Why are my Cherry Barbs Dying?

Cherry Barbs can die due to some common reasons which can be prevented with effective care and immediate attention.

So, why are my Cherry Barbs dying? Most of the Cherry Barbs are likely to die when they are shifted to new tanks right after they are brought home. Although these fish are ideal to keep at a beginner level, they still require good tank care. Cherry Barbs are mostly found dead if the water parameters are not stable.

Moreover, the unstable water conditions may also lead to your fish catching diseases especially due to the unclean water environment.

Why Do Fish Die? Top 10 Causes Of Fish Death, 10 Things (Video)

Stability in water parameters

Usually, it is seen that when people purchase the Cherry Barbs fish from the store, they seem to be healthy and happy in the existing atmosphere. However, the deaths of these fish may start to occur once they are shifted to the new tanks.

This is mostly because of parameters of water which get unstable and unsuitable to the lifestyle of these fish. It is very important for you to know about the nitrite, ammonia and nitrate levels in the water to find out the root cause of the death of your Cherry Barbs.

If the water quality is not good enough and the nitrate levels are high, this could be considered as a potential reason as your fish might be struggling to survive in the water. To check the water conditions, you must have a water testing kit and make sure you check the expiration date of the kit before using it.

You are also advised to frequently change the water to provide them with a clean and healthy environment. If the water tank is too small, maintaining the water quality is very difficult which is bad news for your Cherry Barbs.

One of the most basic yet essential piece of information for beginner fish keepers is to make sure the water is free of chlorine as it can intoxicate your entire tank. If you research more, you can easily get a product which is used for this purpose. This could be another reason why your Cherry Barbs is dying.

You are recommended to clean your water and make it chlorine-free if that is the root cause. Moreover, you should always choose a big and longer tank to keep Cherry Barbs. These are hardy fish and can easily be kept, however, basic conditions are still very important to keep them alive and healthy in the tank.

Tank Conditions

As mentioned earlier, even though it is easy for beginners to keep Cherry Barbs, but certain conditions must be met to keep them successfully. Water conditions and stability is the most vital factor. You should always make a checklist to be fully prepared before you move in new Cherry Barb members to your aquarium tank.

  • pH range should vary between 6.0 to 8.0
  • dH range 5-19
  • Water temperature must stay between 73 to 80.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 20-gallon or minimum 75-liter aquarium size is considered to be ideal
  • 0 ppm ammonia and 0 nitrite levels
  • Chlorine-free water
  • Moderate water flow

Other causes for the death of Cherry Barbs

Other than water parameters, you should also consider the mental condition of your Cherry Barb fish which can lead to similar issues. If the fish is too stressed due to environmental changes, this can lead to fatal results.

This can be due to many reasons such as:

  • A tank which is too big
  • A tank that is overcrowded
  • Aggressive and hostile fish in the tank along with Cherry Barbs
  • Single Cherry Barb in a huge tank all alone
  • A new addition of fish
  • New water to the tank.

These are some common reasons that can cause discomfort and stress among Cherry Barbs. Shock can also lead to the demise of your Cherry Barbs which can be due to sudden changes around them such as the ones listed above.

The prevention is simple; avoid sudden changes in the environment of your Cherry Barb.


Cherry Barbs can die due to a number of diseases.

This usually happens when the water or tank conditions are not suitable for them. If the quality of the water in the tank is poor, you may find your Cherry Barbs getting sick over time.

Ich and fin rot are the two most common diseases which can result due to polluted water in the tank.

Fin rot basically refers to a disease that is categorized to be bacterial. This happens due to poor water conditions. To be sure, you should examine the body of the Cherry Barbs closely and if you find any rotten fins or unpleasant looking patches on the body, chances are your fish have the fin rot disease.

You should instantly clean the tank and maintain that state through regular water changes. Ich, on the other hand, is way more common than fin rot disease which can be detected if the fish have white small spots all over its body. The spots are more like salt grains.

You would also notice that they are scratching against different surfaces for relief from the Ich. They are highly likely to catch such a condition when their immune system is weak and when they are either in discomfort or are stressed.

You can treat them at home by raising the temperature of the water by two or even three degrees as this helps in killing the parasites. This can be done for 48 hours. For both the diseases, medications can also be given prescribed by a professional.

Plants for Cherry Barbs

You can place healthy plants in the tank to provide them with a habitat that is close to theirs. They should feel comfortable and at home to grow healthy.

Well planted tanks are an easy solution here. This will give them good areas where they can hide as well. Also, this will give your tank a beautiful look as the bright colors of Cherry Barbs will stand out against the dark shades of the tank plants.

Make sure you keep balanced or preferably low levels of lighting. In addition, you can also keep plenty of plants to create a cozy environment.

Related Questions

What is the ideal number of Cherry Barbs in a tank? There is no fixed number of Cherry Barbs that you need to keep. However, it is important to keep them in groups.

These fish species love to socialize and to stay in groups and swim around in the tank. This is an essential requirement to keep them happy and healthy. If you keep a limited number of Cherry Barbs, they will hide and swim very less.

When these fish are kept in large groups, they gain the confidence. They like to flaunt themselves and roam around like they are in their home. Ideal female to male ratio for Cherry Barbs is 2:1.

How to lower the nitrate levels in the tank? You can easily lower down the nitrates level by regular water changes. This will help you lower it down and keep the parameters balanced. You can also try keeping live plants to keep the nitrates level under check.


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