Max Size: 8cm

Odessa Barb (Pethia Padamya)

The Odessa Barb, Pethia Padamya, is an absolutely gorgeous fish that makes a great addition to a community aquarium. These Barbs can adapt to various water parameters, including unheated aquariums, and are peaceful, hardy, and undemanding. In slightly acidic tanks with densely planted plants, these fish will thrive. However, since Odessa Barbs tend to nip other fish, it is recommended that they be kept in smaller groups.

The Odessa Barb is best suited for an aquarium with other Cyprinids such as Garras as well as Rainbowfish, Gouramis, and Loaches as they prefer medium-to-large, active tankmates. It's not advised to keep smaller fish with these boisterous ones, especially when they chase each other.

A good aquarium setup for Odessa Barbs should include rocks of varying sizes, pebbles, sand or fine gravel, and maybe some small boulders. Aside from driftwood, your fish would benefit from hardy aquatic plants such as Anubias and Microsorum. There is no need for strong filtration, though it appreciates a degree of water movement and will also work well in a hill stream-type arrangement.

The Odessa Barb has an elongated, egg-shaped body that is flattened on the sides. They have green backs, silvery metallic sides, and white stomachs. Dark spots are also visible above the pectoral fins and near the caudal fin, with the first spot elongated and resembling a vertical stripe. A dark red-brown horizontal line runs from the mouth through the eyes and down the body to the male's tail. Their scales form a clear blended pattern on the body.


Male Odessa Barb
Feamles Odessa Barb
Odessa Barb
Odessa Barb
Odessa Barb
Odessa Barb
Odessa Barbs
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePethia Padamya
Year Described2008
Other NamesScarlet Barb, Ticto Barb
OriginsBangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand
Aquarium LevelMiddle
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 5 year
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 10
75.2 - 78.8℉
24 - 26℃


In the home aquarium, the Odessa 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

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Odessa Barb could include:

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is reasonably easy to differentiate between the male and female Odessa Barbs. The females will be slightly bigger and have a more rounded body shape. The males are smaller, but they have brighter colouring with a bright red stripe on their bodies.

Frequently asked questions

How can you sex Odessa Barbs?

It is pretty easy to determine the males from female Odessa Barbs. The males have a beige to light brown body that displays a bright red stripe that runs through the length of the body. Males will also have red irises with a narrow black streak through the middle of the eye. In addition, the dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins of the male are yellowish-green in colour, with contrasting black spots.

Females are duller, with a light beige body and a reflecting silvery sheen on the scales. The female fins are pale yellowish-green; however, only the dorsal fin contains contrasting black spots, which are usually fainter than the males. Both males and females have a black, prominent spot in the dorsal area and a smaller spot in the caudal region.

Are Odessa Barbs aggressive?

As long as you keep Odessa Barbs in groups of at least six individuals, there shouldn't be too much of a problem as their aggression is spread out within the group. However, if you keep them in smaller groups, they may nip at the slower-moving fish with long fins.

How big do Odessa Barbs grow?

Odessa Barbs typically reach around 4.5 cm in size once they have fully matured. However, some aquarist has had Odessa Barbs that have reached a length of 7 centimetres.

What are the best tankmates for Odessa Barbs?

Odessa Barbs are relatively peaceful, fast-moving fish, so, therefore, they are best housed with other temperate, faster-moving species such as similarly-sized, open water-dwelling Cyprinids. However, you can also keep them with Balitorid, Cobitid, and Nemacheilid Loaches, benthic Cyprinids such as Garra and Crossocheilus species, as well as various Tetras, Corydoras and Ram Cichlids.

What should I feed my Odessa Barbs?

In the aquarium, Odessa Barbs are not fussy. However, for the best condition and colour of your fish, you should offer them frequent feeds of small live and frozen foods. These can include artemia, daphnia and bloodworm alongside high quality dried flakes and granules, some of which should consist of additional algal and plant content.

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: 24/08/2020 - Updated: 12/08/2022 12:41:16