Profile Photo

Maximum size : 8 cm

Odessa Barb - Pethia Padamya : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Odessa Barb, (Pethia Padamya) is a true gem and a perfect addition to any community aquarium. This Barb is highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of water conditions, even unheated aquariums. They are known for their peaceful, hardy, and undemanding nature, making them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists. If you're looking to create an environment that allows these gorgeous fish to flourish, a slightly acidic tank with densely planted plants is the way to go. However, it's important to note that Odessa Barbs have a tendency to nip at other fish, so it's best to keep them in smaller groups. To create the ultimate Odessa Barb habitat, consider adding rocks, pebbles, sand, and small boulders to your aquarium setup. Hardy aquatic plants like Anubias and Microsorum will also benefit your fish. While strong filtration is not necessary, these Barbs do appreciate a degree of water movement and can thrive in a hill stream-type arrangement. The Odessa Barb has a striking appearance, with an elongated egg-shaped body that is flattened on the sides. Their backs are green, their sides are silvery and metallic, and their stomachs are white. These fish also have dark spots 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. The scales form a clear blended pattern on their body, making for a truly stunning sight in any aquarium. To make the most out of your Odessa Barb experience, it's best to pair them with other Cyprinids like Garras, Rainbowfish, Gouramis, and Loaches. These fish prefer medium-to-large, active tankmates and tend to chase smaller fish. So, with a little bit of planning and the right setup, you can create a thriving and harmonious community aquarium with these breathtaking fish as the centerpiece.

Odessa Barb Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Odessa Barbs is relatively straightforward. Females typically exhibit a larger size and a more rounded body shape, while males are smaller and display more vibrant coloration, including a prominent red stripe on their bodies.

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePethia Padamya
Year Described2008
Other NamesScarlet Barb, Ticto Barb
OriginsThailand Nepal Sri Lanka Pakistan India Laos Myanmar Bangladesh China Bhutan
Max Size8 cm
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

Natural Habitat

Prepare to be transported to the breathtakingly diverse regions of South East Asia, from Thailand to the Himalayas, where the stunning Odessa Barb can be found in their natural habitat. These exquisite creatures thrive in the still and shallow backwaters and ponds of large and middle-sized rivers, surrounded by lush vegetation and slightly acidic water, providing the perfect environment for their beauty to flourish. The native region of the Odessa Barb is truly a sight to behold, including Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Odessa, and Nepal, providing an expansive and diverse range of aquatic environments for these magnificent creatures to inhabit. These Barbs can be observed grazing in the substrate of their natural environment, which is often muddy, adding to the enchanting scenery of their surroundings. They can be found in the upper parts of the Chao Phraya Basin, Meklong, upper Mekong, Salween, and Irrawaddy, adding to the mesmerizing beauty and diversity of these aquatic environments. For nature enthusiasts and avid aquatic observers, exploring the native region of the Odessa Barb is a must-do activity. Witnessing their vibrant colours and playful behaviour in such a serene environment is truly an unforgettable sight. Don't miss the opportunity to experience the magic of the Odessa Barb in its natural habitat.


Breeding Odessa Barbs in a community aquarium can prove to be challenging, if not impossible. To increase the likelihood of success, a dedicated breeding tank with a bare bottom or an abundance of plants and a slightly lower pH is recommended. Odessa Barbs reach reproductive maturity at around 5-6 months of age, and a female can lay up to 150 eggs, releasing them in batches of approximately 20 at a time over several hours. To prevent the eggs from being eaten, it is essential to remove the parents once the eggs have been deposited and fertilized. The eggs typically hatch within 1 to 3 days, and the fry will become free-swimming approximately 24 hours after hatching. Upon reaching the free-swimming stage, the fry should initially be fed infusoria. As they grow, gradually introduce slightly larger food items to accommodate their nutritional needs.

Diet & feeding

Odessa Barbs are not particularly selective when it comes to their diet. However, due to their high activity level, they possess a significant appetite. It is recommended to provide a diverse range of foods for optimal health. These fish readily accept flakes and granules, as well as freeze-dried and live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia—all excellent protein-rich options. They will also consume vegetables, including cucumbers and lettuce, with enthusiasm.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.\r\n\r\nFemales 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.

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.

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 you maybe interested in