42 Types of Barb Fish: Rare to Common Species, Breeds, Photos

Barb aquarium fish, are also called barbel. They belong to the popular Carp family and are represented by a large variety of species of fish. With bright and pale colors, large and small, cocky and calm, but always playful, the inhabitants of the aquarium, in any case, require the right maintenance.

barb fish Natural habitat

Compared to other wild fish, the body length of barbs is considered to be of medium size – 5-30 cm. Longhorns are schooling peaceful fish that constantly move: chase each other, dig, hide and suddenly jump out, like to tease others. Barbs are not demanding to keep fish, so it is not difficult for them to adapt to new conditions. The habitats of wild fish are China, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Some species introduced to the reservoirs of Colombia, the USA, Singapore, and Australia have successfully taken root there. In these places, large merry flocks of barbs are found in slowly flowing rivers and streams, where the bottom is sandy and there is a lot of vegetation.

barb fish body shape

The body of the barb is elongated and slightly elongated, the front part is pointed. The tail is formed by two lobes. Fish with developed pharyngeal teeth, which are absent on the jaws. Some species have antennae, adding originality to a variety of colors. There are types of barbs of a single color or with two shades, with specks or marked with stripes running along the body or across. Each species has its own color.

42 types of barb fish: Species and Breeds

Breeders have more than 15 popular groups of barbel. The species of barbs are united by common features: an elongated body, a bilobed tail, and antennae.

Tiger barb (Sumatran puntigrus tetrazona)

tiger barb sumatran puntigrus tetrazona

Originally from Sumatra. The body length is 6-7 cm. The fish is cocky, that’s why it was nicknamed “the striped robber barb”. The golden scales are marked with 4 vertical dark stripes. Adults are prone to obesity.

Mossy or mutant Barb Fish

mossy or mutant barb fish

This species appeared by accident from a culled breeding form of the Sumatran barb. The new species turned out to have widened and merged stripes, thanks to which the fish turned out to be a rich greenish-black color with a shine to match the color of the metal and with red fins.

Fiery pethia conchonius Barb Fish

fiery pethia conchonius barb fish 1

It is considered the first aquarium species from which other species of barbs originated. Length of wild species – 15 cm, domestic, with bright gold or orange color – 8. Distinguish the species by a characteristic black spot in front of the caudal fin. Other fins have dark edging.

Shark balantiocheilus melanopterus

shark balantiocheilus melanopterus

The shy fish is often called the ball shark, because outwardly it looks like a shark:

  • transparent and edged in black, fins;
  • torpedo body;
  • dorsal triangular fin;
  • a forked tail.

It grows in length up to 30 cm.

Denison Barb Fish

denison barb fish

It is preferable to settle a delicate fish with a calm disposition and an original color in a large aquarium. The species is distinguished by bright, black and red stripes running along the body and along the black and yellow spots on the rays of the tail. Denisonis are not picky about food, they rarely get sick. They grow up to 10-11 cm.

Cherry barb

cherry barb

Peaceful barb, with a body length of 4-5 cm. An elongated, slightly curved body of bright red or crimson color with a dark horizontal stripe. The lower jaw has a small antennae. There are albino and veil forms.

Five-banded Barb

five banded barb

The body is elongated and streamlined, with vertical black stripes casting green, dividing the olive-yellow body into 6 equal parts. The fin on the back is colorless, others are reddish-brown.

African Butterfly Barb

african butterfly barb

A small barb fish, 3 cm long, which loves to move, but lives quietly with its neighbors. Likes to pester those who have long and wide fins or those who move a little. The color of the butterfly is yellow or light brown, the back is darker. Boca – with shiny black spots.

Desmopuntius gemellus

desmopuntius gemellus

This barb is also called Desmopuntius gemellus. The yellow-golden body, 10 cm long, is marked by four longitudinal dark blue lines. Fin on the back. With a dark front, it rises high. The rest of the fins are colorless.

Red Sided Barb

red sided barb

The main color is shiny greenish-olive, golden in bright light. On the reddish dorsal fin and in front of the tail – on a black spot. The body of male barbs is decorated with a longitudinal red line.

Oligolepsis Barb

oligolepsis barb

This barbel, with a wild appearance, is also called insular. Differences: large pearlescent scales with a black border, an elongated body of 5 cm, antennae and yellow-brown color. The frightened barbel turns gray.

Indian Barb Fish

indian barb fish

Active fish with a thin graceful body, along which a dark stripe runs, prefer to live in a school of 8 fish. A similar company is chosen for communication.

Dawkinsia exclamatio

dawkinsia exclamatio

The Dawkinsia exclamatio is compared to a rainbow in terms of the number of shades. They named the fish due to the elongated spot and point at the base of the tail. When upright, these markings are similar to an exclamation point.

Pethia stoliczkana

pethia stoliczkana

This barb was named after Ferdinand Stolicka, a scientist zoologist from Moravia. The fish, 5 cm long, look like crimson relatives. At the Pethia stoliczkana, the body is light or dark silver in color with a dark spot closer to the tail. Another, smaller spot is located after the operculum.

Odessa barb

odessa barb

The length of the oblong body of red barbs is not more than 7 cm. The color of the back is with a grayish-green tint, the abdomen is of a light tone. The upper fins have dark specks, the lower fins are red. The scales are arranged in a grid. The sides of the fish are marked with a bright scarlet stripe.

Arulius barb

arulius barb

On a yellowish-gray with a shine light body, starting on the back of a blue-blue color, there are vertical dark-blue stripes. In the corners of the mouth – 1 antennae. Aurulius aquarium fish love the purest water and strong currents, but they do not like floating plants.

Clown barb

clown barb

The clown is considered a long-liver in the aquarium. Barb, 10 cm long, with proper maintenance, lives up to 8 years. They love warm water and lots of space. The color of the fish is golden-red with dark spots. The back color is brighter. If the clown is left without neighbors for a long time, the fish will become aggressive.

tiger barb or Sumatra barb

tiger barb or sumatra barb

This barb, with a short and elongated golden body, 9 cm long, is not against old water. There are a pair of small mustaches near the mouth. The lateral line is marked with rounded dark spots. Males are smaller and have a reddish belly.

Rosy barb

rosy barb 1

It is difficult to distinguish between a female and a male. Both are 6-7 cm long, the body color of breeding forms is orange-yellow. The scales are edged in a dark color.

Schubert or golden barbs

schubert or golden barbs

Popular fish in the aquarium due to the golden color of different shades, constant restlessness around the clock, unpretentiousness and ease of breeding. Unlike golden barbs, Schubert’s body is elongated, along which there is a strip of dark spots. They prefer to dwell at the bottom of the aquarium.

Pink White Albino Tiger Barb

pink white albino tiger barb

The species is the result of breeding work with Sumatrans. The albino barb grows up to 6-8 cm. It is distinguished by a light creamy or yellow color with discolored stripes. Fins, at the edges, with a red border. They reproduce when transplanted into a separate aquarium under constant control.

Golden dwarf barb

The Golden dwarf barb is distinguished by its graceful, 4-5 cm long body, high in the middle and narrow to the tail. The color is sandy or yellow, turning into silver on the abdomen. The body is marked with a horizontal stripe with a bluish tint. The shape of the head is pointed.

Tinfoil barb

The Tinfoil barb is considered a large and hardy fish, growing up to 20 cm. This not capricious specimen is planted in large aquariums.



The length of the Puntius is not more than 5 cm. The back is gray-brown, the color of the sides is matt silver with gold and with two distinct dark oval spots. The color of the fins is yellow-red. There are many black dots along the dorsal fin.

Snakeskin barb

snakeskin barb

Coloring barbs of this species are similar to clowns but differ in the original diamond-shaped pattern on the body.

Odessa barb

This is the most prominent representative of the genus. The oval silvery body of the fish, up to 6 cm in size, is covered with dense scales, forming a metallic sheen of the mesh ornament. The color of the back is greenish-gray, the abdomen is lighter. The tail is red. Dark spots are visible near the operculum.

 filament barb

filament barb

Large fish, up to 12 cm long. Young  filament barb are silvery; 4 black transverse stripes are visible on the body. Adult fish with a brown back, silvery sides, shimmering blue and green, and a reddish belly.

Purplehead barb

purplehead barb

Length – up to 7 cm. The Male is purple-red in front, the other half is velvet-black with black fins. Breeds with veil fins were bred.


Large, 30 cm long, fish. The color is silvery, there are rows of black dots along the body. The caudal fin is half colorless or tinged with red.

Dawkinsia assimilis

It is also called the Dawkinsia assimilis. The body length is 12 cm. The appearance is similar to the filamentous Barb, so there is confusion. The male is distinguished by the red dotted line next to the balance line. Above the line, the color is golden, below it is silver. Closer to the tail – a dark spot.

Albino Tiger Barbs

The fish is cheerful, but it attacks fish with long fins and snails. The Hong Kong breed was bred artificially. Fish do not need a lot of space, and food needs to be controlled. Albino Tiger Barbs are prone to overeating.

GloFish Barb

Fish with a rich color glow due to the introduction of a preparation containing a luminous jellyfish pigment. Glofishes are not capable of multiplying.

Green Tiger Barb

A hardy and not capricious fish was bred from the Sumatra barb breed. The appearance is similar to the progenitor, but there are no stripes.

Melon barb

Melon barb is classified as omnivorous fish. He does not quarrel with neighbors. The body is 8 cm long, the fins are reddish, the body is gray, along which vertical dark stripes and spots are marked. Reproduction requires a separate container and patience when growing eggs.

Least rasbora

least rasbora

Least rasbora with a body length of no more than 2 cm. A distinctive feature is a light pink color with a black spot at the base of the tail. Sometimes there are barbel with a translucent body. They prefer one type of food. Breeding is difficult.

Red shiner

The luminous body, 6 cm long, is covered with pink and blue scales. Red shiner do not like to live one at a time, they need a flock of 8 copies. Omnivores.

Arulius barb

Body length 15 cm. Black cross-shaped stripes run along with the cream color. They prefer to live in a spacious aquarium with a water temperature of 18-22 degrees. It multiplies without problems, without transplanting.

Golden Barb

The fish is small in size, less than 4 cm, but differs in mobility. Prefers to live in a pack. The color of the scales is silvery with lilac or golden tint. There are 5 blue stripes on the body.

Dawkinsia filamentosa

The barbel comes from India. The body length is up to 17 cm. Closer to the tail, a dark spot is visible, the second on the other side. In addition, the tail is marked with black and orange-red arrows. Fertile and mobile olives require a spacious aquarium, food interferes with plants.

Fiveband barbs

The body of Fiveband barbs is thin and graceful, 5 cm in size. They live in groups of 10-15 fish.


The male is distinguished by a large sand-colored dorsal fin, similar to a sail in black-brown ripples. The female has 2 dark spots and 1 yellow instead of ripples. Oreichthys are cheerful, playful fish, although they look sad outwardly.

butterfly barb

The body of the butterfly barb is elongated and compressed at the sides. The mouth has 2 antennae. The color is pink, the back is golden brown. A butterfly barb is distinguished by three large black spots on each side.

Barb Fish care at home

Slow swimming is not peculiar to barbs, they do not know how to stand still, thinking. Longhorns are constantly moving and maneuvering, so they need space. Small barbs are not demanding to care, but the larger the specimen, the more capricious the fish.

barb fish care at home

Which aquarium to choose for barb fish species?

When choosing a tank, they are guided by the type of fish for which it is intended. For small barbs, for a flock of 3-4 fish, a 50-liter container is suitable. For 7 individuals, you need 100 liters. For large inhabitants, an aquarium is set up, the volume of which is 200-300 liters, and it is advisable to choose an elongated rectangular product with a lid.

barbs water parameters

Barbs easily adapt to new conditions and water temperatures. This indicator should not be below 18 and above 25-26 degrees. Acidity is required to observe pH 6.5-8, and hardness – from 4 to 10.

The water needs to be refilled weekly. Species, whose ancestors lived in swampy bodies of water, are replaced less often – 2 times a month. They change the fourth part of the water to settled water while cleaning the soil.

filter for water

Barbs love to frolic in “old” water and in accelerated underwater current jets, which are created by a compressor or a pump. For permanent water filtration, you will need to install a filter. When purchasing equipment, it is worth considering the size of the fish tank.

aquarium plant for barbs

Fine sand and river pebbles no larger than 4 mm are poured onto the bottom. Live plants are planted along the walls, leaving the barbs a place to play. Leaves are also additional food for fish.

It is worth giving preference to fast-growing and with strong stems of greens:

  • anubias;
  • cryptocoryne;
  • vallisneria;
  • arrowhead;
  • elodea;
  • hornwort;
  • fontinalis;
  • nayasu and other plants.

In the thickets, barbs will find shelter and a place to rest.

What fish are compatible with barbs?

If there are few barbs in the aquarium, they become angry and cannot get along with their neighbors. To avoid attacks, it is worth considering the compatibility of barbs and choosing fish of a similar nature and lifestyle:

  • platies;
  • parrots;
  • mollies;
  • zebrafish;
  • settle with rainbows and catfish.

Sometimes, in a bad mood, the barbel behaves like a predator, destroying relatives and chasing large neighbors with lush tails and fins. This happens if you do not take into account the compatibility of the barb with other inhabitants of the aquarium.

The barbs will not touch other inhabitants if different species of these robbers are placed in the aquarium so that they understand only between their groups.

what to feed barb fish?

Omnivorous barbs are given live food: tubules, daphnia, bloodworms, cyclops, and brine shrimp. They are also fed dry and frozen foods. It is allowed to feed ready-made industrial feeds in the form of tablets or granules and be sure to include herbal supplements:

  • fresh cucumber;
  • zucchini;
  • leaf salad;
  • dandelion;
  • spinach;
  • wolfia.

The feeding regimen is morning and evening, taking into account the recommended dosage.

What is the lifespan of a barb?

The life span of barbel is influenced by their size: small fish live 3-5 years, large specimens, with good care, manage to live 8-10 years. In this case, they are kept in pairs or singly, and care becomes more difficult.

Breeding and reproduction of barbs

For breeding, it is allowed to take wild representatives that breed without problems in captivity. Large fish are now less common, small compact fish are popular. For breeding barbs, it is worth acquiring a separate spawning box with a volume of 10-20 liters. Two-thirds of the volume is poured here from a common aquarium, and topped up with fresh, settled water. The bottom is laid out with plants a bed for caviar. Above, 2 cm higher, a mesh is installed that protects the eggs from being eaten.

Is my barb Male or female?

The body of the females is large, the abdomen is large, rounded, but the color is not as bright as the males boast. In addition, during the spawning period, the front part of the body often turns red in males, and outgrowths appear on the head. In adult males, at the 4th month of life, the caudal fin, along the edges, turns red.

Preparing barb for spawning

Large and bright producers that have reached sexual maturity are suitable for breeding barbs. They are caught, and for 10-15 days they are deposited in separate spacious containers, and they give a lot of high-protein feed (live). At this time, they are preparing the spawning grounds. The rounded abdomen of the female will serve as a signal for spawning.

Spawning sutable water

Soft and warm water stimulates spawning, to which the producers are accustomed in advance: temperature – 28 degrees, water hardness – 2, acidity – 7. During forced imprisonment, it is recommended to increase the temperature from time to time.

How does barb spawning take place?

When is the spawning period:

  1. 2 hours before the night light turns on, 1 female with 2-3 males is launched into the spawning grounds, and the aquarium is darkened.
  2. With sunrise, or when the lamp is turned on, the female is attacked by the males, releasing eggs in portions. In total, during spawning, it is capable of producing up to 1 thousand pieces of future offspring.
  3. Males fertilize eggs immediately, and they fall down.
  4. When the process is over, the fish are caught and removed.
  5. Stuck eggs need to be shaken down, and the container must be shaded.
  6. After 4 hours, those eggs that have turned white need to be removed – these are dead.

To understand whether spawning is over, it is worth looking at how barbs behave.

baby fish fry care and feeding

The fry emerge in 24 hours, on the 5th day they will have to be looked after: fed and monitored development in order to plant the grown ones in time. Newborn barbs are fed with ciliates or rotifers, gradually accustoming them to brine shrimp.

Barb fish Diseases, Treatment and Prevention

Proper care and maintenance of barbs allows you to grow healthy aquarium inhabitants without creating problems. Common causes of the disease are the weakening of fish due to neglect of the rules of care. Considering barbs to be unpretentious fish, some aquarists do not understand that the fish is sick and requires treatment.


A common disease among barbel, which is introduced by new fish or plants.

How to determine:

  • the whiteness of the skin appears, next to the tail, and of the dorsal fins;
  • the color of the stripes becomes pale;
  • a sick barb swims above so that the rays of the dorsal fin are visible;
  • appetite decreases, the fish becomes lethargic.

It is treated with oxacillin solution, rinsing and disinfection of the aquarium.

Aeromonosis (rubella)

An infectious, common disease that barbs are ill with. In terms of symptoms, aeromonosis is similar to dropsy. The infection gets with new fish that have not gone through quarantine.

barb Obesity

If the fish are fed incorrectly, give more food than the norm, they will begin to overeat and become obese. Visible signs of the disease: the body has become larger than normal, the fish has reduced motor activity and became apathetic. To eliminate the disease, the restoration of the correct diet is required. Do not feed the fish for the first 3 days.

barb fish Fin rot

Barbs begin to get sick with this disease due to the accumulation of dirt in the aquarium and, if the water is cold.


  • fins are surrounded by a light blue border;
  • the length of the fins, which acquire an unnatural color, becomes shorter;
  • loss of rays and clouding of the eyes occurs;
  • rot destroys the fins, then spreads to the muscles and skin.

They are treated by replacing the water and raising its temperature to 28 degrees. Streptocide is added to the water.

rosy barb with dropsy

The disease is rare, only with unfavorable content. In fish, the belly swells, the scales protrude, the anus protrudes, the barbs become lethargic. Sometimes bulging develops. Sick fish are destroyed, the aquarium with plants is treated with potassium permanganate, then filled with clean water.

Barb Gill rot

A complex infectious disease affects the gills with blood vessels, which causes them to rot and collapse. In a sick fish, the gills turn red, the appetite disappears, it rarely goes down, often hangs upside down. At the first stage, they are treated with rivanol and griseofulvin. In the acute stage, dark blue spots appear in those places of the gills where tissue dying off began.


Whitish formations appear on the affected areas, similar to cotton wool caused by bacteria. The development of the disease is slow.


Common causes of bloating are: overfeeding, an inflamed gastrointestinal tract if dry food predominates, swelling or tapeworms due to poor quality live food.

If the belly swells up slowly, this is obesity, if the problem is rapid, it is an infection.

What is the price of barb fish?

Common barbs are sold for 2 to 3 dollars for 1 fish. Oligolepis can be bought for 10 dollars or higher. The cherry barbs are already sold for about 3 to 4 dollars and the Sumatran Barb for 5. A copy of the mossy mutant costs 5.5 dollars. For a bream-like and fiery barbs, they ask for 6 dollars. and more. For a colored Sumatran, Denison barbs, the price reaches 10 to 15 dollars.

It is interesting, and in addition, good for health, to watch the game of colorful and restless barbs. We hope the article turned out to be useful to the reader who is engaged in barbs or is just about to start an aquarium.