Gold Barb - Barbodes semifasciolatus

Published August 6, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Gold Barb is another hardy freshwater fish that is good for beginners. It will tolerate a wide range of water parameters, stays relatively small (3 inches - 8cm), is quite colorful and should play nicely with most tank inhabitants.

They have a mostly gold colored body with small dark or black patches running down the lateral line of the body.

These Gold Barbs may not do very well in planted aquariums because they may nip at the plants. If you have a heavily planted tank you may be able to keep a few of these, but if your tank is sparsely populated with plants they may rid you of your plants.

Behavior wise, these barbs do best when kept in a school of 5 or more and they may bicker among the school about the pecking order. Avoid keeping them with long finned fishes such as Bettas, some of the long finned tetras and Angelfish because they may nip at their fins.


The Golden Barb is a good eater and if they aren't eating it may be safe to assume that something is wrong with the water paramters in your tank. A flake food can form the main part of their diet, but supplement with other foods.

Gold Barb Barbodes semifasciolatus sachsii Barbodes semifasciolatus sachsii Barbodes semifasciolatus sachsii

Gold Barb Care

Scientific Name : Barbodes semifasciolatus (G√ľnther, 1868)

Other Common Names : Goldfinned Barb, Golden Barb

Care Level : Easy and can be a good fish for those new to the hobby.

Size : Up to 3 inches (8 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 : Asia, Singapore

Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful and best kept in a school of 6 or more.

Breeding : Moderate. It is believed that the reproductive cycle of the Gold Barb can be closely tied to the cycles of the moon. Hmmm... Males may take on a slightly different color when in breeding mode. They will need an aquarium with plants because they spawn in the plants, such as java moss. You will have to remove the adults because they most likely will eat the eggs. Fry should hatch in a couple days and then you'll need to feed them liquid fry food and baby brine shrimp or other good fry foods.

Aquarium Size : 20 gallon or larger since they like to school.

Tank Mates : Many, given their generally peaceful nature of this barb. Would do well in community tanks and Barb themed aquarium setups. However, use caution if you have long finned fish such as Angelfish and Bettas. They may fin nip at these longer finned fish.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment - Can sometimes be one of the first to show signs of ich. Use a quarantine tank for all new arrivals. This species is prone to the typical freshwater diseases such as white spot, parasitic and bacterial infections.

Diet / Foods : Omnivore, the Gold Barb will eat flakes, live and freeze dried foods such as brine shrimp, blood worms and daphnia.

Tank Region : Middle to bottom regions of the tank

Gender : The male is usually smaller, more stream lined and sometimes turns a more golden/orange color when it is ready to spawn.

Photo Credit : Photos copyright

Site References :

Fish Lore Forum : Gold Barb Forum

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Gold Barb

Gold Barb Comments

From: Barb Dude
I have 4 of these gold barbs in my 20 gallon and they are not schooling in my tank. They all always seem to be equidistant from each other at all times. It's weird. They can be aggressive eaters and are often the first to the food when it hits the tank water. They are not aggressive to their tank mates or each other. Since I've had them, which is about 6 months, their colors have really picked up and they are starting to look more yellow than gold. This is a great fish.

From: Cheryl - good eaters
I bought 4, 2 weeks ago. They do not really hang together. They mingle well, and do not seem to be able to tell that they are different from other breeds of fish. They do eat like little piranhas.

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