Name: Puntius titteya
Origin: Sri Lanka
The Cherry Barb is an attractive, peaceful fish. It makes an excellent community fish and is best if kept in groups of 6 or more. I say groups because while the cherry barb does enjoy company of others of its species, it does not school as tightly as most barbs and tetras, if it schools at all. Another advantage to keeping them in groups is you will be able to see the males' bright red colors and their little dance. Two males in the tank (usually the two largest) will erect their fins and swim in a circle, like two boxers. Many barbs do this and this causes the males to show their best colors. The females are easy to distinguish, once they are older. They are much lighter in color, usually just with some yellow and a light orange/black horizontal band. The female is also a lot plumper than the male. All in all, the cherry barb is an excellent community fish and makes an attractive addition to any tank.
I had 4 cherry barbs, 3 females and 1 male. I had them for about 6 months and then the male turned very bright red. Luckily I read books before about breeding and found out they were going to mate so I put all four of them in my 10 gallon tank that was planted thickly with Cabomba. I put them in there and almost instantly they were laying eggs. I stayed up till 12:30 AM to watch the male twist and dance for and with the females. It was exciting to watch the male chase the females through the thick plants, and watching the eggs fall on the leaves. Each female laid about 100 - 150 eggs. Unfortunately I was a novice then and not one hatched :(
Puntius titteya was never common in its home territory in Sri Lanka. This fish is all but extinct in the wild, but captive breeding in our aquariums is keeping this beautiful species alive.
When we first started our aquarium we bought two cherry barbs and we had extemely good luck with them. They are a great addition to any aqaurium as they have such nice colors. We've had them now for two years and they are still going strong.
I just recently added a pair of cherry barbs to my 75 L community tank with cardinals, zebras, black neons, 2 albino corys, a bala shark and a rainbow shark. They started picking on my corys, but my rainbow shark put a stop to that pretty quickly! They are one of my favourite fish in my aquarium. My rainbow shark being the first.
Cherry barbs are the easiest fish to breed I have ever come across. While in my isolation tank they layed eggs of which about 25 baby barbs made it. Now, in my large community tank they are constantly demonstrating breeding behavior. I assume it is because of the acidity of the water. I've had 2 pairs in the tank for nearly 3 months and the males have never been anything less than bright red. The males do tend to carve out territories - my larger male chases away any fish which moves into his corner of the tank. They aren't picky eaters and like other barbs will help clean food off the bottom. I highly recommend these fish, as long as there's enough space in the tank for occasional bickering.