Max Size: 8cm

Odessa Barb (Pethia Padamya)

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.

Tank Mates for the Odessa Barb

1 ideal tank mate ideas for the Odessa Barb include:

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePethia Padamya
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℃

Photos of the Odessa Barb

Male Odessa Barb
Feamles Odessa Barb
Odessa Barb
Odessa Barb
Odessa Barb
Odessa Barb
Odessa Barbs

Natural Habitat

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.

What to feed the Odessa Barb

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, bloodworm and daphnia; these are all great protein-rich choices.

They will also happily eat vegetables like cucumbers and lettuce.

How to sex 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.

How to breed 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.

Frquently asked questions about the Odessa Barb

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 is the natural habitat of Odessa Barbs?

Odessa Barbs are endemic to central Myanmar, where these individuals were collected from an artificial pond filled by a small stream in a village called Toe Gyi, which lies in the main division of Mandalay. These Barbs have also been recorded in the lower stretches of the river Chindwin, a tributary of the Ayeyarwady, and a small pond above the Anisakan Falls close to the main river channel. They generally inhabit clear, slow-flowing to almost still water with muddy bottoms and little vegetation.

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)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
Checker Barb(Oliotius oligolepis)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 24/08/2020 - Updated: 05/01/2022 16:20:40