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Cherry Barb

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Cherry Barb, Puntius titteya

The Cherry Barb is a good choice for beginners. It comes from Sri Lanka.  It is much more peaceful, slower and smaller than other barbs.  As it matures, it develops its cherry color.  Males turn a bright fire red when they reach breeding age.  There is no distinction between sexes for juveniles and they all look very similar to an adult female.  Cherry Barbs don't school, so keeping a pair is fine, although they will enjoy the company of their own kind.  They eat standard flake foods and freeze dried blood worms.  Quality flake foods and brine shrimp feedings will enhance colors.

For breeding, a separate tank should be used.  Cherry Barbs will breed on a regular period of about every 3 weeks. Separating the male and female before breeding can help, but a bonded pair will develop a consistent pattern without being separated.  The male begins chasing the female continuously when she is ready to spawn.  When they breed, the male wraps around the female to fertilize the egg as she releases it.  The process is repeated many times over a period of several minutes to an hour.

Cherry Barbs will spread eggs on finely leaved plants, such as Cabomba.  Eggs that fall to the bottom of the tank will hatch there too.  After spawning, the parents should be removed to increase survival rates.  The parents will rarely search through gravel and plants for eggs if they adequately fed, so it is possible to leave them in the breeding tank and successfully raise some young.  The fry will hatch in a few days and they are very tiny light brown to almost colorless slender slivers.  They quickly begin searching for food among plant leaves, rocks and gravel.  If the parents are left in the tank and there are no other predators, some of the fry will survive being consumed.  Brine shrimp and finely crushed flakes are excellent food sources too.  If breeding parents are left in the same tank with some fry, eventually the fry will become large enough to eat eggs and young fry themselves, at which point no new young will survive.

Cherry Barb Female, Puntius titteya

Cherry Barb Male, Puntius titteya
Cherry Barb Male

Cherry Barb juveniles, Puntius titteya
Mixed Juveniles

Scientific Name: Puntius titteya
Family: Cyprinid
Temperature: 23 - 27 C; 73 - 81 F
pH: 6.0 - 8.0
Size: 5 cm; 2 inches
Life Span: 5 - 7 years
Breeding: Normal, Egglayer


Barbs (especially the Checkered Barb), Chinese Algae Eater, Clown Loaches, Danios, Gouramis, Mollies, Platies, Plecostomus, one Red Tailed Shark, Rainbow Shark, Silver Dollar, Swordtails

Aggressive male tiger barbs are not compatible with cherry barbs.