Mascara Barb (Dawkinsia Assimilis) Fish Species Profile

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Mascara barbs have pinky-red colouration around their snout and fins, and a blue line under the eyes hence the name, they are a silvery colour with an almond-shaped black spot on the caudal peduncle and red and black tips to the tail fin.

Although these species do not nip fins of other fish, this species is relatively boisterous, the males especially engaging in chases. This species is known to be somewhat predatory

Scientific NameDawkinsia Assimilis
Other NamesRed Necklace Barb, Mahecola Barb
OriginsSouthwest India
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan8 - 10 years
Maximum Size9 - 12 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature19 - 26 ℉ (-7.2 - -3.3 ℃)
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 15
KH10 - 1
TDS40 - 70

Mascara Barbs - Dawkinsia Assimilis

Origins of the Mascara Barb

Mascara barbs come from Southwest Indian states of Karnataka and Kerala having been discovered in Netravati, Chalakudy and Kallada river basins in recent years. However, the precise extent of its distribution remains unclear.

They have been seen in slow-flowing muddy waters to clear, rocky, flowing stretches between waterfalls


Mascara barbs are not fussy so quite easy to feed. A balanced diet comprising regular meals of small, live and frozen foods such as blood worm and daphnia as well as good quality granules and dried flakes will encourage the most satisfactory condition and colours.

Sexing the Mascara Barb

The males will develop a more intense colour pattern than females and present a noticeable tubercule on the head when in spawning condition. The females tend to grow a little larger, are heavier-bodied, and less colourful.

Breeding the Mascara Barb

Mascara barbs are egg-scatterers with good water conditions they will often spawn, and in an established aquarium, you may see small numbers of fry starting to appear without intervention.

It would be best if you had a separate tank dimly lit and the bottom covered with some mesh of a large enough grade so that the eggs can fall through but small enough so that the adults cannot reach them.

Frquently asked questions about the Mascara Barb

How big do Mascara Barbs grow?

Mascara Barbs are one of the larger barb species kept by aquarists, growing up to 9-10 cm in length.

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Date Added: 5/14/2020 - Updated: 5/19/2020 3:18:01 PM