Cherry Barbs are schooling fish and they need to be kept as a group. However, it is important to know the number of Cherry Barbs that you can keep per gallon of water in your aquarium.
How many Cherry Barbs can you keep in your aquarium? Although you can keep a single Cherry Barb in a 3 to 5-gallon tank, it is not ideal. Ideally, you need to allow 5 gallons per Cherry Barb. However, since you need to keep them as a group of at least 6 fish, 25-30 gallons would be ideal for them.
Cherry Barbs can survive in a small space but it is not healthy for them. In fact, in a smaller tank, your Cherry Barbs would be limited in a lot of ways. A lot of factors influence the ideal number of Cherry Barbs in a gallon. You will need to consider all these to make a decision for your favorite pet. These factors include the following.
Cherry barbs grow a lot
This fish has a life span of 5 to 6 years and that means it will grow over time: interestingly, they grow to about 2 inches over the years. Since they are bound to grow bigger, you will need to get enough space to accommodate their growth.
That is an important reason why they need to be in a big tank. When they have less space, it limits their growth. You will not want to put them in a tank where they struggle to move about. This means that if you choose a particular-sized tank based on their current size, you may need to change it after a few years.
Even if you think a 10-gallon tank is great for 8 Cherry Barbs based on their size as fry (baby fish), you will need to reconsider that decision because you need to leave enough room for growth. Some people even keep 10 Cherry Barbs in a 50-gallon tank.
They are schooling fish
They need to be in large numbers all the time. It is recommended that you maintain at least 6 of them. However, bear in mind that for Cherry Barbs; the more, the merrier! Since you need to keep a healthy number of Cherry Barbs, you need a larger tank size.
Cherry Barbs are shy and do not do well when they are kept in small numbers. When they are kept in a group, they do not hide as much as they will when they are alone. They also tend to be more confident when they are in a group.
You will need to keep Cherry Barbs in a ratio of 2 females to one male. When the ratio is one is to one; the male will chase only one female and that female will be stressed. That is just not healthy for the female fish.
You need a large tank size because of the required tank conditions as well.
Cherry Barbs were dominant in Sri Lanka and even now, they strive better in streams and ponds in the rain forest regions. In recent times, their population is declining in their natural habitat and they are thriving more in aquariums.
Since that is their natural habitat, you need to create a similar habitat for them in your aquarium. This means that you need to make the tank well planted to make the fish comfortable. The plants also take up space in the tank and that gives you more reason to match one Cherry Barb per 5 gallons.
Apart from the space needed for the plants, you will also need to leave a lot of space for them to swim freely. Cherry Barbs prefer well-shaded environments. In their natural habitat, light rarely penetrates into the water because they are shaded by trees. Hence, you should keep dim lighting in your tank.
They breed abundantly
If you want to try breeding Cherry Barbs, you have nothing to worry about. Cherry Barbs are easy to breed. It is easy to identify an adult male and female using their colors. The males tend to have a deeper shade of red while the females look paler.
The males are also slimmer than females. It is recommended that you use a specialized breeding tank when you want to breed these fish. The water in the tank should have a pH that ranges from 6.0 to 6.5 and a temperature that ranges from 74 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
The tank should have plants since Cherry Barbs love to lay eggs in hiding. The Cherry Barbs lay eggs and when they do, you need to remove the adults from the breeding tank. The adult fish usually eat the eggs if they are left with the egg for too long. The egg will hatch within 24 hours.
The whole point is this:
If you intend to breed your fish, you need to get a big tank.
They are great tankmates
It is a great idea to allow a lot of space for your Cherry Barbs, especially when you want to add some tank mates. If you do not know this already: Cherry Barbs are actually very good tank mates. Their peaceful nature makes them very compatible with a lot of other fishes.
They live well with bettas, neon tetras, otocinclus catfish, white cloud mountain minnow, and harlequin rasbora. Cherry Barbs are lively and keep your tank active. If you want a beautiful view of your aquarium, you should probably add the Cherry Barbs to one of its suitable tank mates.
This is yet another reason why you need a big tank.
What do cherry barbs eat? Cherry Barbs are omnivores and they are not really choosy about what they eat. They tend to eat crustaceans, algae, insects,bloodworms, brine shrimps,daphnia,and occasionally-vegetables. Although cherry barbs eat all types of food, you should consider the size of the fish when you are planning its meal. Since it is a small fish, it cannot eat large grains. It is also recommended that you feed them food which can be consumed in 3-5 minutes only; they usually waste the rest.
Are cherry barbs hardy? Cherry Barbs are considered hardy fish. They can survive within a wide temperature range, are not prone to illnesses, and are not choosy when it comes to their diet.
Can cherry barbs be raised by beginners? Cherry Barbs are one of the fish that are considered to be the best option for beginners. They are easy to care for. A beginner is bound to make mistakes but when the fish you are caring for is the Cherry Barb, the fish will most likely survive it.
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