Name: Puntius sp.
Origin: Southeast Asia
I have a 75 L with 8 Odessa Barbs: 4 male, 4 female. They are fanastic, hardy, active and entertaining. I feed a variety of foods and nothing is turned away. The males constantly battle for dominance, but it seems as though they are all well matched. Highly recommended.
The Odessa barb is a very colorful and peaceful addition to my barb species tank. Active schoolers, they are not above nipping at random algae when the mood strikes, but are nowhere as dedicated as the Rosy Barbs are to that task. The pectoral fins are translucent light blue, with the speckled black pattern throughout, while the dorsal and anal fins are translucent yellow with black speckling. There is an irridescent blue mark on their heads as well, usually above and behind the gill covers. I found these beauties in my LFS, some places correctly marking them as Odessas, another had them labeled Red Crystal Barbs but in the LFS their color is deceptive, making them appear to be colorless except for two dark spots, or sometimes, the palest hint of the lateral red stripe is apparent. One week in my 280 L tank had them restored to their proper coloration.
Odessa barbs are very good at removing the brown/black hair agae. They keep nipping at it and all that unsighty growth is gone within a week. You can see them biting and shaking from side to side, making short work of hair algae.
My experience is that there should be no more than two males per tank. Originally, I started with four males and soon the two dominant males took up positions at opposite ends of the aquarium, after which they pestered and stressed the remaining two to death.
One of my Odessa Barb males was kept with 3 other Odessas as well as some Australian Rainbows in a 200 L aquarium. He was so feisty, especially at mealtime, that he managed to terrorize his other tankmates to the point that they all remained huddled together on one end of the aquarium. I took him back to the LFS for a small credit so the others once again could become midwater swimmers.
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