Denison Barb (Roseline Shark) – Care Guide

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The Denison Barb, also known as the Red Lined Torpedo Barb, is a striking and resilient addition to any aquarium.

Originating from India, these fish are known for their vibrant coloration and unique torpedo-like shape.

They are relatively hardy and can adapt well to different water conditions, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced fishkeepers.

With their peaceful temperament and social nature, Denison Barbs can be kept in groups, creating a lively and dynamic display in the aquarium.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameSahyadria denisonii
NaturePeaceful schooling community fish
Physical CharacteristicsTorpedo-shaped body with silver scales, red and black lines running along the body.
SizeTypically 9–11 cm, can reach up to 15 cm
Tank SizeMinimum 30 gallons but bigger is better
Water ConditionspH 6.8–7.8, hardness 5–25 dGH, temperature 65–79°F (18–26°C)
DietBloodworms, shrimp, meat, fish flake, and some vegetation

Denison Barb Overview

The Denison Barb, also known as the Redline Torpedo Barb or the Rose Barb, is a stunning and energetic fish that will add a vibrant splash of color to your aquarium.

With its bold red and silver stripes and torpedo-shaped body, the Denison Barb is truly a sight to behold.

In addition to its beauty, this species is highly adaptable and hardy, making it a great choice for both beginner and experienced fishkeepers.

Species Summary

The Denison Barb, scientifically known as Sahyadria denisonii, is native to the Western Ghats of India where it can be found in rivers and streams with fast-flowing water.

It was previously classified under the name Puntius denisonii but was later reclassified.

This species is highly adaptable and has become popular among aquarists around the world.

Despite its delicate appearance, they are surprisingly hardy and can thrive in a well-maintained aquarium.


The Denison Barb is truly a sight to behold with its vibrant colors and sleek body.

It has a torpedo-shaped body, which allows it to effortlessly glide through the water.

The fish typically grows to a size of 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), making it a medium-sized species suitable for a variety of aquarium setups.

The Denison Barb is characterized by its striking red and silver stripes that run horizontally along its body from the head to the tail.

The red stripes contrast beautifully with the silver coloration of the rest of the body.

The fins are translucent and complement their overall vibrant appearance.

Sexual dimorphism is present in this species, with the males exhibiting brighter colors and longer fins compared to the females.

The males tend to have a deeper red coloration and longer dorsal fins, while the females have a more subdued hue and shorter fins.


If properly cared for, they can live for up to 5 years in captivity.

To ensure that your Denison Barbs live a long and healthy life, provide them with a well-maintained aquarium and a balanced diet.

Denison Barb Care

Behavior & Temperament

Denison Barbs are known for their active and energetic nature.

They are generally peaceful fish but can become territorial and aggressive towards each other if kept in small groups or in inadequate tank conditions.

To promote harmony in the aquarium, it is recommended to keep them in groups of at least six individuals.

This species also exhibits a hierarchy within the group, with dominant individuals asserting their authority over weaker ones.

These fish thrive in a community tank that includes other peaceful and similarly sized fish.

They should not be paired with aggressive or fin-nipping species, as their flowing fins can be tempting targets.

Denison Barbs prefer swimming in the mid to upper levels of the tank and appreciate plenty of open space for their energetic swimming behavior.

Denison Barb Care

Proper care is essential for the health and well-being of Denison Barbs.

They require a well-maintained aquarium with suitable water parameters, a balanced diet, and a suitable tank size.

Tank Size

Due to their active nature and medium size, a minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for a small group of Denison Barbs.

Providing ample swimming space is crucial, as these fish love to dart around and explore their environment.

A larger tank is always better, as it allows for a more natural and spacious habitat.

Water Parameters

Denison Barbs require specific water parameters to thrive in captivity.

  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperature: 72-79°F (22-26°C)
  • pH Level: 6.5-7.5
  • Water Hardness: 5-10 dGH

Regular water testing and maintenance should be performed to ensure optimal water quality for these fish.

Food for Denison Barb

Tank Setup

To recreate the natural habitat of Denison Barbs, provide them with a well-decorated and planted aquarium.

In the wild, they inhabit rivers and streams with fast-flowing water and rocky substrate.

For substrate, a mix of sand, gravel, and small rocks can mimic the natural environment of these fish.

Adding driftwood and rocks to the tank not only provides hiding spots but also allows the fish to explore and establish territories.

Plants are an essential component of their tank setup, as they provide cover and oxygenation, and mimic the natural riverbed environment.

Opt for plants that can tolerate higher flow rates, such as Anubias, Java Fern, and Vallisneria.

Water flow should be moderate to mimic the fast-flowing rivers where Denison Barbs originates from.

This can be achieved with the use of a suitable filtration system or the placement of a powerhead in the aquarium.

Food & Diet

Denison Barbs are omnivorous and require a varied diet to meet their nutritional needs.

In the wild, they feed on small insects, algae, and plant matter.

In captivity, a balanced diet can be achieved by offering a combination of high-quality flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods.

Feed your Denison Barbs a mixture of flake or pellet food as their primary diet.

Supplement their diet with frozen or live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia to provide them with essential nutrients and mimic their natural feeding habits.

Avoid overfeeding, as they have a tendency to constantly graze on food.

Feed them small portions a few times a day to prevent overeating and maintain good water quality in the aquarium.

Denison barb breeding

Tank Mates

Denison Barbs are generally peaceful and can coexist with a variety of tank mates.

But choose compatible species that share similar temperaments and requirements.

Here are some suitable tank mates for Denison Barbs:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Kuhli Loaches
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Gouramis
  • Dwarf Cichlids
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Zebra Danios

When selecting tank mates, consider the size, temperament, and water parameters of both the Denison Barbs and the potential tank mates.

Avoid pairing them with aggressive or fin-nipping species to prevent stress and potential injury to your Denison Barbs.


Breeding can be challenging and requires specific conditions to trigger reproduction.

They are egg scatterers, meaning they release their eggs into the water column, where they are fertilized by males.

To encourage breeding, provide your Denison Barbs with a well-established planted aquarium, a balanced diet, and suitable water conditions.

Spawning typically occurs during the rainy season in their natural habitat, which can be emulated by gradually reducing the water temperature and performing regular water changes.

Separate breeding tanks with fine-leaved plants, such as Java Moss or spawning marbles, can be used to collect the eggs and protect them from being consumed by adult fish.

After spawning, the adults should be removed from the tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.

The eggs typically hatch within 24 to 48 hours, and the fry can be fed infusoria or commercial liquid fry food until they are large enough to consume crushed flakes or baby brine shrimp.

Tank Mates Roseline Shark

Why You Should Consider This Fish

The Denison Barb is a stunning and energetic fish that will bring life and beauty to your aquarium.

With its vibrant colors and playful demeanor, it is sure to be a focal point of any tank.

Its hardy nature and adaptability make it an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced fishkeepers.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add this captivating species to your aquarium.


Can Denison Barbs be kept with other aggressive fish?

Denison Barbs generally have a peaceful temperament and can coexist with other non-aggressive fish species. However, they should not be kept with aggressive or fin-nipping fish, as their flowing fins can become targets for aggression.

How often should Denison Barbs be fed?

Denison Barbs should be fed small portions of food multiple times a day. It is important to avoid overfeeding, as they have a tendency to constantly graze.

What size tank is suitable for Denison Barbs?

A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for a small group of Denison Barbs. Providing ample swimming space and suitable hiding spots is essential for their well-being.

Are Denison Barbs prone to any specific diseases?

Denison Barbs are generally hardy and not particularly prone to specific diseases. However, like all fish, they are susceptible to common aquarium diseases such as ich or fin rot. Maintaining optimal water quality, providing a balanced diet, and avoiding overcrowding can help prevent disease in Denison Barbs.

Can Denison Barbs be kept in a community tank?

Yes, Denison Barbs can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fish species that share similar temperaments and requirements. Care should be taken to avoid pairing them with aggressive or fin-nipping fish to prevent stress and potential injury.

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Irma Bense is the founder of She has over 42 years of experience in keeping fish.She has kept both freshwater and saltwater fish through the years.She has extensive knowledge in breeding numerous species of fish from Show Guppies, Cory Catfish, German Blue Rams to Apistogrammas.You can learn more about Irma on the 'About' page.

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