Cherry barbus settled in the aquariums of European aquarists in the late 30s of the last century, and after two decades, this fish was recognized by domestic aquarists. In nature, this fish lives in the waters of the island of Ceylon, preferring to keep the shaded parts of rivers and streams with a sandy bottom and a weak current.
The maximum length of an adult fish does not exceed 5 centimeters. Under aquarium conditions, dimensions are somewhat more modest.
The size of males and females is almost the same, only the color of the male is brighter. The main body background in the female is yellowish-gray, the back is gray-brown, and the abdomen has a white tint.
From the head to the base of the tail there is a dark strip that expands towards the middle of the body. Just below there are a few dark scales.
The fins are orange and transparent in appearance; the anal fin has a brighter color.
Males have different shades of red in their coloring while maintaining the main pattern – from cherry to orange. The color spectrum will be determined by the general condition of the fish: the more active it is and the better the conditions of detention, the brighter and richer will be the coloring with a predominance of cherry and dark red tones.
Cherry barb is a school aquarium fish that prefers to stay in shaded areas of the aquarium, usually in dense vegetation. In addition, the barbs are constantly hiding from the eyes of an aquarist, they are still very shy. The volume of the aquarium for keeping the cherry bar is not critical.
The lighting is preferably diffused, the ground is dark in color with a fine fraction. Around the back and side walls it is recommended to plant densely with long-stemmed plants (spiral or giant Vallisneria, Schizandra, Sinnema), as well as Ludwigia, Elodea, Ambulia and so on.
You probably thought that this fish is not audible and not visible in the aquarium, but this is not entirely true. In addition to the fact that the cherry barbus loves to hide in the grass, he also loves to drive around the aquarium with a flock, making a lively leapfrog. Given this feature, in the aquarium you need to leave enough space around the front wall for swimming.
In addition, this interesting fish has a funny feature: in the breaks between unbridled fun and playing hide and seek, they hang in one place for a long period of time and then abruptly begin to pursue their tribesman. If you scare the fish, it immediately disappears into the thickets of plants.
In terms of content, the cherry barb is considered an unpretentious aquarium inhabitant. Hydrochemical parameters of water do not play a key role, however, the fish prefer medium hard water with a neutral or slightly acidic medium.
The optimum water temperature in the aquarium with barbs is 22 – 26 degrees.
It is recommended to replace weekly 1/5 of the total water to fresh. To feeding the cherry barb is also not picky.
A hydrobiont easily eats small plankton, bloodworm or cortex. Fish also do not mind eat ice cream feed.
In nature, very often collected from the surface of small insects.
As neighbors, you can add any non-predatory fish to the cherry barbus, which can be used with the same conditions. They treat their neighbors patiently and do not cling to them.
Unlike their relatives, such as Sumatran barbs, cherry trees do not devour tender young shoots of aquatic plants. Accordingly, these fish are ideal for a Dutch aquarium.
By the age of eight months, the cherry barb reaches sexual maturity. Fish do not spawn, as a rule, in pairs, and very often fish breed in a common aquarium.
Spawning is rapid, and if the aquarist misses this point, the parents will eat all their caviar. In addition to the producers, the caviar is not averse to regale on other inhabitants of the aquarium: the neighbors gather around spawning barbs and enjoy fresh caviar with pleasure.
To preserve offspring, spawning must occur in a separate spawning ground. The height of the aquarium does not play a big role, the main thing is the large bottom area, which should be from 300 to 400 square centimeters, the thickness of the water column is 10 to 15 centimeters and the volume is up to 20 liters. To stimulate spawning, it is necessary to raise the water temperature by several degrees and actively feed the fish with small crustaceans.
And during the spawning itself, in case of such necessity, the diet should mainly consist of bloodworms, tubule or cornetra. This is done so that parents show less interest in caviar.
Spawning substrate may be vegetation transferred from a common aquarium. For a couple of fish, a few cryptocoryne bushes, a Thai fern, a gedelite bolbitis, or several bunches of Java moss will be enough.
Spawning fish are planted in a pair or a flock. But, in the case of schooling spawning, you will have to increase the volume of the aquarium and the number of plants in the aquarium.
The spawning period is about 2 hours. The marriage games have a traditional character.
The male with the female swims side by side near the walls of the aquarium, periodically leaving the chosen bush of the plant, and again return to it. Also, the male will occasionally poke his belly with the muzzle.
When future parents play enough and finally determine the place of spawning, they no longer leave it.
In the end, the fish swim on the sheet of the aquarium plant and curl up. Spawning occurs in portions, 3 – 10 pieces on the surface of the leaf of the plant, which is immediately fertilized by the male.
At the end of the first cycle, the producers blur for a while and then resume spawning again.
For one full-scale spawning, a pair of large cherry barbs can bring up to 200 eggs, although the standard number of eggs rarely exceeds the mark of 150 pieces. A guarantee that spawning is over is provided by the presence of caviar stuck to the leaf, which is not always securely glued. If the plant is slightly shaken, the roe may settle to the bottom of the aquarium.
Do not forget that not all caviar sticks to the leaves of the plant, some of it will still settle on the ground.
If the conditions in the spawning are prosperous, then the producers will not touch the spawn, which will stick to the sheet. But those eggs that settle to the bottom will be 100% eaten.
To keep a maximum of caviar, at the bottom of the aquarium fit separator mesh. Upon completion of spawning, the producers must be removed from the aquarium, and all unfertilized eggs will be harvested.
After one and a half days, small larvae whose length does not exceed 5 mm will be born from the eggs. At first they will lie motionless on a piece of paper; the larvae will be in this position for about a day.
The yolk sac in fry will dissolve for about 5 days, after which the fry will switch to an active lifestyle. At first they will stay near the bottom, and the optimal starting food will be live plankton. In the case of his absence, you can resort to using micro-micro ice cream.
Young cherry barb grows at a normal pace without strong differences in development. Accordingly, they have no cannibalistic tendencies, and there is no need to additionally sort the youngsters.
By about two months of life, males acquire the coloring of an adult.
In order not to disturb the uniform development of young barbs, fish must be promptly transferred to feed that will meet their age with the rules of hygiene in the reed and the diversity of food. When the fry reach the length of one and a half centimeters, they can be safely relocated to the general aquarium. At such sizes, the young growth is already completely independent and it’s not worth worrying about the welfare of the fish.
If large and agile fish live in your general aquarium, wait a little with global relocation.
The maximum lifespan of a cherry barb in an aquarium does not exceed 4 years. As the fish ages, the color fades and the behavior becomes sluggish.
But while the fish are young, you can enjoy their behavior in the aquarium, as they will serve as a real decoration of the Dutch or any other vegetable aquarium.