Max Size: up to 15 cm

Swamp Barb (Puntius Chola)

The Swamp Barb is relatively peaceful and makes an ideal addition to a community aquarium. You can combine them with most peaceful fish of a larger size as they are not considered as food and also those of a brave enough disposition not to be intimidated by its size and active nature.

These Barbs are a schooling species in the wild, so ideally, you should keep six or more individuals together. Keeping these fish in suitable numbers will not only make the fish less nervous, but it will result in a more efficient, natural-looking display. Also, any aggression will usually be restrained as the fish concentrate on maintaining their pecking order arrangement within the group.

The Swamp Barb has a deep and compressed body that is a silvery colour with a golden opercle bone. There is a dark blotch on the base of caudal fin and a black mark present on the second and fifth ray of the dorsal. You will also notice one or two rows of dark spots visible along its centre. You can also find a long-finned version of this species.

Quick Facts
Scientific NamePuntius Chola
Other NamesChola Barb
OriginsSoutheast Asia
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature68 - 77 ℉ (20 - 25 ℃)
PH6.0 - 6.5
GH8 - 15
TDS36 - 268
Swamp Barb
Swamp Barb
Swamp Barb


The Swamp Barb originates in central waters in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and western Thailand in Southeast Asia.

Depending on the locality and time of year they inhabit shallow waters in minor rivers, streams mangroves, canals, swamps and marshes rather than main river channels then entering temporarily inundated fields during the wet season.

The substrate in their natural environment is composed of boulders, bedrock, gravel, sand and cobbles with an abundance of leaf litter and forest cover.

Other Barbs of interest

African Banded Barb(Barbus fasciolatus)
Black Ruby Barb(Pethia nigrofasciata)
Blue Spotted Hill Trout(Barilius bakeri)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
Checker Barb(Oliotius oligolepis)
Cherry Barb(Puntius titteya)
View All Barbs

Diet & Feeding

The Swamp Barb is unfussy when it comes to food, so is easily-fed. However, for the best colours and condition, you should offer frequent meals of small live and frozen fares such as artemia, daphnia and bloodworm, as well as high quality, dried flakes and granules. It would be beneficial if you also provided them with foods that include additional algal or plant content.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively simple to distinguish male from female Swamp Barbs. Adult females typically grow a little larger, are heavier-bodied, and less colourful than males. Whereas males tend to have slightly more colour than females as they have orangish colour pelvic and anal fins whereas females do not.


Unfortunately, there have been no recordings of successfully breeding the Swamp barb in the home aquarium.

However, it is said that the Swamp Barb is an open water, substrate egg-scatterer, that takes no part in guarding the eggs or the upbringing of the fry.

During breeding time, the males display pronounced vertical bands, which lasts for around two days while females show red vertical stripes which last approximately 5 hours.

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Date Added: 27/11/2020 - Updated: 30/11/2020 15:13:03