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Cyprinds / Barbs / Cherry Barb

Cherry Barb
Puntius titteya

Synonyms: Barbus titteya, B. frenatus
Physical description: Has one pair of barbels on the upper jaw near the corners of the mouth. The back is brownish red in color with a green iridescence. Fins are red in color. A black broken line extends from the snout through the eye and through the center of the tail. Above this marking in an iridescent yellow stripe that also runs the length of the body. The upper half of the iris is gold while the lower, red.
Size/Length: To 2" (5 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Well-shaded rainforest creeks and rivers with slow moving water in Sri Lanka. Usually in grassy or bushy areas.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A tank measuring 20 (51 cm) with a capacity of 10 gallons (39 L) is recommended. The tank should be well-planted and have a partial cover of floating plants. Provide a fine gravel bottom for burrowing and leave open swimming areas.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (6.5), 4-18 dH (8), 73-81°F (23-27°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful, timid, schooling fish that can be kept with other small peaceful tank mates. Will sometimes become nervous around other active fish.
Suggested companions: Gouramis, Loaches, Doradids, Loricarids, Epalzeorhynchus, tetras, hatchetfish.
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, flying insects, Tubifex, Brine Shrimp; pellets; flakes.
SEX: Males are slimmer, smaller, more colorful, and more elaborate fins.
Breeding techniques: Use water with the following values: 78-81°F (26-27°C), a pH of 6.0-6.5, and a water hardness of 4-10 dH. Place a pair in a heavily planted breeding tank. One to three eggs are laid at each pairing until 200-300 eggs are laid. The eggs are attached to threads that are attached to plants. Feed the parents white worms during spawning to insure that they do not eat their eggs. After spawning has been completed, remove the pair. The fry hatch after 24 hours and are free swimming after 2-3 days. Start feeding with newly hatched brine shrimp and crushed flakes.
Breeding potential: 5. An easily bred species.
Remarks: A popular barb. Somewhat susceptible to Velvet disease, but regular partial water changes greatly reduce chances of getting it. This species is nearly extinct in nature.
Difficulty of care: 2. A robust and colorful fish recommended for community tanks.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com