barb was named Puntius titteya by Paul E. P. Deraniyagala. It is also known as red cherry barb and this fish is native to Sri Lanka which prefers heavily shaded streams and rivers with slow moving shallow water that contains bottom of silt and littered with branches and leaf litter. It is omnivore fish and in nature this barb mainly feeds on diatoms, algae, invertebrates and detritus.

Cherry Barb’s Overview

The Cherry Barb has an elongated and torpedo shaped body with forked caudal fin. Dorsal side of the body is fawn colored with a slight greenish sheen. Sides of the body and belly have gleaming silver highlights.  A horizontal stripe is present which extends from the tip of the snout through the eye to the base of the caudal fin and it is brown or blue-black with a metallic edge that turns to blue or sea green toward the tail. The male is redder than the female which becomes deep red during breeding season while the female is lighter with yellowish fins. It grows up to 5 cm in length and lives up to 7 years. At all, the cherry barb is an excellent community fish which makes an attractive addition to any tank.

Scientific Name: Puntius titteya

English Name: Cherry barb, Crimson Carplet

Origin:  Sri Lanka

Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)

Behavior: Peaceful

Tank Level: All over the tank

Minimum Tank Size:  10 gallons or larger

Diet: Omnivore

Breeding: Egg layers

Care level: Easy

Water pH: 6.0-7.0

Water Hardness: 5 to 19 dH

Water Temperature: 73.0 to 79.0° F

Water Movement: Moderate

Lighting: Moderate – normal lighting

Lifespan: 5 – 7 years

Feeding Red Cherry Barbs

The red cherry barb is omnivorous and in wild condition it mainly feeds on diatoms, algae, organic detritus, small insects, worms, crustaceans and other zooplankton. In captive condition it generally accepts all kinds of live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, Daphnia and Artemia alongside good quality fresh and flake foods. To keep your cherry healthy, a high quality flake food should be supplied 2-3 times every day.

Housing red cherry barb

The Cherry Barb is a very popular fish among the aquarium hobbyists. It is peaceful in nature and easy to care in captive condition. The cherry barb is a schooling fish and is best kept in groups of five or more individuals. The tank should have dense vegetation and floating plants with a dark substrate and an open space for swimming. An efficient filter and good water movement are also needed for the male cherry to develop their coloration. The younger male is generally peaceful but a mature male can be aggressive when breeding. The red cherry barbs can be kept with many of the most popular fish including other small cyprinids such tetras, livebearers, rainbowfishes, anabantoids, catfishes, and loaches. Aquariums are closed systems and it always needs some maintenance. Organic matter, nitrates and phosphate build up overtime in the aquarium and the water hardness increases due to evaporation. Proper care should be taken and 25-50% of the tank water should be replaced at least once a month. If the tank is densely stocked 20-25% water should be replaced weekly or every other week.

Sexing cherry barb

It is difficult to make differences between male and female cherry barbs at the young stage. But at adult stage the male barb becomes redder and slimmer while the female is much lighter in color usually with some yellow and a light orange or black horizontal band and has rather plumper body with red gills than the male. The male cherry barb turns bright red during spawning season, which is probably where they get their name from.

Breeding Cherry Barbs

The Cherry Barb is egg layer and it breeds easily in aquarium. They spawn in areas with dense vegetation to deposit the eggs. A separate breeding tank should be set up during spawning time and it should be faintly lit with clusters of Java moss. The water hardness should be ranged from 10 to 12° dGH with slightly acidic pH (6.0 – 6.5) and water temperature should be varied between 74 and 79° F during breeding time. The female lays 200 to 300 eggs and scatters them on plants and on the substrate. The eggs hatch in about 24 hours. The fry are free-swimming after two more days. After five weeks the hatchlings reach about 1 cm in length and they are easily identifiable as cherry barbs. Free swimming fry should be fed with infusoria, a liquid fry food or newly hatched baby brine at least three times a day. The fry needs clean water to survive and make healthier.

Red Cherry Barbs for sale & Where to buy

The popular Cherry Barb is available basically anywhere, both in stores and online and is moderately price. Pricing may vary by store location.  For buying your next cherry barbs, look below for online vendors.