The Odessa Barb (Pethia padamya) is a very peaceful species that is an excellent fish for the community planted aquarium. It is known for its small size and black striping, but is most desired for the brilliant ruby coloration that males develop during spawning behaviour. This fish is also rather versatile regarding water conditions.
The Odessa Barb typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish. It may prey on smaller dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can make good tank mates. The Odessa Barb must be kept in groups of 6 or more, although larger groups are more ideal so that subdominant specimens are not bullied by dominant individuals during breeding behaviour. Its natural habitat is tropical rainforest areas that typically have clear water. It requires clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark substrate. While not a picky eater,
The Odessa Barb will thrive and remain very colourful on a varied diet of omnivorous foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and live, frozen, or freeze-dried Artemia, microworms, Tubifex, and finely chopped bloodworms will all be readily accepted. Some vegetable matter, especially dry food high in vegetable content, is essential for optimal health and coloration.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Very popular in the aquarium hobby
- Very small size for a cichlid
- Possible to breed in the aquarium
- Compatible with many other species in a spacious tank
- Potential to be a "centerpiece" fish
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 73.4° - 81° F (23° - 27° C)
pH: 7.5 - 9.0
KH: 9 - 25 dKH
Minimum tank size: 20 gallons for an adult pair, 55+ gallons for a group
Diet: Mostly carnivorous. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration. Some vegetable matter is also necessary.
Social behavior: Loosely social until sexual maturity. Breeding pairs are often aggressive to all other fish.