The Golden Dwarf Barb, also known as Pethia Gelius Dwarf, is a tiny barb species with faded black striping. This micro barb is friendly and calm, making it an excellent choice for a small, well-planted aquarium.

The Golden Dwarf Barb is not as robust and active as many other barbs, so it is compatible with most other peaceful species.

Read on to learn more about this pretty little fish and how to care for it.

Golden Dwarf Barb Physical Features

The male Golden Dwarf Barb is more slender and smaller than the female. They also have a more striking copper-colored lateral stripe. Both the male and female Golden Dwarf Barbs have olive-green to brownish backs with a silvery-white throat and belly.

This golden fish has iridescent gold flanks with irregular dark blotches. In addition, this beautiful fish has a reddish-gold longitudinal stripe that widens into a shiny coppery marking. The Golden Dwarf Barb’s eyes are pale green.

An adult fish grows up to 1.4-1.6 inches (3.5-4 cm) in length. They live for two to three years.

The colors and markings of the Golden Dwarf Barb collected from different locations vary.

Golden Dwarf Barb Characteristics

The Golden Dwarf Barb is native to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and also Columbia. This fish typically lives in tropical waters with a 6.0 to 6.5 pH and hardness between 8 and 15 dGH. Their preferred temperature is anywhere from 68 F and 77 F.

The Golden Dwarf Barb’s diminutive size makes it an ideal species for a nano aquarium. This peaceful member of the barb family is often confused with either the Gold Barbs or the Gold-finned Barbs. The Golden Dwarf Barb should not be mistaken for the Amber Dwarf Barb.

The Golden Dwarf Barb is a schooling species by nature. It is best to keep a group of at least eight to ten fish in a tank. If you have a large tank for 50 or more specimens, you will get a magnificent display.

Golden Barb Social Behavior

The Golden Dwarf Barb is a gentle, friendly fish that you can house with other barbs. You should choose its tankmates carefully because it is small and rather timid.

This fish is less nervous when it lives in large numbers. You will enjoy watching the males display their best colors. The male Golden Dwarf Barb’s behavior as they compete with one other for female attention is very entertaining.

This species is not suitable for housing large, energetic fish.

Care Information for the Golden Dwarf Barb

  • Diet: high-quality dry and frozen foods of the appropriate size.
  • Social Behavior: Peaceful; shoaling.
  • Origin: Native to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan
  • Average Adult Size: 1.6-2.0 inches

The Golden Dwarf Barb is a sensitive species. It would be best if you house it in a well-established aquarium. The Golden Dwarf Barb’s typical habitat is slow-moving waters with high oxygen content, so it needs pristine water to thrive.

You will see this little fish display its best coloration and health if it lives in a planted aquarium with a dark substrate and floating plants. You should keep the water at lower temperatures; otherwise, they may not live very long.

Golden Dwarf Barbs can grow up to two inches long; you can keep a couple of them in a 10-gallon tank. If you add four or five Golden Dwarf Barbs to a 10-gallon aquarium, make sure the fish are not cramped.

You need to ensure that the water is soft and acidic. Only low filtration is necessary when keeping this species. Choose tankmates that like the same water values.

Suitable Tank Parameters:

  • Temperature: 65-75 F or 18-24 C
  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • KH: 3-12 dKH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10-gallon tank for a group of two-five fish

The Golden Dwarf Barb is happiest in a densely planted tank. They are an excellent choice for a beautiful aquascape set-up.

This tiny fish appreciates the addition of some floating plants and driftwood roots or branches to diffuse the light entering the tank. It feels more natural.

The filtration in the tank does not need to be strong as this species hails from sluggish waters. It may be uncomfortable and struggle if there is a fast current.

It is not safe to add this fish to a biologically immature tank as it can be affected by swings in water chemistry.

– How To Set Up the Tank for Golden Dwarf Barbs

Golden Dwarfs Barbs live in clean, slow-moving waters, so the aquarium should be well-filtered, with a gentle current. Create a dark gravel bottom with some mulm. The ideal substrates include peat to help maintain its preferred water parameters.

It is an excellent idea to provide lots of plant cover to help these shy fish feel secure. You can use Cryptocorynes or similar species of plants, along with roots for decoration. Leave plenty of space for these fish to swim around.

Golden Dwarf Barbs are a little delicate. If you use correct acclimatization procedures and maintain good water conditions, you will not face any problems.

– Good Companions for the Golden Dwarf Barb

The Golden Dwarf Barb likes to swim in the top and middle levels of the tank. Still, you often see it swimming and feeding at the bottom of the aquarium. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish.

This species is comfortable in temperatures at the lower end of the tropical range, so its tankmates should have similar needs.

The Golden Dwarf Barb will do best when grouped with its species. It will also feel secure in a tank with other diminutive companions such as:

  • Small Gourami
  • Danios
  • Rasboras
  • Small Tetras
  • Microdevario Kubotai
  • Trigonostigma
  • Guntea Loach
  • freshwater shrimp-like the Caridina and Neocaridina

The golden barb can be kept with dwarf shrimp, although it may eat shrimp fry like most fish. Large peaceful species also make good tankmates for this timid fish.

– What Is the Best Diet for the Golden Dwarf Barb?

The Golden Dwarf Barb is a natural micro predator that feeds on small insects, worms, crustaceans, and other zooplankton. It is omnivorous. You can give it all live foods and dried and soft algae.

Some suitable food for this golden fish:

  • High-quality flake food
  • Micropellets
  • Live, frozen, or freeze-dried Artemia
  • Microworms
  • Tubifex
  • Finely chopped bloodworms
  • Small frozen foods such as:
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Baby Brine shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Cyclops

– Golden Dwarf Barb Feeding Guide

The Golden Dwarf Barb is not a picky eater and will accept all foods in the aquarium. However, it will thrive and remain colorful on a varied diet of carnivorous foods.

The Golden Dwarf Barb has a tiny mouth, so you need to select its food accordingly. They prefer live and frozen food but eat flake food and other dried foods as well. It is vital to give them a balanced diet that includes vegetables.

Daily meals of small live and frozen foods such as Daphnia, Artemia, along with good quality flakes and granules, will ensure the best coloration. A good diet will encourage the fish to come into breeding conditions.

Sexing Golden Dwarf Barb

It can be difficult to sex the Golden Barb, but the males generally have a stronger copper color in the vertical stripe. They are usually slimmer than the females. The females are often larger and a little more rounder than males.

– How To Breed Golden Dwarf Barb

The Golden barb is a little more challenging to breed than many other barbs. Separate male and female golden barbs into another tank and condition them to spawn by feeding them live and frozen foods.

Prepare a small breeding aquarium. Place a mesh for the eggs to fall through so the parents can’t eat the eggs. A few fine-leafed plants and some java moss in the tank helps the barbs go into spawning mode.

The water in the breeding aquarium needs to be soft with a pH of 6-6.5. Maintain the water temperature at 72-73 F. The water mustn’t be too warm when breeding this species, or many eggs will remain unfertilized.

For best results, select adult specimens over two years old. Use mature water. Keep the aquarium very dimly lit. It is also vital to introduce new fish into the breeding pool frequently to avoid inbreeding.

– Caring For the Fry

The Golden Dwarf Barb are egg-scattering free spawners like most small cyprinids and show no parental care.

The female Golden Dwarf Barb produces 70-100 eggs in each spawning. They scatter their eggs over fine-leaved plants or the substrate.

You should remove the parent fish from the tank as soon as spawning ends to prevent them from eating the eggs.

Small fry will hatch after 24 hours and be free swimming in three or four days. It can be hard to raise the fry because they are so tiny and delicate.

You can feed them on infusorians for the first few days. When they are larger, they can eat microworm, Artemia nauplii, and later, newly hatched brine shrimp.


Scientific name: Pethia Gelius
Common name: Golden Dwarf Barb
Habitat: Asia: Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Columbia
Min Tank Size: 10 gallons for a school of 2 – 5 fish
Diet: Omnivorous: eats flake, frozen, and live food
Behavior: Peaceful; needs to be kept in schools
Water parameters: Soft to neutral; pH range: 6.0 – 7.0; water hardness 8-15 dGH
Water temperature: 68-77 F or 20-25 C
Care: Easy
Communities: Friendly; keep with other small peaceful species


We’ve shared a great deal of information on caring for Golden Dwarf Barbs.

Let’s summarize to help give your little fish the best care:

  • Beautiful golden coloring
  • Peaceful and easy to care for
  • Happiest in schools
  • Ideal for planted nano aquariums
  • Small food appropriate for its mouth

The Golden Dwarf Barb will make an excellent addition to your aquarium. They are colorful and make a dazzling display in a small planted tank. Why don’t you get some? They are easy to look after. You could have an ornamental aquarium that adds beauty and color to your home.

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