26 Types Of Barbs For Your Tank (From Popular To Rare)

From the vibrant Cherry Barb to the graceful Odessa Barb, Barbs have surely captured the hearts of many fish keepers. These fish come in various types, each with its unique charm. 

In this article, we’ll explore all the different types of Barbs, discovering what makes each type special and fascinating. So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Table of Contents

Types Of Barbs

Now, here are some of the most common types of Barbs and everything you need to learn to give them the best care possible! 

Tiger Barbs (Puntius tetrazona)

Tiger Barb Care Sheet

If you’re looking for some lively and feisty fish to add to your aquarium, Tiger Barbs are an excellent choice! These little tigers are known for their striking black vertical stripes and vibrant orange bodies. 

With their energetic nature, they’re always up to something exciting, minding their own business most of the time, but sometimes showing a bit of their wild side.

Tiger Barbs are quite sociable, and they love being in groups of five or more. However, keep an eye on them as they might occasionally show signs of aggression towards each other. To create a harmonious environment, make sure you have a spacious tank with plenty of hiding spots and lots of aquatic plants. 

NameTiger Barb
Tank Size20 Gallons
Lifespan7 Years

Albino Tiger Barb (Puntigrus tetrazona)

If you love Tiger Barbs but want something a little more unique, the Albino Tiger Barb might be just the fish for you! As the name suggests, these barbs lack the typical black stripes, and their mesmerizing appearance features a white, almost translucent body with pinkish-red eyes.

Caring for Albino Tiger Barbs is similar to their regular counterparts. They love being part of a lively group, and providing them with a well-planted tank and some open swimming space will keep them happy. 

NameAlbino Tiger Barb
Tank Size20 Gallons
Lifespan7 Years

Cherry Barbs (Puntius titteya)

Cherry Barb Care Sheet

Imagine a school of little, shining rubies swimming in your aquarium. That’s the beauty of Cherry Barbs! With their vivid red color and peaceful nature, Cherry Barbs are a delightful addition to any community tank. They’re relatively small, growing up to about 2 inches (5 cm), making them suitable for smaller setups.

To bring out their full colors, set up a tank with plenty of plants and a dark substrate. These little gems will be grateful for the lush environment.

NameCherry Barbs
Tank Size30 Gallons
Lifespan4 Years

Rosy Barbs (Pethia conchonius)

Rosy Barb Care Sheet

If you’re searching for fish that radiate elegance and charm, Rosy Barbs are the way to go. With their rosy-pink bodies and a shimmering gold hue, they can brighten up any aquarium. Rosy Barbs are social creatures, so consider keeping them in groups of 5 or more to observe their playful interactions.

Just like Cherry Barbs, Rosy Barbs are quite flexible with water conditions. Provide plenty of swimming space, and don’t forget to include some hiding spots for those moments when they seek a little time alone.

NameRosy Barbs
Tank Size30 Gallons
Lifespan5 Years

Golden Barb (Barbodes semifasciolatus)

Golden Barb Care Sheet

For those who want a touch of gold in their aquatic paradise, Gold Barbs are an ideal choice. These charming barbs display a vibrant golden-yellow color, shimmering under the aquarium lights. They’re relatively easy to care for, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced fishkeepers.

Gold Barbs are schooling fish, so they feel happiest when accompanied by their peers. A group of at least five will bring out the best in them. Also, adding some floating plants will give them a sense of security, and they’ll be more inclined to show off their golden beauty.

NameGolden Barb
Tank Size20 Gallons
Lifespan4-6 Years

Checker Barbs (Oliotius oligolepis)

Checker Barb Care Sheet

Checker Barbs are like a living chessboard in your aquarium! Their unique pattern of alternating black and white scales gives them a striking appearance that stands out among other fish. These barbs are relatively peaceful, making them suitable for community tanks with other non-aggressive species.

As with many barb species, Checker Barbs enjoy the company of their own kind, so consider keeping them in groups. And, of course, their checker pattern becomes even more fascinating when you have multiple Checker Barbs swimming together.

NameChecker Barbs
Tank Size20 Gallons
Lifespan8 Years

Golden Dwarf Barb (Pethia gelius)

golden dwarf barb

If you want to add some sunshine to your aquarium, look no further than the Golden Dwarf Barb. As the name suggests, these little barbs display a stunning golden coloration that brightens up any tank. They’re relatively small in size, reaching about 1.5 inches (4 cm), which makes them perfect for smaller setups.

Golden Dwarf Barbs are peaceful and get along well with other peaceful species. Keep them in groups of at least five to ensure they feel comfortable and secure. 

NameGolden Dwarf Barb
Tank Size10 Gallons
Lifespan5-7 Years

Denison Barb/Roseline Shark (Sahyadria denisonii)

Roseline Shark Care Sheet

The Denison Barb, also known as the Red Lined Torpedo Barb or Roseline Shark, is a majestic fish that demands attention. Its silver body is adorned with vibrant orange-red stripes that extend from head to tail, creating a stunning visual spectacle. These barbs are full of energy and are always exploring their surroundings.

Denison Barbs thrive in large, well-maintained tanks with plenty of open swimming space. And because of their active nature, it’s essential to provide them with a balanced diet that includes quality flakes, pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods.

NameDenison Barb
Tank Size55 Gallons
Lifespan5 Years

Tinfoil Barb (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii)

Tinfoil Barb Care Sheet

With its shiny, reflective scales, the Tinfoil Barb lives up to its name. These barbs are full of curiosity and will quickly become the center of attention in your aquarium. However, keep in mind that they can grow quite large, reaching up to 14 inches (36 cm), so a spacious tank is a must.

Tinfoil Barbs are schooling fish, and they feel most comfortable in groups of five or more. And remember, a well-planted tank with plenty of open space for swimming will keep them happy. 

NameTinfoil Barb
Tank Size75 Gallons
Lifespan10-15 Years

Odessa Barb (Pethia padamya)

Odessa Barb Care Sheet

Odessa Barbs are a real treat for the eyes. Their metallic blue-green body with splashes of orange and yellow is a sight to behold. These active and playful barbs are sure to add vibrancy to any aquarium they live in.

Make sure to provide them with a well-decorated tank, including plenty of plants and hiding spots. Keeping them in a group of six or more will encourage their natural schooling behavior, bringing out the best in them.

NameOdessa Barb
Tank Size30 Gallons
Lifespan3-5 Years

Glofish Barb (Puntius tetrazona)

What It Looks Like

If you’re looking to add a splash of fluorescent color to your aquarium, Glofish Barbs are the perfect choice! These genetically modified barbs come in various shades, including electric greens, vibrant pinks, and dazzling oranges. They’re a lively bunch, constantly on the move, and will definitely catch your eye.

Glofish Barbs are easy to care for, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced fishkeepers. Keep them in a group of five or more to encourage their social behavior and showcase their vivid colors.

NameGlofish Barb
Tank Size20 Gallons
Lifespan4-7 Years

Black Ruby Barb/Purplehead Barb (Pethia nigrofasciata)

Black Ruby Barb Care Sheet

The Black Ruby Barb is a true gem of the aquarium world. With its deep black body and ruby-red fins, it creates a stunning contrast that immediately draws attention. These barbs are generally peaceful and can get along well with other peaceful species.

Keep them in a group of at least six, and you’ll observe their playful interactions and occasional chasing games.

NameBlack Ruby Barb
Tank Size30 Gallons
Lifespan3-5 Years

Snakeskin Barb (Puntius rhomboocellatus)

Snakeskin Barb Care Sheet

The Snakeskin Barb gets its name from the unique scale pattern on its body that resembles the skin of a snake. This mesmerizing feature sets it apart from other barbs and adds a touch of mystique to your aquarium. With its calm nature, it can coexist with various tankmates.

Create a well-maintained tank with some open swimming space and provide them with a balanced diet. They’ll thrive in a community tank and add an elegant touch to the aquatic landscape.

NameSnakeskin Barb
Tank Size25 Gallons
Lifespan5-8 Years

Panda/Melon Barb (Puntius fasciatus)

Panda Barb Care Sheet

The adorable Panda Barb looks like it’s wearing a black and white panda suit, making it an endearing addition to any aquarium. With their peaceful and sociable nature, they get along well with other non-aggressive fish.

Caring for Panda Barbs is relatively easy. Just provide them with plenty of hiding spots and some open space for swimming. And remember, keeping them in a group of six or more will bring out their best behavior and showcase their charming personalities.

NamePanda Barb
Tank Size30 Gallons
Lifespan4-6 Years

Arulius Barb (Puntius arulius)

What It Looks Like

The Arulius Barb is a small but lively fish that adds a dynamic touch to your aquarium. With its silver body, black stripe along the lateral line, and red-tipped fins, it’s a captivating sight to behold. These barbs are social creatures, so keep them in a group to prevent them from feeling lonely.

And the best part? Arulius Barbs are not picky eaters and will happily accept a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and live or frozen treats.

NameArulius Barb
Tank Size40 Gallons
Lifespan5-7 Years

Beardless Barb (Cyclocheilichthys apogon)

Unlike many other barbs, the Beardless Barb lacks barbels, making it easily recognizable. Its shimmering silver body and dark scales along the lateral line create an eye-catching pattern. These barbs are peaceful and prefer the company of their own kind.

They’re relatively undemanding when it comes to food, accepting a variety of flake, pellet, and frozen foods. Also, keeping them in a group of five or more will bring out their social nature.

NameBeardless Barb
Tank Size30 Gallons
Lifespan4-6 Years

Khavli/Mahajara Barb (Puntius sahyadriensis)

Khavli Barb Care Sheet

The Khavli Barb is another Barb with a mesmerizing color pattern. Its body displays an attractive mix of silver and yellow, with a black stripe running along the lateral line. These barbs are, making them perfect for community setups.

As you take care of them in your tank, just give them enough hiding spots and some open space for swimming to keep them content and stress-free.

NameKhavli/Mahajara Barb
Tank Size25 Gallons
Lifespan4-6 Years

Redside Barb (Puntius bimaculatus)

Redside Barb Care Sheet

The Redside Barb is a striking fish that boasts a dazzling red stripe along its body, creating an eye-catching contrast against its silver scales. These barbs are lively and sociable, making them a fantastic addition to a community tank.

To keep your Redside Barbs thriving, remember that they appreciate a well-planted tank with some open swimming space and make sure to keep them in a group of six or more.

NameRedside Barb
Tank Size20 Gallons
Lifespan4-6 Years

Spanner Barb (Barbodes lateristriga)

Spanner Barb Care Sheet

Spanner Barbs are Barbs with a distinctive look, with their two black stripes running horizontally along their body, just like a spanner or wrench. 

These fish are also known as T-Barbs and are typically found in the clear mountain streams of the Malay Peninsula and Borneo Island. They usually inhabit rocky and boulder-filled waters. It’s best to house them with other medium to large-sized fish, as they may intimidate or outcompete smaller species.

NameSpanner Barb
Tank Size55 Gallons
Lifespan8 Years

Swamp Barb (Puntius chola)

What It Looks Like

The Swamp Barb is a unique addition to any aquarium with its muted silver and black colors. They thrive in well-filtered tanks with plenty of plants and some open areas to swim around. Keep them in groups of 6 or more to see their social side, and you’ll be fascinated by their quiet elegance.

NameSwamp Barb
Tank Size30 Gallons
Lifespan10 Years

Ticto Barb (Pethia ticto)

Ticto Barb Care Sheet

The Ticto Barb is a lively little fish with its silver body adorned with black speckles, resembling a starry night sky. These barbs are known for their playful and active nature, making them a joy to watch in the aquarium. 

They thrive in groups, so aim for at least 5 or more to witness their social behavior. Providing them with a well-planted tank and some open swimming space will keep them entertained and happy.

NameTicto Barb
Tank Size30 Gallons
Lifespan5-7 Years

Filament/Black-Spot Barb (Dawkinsia filamentosa)

Filament Barb Care Sheet

As its name suggests, the Filament Barb has elongated, filament-like fins that add a touch of elegance to its silver body.  Its sleek silver body and vibrant red fins make it an eye-catching addition to any aquarium. These barbs are energetic and love to swim, adding a sense of entertainment to your tank.

Keeping them in a group of five or more will encourage their natural schooling behavior, and they’ll happily display their filament-like fins as they glide through the water.

NameFilament/Black-Spot Barb
Tank Size65 Gallons
Lifespan4 Years

Butterfly Barb (Barbus hulstaerti)

What It Looks Like

The Butterfly Barb is like a delicate butterfly gracefully gliding through the water. With its shimmering silver body and colorful fins, it’s a sight to behold. These barbs are lively and active, creating a captivating display as they dart through the water.

Provide them with a well-planted tank and some open swimming space to showcase their beauty.

NameButterfly Barb
Tank Size10 Gallons
Lifespan2-4 Years

Drape Fin Barb (Oreichthys crenuchoides)

What It Looks Like

The Drape Fin Barb is an alluring fish with its unique, long and flowing dorsal fin, resembling an elegant drape. With its silver body and vibrant red fins, it adds a touch of grace to any aquarium. These barbs are active swimmers and enjoy exploring their surroundings.

Keep them in groups of 6 or more to see their social interactions, and provide plenty of plants and driftwood for them to explore.

NameDrape Fin Barb
Tank Size15 Gallons
Lifespan3-4 Years

Jae Barb (Barbus jae)

Jae Barb Care Sheet

The Jae Barb is a unique Barb native to West African countries, and they’re famous for their brighter red fins compared to the females, while the body is typically a charcoal color. 

In aquariums, Jae Barbs are considered bottom to middle-level dwellers. They require specific care due to their timid nature. Also, they’re omnivores and micro predators by nature, and will happily accept most small prepared and frozen foods.

NameJae Barb
Tank Size10 Gallons
Lifespan3-5 Years

Pentazona/Fiveband Barbs (Desmopuntius pentazona)

Pentazona Barb Care Sheet

Pentazona Barbs, also known as the Five-Banded Barb, are enchanting fish with five striking black bands running horizontally across their silver bodies. These barbs are really friendly and get along well with other non-aggressive species.

They prefer to swim in schools, so having a group of 5 or more will bring out their best behavior. Also, a well-decorated tank with some plants and driftwood will make them feel secure and happy.

NamePentazona/Fiveband Barb
Tank Size20 Gallons
Lifespan5-8 Years

How To Setup A Tank For Your Barbs

Now, here’s a step-by-step guide for setting up a tank for your barbs:

Choose the Right Tank Size

Go for a big aquarium to give your barbs plenty of space to swim and play around. Bigger tanks help maintain water quality and keep your fish stress-free.

Create Hiding Spots

Add plants, rocks, and caves to make cozy hiding spots for your barbs. They love exploring and feeling secure, so give them their own fishy playground.

Get a Good Filtration System

A strong filtration system keeps the water clean and clear. Barbs can be messy eaters, so it’s essential to keep up with debris and maintain a healthy environment.

Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter 150 GPH, Multi-Stage Aquarium Filtration,black
  • WITH ROTATING BIO-WHEEL: Patented Bio-Wheel technology provides excellent wet/dry biological filtration.

Maintain the Right Temperature

Barbs prefer warmer water, so use a heater to keep the temperature in the ideal range. It’ll keep them happy and active like a tropical vacation.

Marineland Precision Heater for Saltwater or Freshwater Aquariums
  • This 75 watt heater is for aquariums up to 20 gallons. Adjustable temperature dial allows you to set the temperature 1 degree with every click.

Test and Maintain Water Quality

Regularly test the water for harmful substances and pH levels. Clean and balanced water keeps your barbs healthy and thriving.

API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, White, Single, Multi-colored
  • Contains one (1) API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, including 7 bottles of testing solutions, 1 color card and 4 tubes with cap

Choose Compatible Tank Mates

Be selective when picking tank mates. Barbs can be nippy, so avoid long-finned or slow-moving fish. Opt for compatible buddies who can hold their own.

Provide a Varied Diet

Barbs are omnivores, so feed them a mix of quality flakes, pellets, and occasional live or frozen treats. Keep their diet diverse for happy fishy eaters.

TetraMin Plus Tropical Flakes, Cleaner and Clearer Water Formula 7.06 Ounce (Pack of 1)
  • TROPICAL FORMULATION: Highly digestible flake blend for use as staple food for all tropical fish.

Perform Regular Water Changes

Freshwater is vital for your barbs’ health, so do regular water changes to keep it fresh and replenished.

What Fish Can Live With Barbs?

Here are some of the best tankmates that you may consider adding to your Barbs’ tank:


Equally active and peaceful, Tetras can make a colorful addition to a Barb community tank. There’s a wide array to choose from, like Neon Tetras, with their radiant blue and red stripes, or Black Skirt Tetras, recognized by their fluttering dark fins. Remember, Tetras also prefer to be in groups.


Gouramis are generally peaceful fish that can grow up to similar sizes as Barbs. With their intricate patterns, they add a touch of elegance to the tank. However, monitor their behavior as some Gouramis can be a tad territorial.


Loaches can make great tank mates due to their sociable and playful nature. Their distinctive coloration also provides a nice contrast in the tank. They appreciate hiding spots, so ensure your aquarium is suitably furnished with plenty of hiding spots for them.


Active and hardy, Danios are easy to care for and get along well with Barbs. Zebra Danios, with their striking horizontal stripes, are a popular choice. Danios prefer to school, so keep at least six.


Their peaceful demeanor and similar size make Rasboras ideal companions for Barbs. Harlequin Rasboras with their metallic bodies and black triangular patches can complement the bright colors of the Barbs.


Notable for their vibrant colors, Rainbowfish can be a lively addition. They can match the Barbs’ energy levels and prefer to be in groups.


These bottom dwellers are peaceful, non-aggressive, and do well with Barbs. They help keep the tank clean by scavenging for leftover food, but still require a proper diet.


Plecos or Plecostomus are another type of bottom feeder that can live harmoniously with Barbs. Non-aggressive and mainly interested in algae, they’re easy to handle.


Swordtails, identified by their extended lower fin, peaceful nature, and hardy character, make good tank mates for Barbs. They’re active swimmers, so ensure your tank has ample room.


Peaceful and hardy Platies are a good match for Barbs, enjoying the sanctuary of a plant-heavy environment. Their varied colors enhance the aquarium’s overall charm.

Molly Fish

Molly Fish, known for their array of colors and peaceful nature, can fit effortlessly into a Barb community. They thrive in a well-planted environment.

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp, though not fish, can make an interesting addition. They’re peaceful, fascinating to observe, and serve as handy tank cleaners.

African Dwarf Frogs

African Dwarf Frogs, small and friendly, can add variety to your aquarium. They’re non-aggressive and their distinct swimming style can be fun to watch.


Snails, including Mystery Snails and Nerite Snails, are peaceful creatures that can live easily with Barbs. They also assist in controlling algae levels.


Here is a frequently asked question that people have about the different types of barbs!

What Is The Prettiest Barb?

Of course, the prettiest Barb is subjective and depends on personal preferences. However, I have to say some of my favourite barbs include Gold Barb, Cherry Barb, Odessa Barb, and Tiger Barb.

What Are The Most Peaceful Barbs?

Among the Barbs, some of the most peaceful species are the Cherry Barb, Rosy Barb, and the Gold Barb. These fish have a calm temperament and generally get along well with other tank mates.

What Is The Smallest Type Of Barb

Sometimes known as the golden barb or the dwarf golden barb, Gelis Barb is the smallest species of Barb, growing to only 1.5 inches.

How Many Types Of Barb Are There?

There are over 30 recognized species of Barbs, each with its unique characteristics and appearances. However, the exact number of species can vary as new ones are discovered or reclassified over time.

What Barbs Are Aggressive?

Some Barbs, like the Tiger Barb and the Tinfoil Barb, can be more aggressive compared to other species. They can often exhibit nipping behavior, especially if they’re kept in small groups or inadequate environments.

Can Different Barbs Live Together?

Different Barbs can live together, but it’s essential to choose compatible species. Peaceful Barbs like the Cherry Barb, Gold Barb, and Rosy Barb can coexist harmoniously in the same tank. However, mixing aggressive Barbs with peaceful ones may lead to territorial issues and stress.

Will Barbs Eat Other Fish?

Generally, Barbs are omnivores and are not known for eating other fish. However, some Barbs, especially if underfed or in overcrowded tanks, may exhibit more aggressive behaviors, which could include nipping at the fins of other tank mates. 


Barbs offer a delightful and colorful aquatic experience. Each type showcases its own beauty and captivating behavior, and will surely bring joy to your aquarium. Whether you’re looking for lively schools or elegant companions, Barbs are a wonderful addition to your aquatic family, but remember to give the best care to keep them happy!

Tropical Fish A-Z

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