Max Size: 7.5cm

Chinese Barb (Barbodes semifasciolatus)

The Chinese Barb is the wild form of the captive-bred Gold Barb; however, this particular Barb is rarely seen in the aquarium trade because most people prefer the popular Gold form.

In addition to being very colourful and getting along with most tank mates, Chinese Barbs are hardy, peaceful fish that can handle a wide range of water parameters, making them ideal fish for beginner aquarists. However, if given a chance, these Barbs will nibble at the plants in planted aquariums, so it is best to avoid aquariums with a lot of plant life.

The shoaling nature of these fish makes it better to keep them in groups of at least six individuals. However, a larger group of these fish will make for a stunning display, and you'll be able to observe the fascinating behaviour of these Barbs.

As the Chinese Barb prefers temperatures at the lower end of the tropical range, make sure other tankmates have the exact requirements. There should be a good oxygenation level and moderate current in the water, and it will need to be well-filtered.

There are short barbels at the corners of the mouth of the Chinese Barb, which has a sloped back. Additionally, these Barbs have metallic green bodies with a brassy sheen underneath. Finally, the belly is whitish, turning a reddish-bronze colour when males are mating.


Chinese Barb
Quick Facts
Scientific NameBarbodes semifasciolatus
Year Described1868
Other NamesGreen Barb
OriginsChina, Laos, Taiwan, Vietnam
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH1 - 10
TDS36 - 357
64 - 75℉
17.8 - 23.9℃


In the home aquarium, the Chinese 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.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is pretty simple to differentiate between the male and female Chinese Barb. Females are duller and have rounder stomachs than males, while males have brighter colours, streamlined bodies, and smaller bodies than females. In addition, sexually mature males will develop red colouration in the lower part of their bodies.

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: 04/10/2022 12:02:48 - Updated: 04/10/2022 13:07:31