Barbs are ray-finned fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae. There are more than 1184 known species of barb fish native to Africa, Europe, and Asia. The species differ in color, pattern, and size.
Barbs are small in size, with those kept in aquariums growing to a length of 2.8 to 3.9 inches (7 – 10 cm) and 1.2 to 1.6 inches (3 – 4 cm) wide. In the wild, they can grow to 5.12 inches in length.
Barbs prefer a temperature of 77 – 82F (25 – 27.8°C), a neutral pH of 6.0 – 8.0, and a hardness of 5 – 19 dGH. They prefer either still or slowly moving water. As such, avoid putting them in water at a high current.
They are semi-aggressive and will nip at the fins of slower and smaller tank mates. Their aggression can be neutralized by adding larger tank mates in the same tank, which won’t predate them.
Barbs have some unique features, such as male rosy barbs changing their color to gold and red. This cannot be replicated in female rosy barbs, although their color increases in intensity at times.