The Rosy Barb Puntius conchonius (previously Barbus conchonius) is one of the most beautiful freshwater fish. This barb has a silvery or coppery-pink color with a green cast along the back, and the males will have more pink on their underbellies. These fish are hardy, undemanding, and fun to watch because they are constantly on the move. These qualities make them one of the most desirable starter fish.
Though always attractive, the coloration of this fish is most impressive during spawning. The male’s silvery color intensifies to a deep, rosy or purplish red, and the fins get pink and black. Rosy Barbs are also sometimes called Red Barbs, and several ornamental varieties have also been developed. Some of these include the Neon Rosy Barb, Long Fin Rosy Barb, Red Glass Rosy Barb, and Gold Neon Rosy Barb.
These barbs are a delightful choice for a beginning fish keeper, but they make a dynamic display in any tank. They are peaceful and will do well in a community aquarium, with only an occasional nip on a tankmate’s fins. They prefer cooler water than many tropical fish, needing temperatures between 64-72° F (18-22° C), so be sure to select tankmates that will also thrive in a cooler tank.
Depending on the region they are from, these fish vary some in appearance and size. They are one of the larger barb species and need at least a 20-gallon tank. In the wild, they can reach up to 6 inches (15 cm), but in the aquarium, they typically only reach about 4 inches (10 cm). These very active fish are also great jumpers, so keep the aquarium covered.
When kept in a school, the males display an interesting behavior. They will continually swim around each other with their fins spread out, showing off their best colors. These fish are very prolific breeders, but they need a breeding tank with shallow water. They will happily spawn in water that is just a couple of inches deep.