Odessa Barb (Pethia Padamya) Fish Species Profile

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Odessa Barbs are a peaceful, hardy, undemanding and very active fish. They can adapt to a variety of water parameters, including an unheated aquarium, but will flourish in densely planted tanks that are slightly on the acidic side.

This species will thrive much better in small groups as they may tend to nip other fish.

Their body is elongated, egg-shaped and flattened from sides. The back is green, the sides are silvery metallic colour, and their stomach is white.

They display dark spots above the pectoral fins and near the tail fin, and the first spot has an elongated shape that resembles a vertical stripe.

Their Scales form a clear blended pattern on the body. The male has a thick red-brown horizontal line that starts at the mouth, then proceeds through the eyes and continues down the body to the tail.

Scientific NamePethia Padamya
Other NamesScarlet Barb, Ticto Barb
OriginsSoutheast Asia
Aquarium LevelMiddle
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 5 year
Maximum Sizeup to 8 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature75.2 - 78.8 ℉ (24 - 26 ℃)
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 10

Origins of the Odessa Barb

These fish come from South East Asia; from Thailand to the Himalayas.

Its native region includes Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Odessa and Nepal.

They live in still and shallow backwaters and ponds of large and middle-sized rivers, rich in vegetation and slightly acidic, such as Meklong, upper Mekong, Salween and Irrawaddy, also in the upper parts of the Chao Phraya Basin.

The bottom is often muddy, and the Odessa barb spends a lot of time grazing in the substrate.


Odessa Barbs do not require a particular food. Still, it is advisable to give them a variety of different things because due to their activity level, these fish have quite the appetite.

They will accept flakes and granules as well as freeze-dried and live foods such as Brine shrimp, bloodworms and daphnia; these are all great protein-rich choices.

They will also happily eat vegetables like cucumbers and lettuce.

Sexing the Odessa Barb

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 body.

Breeding the Odessa Barb

It can be difficult if not impossible, to breed this species in a community aquarium.

A separate breeding tank will be required with a bare bottom, or plenty of plants and a slightly lower PH, this will increase your chance of success.

Odessa Barbs become reproductive from the age of 5-6 months, and the female can lay up to 150 eggs being released in batches of roughly 20 at a time over several hours. You will need to remove the parents once the eggs have been dropped and fertilised; otherwise, they will get eaten.

It usually takes around 1 to 3 days for the eggs to hatch and the fry will become free swimming roughly 24 hours after that.

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Date Added: 8/24/2020 - Updated: 8/24/2020 3:15:37 PM