Aquarium Fish

Odessa Barb

The Odessa Barb can rival the colors of most saltwater species. Odessa Barbs are considered hardy and will tolerate a wide range of water parameters but will thrive in well planted tanks that are slightly on the acidic side of the pH range. The Odessa Barb may be difficult to find at your local fish store, but ask your store to order some for you. You may be required to leave a small deposit but it will be well worth getting a school of these beauties.

The male Odessa Barbs are usually the colorful ones while the females become plumper when developing eggs. If you want to try your hand at breeding them you will need a bare bottom tank and you will have to remove the adults after they have fertilized the eggs. It should take 3 to 5 days for the eggs to hatch. Be ready to feed them infusoria for the first few weeks and then baby brine shrimp. Frequent partial water changes (daily) are required during the grow out stages as well.

Odessa Barbs are not picky eaters and they should eat most fish food that hits the tank water. Give your Odessa Barb some live or frozen fish food ocassionally and they will reward you with great coloration and lots of activity.

If you get a school of these Odessa Barbs, you might see some territorial aggression or tests of dominance among the males. These little battles shouldn't last long and they really should not be cause for concern. If it gets out of hand though, be prepared to separate the weaker fish. The Odessa Barb should play nicely with the other fish in the tank but watch for fin nipping. Fin nipping may be dimished if you keep a school of Odessa Barbs in your tank.

Odessa Barb Picture

Odessa Barb
Photo Credit: Chris Dickhoff

Odessa Barb Video

Odessa Barb Care

Scientific Name : Puntius sp.

Common Names : Odessa Barb, Scarlet Barb, Ticto Barb

Care Level : Easy

Size : 3 inches (8 cm)

pH : 6 - 7

Temperature : 70°F - 78°F (21°C - 26°C)

Water Hardness : 2° to 10° dH

Origin / Habitat : Indonesia, Sumatra

Lifespan : 3 years or more

Temperament / Behavior : The Odessa Barb can be aggressive with other Odessas in the same tank and it is usually the males bickering over a dominance position within the school. They may also nip at slower moving fish with larger fins, such as Angelfish.

Breeding : An egg scatterer, it can be difficult if not impossible to breed in a community aquarium. A bare bottom breeding tank will increase your chance of success as well as a slightly lower pH. Remove the adults after they have dropped and fertilized the eggs.

Aquarium Size : 10 gallon for one - you'll need a larger tank when keeping multiples.

Odessa Barb Tank Mates : Slow swimming fish and fish with larger fins may make an attractive nipping target for this Barb.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Foods : Omnivore, will accept flake, freeze-dried and live foods. Vary their diet but try to give your Odessa Barb a good quality flake food as the main source of their nutrition.

Tank Region : This is a relatively fast swimming fish that will roam all over, but mostly stays in the middle region of the tank.

Gender : The female is usually bigger and the males should develop more coloration as they mature.

Author : Mike FishLore

Fish Lore Forum : Odessa Barb Forum


Odessa Barb Tips

From: Angie
I looked and looked for this fish at my local pet store and they never had them in stock. However, about two weeks ago the stars aligned and there they were! They have settled in nicely to my planted tank and their colors are remarkable for freshwater fish! They look better now (more colorful) than when they were in the store tank. I do see some aggression among them from time to time, but nothing serious. They leave the other fish in my aquarium alone. I give all my fish ocean nutrition flake fish food.

From: Luke
I have had a trio of Odessas (1 male, 2 females) for about 4 months now. They seem to enjoy schooling with other similar fish, such as my rosy, black-ruby, gold, and tiger barbs. The danios join in often as well. It makes for big colorful school of fish. My two females spar from time to time, and I have seen my male sparring with the male rosy barb, though the rosy usually gives up pretty quick. This has become one of my favorite fish. They are beautiful once you bring them home and they settle in. Don't let the drab little things at the LFS fool you!


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