Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Puntius titteya

Cherry barb

Cherry barb, Puntius titteyaCherry barb, Puntius titteya
Photos by Andy Rapson Photos by Andy Rapson


Puntius: Lantin, punctum = point, the point of the sword

General Notes:

Cherry barbs are one of the hobby's favourite fish. The males are brightly coloured and the females although less bright are still very pretty little fish. Cherry barbs are lively fish which always on the go. They may be tempted to a little fin nipping if faced with male guppies with large fan tails other wise they usually very peaceful. Cherry barbs are shoaling fish and so need to be housed in groups of six or more individuals with other small lively fish.


In the wild cherry barbs feed on a wide range of things including algae, soft leaves, insects, crustaceans and worms. Cherry barbs are omnivores and will readily accept all food offered, their diet should be varied in order to keep them in top condition.


The sexes are very easy to distinguish, the males are bright red while the more heavily built females are brown with paler bellies.


Cherry barbs are easy to breed and will probably spawn in a community tank on a regular basis if well cared for. To raise a brood though they will need a separate tank of their own. Place a well conditioned pair or small group in to a bare tank with aged water and some fine leaved plants tied in bunches at a temp of 27°C. The fish will spawn over the plants which will act as spawning mops. Remove the adults after spawning and the eggs will be safe. There is no need to add any anti fungal treatments to the water because healthy eggs have their own anti fungal properties and each female is capable of laying up to 300 eggs in a single spawning which is far to many to raise and sell for most hobbyists so a few losses are acceptable. Once free swimming after about two days the fry can be fed on a commercial liquid fry food or from an infusoria culture and after a few days they will be big enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimps and then crushed flake food.

Wild status

Wild populations face no immediate threats and are listed as least concern on the I.C.U.N red-list

Information at a glance

pH: 6 - 8
dGH: 5 - 19
Temperature: 23 - 27°C (74 - 80°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 5cm (2in)
Min tank size: 60 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Cherry barb, Puntius titteya

Origin: Asia: Kelani to Nilwala basins, Sri Lanka

Habitat: Found in heavily shaded streams and rivulets, preferring shallow, slow-flowing water with silt substrate and leaf debris


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Puntius
Species: P. titteya Deraniyagala, 1929

Common name:
Cherry barb

Synonyms: Capoeta titteya, Barbus titteya