Rosy Barbs (Puntius conchonius) originate from the southeastern countries of Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. They are found living in a wide variety of habitats including: streams, river tributaries, ponds, lakes and flood plains. Rosey Barbs are actually quite tolerant of a wide range of water conditions and environments, which explains their widespread distribution. They do prefer cooler water temperates ranging from the low to mid 60’s up to mid 70’s, along with plenty of dissolved oxygen within the water. While the Rosy Barb is found in a variety of habitats, it’s primary habitat is that of the cooler flowing mountainous streams and rivers found across Pakistan, India and Nepal. However, Rosy Barbs are quite easy to breed and due to their popularity within the aquarium hobby they are widely bred both within Asia and the United States. Most all Rosy Barbs found within the aquarium trade today are bred on fish farms, which helps reduce their cost and better acclimates them to the aquarium environment.
The Rosy Barb makes a great addition to a wide variety of tropical community and river biotope aquariums. The male Rosy Barb exhibits more red coloration over a silver body, while the female is mostly all metallic silver/gold in coloration. Since Rosy Barbs are prolific breeders, commercial breeders have begun to selectively breed them in order to produce strains with very bright red coloration and with more of the red coloration spread out over the entirety of the fishes body. They are very easy to care for and can tolerate a wide variety of water conditions. However, they are a schooling species that really should be kept in groups of six or more individuals in order to maintain their natural schooling behaviors. While they are more than capable of adapting to a wide range of aquarium setups, Rosy Barbs will appreciate aquariums with plenty of water flow, dissolved oxygen and more temperate water temperatures in the mid 70’s. Suitable tank mates include any peaceful to semi-aggressive tropical species larger than 1 to 1/2 inches and not large enough to see the Rosy Barb as food. Rosy Barbs are a very active species that when kept in groups will be more than happy to keep amongst themselves and will live peacefully in both community and planted community aquariums.
Rosy Barbs are very generalized feeders that will consume a wide variety of foodstuffs including both plant and animal matter. It is important that the hobbyist feed them preparations designed for omnivores so that they are receive the full range of vitamins and minerals that their immune system requires to maintain proper health. Their staple diet should consist of commercial omnivore flake or frozen foods designed for tropical fish species. They should also be offered items like blood worms, tubifex worms, cyclopeeze, brine shrimp, etc. in addition to their staple flake food diet. Feed at least 2 times per day an amount of food that the fish will readily consume within a few minutes, then monitor the overall girth of the fish to determine whether to increase or decrease feeding frequency.