Max Size: 7cm

Narayan Barb (Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani)

Narayan Barbs are generally peaceful fish and are an ideal resident of the community aquarium.

This species of Barb places no particular demands when it comes to water chemistry. You can house these with many of the most popular fish in the hobby, including other similarly peaceful fish such as small Cyprinids as well as Livebearers, Tetras, Anabantoids, Rainbowfish, Loaches and Catfishes. However, avoid species with long fins as they may prove too much of a temptation.

Narayan Barbs are schooling species that you should keep in groups of at least 8 to 10 individuals. The larger the group, the more confident they will feel, making them less nervous and resulting in a more effective natural-looking display. Also, males will display their best colours as they compete with each other for female attention.

The Narayan Barbs have a silver body with a pinkish gold sheen. The fins are transparent except the dorsal fin, which is an orangy-red. They display a black botch on the caudal peduncle and a colour pattern consisting of three dark, vertically-orientated flank markings; however, these are pale and dull on some individuals.

Tank Mates for the Narayan Barb

1 ideal tank mate ideas for the Narayan Barb include:

Giant Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys acrostoma)
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePethia setnai, Pethia narayani
Other NamesSunset Barb
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan5 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 12
TDS90 - 268
68 - 79℉
20 - 26.1℃

Photos of the Narayan Barb

Narayan Barb

Natural Habitat

Narayan Barbs are endemic to Hemavathi, Tunga, Kumaradhara and Cauvery in India's Western Ghats in South Asia. They inhabit slow-moving small rivers, hill streams and backwater pools where they congregate in deeper areas. Ther habitats are usually covered with abundant vegetation and decaying material.

What to feed the Narayan Barb

In the aquarium, Narayan Barbs are easily-fed. However, for the best colours and condition, you should offer them regular meals of small live and frozen fares such as daphnia, artemia, brine shrimp and bloodworm. You should also provide them with high quality dried food such as granules, pellets and flakes that contain additional plant or algal content.

How to sex the Narayan Barb

It is effortless to distinguish the male from the female Narayan Barb. Males are slightly slimmer, smaller, and possess a more intense colour pattern than females. In contrast, females are fuller-bodied, and their patterning is much duller.

How to breed the Narayan Barb

When in good condition, these Barbs will spawn often, and in an established aquarium, small numbers of fry may start to appear without interference. However, if you want to maximise the yield, a more controlled method is required.

You may still condition the adult group together, but it would be better to set up a smaller aquarium filled with seasoned water. This should be dimly lit, and the bottom covered with a mesh of a significant enough grade to enable the eggs to fall through but small enough so the adults cannot reach them. Artificial grass matting can also be used and works well, so does a layer of pebbles or marbles. Alternatively, filling a majority of the tank with fine-leaved plants or spawning mops can also deliver decent results.

The water should be slightly acidic to neutral pH with a temperature towards the range's upper end. It would be best also to include an air-powered sponge filter or air stone to provide oxygenation water movement.

Once the adults are well-conditioned and the females look full of eggs, you should then introduce one or two pairs into the tank, and spawning should take place the next morning.

Another method is to spawn the fish in a group, with half a dozen individuals of each sex being an ideal number, although a much bigger aquarium may be necessary.

In either situation, adults will more than likely consume the eggs if given a chance; therefore, you should remove the eggs as soon as you notice any.

The eggs should hatch within 24 to 48 hours, and then the fry will become free swimming 24 hours after that.

It would be best to feed your fry on an infusoria type food for the first few days until they become large enough to accept things like artemia, microworm and suchlike.

Frquently asked questions about the Narayan Barb

Are Narayan Barbs a shoaling or schooling species?

Narayan Barbs are a schooling species by nature, and you should ideally keep these fish in groups of at least eight, although slightly more would be better. Keeping them in suitable numbers will not only make your fish less apprehensive but will result in a more powerful, natural-looking display. Males will also showcase their best colours as they compete with one another for female attention.

How big do Narayan Barbs grow?

Narayan Barbs can grow to a maximum length of 6.5 cm, with the females being slightly larger than the males.

What setup do I need for Narayan Barbs?

Narayan Barbs are relatively easy to maintain as long as a dedicated maintenance routine is followed. when it comes to decor that is more or less down to personal taste. For example, a natural-style arrangement could include a substrate of gravel or sand with plenty of medium to large-sized smooth pebbles and rocks as well as some driftwood or twisted branches and roots. Lighting for these fish can be relatively subdued, and you can add robust plants such as Taxiphyllum, Microsorum, or Anubias. These have an added advantage as they can be attached to the decor.

What should I feed my Narayan Barbs?

You can feed Narayan Barbs easily as they are not picky eaters. However, it would be best to offer them regular meals of small live and frozen fares such as daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworm for the best colours and condition. You should also provide your fish with high quality dried food such as flakes, granules and pellets that contain additional plant or algal content.

What tankmates are suitable for Narayan Barbs?

Narayan Barbs are generally a peaceful species and make a perfect resident of the well-researched community aquarium. These fish have no particular requirements when it comes to water parameters; therefore, you can house them with most fish in the hobby. These include other small Cyprinids as well as Rainbowfish, Tetras, livebearers, Catfish, anabantoids and loaches.

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)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
Checker Barb(Oliotius oligolepis)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 03/03/2021 - Updated: 05/01/2022 16:20:14