Max Size: 7cm

Narayan Barb (Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani)

The fetching Narayan Barb, also called the Two Spot Barb (Pethia Narayani), are reasonably uncommon species of Barb in the aquarium trade. However, their beautiful earthy tones and peaceful disposition make them an exciting choice for any community aquarium.

This is a hardy and undemanding fish and does well in a wide range of water conditions.

Many popular fish in the hobby are compatible with Narayan Barbs, including Livebearers, Tetras, Gouramis, Rainbowfish, Loaches, Catfish, and many other Cyprinids. As with many mid-sized barbs, avoiding species with long fins is recommended due to the potential for fin nipping. It would also be best to avoid slower tank mates as these barbs are incredibly active and can easily outcompete slower inhabitants when feeding.

The Narayan Barb should be kept in groups of at least 6 to 10 individuals since it is a schooling species and a tight shoaling species compared to other barb species. Larger groups will feel more confident, resulting in more effective, natural displays. The males will also display their best colours as they compete for the attention of females.

Narayan Barbs have a light brown earthy tone to their bodies, a pinkish/browny sheen, and a distinct gold glow towards the back before the caudal fin. Males display more orangy-red dorsal, anal and pelvic fins with some white edging on the tips of the pelvic fins. In addition, this fish has three black botches, the most prominent being on its caudal peduncle and behind the gill plate. The third is located midway through the fish's body but is more diminished in comparison to the other two.

Narayan Barb (Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani) Video

Narayan Barb Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani Rare Freshwater Indian Barb Aquarium Fish Profile


Narayan Barb
Narayan Barb
Narayan Barb
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePethia setnai, Pethia narayani
Year Described1992
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℃


In the home aquarium, the Narayan 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.

Tank Mates

3 interesting tank mate ideas for the Narayan Barb could include:

Giant Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys acrostoma)
Melon Barb(Haludaria fasciata)
Skunk Loach(Yasuhikotakia morleti)

Sexual Dimorphism

In Narayan Barbs, it is effortless to distinguish males from females. The males have a more intense colour pattern, are slightly slimmer, and are smaller than the females. Females, on the other hand, are fuller-bodied and have duller patterning than males.

Frequently asked questions

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)
Borneo Red Fin Silver Shark(Cyclocheilichthys janthochir)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 03/03/2021 - Updated: 25/08/2022 14:19:05