Max Size: 5cm

Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)

In a community aquarium, Cherry Barbs, Puntius titteya are one of the most sought-after Barb species due to their peaceful nature, hardiness, and non-demanding characteristics. However, they can be timid sometimes and need a stable water environment and some hiding places.

A group of five or more Cherry Barbs is best for keeping this sociable species. Males generally try to segregate themselves in quiet territories during the lower levels of the aquarium, courting the females as they swim by. As with most fish, males will show their most substantial colouration when trying to impress their rivals and attract the females.

In order to ensure a peaceful environment for Cherry Barbs, it is recommended that you keep them with other mild fish of the same size. For example, Tetras, Dwarf Rainbowfish, Rasboras, Catfish, and Plecos would all make good tankmates. These Barbs may, however, be considered food by larger fish.

Cherry Barbs have beautiful brownish-red colouring, a dark horizontal stripe along their bodies, and yellowish to red fins. Furthermore, they have a completely different body shape than other Barb species; their midsection is thicker and taller than those of other Barb species.


Cherry Barb
Cherry Barbs
Cherry Barb
Cherry Barb
Cherry Barbs
Male Cherry Barb
Cherry Barb
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Cherry Barb
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Cherry Barb
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Cherry Barb
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePuntius titteya
Year Described1929
Other NamesRed Barb
OriginsSri Lanka
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.2 - 7.5
GH8 - 16
KH4 - 7
TDS180 - 250
70 - 80℉
21.1 - 26.7℃

Natural Habitat

Nilwala River
Kelani River


In the home aquarium, the Cherry Barb will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

5 interesting tank mate ideas for the Cherry Barb could include:

Cardinal Tetra(Paracheirodon axelrodi)
Drape Fin Barb(Oreichthys crenuchoides)
Golden Dwarf Barb(Pethia gelius)
Ivantsoffs Blue Eye Rainbowfish(Pseudomugil ivantsoffi)
Purple Pencilfish(Nannostomus rubrocaudatus)

Sexual Dimorphism

Female Cherry Barbs tend to have fuller bodies than males, which are generally more slender. A male is also significantly bigger than a female, and its colour is much more vibrant, as opposed to a female's dull orange.

The Cherry Barb has been featured on the following stamps

Sri Lanka - 1990

Frequently asked questions

Are Cherry Barbs suitable for beginner aquarists?

Cherry Barbs are very peaceful and hardy fish, and they can tolerate a vast range of water parameters, making them perfect for the beginner aquarist as well as more advanced fish keepers.

How big can Cherry Barbs grow?

Cherry Barbs are small elongated fish with a moderately compressed body. Cherry Barbs can grow up to 5 cm in length, with the males being slightly smaller than the females.

What should you feed Cherry Barbs?

In captivity, Cherry barbs are not picky eaters; therefore, they are easily fed. However, suppose you want your fish to be healthier with better colouring. In that case, you should offer them regular meals of small frozen and live foods such as daphnia, bloodworm and brine Shrimp alongside high quality dried food such as granules or flakes, some of which must include additional algal or plant content.

What size aquarium should I house my Cherry Barbs in?

Ideally, Cherry Barbs require a 95-litre aquarium. However, a 115-litre aquarium would be very much appreciated as this extra room will allow your fish to swim around in schools and hide if they feel threatened. Cherry Barbs will thrive in larger tanks, so don't be afraid to add them to larger communities.

What tank mates are suitable for Cherry Barbs?

Cherry Barbs are very peaceful and should be housed with fish that have a similar nature. Rasboras, Platies, Danios, Gouramis, Mollies, Tetras and Otocinclus Catfish all make ideal tankmates for Cherry Barbs. You can also put Shrimp and other invertebrates in an aquarium with Cherry Barbs.

Where did Cherry Barbs Originate?

Cherry Barbs are endemic to Sri Lanka in South Asia. These Barbs are restricted to the Nilwala and Kelani river basins southwest of the island, plus more minor drainages between them. They inhabit clear or slightly stained, slow-moving, calm shallow waters in streams and ponds where the substrates are sandy and covered by a layer of leaf litter with fallen branches and twigs.

Other Barbs of interest

African Banded Barb(Barbus fasciolatus)
Arulius Barb(Dawkinsia arulius, Puntius arulius)
Black Ruby Barb(Pethia nigrofasciata)
Blue Spotted Hill Trout(Barilius bakeri)
Borneo Red Fin Silver Shark(Cyclocheilichthys janthochir)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 23/07/2020 - Updated: 11/08/2022 12:44:22