When did everyone's male cherry barbs begin to colour up

ninetyinone
Member
I've had my guys for over a month, they're just over an inch long. Lots of displays and chasing from the males, I think I even saw an attempt at spawning (two having a bit of a cuddle). The females have coloured up with a deep black stripe and a dark bronzy red, but the males remain washed out, barely red. Do they colour up more after a certain age? I have a planted tank, lots of driftwood, and I feed shrimp flakes and hikari vibrabites and they nibble at the sinking wafers I give to my mystery snail.

They're definitely males, the red tinge is deeper than the females, they don't have the solid stripe, and the showing off to each other is constant haha. They look more like page than any of the really nice deep red ones I've seen. Hoping it's not because I don't have a black background / black substrate because that would suck and I'm not really keen to change either. I've also seen many red cherries in tanks without!
 
LeviS
Member
Mine were red from the store. They are just over an inch long. I don't know why yours are not colored up. Maybe someone else can chime in.

20201113_223352-01.jpeg

I don't have a black background yet. Also ignore my algae problem lol I'm working on it.
 
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ninetyinone
Member
Great photo and gorgeous boy!! I hope mine are just late bloomers and will eventually look like that too...
 
fish 321
Member
Mine came colored up from the store and never really washed out.
 
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ninetyinone
Member
I've had a good search online and haven't really heard of genetics influencing barb colour... and I hope my guys aren't stressed, they are quite active and eating and swimming well. I've seen them at a few stores and none of them were cherry red. So hopefully my guys are just still juveniles. Will update this thread if anything changes!
 
Flyfisha
Member
I brought our cherry barbs from Weston Creek Petbarn having been around all the local shops theirs were slightly more coloured than some stores on that day.
After three months of eating live baby brine daily they are only slightly more colourful than the day I got them . Not as colourful as LeviS fish in post #2 and probably never will be I am thinking?
Ours are not really in an ideal tank to breed but the temptation is to try and raise fry from a couple of the more colourful fish, one day soon maybe?
 
NofishB4
Member
I read online that foods high in krill (like xtreme krill flakes) really bring out reds. That they can actually tint white fish a faint pink if the only food. Mabe worth a try?
 
LeviS
Member
I do feed mine xtreme krill flakes I got from aquarium co-op. I also feed Hikari tubifex worms and freeze dried blood worms ( I know the frozen is better but have always forgot my cooler/bag since I'm an hour away from store that has frozen foods).
I think the source of where companies get their fish varies in quality of stock. I got mine from a petland. They were nice reds from the start where as the ones I've seen in petsmart are still nice but not as vibrant. I do feel like the krill has made them color up even better.
 
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ninetyinone
Member
Flyfisha said:
I brought our cherry barbs from Weston Creek Petbarn having been around all the local shops theirs were slightly more coloured than some stores on that day.
After three months of eating live baby brine daily they are only slightly more colourful than the day I got them . Not as colourful as LeviS fish in post #2 and probably never will be I am thinking?
Ours are not really in an ideal tank to breed but the temptation is to try and raise fry from a couple of the more colourful fish, one day soon maybe?
I was sort of worried about this... I mean I still like them but obviously the cherry's main draw is that vibrant red, would've looked awesome in my tank! And I had a look before I got them and no one really talks about different shades of red in cherries online (like they do with e.g. shrimp). And I did what you said too, went to probably 5+ different shops from different areas and they all had similarly coloured fish.

NofishB4 said:
I read online that foods high in krill (like xtreme krill flakes) really bring out reds. That they can actually tint white fish a faint pink if the only food. Mabe worth a try?
I was hoping vibrabites would be able to do the trick, since xtreme is sort of hard to source from here too! I'll probably end up giving it a go a few months down the track if nothing changes. Thanks!
 
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ninetyinone
Member
Went to (one of my) LFS today to get some things, and he said to expect them to get to 1.5-1.7 inches before they really reach adulthood and full colour, so hope to report back in a few months to say that my guys have lived up to their potential!
 
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ninetyinone
Member
I guess it didn’t take few months, rather the correct aquarium light! After switching from a white/blue light to a RGB for plants I noticed my guys were much less washed out. Seems like I’m cheating a bit but it was unintentional! They’ve also grown a little bit more which I’m sure has helped! Dodgy photos attached because I’m only armed with a phone camera and the little dudes are QUICK. The females hang around for much longer for photos
 
Flyfisha
Member
Thanks for sharing the update. I have been meaning to snap my guys that are eating baby brine daily as they share a tank with a couple of young apistogramma. Brine shrimp is what makes flamingos pink. It’s a bit dark right now. Tomorrow maybe.

I have to say your plants are standing out nicely in the photo .
 
kgalle
Member
Mine look like this a few days after being added to the aqwuarium.
PXL_20201121_040543296_2_exported_19476_1606234903061_2.jpg
 
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ninetyinone
Member
Flyfisha said:
Thanks for sharing the update. I have been meaning to snap my guys that are eating baby brine daily as they share a tank with a couple of young apistogramma. Brine shrimp is what makes flamingos pink. It’s a bit dark right now. Tomorrow maybe.

I have to say your plants are standing out nicely in the photo .
I've been meaning to get some live BBS in there, I reckon they would love it. Especially my biggest female, she is constantly waiting for food. And thank you! I'm currently fighting with my H. pinnatifida because it's shedding the lower leaves at an alarming rate but we'll get there!

kgalle said:
Mine look like this a few days after being added to the aqwuarium.
I think mine came in looking like that too, I think that's pretty normal for that size! Give them good food and water and hopefully they'll do great in a month or two!
 

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