Rosy Barb is a pretty freshwater species that adds a shimmer of pink to your tank as these fish swim around in a group. Seasoned and novice hobbyists often pick this lively fish for their community aquarium.

These peaceful fish are fun and liven up the aquarium as they constantly spring through the water. They are a good fish for beginner aquarists since they are available in any local fish store and do not cost much.

Although this sturdy fish is easy to care for, understanding its requirements will help you provide the conditions for it to thrive. This article will help you set up the tank, ensure the correct water parameters, feed them a nutritious diet and breed them.

Rosy Barb Stats

Scientific Name: Pethia Conchonius
Common Name Rosy Barb
Care Level Easy
Temperament Peaceful
Color Form: Red; pink
Lifespan: Up to five years
Size Up to 6 inches
Diet Omnivore
Family: Cyprinidae
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Tank Setup: Freshwater; sandy/dark substrate; plants; swimming space
Compatibility: Peaceful community fish
Origin Bengal, India
Social Active, peaceful
Tank Level All areas
Breeding Egglayer
pH 6.5
Hardness up to 10 dGH
Temperature 64 to 72 F

– Rosy Barb Origin and Habitat

The Rosy Barb is a freshwater fish of the Cyprinidae family – which also contains Carps and Minnows. They are one of the most robust aquarium fish available, and you can also keep them in your pond if you live in a region with warm weather.

This species is native to northern India, where you will find them in large numbers in the subtropical waters of West Bengal and Assam, and Bangladesh. Rosy barbs live in still lakes and ponds as well as in fast-flowing rivers and streams. These waters are well-oxygenated, and the ample plants and debris in the water give these little fish plenty of hiding places.

The waters in the Rosy Barbs’ native habitat are cool, which is an important factor to consider when choosing tank mates. It would be best to pick species that are comfortable at the same temperature so it doesn’t affect their health.

Rosy Barbs have now spread worldwide. Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Singapore, and Puerto Rico have feral populations of this species.

– Rosy Barb Appearance

The Rosy Barb is one of the cutest freshwater fishes. The coloring of the male Rosy Barb is more vibrant. Their sides and bellies are pink or red with a silver or copper tinge, while their back is olive green. The Female Rosy Barb is not as vibrantly colored as the males. They are usually gold or silver.

Rosy Barb has a wide, torpedo-shaped body that is long, oval, and flattened at the sides. Also, this species does not have any barbels. The dorsal and anal fins are rather short, while the tail divides in a deep fork. Rosy Barbs don’t have an adipose fin, but a second dorsal fin is behind the first, like in other cyprinids.

The transparent fins of these fish are red or pink and have a tinge of copper. The males have a wide black border on the top and sides of the anal, dorsal, and abdominal fins. Some fish may have a dark patch near the tail fin.

Interesting Facts About Rosy Barbs

When you keep a group of Rosy Barbs in your aquarium, you will enjoy watching the males’ interesting behavior. They swim around each other and spread out their fins to show off their beautiful colors.

Rosy Barb size in the wild can reach 6 inches, but they will only grow to about 4 inches in a home aquarium unless you have a very large tank. An adult Rosy Barb can weigh 12 ounces.

You may find it interesting that Rosy Barbs, like some other Cyprinids, don’t have teeth. They use specialized gill rakers to chew their food.

Since this species is so popular, breeders have developed several ornamental varieties like the Long Fin Rosy Barb, the Red Glass Rosy Barb, the Neon Rosy Barb, and the Gold Neon Rosy Barb. Long Finned Rosy Barbs are spectacular. Their colors are striking, and they have a gleaming metallic red and gold body with beautiful, long, flowing fins.

– Rosy Barb Lifespan

The Rosy Barb lifespan is typically five years when they are properly looked after. Although these little fish are quite robust, you still want to take proper care of them. Substandard water conditions and the lack of care can cause them to fall ill or get stressed. This would sadly shorten the life of these beautiful, active little fish quite significantly.

Rosy Barb Care

Rosy Barb Care is quite simple as they are one of the hardiest and most undemanding barbs. These sturdy fish can adapt to a wide range of conditions, but you must keep the water clean and maintain it at the correct temperature. This species can handle higher nitrate levels; hence, you don’t need to wait for the nitrogen cycling to be complete before introducing them to a new tank.

Rosy barbs are active, energetic little fish who like to swim about the tank all the time. They are a schooling species that do best in a group of at least six fish. A minimum tank size that would be suitable for a small group of Rosy Barbs is 30 gallons. If you plan on a larger shoal of Rosy Barb for your aquarium, each fish you add to the tank will need at least 5 gallons of water.

This species prefers cooler water, so you can keep them outdoors in your yard as pond fish too. However, it is imperative to move them indoors during the winter if you live in an area that gets very cold.

Although the Rosy Barb is robust, it is essential to monitor the water chemistry to ensure that the water parameters are in the correct ranges.

– Water Parameters

Rosy Barbs are very sturdy, but it is vital to meet their requirements, ensuring that the water parameters remain within their preferred range. This will safeguard their health and well-being, and they will thrive in your aquarium.

Temperature:  64 F – 73 F
Breeding Temperature:  73 F – 77 F 
pH: 6.5 – 7.0
Hardness Range: 2 – 10 dGH

If your tank is densely stocked and you have a large number of fish, it will be necessary to replace 20 to 25 percent of the water weekly or every other week. Otherwise, a water change of 25 to 50 percent once a month is sufficient.

– Tank Setup

Rosy Barbs are at their best in an aquarium that resembles their natural habitat. So we suggest laying a soft sandy substrate, arrange plants around the sides, add some driftwood, and leave plenty of room to swim around. If you keep the tank near a window where it gets a couple of hours of sunlight, you can enjoy this fish’s stunning colors.

Rosy Barbs swim in the middle and top regions of the tank. Since they don’t spend a lot of time at the bottom of the tank, the substrate is not very important. However, it is safest to use sand or fine gravel. If you use dark gravel, it will enhance the pink and red colors of the fish.

These species are accustomed to well-oxygenated water, so live plants are ideal for the tank, as they release oxygen. Plants will also provide shade, and any stressed fish can find a hiding place among the leaves.

Rosy Barbs like to nibble on plants with large soft leaves, so it would be best to avoid plants like Java Fern. You could use hardy plants such as Java Moss or fine-leaved ones, like Hornwort.

This breed likes flowing water, so installing a powerful filter outlet should create a strong current. Alternatively, you could use an air or water pump or even a hang-on-back filter with a waterfall outlet that adds oxygen to the water.

It would be wise to have a secure lid on your aquarium for their safety, as rosy barbs are very good jumpers.

Rosy Barb Tank Mates

Rosy Barb Compatibility with other peaceful fish of a similar size makes them well-suited for a community aquarium of fishes that enjoy cooler water.

Rosy Barbs are a shoaling species, and they feel anxious if they’re alone. Thus, ideally, you should have at least five Rosy Barbs in an aquarium. Also, since Rosy Barbs tend to nip the fins of their tank mates, keeping them in schools will help reduce this behavior. It would also be wiser not to have slower-moving, long-finned fish share the same tank with Rosy Barbs.

Rosy Barbs act as a dither fish in cichlid tanks since cichlids are shy, nervous fish. Some cichlid enthusiasts have successfully kept Rosy Barbs in the same tank with their cichlids. Seeing these little fish moving around makes the cichlids feel safe and encourages them to stop hiding and swim around the tank.

Barb species such as Tiger Barbs and Cherry Barbs make good companions. Other suitable fish to choose from are:

  • Swordtails
  • Mollies
  • Celestial Pearl Danio
  • Neon Tetras
  • Gouramis
  • Angelfish
  • Black Ghost Knife Fish
  • Rope Fish
  • Paradise Fish
  • Emperor Tetra
  • Ember Tetra

If you wish to keep fish that are bottom dwellers, Kuhli loaches and Otocinclus are good options.

Rosy Barbs make safe companions for freshwater invertebrates. You could add shrimps and snails such as Ghost shrimp or Nerite Snails without worrying about them becoming a tasty snack for the Rosy Barb.

However, territorial or aggressive species like Oscars are unsuitable tank mates for these small, gentle fish.

Rosy Barb Breeding Tips

Rosy Barb breeding is possible in a home aquarium. These fish may even spawn in the main tank. However, we recommend setting up a small breeding tank and filling it with a few inches of water since this species likes to breed in shallow water. The breeding tank must also have a sandy substrate and lots of plants.

Place one male and two females in the breeding tank. When the female is ready, her color will become more brilliant, and she will swell as she fills up with eggs. The male will circle the female and prod her head and belly. When the eggs are fertilized, the female scatters several hundred sticky eggs that stick to the plants or fall onto the substrate.

Rosy Barbs do not care for the eggs after spawning, so it is best to return them to the main aquarium to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs will take about 30 hours to hatch. Meanwhile, you should set up a separate raising tank for the fry since they will need enough space to grow.

After the eggs hatch, the fry will feed on the egg sac. Once they can swim freely, move them to the raising tank. You should feed the fry liquid food, infusoria, and later baby brine shrimp three times a day. You must remove uneaten food to keep the water clean, as the fry could fall ill if the water is polluted.

– Rosy Barb Diet

The Rosy Barb’s diet in their natural habitat consists of insect larvae, small worms, insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. The Rosy Barb is an omnivore and enjoys a variety of meaty foods and vegetables. They readily accept dry fish food like flakes and pellets. Get quality dry food that contains all the nutrients necessary for your fish’s health.

You can offer them small live foods such as insects, worms, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. These are full of protein and have a high nutritional value. Boiled zucchini, peas, and lettuce would also be a suitable addition to a well-balanced diet. Rosy Barbs tend to nibble on vegetation, so they will also graze on the green filamentous and black-brush algae that grow in tanks.

Here are some foods that are suitable for Rosy Barbs and will ensure a wholesome diet:

  • Flakes
  • Green flakes
  • Micropellets
  • Small granular foods
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Frozen foods like Daphnia, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp

Feeding Rosy Barbs twice a day is sufficient. You should offer small quantities that they can finish in two minutes. It is not advisable to overfeed Rosy Barbs.

– Rosy Barb Diseases

Rosy Barbs are a robust and healthy species, so fish diseases should not be a cause for concern. However, it is important to schedule regular cleaning and water replacement, as these little fish could get Ich if the water is not clean.

Rosy Barbs are resilient, and Ich is easily treated. Since Rosy Barbs can tolerate copper-based medications, they will respond quickly to the treatment.

Conclusion

Rosy Barbs are a pleasure to own. Not only do they liven up your aquarium, but they are also undemanding. These small freshwater fish are extremely low-maintenance. Here is a quick look at some information:

  • Rosy Barb is a good fish for beginner aquarists
  • They are very sturdy and easy to look after
  • They are good community fish and get along with many small peaceful breeds
  • Rosy Barbs nip fins, so it is best not to keep them with long-finned species
  • Rosy Barb are omnivores
  • They happily accept all kinds of food, so they are easy to feed
  • This species used to lower temperatures
  • This fish is a safe companion for freshwater invertebrates
  • They act as a dither fish for cichlids
  • It is important not to overfeed them
  • Breeders have developed a long-finned variant
  • Rosy Barbs can be kept as pond fish in warm weather

If you are looking for a pretty little fish that will add beauty to your community aquarium, we hope you consider the Rosy Barb!

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