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Black Ruby Barb

Black Ruby Barb

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Pethia nigrofasciata

Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical
to the image provided


Barbus nigrofasciatus, Puntius nigrofasciatus


Endemic to forest streams from the Kelani to the
Nilwala Basins in Sri Lanka. Introduced to Colombia.

Sexual Dimorphism

Mature males are larger and much more brightly
coloured. Females fuller bodied.

Maximum Size

6cm (2.36?)

Water Parameters

Will acclimatise to a wide range of conditions.
pH: 5.5-7.0, dH: up to 15 degrees.


20-26 deg C (68-79 deg F)


Community with no long-finned fish


No special requirements





Black Ruby Barbs are considered to be of a vulnerable
status in their natural habitat. All the specimens offered for sale in the
trade these days are captive-bred in order to try and safeguard what remains of
the natural population. Black Ruby Barbs are a delightful species which show
magnificent colouration when mature and settled into the home aquarium. The
drab juveniles are all too often overlooked in the aquatics stores; however,
adult males take on a stunning deep ruby red and black colour with flashes of
green iridescence shining through, and are a real sight to behold. The above
photograph shows a sub-adult specimen. Black Ruby Barbs are generally of a
peaceful disposition and can even be a little shy. Due to their natural
shoaling behaviour, they must be maintained in groups of 6 or more. The
aquarium should be furnished with dark d?cor and plenty of plants (including
floating plant cover) in order to form much appreciated shady hiding areas.
They will, however, nibble on fine-leaved plants, so choose species with care.
Black Ruby Barbs are sensitive to poor water quality or quick changes in water
chemistry. It is therefore prudent to carry out frequent partial water changes
rather than large, infrequent changes. Ideal fish for the peaceful, planted
community aquarium with no long-finned fish present.




Flake, green flake, spinach, small frozen foods such as
daphnia, mosquito larvae, and brineshrimp.



A separate softwater spawning aquarium should be set up
with a substrate of marbles and plenty of fine-leaved plants. The temperature
should be set at approx 26-27 deg C, and a pair of well-conditioned fish
acclimatised across. Spawning is often triggered when the first rays of morning
sunshine hit the aquarium glass, and it is a very active affair which can last
as long as 2 hours. Up to 500 eggs will be scattered over the plants and
marbles, and the hungry parents must be removed immediately after the spawning
or else they will predate on the eggs. The tank should be kept in darkness as
the eggs are light-sensitive. The eggs usually hatch within 24-36 hours and
once the fry become free-swimming, can be offered tiny foods such as infusoria.