Black Ruby Barb (Pethia nigrofasciata) Fish Species Profile

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The Ruby Barb is a gorgeously coloured, peaceful, small fish that is well suited to any community aquarium with many other fish species.

They are hardy and adaptable and show there best colours and their confidence when in the right tank conditions.

This species of barb possess a pointed deep purple-red coloured head, high back, and ruby red body. They have three black bands that run vertically through there body.

Scientific NamePethia nigrofasciata
Other NamesPurple-Headed Barb, purple head barb, ruby barb, black barb
OriginsSouth Asia
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 -4 years
Maximum Sizeup to 5 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature72 - 79 ℉ (22.2 - 26.1 ℃)
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 12
TDS36 - 268

Origins of the Black Ruby Barb

Black Ruby Barbs come from the soft acidic, cooler, shaded, slow-flowing, clear mountain forest streams on hills of the Niwala and Kelani river basins of Sri Lanka, in South Asia.

They inhabit areas with dense vegetation with fine sand or gravel substrate that is covered by a layer of leaf litter, fallen branches and twigs.


Black Ruby Barbs are easily-fed but for optimal colour and condition

give them frequent meals of small frozen and live foods like Daphnia, Artemia and bloodworm.

As the primary source of their diet, you should give them good quality dried granules and flakes which ideally should contain some algae or plant content.

Sexing the Black Ruby Barb

It is easy to recognise a female from a male Black Ruby Barb in several different ways.

The males develop a more intense ruby colour, not only in their bodies by also on their dorsal and anal fins.

The females are much paler, and only the base of their dorsal fin turns black as well as having more rounded bellies, and they grow slightly longer than males.

Breeding the Black Ruby Barb

It is relatively easy to breed Black Ruby Barbs as long as you follow the suitable requirements. They can be bred in groups or as pairs.

Your breeding tank should have soft acidic water with plenty of fine-leaved plants such as java moss. If these are unavailable spawning mops will do just fine.

The lighting needs to be dim as the eggs are sensitive to bright light.

Feeding the barbs frozen or live food such as bloodworms or brine shrimp will induce their spawning mood as well as allowing them to produce high-quality, healthy eggs henceforth producing quality fry.

You will be able to tell when spawning has begun as you will see the male swimming around the female in a courting display while spreading out his fins.

This process can take several hours, and they can produce as many as 100 eggs which they will scatter amongst the plants.

Just like many other species of fish, you will need to remove the adults once the eggs have been laid or given the opportunity they will eat them.

The laid eggs will hatch within 24 hours, and the babies will become free swimming 24 hours after that.

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Date Added: 8/6/2020 - Updated: 8/6/2020 4:55:51 PM