Rosy barb

The Rosy barb (Puntius conchonius) is a subtropical freshwater fish belonging to the minnow family (Cyprinidae). It originates in Bengal, India and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Physical description

This pinkish fish is one of the larger species of Barbs growing up to 6 in (14 cm) in length. Their color becomes bolder during their mating periods. The male has a brighter pinkish color and the female is slightly plumper.


In the wild their omnivorous diet consists of worms, insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. They have a lifespan of up to 5 years. Rosy Barbs natively live in lakes and fast flowing water in a subtropical climate. Their natural habitat has a pH of 6 to 8, a water hardness of 5-19 dGH, and a temperature range of 64″“72 °F (18″“22 °C).

Importance to humans

The fish has commercial importance in the aquarium trade and is one of several species of barbs used to create hybrid versions of “tiger barbs”.

Name origins

This fish was originally described by Francis Hamilton-Buchanan as Cyprinus conchonius in 1822 and is also referred to as Puntius conchonius khagariansis (Datta Munshi and Srivastava 1988), Systomus conchonius or Barbus conchonius .


When the female is ready to spawn, she will appear swollen with eggs. The males will circle and chase the females, repeatedly nudging her head and belly area. Spawning usually occurs in the early morning, and lasts several hours resulting in several hundred eggs. Eggs are usually deposited in groups of plants, and the pair will attempt to eat any that they are able to locate.

The young hatch in 24 to 36 hours, depending on water temperature. A day later, the young fish will hang on the plants, and/or the sides of the tank if the breeding takes place in an aquarium. In about six days the young are free-swimming and will seek out food. In captivity, they can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp.

In the aquarium

The rosy barb is an active, peaceful species well-suited for a community aquarium. It is considered one of the hardiest barbs, undemanding and beautiful, and most impressively colored during the mating period. It can be kept together with other small fish but can be aggressive toward other fish and nip their fins. They will eat most foods provided to them. They are best kept in groups of 5 or more in an aquarium with a length of at least 30 in. They usually reach a maximum size of 4 in. Using a dark-colored gravel will show off the color of the fish.