Cherry Barbel Fish: The History of Beautiful Barbel Fish

The barbel fish has a long history as a “rubbish taxon”. Historically, most of the fish commonly known as barb were usually placed in this genus by default. More recently, many barbels have been reclassified into genera such as Arabibarbus, Barbichthys, Barbados, and others. Therefore, Barbel fishes are restricted to fish found in bodies of water located in Africa and Europe, as well as in adjacent Asia.

However, the genus even in the reduced version is probably paraphyletic, and many African species, especially small ones, do not seem to belong to it either. The barbel fish is an iconic freshwater sportfish, prized for its high-quality flesh and hard fighting ability. The barbel’s popularity has been on the rise due to increased fishing pressure in other species which have declined in numbers over time. This blog post will explore the history of this fish as well as where you can find them throughout North America.

Cherry Barbel Fish

Characteristics of Cherry Barbel Fish

The Barb river fish that inhabits the center and west of Europe are thin fish, rather elongated. With a thick-lipped mouth and half-moon and four chins, you’re using the fish to search for fish, mollusks, and other foods along the bottom of the river. The beard is greenish and generally reaches a length and a weight of approximately 75 centimeters and 3 kilograms is a sport fish.

There are many African and Asian members of the Barbos genus that are found in the East Indies region are sometimes placed in a separate genus called Puntius. Some of these African and Asian species such as the mahseer are distinguished food or are considered game fish. While several of the small species are popular in domestic aquariums. The barb fish is often referred to as a freshwater shark.

Due to the fact that these fish have rows of teeth in their mouths, this results in only a few species of freshwater fish. Despite its small size, it is known that the barbels are ferocious hunters and dominant predators in the world of small fish in their natural environment. Due to their small size and colors, these barbel fishes are commonly kept in domestic aquariums around the world.

The most common species used in aquariums are the cherry barbel fish and the tiger barbel fish. These are relatively resistant fish and can easily adapt to changes in the water. Including changes in pH and temperature levels. You may also like to read Betta.

The cherry barbel fish has It has a body shaped like a torpedo, a forked tail, and a single dorsal fin. Lacking an adipose fin, it has a second dorsal fin on the back of the former is a characteristic of all Cyprinid fish. This small variety of barbel fish is small, reaches only 5 centimeters in length, and has an average life of 4 years.

Although you can live for 5 to 7 years with adequate care. The silver body of the species tends to go to a vivid reddish-brown. As the name implies, the cherry barbel fish can develop a “cherry” color of dark red, sometimes becoming almost brown. The color intensifies during spawning times when the male becomes left and beautiful red. A horizontal black stripe goes from the tip of the mouth to the tail with a rather metallic strip just above.


The barbel fish is from Asia where they are in the basins of Kelani to Nilwala in Sri Lanka. The wild populations of the barbel cherry fish have also been found in Colombia and Mexico. This fish is found in streams and very shaded rivers in the plains of Sri Lanka. They prefer areas of shallow and slow water, with a bottom of silt and many branches and litter. This breed is included in the Red List of Threatened Species. In the 1980s they were included in the list of vulnerable species, but their status has recently been updated.


Unlike many of their relatives, the behavior of the cherry barbs is very peaceful and calm, they do not even touch finned fish. It is an ideal fish for community tanks, but it must be maintained with small fish of the same size. The small and defenseless cherry barbs will be easy prey for any predatory fish. It is good to keep it with tetra fish. This variety becomes a good tank mate for white mountain tents, Harlequin rasbora, Otocinclus Catfish, Cardinal tetra, Neon tetra, and Bettas. The angelfish is quite large and aggressive as a tank mate for a cherry barbel. However, this will not attack them and is tolerant of shrimp, even as small as cherry shrimp.


The barbel fish is an omnivore, can be fed with any living, vegetable, or dry food. The high-calorie diet leads to fish obesity, as a result of this the male fish loses the ability to fertilize the eggs. And the female of this species, if she is obese, will not be able to lay eggs and she dies because of this. The presence of plant foods in the Barb fish diet reduces the risk of obesity.

And it also prevents adult fish from stinging the plants in the tank. Several times a day this species has to be fed with small portions this is ideal. A general rule when offering food is to do it several times a day, the breeder should only offer what the fish can consume in 3 minutes. When offering food only once a day, provide what the individual can eat in approximately 5 minutes.


The barbel fish are moderately easy to breed, and raising fry is relatively simple. They become sexually mature around 6 to 7 weeks of age when they have reached a size of approximately 2 to 3 cm. These Barb fish disperse their eggs instead of using a specific breeding site. The eggs are adhesive and will fall to the substrate of the aquarium. This species can procreate in a 20-gallon breeding tank. It can be configured with a sponge filter, a heater, and some plants. The marbles used as a substrate will help protect the eggs. The water must have a temperature between 24 and 26 ° C.


The specific requirements of the tank may vary slightly from one species to another. But, for the most part, the barbel species are resistant to freshwater fish. It is always a good idea to imitate the natural habitat of these fish as much as you can in the aquarium. This will ensure that fish have the best opportunities to thrive in captivity. The ideal tank configuration for Barb fish would include a variety of live plants that include floating plants. You may also like to read Neon Tetra.

The floating plants will help to dim the lighting in your tank, reducing the likelihood that your barbs will be shy. This species also appreciates the addition of rock caves and pieces of wood in their tanks to provide hiding places. It is important to make weekly water changes of 10% to 15% of the volume of the tank. As well as monthly changes of water from 20% to 25%.


The species cherry barb fish is species of small dimensions and very striking colors. It does not have many demands for what breeders beginners can acquire this species. The only aspect that breeders should care for is feeding, since this species may be overweight. And also thanks to the calm character of this species can coexist with several species in an aquarium. These are the main characteristics that attract breeders.

The cherry barb is a freshwater fish that inhabits the center and west of Europe. These barbs are thin, elongated fish with half-moon mouths and four chins on their face. They have greenish beards which generally reach a length of 75 centimeters to 3 kilograms in weight (depending on age). There are many African and Asian members of the Barbos genus found in the East Indies region as well. This guide has helped you learn about this popular species! Good luck fishing for these beautiful creatures!

As a reference:  Cherry Barbel Fish

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