Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides



Southeast Asia

Tank Temperature:




Tank Requirements:

Provide dark sand or gravel, and smooth rocks; plenty of plants, driftwood, and hiding places; need high oxygenation and water movement; tank cover to prevent jumping.


Omnivorous; will eat flakes, sinking pellets, live or frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp, algae wafers, similar items; will also eat fresh vegetables on occasion; feed small amounts daily.


Schooling; active swimmers; generally peaceful; can be jumpers; garras tend to swim at the bottom of the tank, and other barbs swim near the middle level of the tank; some barbs are fin-nippers if not kept in schools


Community safe. Barbs should be kept in groups of 6 or more. Aggressive or fin-nipping barbs should not be kept with angelfish, gouramis, bettas, or other long-finned or "showy" fish.

Species Overview

Barbs are popular aquarium fish from the Cyprinidae family, one of the largest in freshwater that also includes other popular fish like Danios and Tetras. Most of the barbs available to aquarists are from the genus Puntius although several others are also found, including Barbus, Garra, Barbonymus, Barilius and others.

The large Puntius genus ranges from tiny 1" fish to larger species that reach a foot or more in length. Most of those sold for aquariums reach around 3-5 inches in length. This group includes some of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish: Tiger Barbs, Cherry Barbs, Gold Barbs, Rosy Barbs and others. This genus is found throughout Asia. These fish are schooling and should be kept in groups of at least five or more fish. Keeping fewer fish will increase their individual aggressiveness, leading to their notorious reputation as semi-aggressive fin-nippers.

Though most barbs can be kept in community aquariums, several common species grow very large and aggressive. These species include the Tinfoil Barb, Mad Barb, Gold Tinfoil Barb and others. These fish are best kept in large, species-only aquariums or with large tankmates that can tolerate their active, aggressive behavior. They should not be kept in small or community aquariums.

Barbs are generally not picky eaters. They will accept a wide variety of fresh and prepared foods like flakes and appropriately-sized pellets and frozen fish foods like formulas, brine shrimp, mysis, daphnia, blackworms and similar items. The smaller species can be kept in planted aquariums without damaging the plants.

We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

Recommended Items

Freshwater Community Fish Food
Plastic Plants
Artificial Rocks