Barbs belong to one of the biggest fish families known as the Cypprinidae family, this genus has over 2600 species including Goldfish, Loaches, Rasboras and Sharks.
Barbs are mostly found in Eastern and Southern Asia with some species hailing from Africa. Barbs live in a variety of places, however, prefer either fast flowing river or calm lakes, and shady areas with lots of aquatic vegetation.
Maximum Size and Longevity
Sizes of Barbs can greatly differ between the species. Smaller Barbs are generally only a few centimetres big. The larger sizes can go all the way up to 35cm.
Barbs thrive well in most tanks and require little maintenance to stay within the below parameters.
Temperature: 18– 26 degrees Celsius
pH: 6.5 – 7. 5
General Hardness: 50 – 150 ppm
Barbs are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet consisting of live, frozen and dried food. For extra nutrition try placing vegetable matter into the tank.
Barbs are able to fit into any aquarium as they are an active but peaceful fish. They are a fish that likes to stay in groups in the aquarium. Tiger Barbs should be watched carefully as they are known to nip fins. Ensuring that enough food is present for the Tiger Barbs will reduce the incidents of nipping.
Colour and Varieties
Barbs come in a wide variety of colours and patterns and have been successfully bred to achieve the popular combinations we see like, Rosy Barbs, Diamond Scale Barbs, Cherry Barbs and many more.
The males and females are easily recognisable with the males having the brighter colour and being slender in shape. Females, especially in spawning condition will have an extended abdomen which can be seen when looking at the fish from the top. These fish will happily breed in captivity, and it is recommended to get another densely populated planted tank to put the eggs in once the spawning process is over. The parents do not engage in brood care.
Barbs are a simple fish to have as part of your aquarium and do not require much. They do need a decent amount of swimming space and very much enjoy having hiding places. It is recommended to avoid bright lights as this will negatively affect their colour.