Freshwater Fish

Cherry Barb: Care Guide for Lifespan, Diet, and Tank Mates

Cherry Barb

Cherry Barb Facts & Overview

Cherry Barb, scientifically known as Puntius Titteya, is a freshwater fish belonging to the Cyprinidae family.


A native inhabitant of Sri Lanka, the Cherry Barb is renowned for its vibrant coloring and spirited demeanor, making it a popular choice among aquarists globally.

Adult Size & Life Expectancy

Growing up to a manageable size, an adult Cherry Barb can reach up to two inches in length. This moderate Cherry Barb size coupled with their relatively sturdy nature, make them a favorite amongst aquarium enthusiasts. These aquatic gems can also have a fairly decent lifespan with optimal care and suitable water conditions.


Imported globally from their homeland of Sri Lanka, Cherry Barbs can now be abundantly found in pet stores and online aquarium retailers nationwide.

Scientific NamePuntius titteya
OriginSri Lanka
Adult SizeUp to 2 inches
ColorMales in bright red; Females in fawn-colored with silver-pink undertone
BehaviourPeaceful, active, schooling fish
Life ExpectancyVaries; extends with optimal care and conditions
DietOmnivorous; Primarily high-quality flakes or pellets
Preferred HabitatWell-structured tanks mimicking natural conditions
AvailabilityWidely available online and in pet stores

Cherry Barb’s Appearance & Behavior

Colors, Patterns, and Size

The Cherry Barb distinguishes itself through its scintillating colors and intricate designs. Males display a striking crimson hue, particularly amplified during spawning season. On the other hand, females adorn a fawn-color on top with a subtle silver to pinkish undertone. Their small and elongated body and design resemble the beauty encapsulated within a tiny two-inch package of brilliance, enhancing your aquarium’s visual appeal.

Typical Behavior

Despite their striking appearance, Cherry Barbs are relatively peaceable creatures. They tend to keep to their own kind, making them perfect community tank dwellers. Thriving best when in groups of six or more, they display an active and playful demeanor, adding a lively dash of energy to your aquarium.

Cherry Barb Tank & Water Requirements

Habitat and Tank Requirement

Aiming to replicate their natural habitat, Cherry Barbs prefer a well-structured aquarium setting. Incorporating live plants and ample hiding places in your aquarium helps ensure your Cherry Barbs feel at home.

Cherry Barb Temperature & Water Conditions

Cherry Barbs are notably tolerant of different water conditions, making them perfect for a variety of tank setups. However, optimal Cherry Barb temperature lies between the range of 72 to 82 °F. Hence, monitoring water conditions and ensuring accurate temperatures are key for their well-being.

Care & Diet

Diet and Feeding

Cherry Barbs are acknowledged omnivores in the aquarium industry. They hold a diverse appetite, accepting nearly any food available. This includes high-quality flake or pellet food, specifically formulated for tropical freshwater species. Moreover, they relish live or frozen offerings like brine shrimp, thus, diversifying their diet.

General Care

Taking care of your Cherry Barbs primarily entails maintaining a stable water environment and feeding them a well-rounded diet. Ensure that the Cherry Barb tank mimics their native conditions with the proper water temperature and suitable habitats.

Common Problems

Though hardy by nature, poorly maintained tank conditions can lead to health issues in Cherry Barbs. Appropriate care minimizes the chances of your Cherry Barbs being afflicted with common fish diseases like fin rot or ich.

Is a Cherry Barb Dangerous?

Despite their bold coloration, Cherry Barbs are far from dangerous. On the contrary, they’re peaceful fish and make excellent additions to community tanks as they go along well with other peaceful fishes.

Tank Mates

Cherry Barbs do well with most other non-aggressive fish considering their peaceful nature. However, they’re a schooling species and prefer the company of their own kind. Hence, the ideal Cherry Barb tank mates include other schooling fish that share their tranquil demeanor and habitat preferences.

Good Tank MatesReasonsBad Tank MatesReasons
TetrasShare similar peaceful nature and water requirementsCichlidsCan be overly aggressive and territorial
GuppiesSmall, peaceful, and share similar water conditionsOscarsLikely to prey on smaller fish like Cherry Barbs
PlatiesNon-aggressive and share love for well-planted tanksArowanasHigh predatory instinct towards smaller fish
Other BarbsCherry Barbs prefer schooling, making other barbs ideal for companyBetta FishThe Betta’s feisty nature can stress Cherry Barbs
CorydorasPeaceful bottom dwellers that won’t disturb the Cherry BarbsGoldfishRequire different water conditions


The lifespan of Cherry Barbs usually spans a few years. However, provided optimal care, suitable water conditions, and a well-structured habitat, these wonderful freshwater fish can live beyond their average Cherry Barb lifespan. Providing a healthy diet and compatible tank mates will further enhance their lifespan.


Breeding Cherry Barbs can be a captivating experience for both novice and seasoned aquarists. These freshwater fishes are egg layers and are renowned for their beautiful courtship display. During breeding, the males perform an enticing dance with their vibrant red bodies to attract the females. Given a conducive environment, the female Cherry Barbs will lay her eggs, which the male subsequently fertilizes.

Nonetheless, providing a separate breeding tank emulating their natural conditions significantly enhances the success of Cherry Barb breeding. Furthermore, adults might eat their eggs. Thus, it’s prudent to either transfer the adults back to the main tank after the female lays her eggs or keep a close watch on them.

Should You Get a Cherry Barb for Your Aquarium?

Definitely! Not only does the Cherry Barb add a vivid dash of color to your tank, but their active, peaceful disposition also makes them a joy to have around. Given their hardy nature and relatively easy maintenance, Cherry Barbs can be a great choice for beginners venturing into home aquariums and seasoned hobbyists.

Moreover, if you’re truly dedicated to offering an appropriate habitat for them and eager to observe interesting behaviors, having a Cherry Barb tank can indeed enhance your aquarium experience impressively. Nonetheless, keep in mind their specific needs and do your best to cater to them, ensuring the Cherry Barb care remains top-notch, to enjoy a thriving and vibrant aquatic pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big do Cherry Barbs get?

Cherry Barbs are small, growing up to a maximum of two inches in size. Their moderate Cherry Barb size makes them suitable for various tank sizes and setups.

What water temperature do Cherry Barbs require?

Cherry Barbs are fairly tolerant to a range of water temperatures but the optimal Cherry Barb temperature should be between 72 to 82 °F to ensure their comfort and well-being.

What types of fish make the best Cherry Barb tank mates?

Given their peaceful nature, Cherry Barbs are compatible with most non-aggressive, similarly sized freshwater fish. They are primarily a schooling species and prefer the company of their own kind, making other schooling fishes the ideal Cherry Barb tank mates.

How long is the Cherry Barb lifespan?

Typically, Cherry Barbs live for a few years. However, with proper care, a suitable environment, and diet, they can live beyond this average Cherry Barb lifespan.

What do Cherry Barbs eat?

As omnivores, Cherry Barbs have a broad palate encompassing a range of food items. They enjoy high-quality flake or pellet food, especially for tropical freshwater fish and live or frozen feed like brine shrimp. A varied diet is key to a healthy and content Cherry Barb.

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