Rosy Barb

Species NamePethia conchonius
Common NameRosy Barb
Care LevelEasy
Lifespan5-6 years
Adult Size6 inches
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Temperature64°F – 72°F (18°C – 22°C)
Water ConditionspH 6.0-8.0, 5-19 dGH

About the Rosy Barb – Species Summary

The Rosy Barb, with its scientific name Pethia conchonius, is one of the larger members of the Barb family. Originating from South Asia, primarily from India and Sri Lanka, the Rosy Barb has graced freshwater aquariums around the globe due to its vibrant colors and active demeanor. The fish naturally inhabit slow-moving rivers and ponds, often surrounded by dense vegetation, which plays a significant role in their preferences within a home aquarium setup.

A captivating factor about the Rosy Barb is its adaptability. It can thrive in various environments, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced aquarists. Its playful nature combined with a stunning color palette ensures that this fish remains a popular choice for those looking to add vibrancy to their tanks.

Rosy Barb Lifespan

Typically, Rosy Barbs have a lifespan of 5 to 6 years when kept in proper conditions. However, with optimal care and a stable environment, some have been known to live slightly longer. A balanced diet, consistent water parameters, and a stress-free environment are key components to ensuring a long and healthy life for the Rosy Barb.


The Rosy Barb is renowned for its captivating coloration. Males flaunt a more vibrant shade, exhibiting a fiery red or pinkish body, especially during spawning seasons. Females, on the other hand, tend to be paler with a golden or silvery hue. Their bodies are generally elongated with a streamlined shape, designed for quick and agile movements. The finnage is translucent and can sometimes have a reddish tinge, particularly in males.

Average Size

Once fully grown, Rosy Barbs can reach a size of up to 6 inches, making them one of the larger Barb species. They are often purchased as juveniles, measuring around 1-2 inches, but they quickly grow, especially when provided with ample space and nutrition.

Rosy Barb Care

Tank Size

Given their active nature and potential adult size, a minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for the Rosy Barb. If one plans to keep a school, which is often recommended due to their social nature, a larger tank would be more appropriate.

How To Set Up Their Tank

Drawing inspiration from their natural habitats, a tank for Rosy Barbs should have a substrate of fine sand or gravel, peppered with smooth rocks or pebbles. Plants, both floating and rooted, are essential as they provide hiding spaces and mimic the densely vegetated ponds and streams of their native regions. Driftwood and caves can also be added for aesthetic appeal and to provide more hiding spots.

Lighting Requirements

Rosy Barbs are not particularly picky about lighting. A standard aquarium lighting system would suffice. However, if you are growing live plants within the tank, you might need to adjust the lighting to cater to the plants’ needs.


A pH level ranging between 6.0 to 8.0 is ideal for Rosy Barbs. Regular monitoring and adjustments, using either commercial products or natural methods, can help maintain a stable pH within this range.


Rosy Barbs prefer cooler water temperatures, typically between 64°F and 72°F (18°C – 22°C). It’s crucial to invest in a reliable thermometer to keep a consistent check on the water temperature.

Water Parameters

Soft to moderately hard water, with a general hardness of 5-19 dGH, is suitable for Rosy Barbs. Ensuring regular water changes and using a good-quality filter can help in maintaining optimal water quality.

Disease Potential

Like most freshwater fish, Rosy Barbs are susceptible to various diseases, including Ich, fin rot, and various parasitic infestations. Regular observation, quarantining new tank additions, and maintaining clean water conditions are essential preventive measures.

Food & Diet

Being omnivorous, Rosy Barbs have a diverse palate. They will readily accept high-quality flake food or pellets. However, for a balanced diet, it’s beneficial to offer live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms occasionally.

Behavior and Temperament

Rosy Barbs are active swimmers and exhibit a playful yet peaceful nature. They are schooling fish and thrive when kept in groups of five or more. In smaller numbers, they might become stressed or show signs of aggression, especially during feeding times.

Tank Mates

Compatible tank mates for Rosy Barbs include other Barb species, Tetras, Loaches, and Danios. It’s essential to avoid housing them with long-finned fish, as the Barbs might nip at the fins. Observing the tank dynamics and ensuring no fish is overly stressed or aggressive is always a good practice.


Breeding Rosy Barbs in captivity is relatively straightforward. The key is to provide an appropriate environment, preferably a separate breeding tank with dense vegetation. Once spawning occurs, it’s advisable to remove the adult fish to prevent them from consuming the eggs. The fry, once hatched, can be fed infusoria or finely crushed flake food until they mature.

Rosy Barb FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)