Gold barb

The Gold barb, Green barb, Chinese barb, or Schuberti barb (Puntius semifasciolatus Günther, 1868) is a subtropical freshwater fish belonging to the minnow family (Cyprinidae). Its native habitat is the Red River basin in southeast China. This species was originally named Barbus semifasciolatus, and is also referred to as Capoeta semifasciolata, Barbus fasciolatus, and Puntius semifasciolate. The popular gold strain (all that is available to the hobby) was developed by hobbyist Thomas Shubert of Camden, New Jersey in the 1960’s through selective breeding. For many years to was thought to be a distinct species but is in fact a selected sport of the indigenous species.

The Gold barb is a medium-long barb. Adults have highly arched backs and a short pair of barbels on the upper jaw at the corners of the mouth. The back is light to reddish brown, the sides are metallic green or yellow-green, with a brassy or golden sheen below. The belly is whitish, turning orange-red in males at mating time. Females can be distinguished by their dull colors and their overall bulk. The average size of adults is 2.75 to 3 in (7 – 8 cm).

In the wild, they inhabit running water with a pH range of 6.0 – 8.0, a water hardness of 5.0 – 19.0 dGH, a depth range of 0-16 ft (0 – 5 m) and a temperature range of 64 – 75 °F (18 – 24 °C). Their diet consists of worms, insects, and plant matter.

This fish is commercially important in the aquarium hobby industry.

An egg-scatter, adult barbs will spawn around a hundred eggs. This breeding occurs at the first light in the early morning.

In the aquarium

The Gold Barb is an active, peaceful schooling species that spends most of its time in the mid-level and bottom of the water. Its typical lifespan in captivity is around four to six years. This peaceful green-gold fish is often used in community tanks by fish keeping hobbyists. It flocks breed readily in outdoor pools and free-standing ponds during summer months, and withstands cooler temperatures better than other tropical fish.