top of page

Cherry Barb Beginner Care Guide | Basic Care For Cherry Barbs

About the Cherry Barb

Cherry barbs originate from small streams and rivers in Sri Lanka. They are a small peaceful schooling fish and have an average lifespan of around 4-5 years.

Between the bright red color of the males and how hardy these fish are, it is no wonder the cherry barb is so popular among fish keepers.

Tank Set Up

While these fish are small getting to be between 1.5-2 inches in size, because they are an extremely active schooling fish that needs to be kept in a minimum grouping of 5-6 fish, and they will do best in a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, but 30 plus gallons is preferred.

These are an extremely hardy fish that can thrive in a wide temperature range of between 73°- 81° Fahrenheit and prefer moderately soft to hard water with a pH of between 6 and 8.

When choosing a filter for cherry barbs you will want to choose one that has an adjustable or a low flow rate, as these fish come from slower moving waters. Power filters that allow you to regulate the water flow or a large sponge filter are popular options.

Cherry barbs can be shy and tend to be most active if kept in a heavily planted tank, with plenty of room to freely swim, and a darker substrate.

Tank Mates

Cherry barbs are a schooling fish and do best when kept in a minimum grouping of 5-6 while keeping at least 2-3 females per male in the tank.

Male and female cherry barbs are typically pretty easy to tell apart. Males are a bright red and slim while females are much lighter in color and have a more rounded body.

They are a peaceful fish and are an ideal candidate for a community aquarium. They are a mid to bottom dwelling fish and are compatible with many different species of similar size.

Some examples of different species that are often kept with these fish are neon or cardinal tetras, harlequin rasboras, platies, gouramis, mollies, white cloud minnows, clown loaches, and Corydoras.


For diet, cherry barbs are omnivores and are not known for being picky eaters. They do well on a diet consisting of a high-quality pellet or flake food, along with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, or blood worms, and blanched vegetables.

8 views0 comments


bottom of page