Rosy Barb: A Low-Maintenance Freshwater Fish

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Rosy Barbs are known for their vibrant colors and peaceful temperament, making them a great addition to any tank.

As a hardy species, they are also easy to care for and fun to observe.

In this guide, I will provide you with all the information you need to know about Rosy Barb care.

From their diet to compatible tank mates, size, tank setup, and even breeding, I will cover everything you need to know to ensure that your Rosy Barbs thrive in captivity.

So, let’s dive in and learn more about these beautiful fish!

Quick Facts

Common Name:Rosy Barb
Scientific Name:Puntius conchonius
Size:Up to 6 inches (15 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 5 years
Temperament:Peaceful and social
Tank Size:Minimum 20 gallons for a small group
Water Conditions:pH 6.5-7.5, temperature 64-75°F (18-24°C), and moderate water flow
Diet:Omnivorous, with a mix of dried flakes, live, and frozen foods
Breeding:Easy to breed, with females laying up to 300 eggs
Compatibility:Peaceful community fish, compatible with other peaceful species

Rosy Barbs are a hardy and colorful species that can make a great addition to a community aquarium when cared for properly.

Species Summary

I have found that Rosy Barbs are hardy and easy to care for.

They are a freshwater species that can add a pop of color to your aquarium.

Rosy Barbs are scientifically known as Pethia conchonius and belong to the Cyprinidae family.

They are commonly found in southern Asia, specifically in India and Bangladesh.

But, feral populations have been found in countries like Australia, Singapore, and Mexico.

Rosy Barbs are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium, especially when kept in large groups.

They can create a beautiful shimmer of pink in your tank when they move together.

These fish are omnivorous and can feed off worms, insects, crustaceans, and plant matter.

These fish are also known for their hardiness and can survive in a range of water conditions.

Rosy Barbs are an accessible and affordable fish species that can be enjoyed by both new and experienced aquarists.



Rosy Barbs have an average lifespan of about 5 years in captivity.

However, with proper care, they can live up to 7 years.

Average Size

Rosy Barbs are known for their vibrant and eye-catching coloration.

They have a reddish-gold body with brilliant flashes of silver and pink on their scales.

Their fins are also adorned with striking colors, including hues of red, yellow, and black.

These fish have a streamlined body shape and can grow up to 6 inches in length.

Males are more colorful than females, with a beautiful red or pink hue.

Females are typically gold or silver in color.

Some specimens have a single black dot located on the rear of the body close to the tail.

Rosy Barb Care

Taking care of them is easy, as they are known for their hardiness and adaptability.

But this does not mean that you can house them in less than suitable conditions.

You must meet their basic environmental and dietary needs to keep them healthy and thriving.

Tank Size

When setting up a tank for Rosy Barbs, choose a tank that holds at least 20 gallons of water.

Remember, these are shoaling fish, so you need to consider the needs of the entire group.

A small group of five fish would require a minimum of a 20-gallon tank.

However, a 30-gallon tank is a better choice if you have the room and budget, as it will give your fish more room to explore.

Water Parameters

In the wild, Rosy Barbs live in fast-moving rivers and lakes.

These tropical fish do best in slightly warmer waters but can adapt to basic freshwater tank conditions.

They can tolerate level fluctuations, but as long as there are no extreme changes, they can get by without any serious issues.

These fish can also handle higher levels of nitrates, which is useful for new tank setups.

To ensure the best environment for your Rosy Barbs, the water in your tank should meet the following parameters:

  • Water temperature: 64°F to 79°F (somewhere around 72° to 74° is best)
  • pH level: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Water hardness: 4 to 10 KH

Regular water tests are recommended to ensure these parameters are where you want them.

Setting Up The Tank

Rosy Barbs prefer a well-decorated environment, as they are inquisitive and playful fish.

A sandy substrate is recommended for the bottom of the aquarium, which will help with plant growth.

Be careful about the types of plants you introduce, as Rosy Barbs are known for shredding plant leaves.

Java ferns are a good choice, as they have firm leaves.

Introduce plenty of vegetation to serve as a place of exploration and hiding for your fish.

Caves, driftwood, rocks, and plastic ornaments can also be added for decoration.

An efficient filtration system with a hang-on-back filter with a waterfall outlet is recommended, as these fish prefer highly oxygenated waters.

Make sure to have a tight lid, as Rosy Barbs are powerful jumpers and can easily jump out of the aquarium.

Common Possible Diseases

No fish is immune to diseases, but Rosy Barbs are one of the hardier freshwater species around.

If your fish does get sick, the most common disease is Ich, also known as White Spot Disease.

This disease is caused by an ectoparasite and is easily identified by the white spots that form all over the body.

It is highly contagious, so an entire community can suffer from the disease quickly.

Ich is easy to treat with over-the-counter medicines, and Rosy Barbs handle copper-based medicines well.

To avoid Ich in the first place, it is essential to stay on top of water conditions, as the disease is known to affect stressed fish.

Monitor temperatures and pH levels and perform weekly water changes to keep ammonia and nitrate levels low.

Food & Diet

As an omnivorous species, Rosy Barbs will eat pretty much anything you offer them.

The easiest way to feed them is by using dry fish food.

Look out for a balanced flake or pellet food that provides all the necessary nutrients.

If you prefer a more natural approach, there are plenty of other foods you can provide.

Rosy Barbs enjoy live, frozen, and freeze-dried food.

Protein-packed foods like bloodworms, small insects, crustaceans, and brine shrimp are all good options.

Plant-based foods are also a favorite among pet owners.

Blanched peas and zucchini are great options.

Feed your Rosy Barbs twice a day and only give them enough food to last two minutes.

Overfeeding can lead to weight gain, so be careful.

Behavior & Temperament

As a peaceful and non-aggressive fish, Rosy Barbs have a friendly temperament.

They may be shy at first, but they gain confidence over time, especially when they are in a large group.

While Rosy Barbs are active swimmers, they may engage in fin-nipping behavior.

This can be a problem if they are housed with fish that have flowing tails.

This behavior becomes less common when Rosy Barbs are in a shoaling group.

In a group, they tend to focus more on group activities rather than fin-nipping.

Rosy Barb Care

Rosy Barb Tank Mates

When it comes to selecting tank mates for Rosy Barbs, there are several species that can coexist peacefully.

Avoid long-finned fish to prevent fin-nipping behavior.

Keeping a group of at least five Rosy Barbs is recommended for their health and well-being.

Here are some suitable tank mates for Rosy Barbs and why they make good companions:

  • Dwarf Gourami: These fish are peaceful and have a similar temperament to Rosy Barbs.
  • Cherry Barb: They are small and peaceful, making them a great addition to a community tank.
  • Mollies: They are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.
  • Neon Tetra: They are colorful and peaceful, making them a popular choice for community tanks.
  • Swordtails: They are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.
  • Rope Fish: They are peaceful and can coexist with Rosy Barbs.
  • Black Ghost Knife Fish: They are peaceful and can coexist with Rosy Barbs.
  • Pearl Gourami: They have a peaceful temperament and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.
  • Emperor Tetra: They are peaceful and have a similar temperament to Rosy Barbs.

Rosy Barbs can also get along with various types of snails and shrimp, but it’s important to monitor their behavior to ensure they are not viewed as food.


Breeding Rosy Barbs is not a difficult task, and it can be done in captivity.

It is best though to breed them in a separate aquarium as they need a different environment for breeding.

Rosy Barbs prefer to breed in shallow waters, so it is recommended to set up a separate 20 or 30-gallon breeding tank with a few inches of water.

The breeding tank should have a sand substrate and plenty of plants, just like the primary tank.

To breed Rosy Barbs, a bonded pair should be placed in the breeding tank.

When the female is ready to breed, her color becomes more vibrant, and she may also swell up with eggs.

The pair will then perform a strange mating behavior, moving around together in the tank while the male continually nudges the female.

Eventually, the female will lay her eggs.

The eggs are sticky, so they can be spread throughout the substrate or left to fall into plant leaves.

Once the female has laid her eggs, it is important to remove the bonded pair as they will not exhibit any parental behavior and may try to eat the eggs.

The eggs will incubate in the tank for about 30 hours before hatching.

During this time, a separate tank should be set up for the fry as they need space to grow, and the few inches of depth in the breeding tank are not enough.

After the eggs hatch, the fry will feed on the egg until they can swim freely.

At this point, infusoria or liquid food should be provided, and once they are big enough, baby brine shrimp can be introduced.

The fry should be fed three times a day.

Once the fry are big enough to swim on their own, they can be moved to a larger raising tank.

Tank Mates Rosy Barb

Wrapping Up

Rosy Barb care is quite simple and straightforward.

These colorful freshwater fish are low-maintenance and easy to care for.

Remember that just because they are hardy, doesn’t mean we should neglect their care.

As a responsible owner, my job is to ensure that my fish thrive in their environment.

If you still have any questions about Rosy Barb care, feel free to reach out to me.

I’m always happy to help fellow fish enthusiasts provide the best possible care for their aquatic pets.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Rosy Barbs should I keep together?

Rosy Barbs are social fish and should be kept in groups of at least 5-6 individuals.

A larger group of 10 or more individuals is even better as it helps to reduce aggression among the fish and promotes natural behavior.

Are Rosy Barb fish aggressive?

Rosy Barbs are generally peaceful fish, but males can become aggressive towards each other during breeding season or if there is not enough space in the tank.

It’s important to provide enough hiding places and swimming space in the tank to prevent aggression.

How big do Rosy Barbs grow?

Rosy Barbs can grow up to 6 inches in length but usually grow to around 4 inches in captivity.

They are considered medium-sized fish and require a tank of at least 20 gallons to provide enough swimming space.

A bigger tank is better.

How often should I feed Rosy Barbs?

Rosy Barbs are omnivorous and should be fed a varied diet of high-quality flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods.

They should be fed in small amounts twice a day, with any uneaten food removed after a few minutes to prevent water quality issues.

Photo of author


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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