Maximum size : 7.5 cm

Rosy Barb - Puntius conchonius : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Rosy Barbs (Puntius conchonius) is a popular and desirable fish in the aquarium hobby. With their peaceful temperament, bright colouration, and hardiness, they are an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists alike. These Barbs are social creatures and should be kept in groups of no fewer than six, with larger groups being even better.

Keeping them in larger numbers will make them less skittish and provide a more natural display. When it comes to tankmates, medium-sized to large Cyprinids, Rainbowfish, and Gouramis make excellent companions for Rosy Barbs. They can also be housed with Loaches, Catfish, and Plecos. 

For their ideal aquarium, a mix of rocks, pebbles, fine gravel, sand, and small boulders will create a natural-looking environment. The addition of driftwood and aquatic plants like Microsorum and Anubias will also provide hiding places and resting spots for your fish which will benefit them greatly.

Rosy Barbs have torpedo-shaped bodies with forked tails, and the male fish is adorned with reddish-pink colouration, black markings on the sides and fins, and a black blotch on the caudal peduncle. Females, on the other hand, have a pinkish-gold body with unmarked fins.

1 other variant of the Rosy Barb

Below is a list of Variant/Colour Morphs of the Rosy Barb

Rosy Barb Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Determining the sex of Rosy Barbs requires patience, as it cannot be done until they reach maturity. Adult males have more vibrant reddish colouration, slender bodies, and darker fins. In contrast, adult females are smaller, plumper, and have a pinkish hue compared to males. Additionally, females lack any black pigmentation on their fins, which is present in males.

Featured Male
Featured Female
Female Male

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePuntius conchonius
Year Described1822
Other NamesRed Barb
OriginsIndia , Bangladesh , Nepal , Pakistan , Afghanistan
Max Size7.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.5 - 7.5
GH 5 - 19
Ideal Temperature
64 - 72
17 - 22

The Rosy Barb has been featured on the following stamps.

Natural Habitat

Rosy Barbs are native to the scenic landscapes of Northern India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. These remarkable fish can also be found in other parts of the world, including Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, due to human intervention. In their natural habitat, Rosy Barbs inhabit hilly landscapes and fast-flowing lakes and streams with a high oxygen supply, surrounded by lush vegetation and debris that acts as a refuge for them. This unique environment provides a serene and enchanting home for these stunning fish, where they can thrive and play amongst the rocks and vegetation. 


To breed Rosy Barbs, a separate breeding tank is required, with shallow water and plenty of plants, as it offers privacy and a place to lay the eggs. It is important to choose healthy and intense coloured Barbs for the best condition fry. Rosy Barbs become sexually mature when they reach a size of 6cm, and a male and two females should be put in the tank.

Once a female and male begin breeding, they exhibit play and mock mating behaviours. After fertilization, the female will scatter several hundred eggs onto the plants, substrate, and decorations or discharge them into the open water. It is important to separate the eggs immediately from the tank as neither parent cares for them and will consume them.

The eggs will hatch in around 28 to 30 hours and become free-swimming a couple of hours after that. Rosy Barbs are relatively easy to breed, but it is important to maintain good water conditions and choose healthy specimens for optimal success.

Diet & feeding

The Rosy Barb is an omnivore and has a versatile diet. While it is not fussy when it comes to food, a balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and wellbeing. Their diet should consist of both meaty and plant-based foods. Live or frozen foods such as bloodworm, daphnia, and brine shrimp provide high nutritional content and are recommended as staple foods.

Additionally, plant-based foods like lettuce or zucchini can be added to their diet to replicate their natural feeding habits. Dried foods like flakes, pellets, and granules can also be offered occasionally as a supplement. It is important to provide a varied diet to ensure that the Rosy Barb is getting all the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and health.

Frequently asked questions

A single Rosy Barb requires at least a 20-gallon tank due to their active nature. If you plan to keep a school, which is usually recommended, you will need a larger tank 30 gallons or more.

Rosy Barbs are hardy fish and can adapt to a variety of water conditions. However, they prefer a pH between 6.0 and 8.0, hardness from 2 to 20 dGH, and temperatures between 18 to 22°C (64 to 72°F).

Rosy Barbs are omnivorous. They will thrive on a diet of high-quality flake food, live and frozen foods, and plant matter. Variety is the key to ensuring they get all the nutrients they need.

Yes, Rosy Barbs are generally peaceful and can be kept with a variety of other species. However, they can occasionally nip at the fins of slower or long-finned fish.

Male Rosy Barbs are more colorful, especially during spawning season, and have a slimmer body shape. Females are larger and have a more rounded body shape.

Yes, they can. Rosy Barbs are egg scatterers and will spawn in a heavily planted tank. The parents do not care for the eggs or fry, so it may be necessary to separate them after spawning to prevent predation.

With proper care, a Rosy Barb can live for around 5 to 7 years in captivity.

Keeping your tank clean, providing a balanced diet, and monitoring water parameters are essential. Regular health checks can help detect early signs of any potential illness or stress.

Other Barbs of interest