Cherry Barb Fish

Updated May 13, 2020
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
Social Media: FishLore on Social Media

The Cherry Barb is a great fish for the beginner because they can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. It is also a very peaceful and very good community fish that will bring lots of activity to your aquarium.

They stay on the small side, usually 1.5 to 2 inches (5 cm) and should leave most of their tank mates alone. This barb does best when kept in a school, preferably 6 or more them.

It is interesting to note that this fish almost extinct in the wild but are still doing very well within the tropical fish hobby. This really is a pretty little barb and the photos in this profile does not do them justice.

They may be somewhat picky about their food when first acclimated to your tank (should be expected) but that should soon wear off and they'll be going after most of the commonly fed fish foods.

Put in some live plants and or artificial caves to provide hiding places to help make these barbs feel secure. This fish should reward you with lots of activity and will bring a splash of color to your fish tank.

in front of plants above gravel Puntius titteya near gravel bottom

Cherry Barb Care Details

Scientific Name : Puntius titteya

Common Names : Crimson Carplet

Care Level : Easy, very good fish for freshwater beginners

Size : Up to 2 inches (5 cm)

pH : 6 - 8

Temperature : 72°F - 82°F (22°C - 28°C)

Water Hardness : 5° to 25° dH,

Lifespan : 5 - 7 years

Origin / Habitat : Sri Lanka

Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful and best kept in schools of 6 or more. They can be very shy so try to keep them in a school to make them feel most comfortable. This is one of the most popular freshwater fish species for hobbyists.

Breeding : Moderate. They will need an aquarium with plants because they hang their eggs from plants with thread like material. You will have to remove the adults because they most likely will eat the eggs.

Aquarium Size : 20 gallon or larger, does better when kept in small schools of 5 or more.

Tank Mates : Many, given their peaceful nature.

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

Diet / Foods : Omnivore, they will take flakes, live and freeze dried foods such as brine shrimp, blood worms and daphnia.

Tank Region : All over the tank

Gender : The male is usually bigger and turns bright red when it is ready to spawn.

Photo Credit : Photos copyright

Site References :

Fish Lore Forum : Cherry Barb Forum | Photos

Forum Avatar :
Cherry Barb

Puntius titteya Puntius titteya

Cherry Barb Comments and Tips

From: Amy - keeping cherries
I have a 3 gallon tank and I am going to keep a variety of fish in it. How many will fit? Because I want to get 1 neon tetra and 1 cherry barb, but they might not be happy without any of their own kind. So what do you think?
Having a 3 gallon tank really limits what you can do. In order to have happy and healthy fish you really should only have 1 or two fish in it. If you had 2 barbs (2 inches as adults) you would be at your limit. Resist the temptation to overcrowd the tank by adding the Neon Tetras because it will most likely only bring bad results and more work on your part (aquarium maintenance). To really enjoy your 3 gallon tank just get two barbs or two Neon Tetras.

From: Jake
I have 2 of these and 3 other barb type fish. My tank is 30 x 12 x 15 inches but I do not know what that is in gallons. I keep them with a pleco, 2 kuli loaches and 7 guppies and they all seem to get on well. It's facinating to watch the barbs all swim around with each other so peacefully and getting on with the other fish.

From: Vincent
Don't bother with a 3 gallon. That's my opinion. I started small and now enjoy a 25 gallon tank (still too small). Much easier to manitain, and you can have more fish. They can be shy and should be kept in a school (5+).

From: Elliot
I just got 2 females and they are really fun to watch. I fed them green foods and they have shown alot of colour. I might add 2 males so they can breed and it would make them more interesting to watch. They are in with 7 Neon Tetras, male and female fighting fish and a small catfish.

From: Kay
I have 3 (male) albinos and the are fun to watch because they sometimes chase each other! 2 of them are very friendly, but the other is very shy.

From: Michelle
I love my cherries but sadly they turned out to be fin nippers, lost 2 Guppies because of them. Both were attacked during the night, lost their tails! So as much as I adore these beautiful thugs I would advise anyone to think carefully about tank mates! They aren't THAT peaceful but definately worth having!

From: Jess
These are great little fish, but keep them away from fish that are slow swimmers because they fin nip (as I found out). They are quite colourful, especially when ready to mate. A pleasure to keep. Suitable for novice fish keepers, but be warned about their annoying habit!

From: Missy
I have a 5.5 gallon tank, would 6 be okay in there or is it too small?
Yes, that would be on the small side for 6 of these barbs. Why not get a 10 or 20 gallon tank? It should only be marginally more expensive but will be more enjoyable from a aquarium maintenance perspective and you may be able to keep another species or two.

From: Nick
I have a 55 gallon tank with 3 pairs of them. Almost every week I need to remove my plants because there are always eggs hanging from them. All of them are happily breeding. I have about 30 other fish in the tank and my barbs wont even bother with them.

From: Anna
Hi, I am a complete novice with fish and I would like to start with half a dozen Cherry Barbs! First of all are these available in Australia and What size tank do I need to keep these fish? I don't want any other species in here, only the barbs!
A 10 to 20 gallon tank (38 - 75 liters) should be fine for a small school of these barbs. Sorry, don't know if they're available where you live. Check online or call your local fish stores.

From: Rachael
Hello, I am thinking of getting some because I have heard they are great fish and good for beginners. But I don't have a lot of room and am thinking of getting a 6 or 6.5 gallon tank. I was wondering how many fish I could have in this size tank and also what the best combination of males and females would be. I love your site!
Hi Rachael - the number of these fish you can keep would hinge on how often you're performing tank maintenance, filter system, etc... If you're regularly doing water changes and have a filtration system, keeping 4 or 5 in your tank should be fine. 2 females for every 1 male would be a good ratio.

Still have questions?
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Go here: Cherry Barb Forum

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