Profile Photo

Maximum size : 15 cm

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

Table of contents


Clown Barbs (Puntius everetti) are a stunning and active medium-sized fish that require an aquarium of at least 110 litres to thrive. Consider housing six or more individuals in a shoal for an attractive display. These hardy and relatively peaceful Barbs make a captivating addition to any aquarium, and any aggressive behaviour is usually limited as they focus on preserving their hierarchy. Keeping Clown Barbs in a species-only tank is recommended for experienced aquarists. While they are moderately easy to care for, they require specific tank conditions and compatible tankmates to thrive. In a community tank, they can nip fins and intimidate other fish, but they can be kept with similar-sized and temperamental Barbs, Devarios, Rasboras, and Balitorid Loaches. These Barbs prefer a well-planted aquarium, but they will nibble on plants, so hardy varieties such as Anubias sp and Java fern are recommended. Providing plenty of swimming space and a few woody and rocky hiding places is crucial for their well-being. As they are sensitive to pollutants, frequent partial water changes are necessary, and well-oxygenated water is vital, especially when kept at high temperatures. The Clown Barb has a torpedo shape and a striking reddish-gold sheen, with orange-brown upper bodies, orange-red sides, and yellow-to-white bellies. They also have dark, spotted band-like markings on their sides, red fins, and sometimes a hint of red in their iris. These Barbs lack an adipose fin and only have one dorsal fin, with a forked tail that gives them a 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, Puntius everetti, Barbodes dunckeri
Year Described1894
Other NamesEverett's Barb
OriginsMalaysia Indonesia
Max Size15 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan4 - 8 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.0
GH8 - 12
TDS36 - 215
79 - 82
26.1 - 27.8

Natural Habitat

The vibrant and popular Clown Barbs call 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 an 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 an 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 you maybe interested in