Maximum size : 15 cm

Clown Barb - Barbodes everetti : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Clown Barbs (Barbodes everetti) present a captivating addition to the world of aquarists, showcasing their stunning and vibrant presence. These medium-sized fish are not only visually appealing but also quite active. Known for their hardiness and relatively peaceful demeanour, Clown Barbs can be a fascinating choice for aquarium enthusiasts. Their social structure emphasizes hierarchy maintenance rather than aggression, making them a suitable choice for community setups. However, it's essential to note that the successful care of Clown Barbs demands a degree of experience. While they are moderately easy to care for, providing them with specific tank conditions and compatible tankmates is crucial for their well-being.

In a community aquarium, Clown Barbs may exhibit fin-nipping tendencies and assertiveness, particularly towards other fish. Nevertheless, they can coexist harmoniously with similar-sized and temperamentally compatible species, including various Barbs, Devarios, Rasboras, and Balitorid Loaches. To create an appealing and harmonious display, it's advisable to maintain a shoal of six or more Clown Barbs.

For these remarkable fish to thrive, an aquarium of at least 110 litres is essential. They prefer a well-planted environment, although it's worth noting that they may nibble on plants. Opting for robust plant varieties such as Anubias sp and Java fern can help strike a balance. To cater to their needs effectively, provide ample swimming space and incorporate woody and rocky hiding spots. Given their sensitivity to water pollutants, frequent partial water changes are necessary. Furthermore, ensuring well-oxygenated water, especially when maintaining higher temperatures, is vital for their overall health.

The Clown Barb boasts a torpedo-shaped body adorned with a striking reddish-gold sheen. Their upper bodies display shades of orange-brown, transitioning to orange-red on the sides and culminating in yellow-to-white bellies. These distinctive fish feature dark, spotted band-like markings on their flanks, complemented by vibrant red fins. Occasionally, a hint of red in their irises adds to their charm. Notably, they lack an adipose fin and are distinguished by a single dorsal fin, accompanied by a forked tail that contributes to their clownish appearance.

Clown Barb Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Mature Clown Barbs can be easily sexed based on their physical characteristics. Males tend to have a slimmer bodies and develop a more vibrant colour pattern, with noticeable tubercules on their heads during the breeding season. On the other hand, females are heavier-bodied, grow a little larger than males, and have less intense colouration.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBarbodes everetti
Year Described1894
Other NamesEverett's Barb
OriginsMalaysia , Indonesia
Max Size15 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 6.5 - 7.0
GH 8 - 12
TDS 36 - 215
Ideal Temperature
79 - 82
26 - 27

Natural Habitat

The vibrant and popular Clown Barb calls Southeast Asia their home, inhabiting the serene forest streams, tributaries, and pools of countries such as Sumatra, Singapore, Malaysia, and Borneo. These Barbs thrive in shallow water bodies, including shallow puddles on the forest floor, where they can find an abundance of vegetation to swim and hide amongst. These habitats are often teeming with plant life, providing an ideal environment for these colourful fish to flourish.


Clown Barbs are egg-scattering free-spawning fish with no parental care, as is common among small Cyprinids. However, if you want to increase the yield of fry, a more controlled approach is necessary. Condition the adult group together, but set up a separate breeding tank with seasoned water, dimly lit, and a bottom covered with mesh or artificial grass matting. Alternatively, fine-leaved plants or spawning mops can also work. Ensure the water pH is slightly acidic to neutral with a slightly higher temperature than the main aquarium, and include an air-powered sponge filter or air stone to provide adequate water movement and oxygenation.

When the females appear gravid, introduce one or two pairs into the breeding tank, and spawning should occur the following day. Alternatively, you can spawn these fish in a group of six individuals of each sex, but a larger aquarium may be necessary. In either situation, the adults may eat the eggs if given a chance, so removing them as soon as possible is crucial. The eggs will typically hatch within 24 to 48 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming approximately 24 hours after that. Feed the fry with infusoria-grade food for the first few days until they are big enough to accept microworms, Artemia nauplii, or similar.

Diet & feeding

To maintain a healthy and vibrant school of Clown Barbs, offering a varied and balanced diet is important. These fish are not picky eaters and will accept all types of live, fresh, and dried foods. However, to ensure optimal nutrition, it is recommended to supplement their diet with small live and frozen foods such as daphnia, bloodworms, and artemia.

These protein-rich foods should be paired with high-quality dried flakes, pellets, and granules. Remember that these Barbs are known for their insatiable appetite, and overfeeding can lead to health issues and unsightly algae growth. Therefore, offering a reasonable amount of food during each feeding session is important.

A good rule of thumb is to provide what they can consume in three minutes or less for multiple daily feedings. If you prefer to feed them once daily, give them what they can eat in approximately five minutes. Maintaining a balanced and appropriate feeding regimen, your Clown Barbs will remain healthy and active and showcase their most vivid colours.

Other Barbs of interest