The Black Ruby Barb (Pethia nigrofasciata) is a very peaceful species that is an excellent fish for the community planted aquarium. It is known for its small size and black striping, but is most desired for the brilliant ruby coloration that males develop during spawning behavior. This fish is also rather versatile regarding water conditions.
The Black Ruby Barb typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish. It may prey on smaller dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can make good tankmates. The Black Ruby Barb must be kept in groups of 6 or more, although larger groups are more ideal so that subdominant specimens are not bullied by dominant individuals during breeding behavior. Its natural habitat is tropical rainforest areas that typically have clear water. It requires clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark substrate.
Temperature: 68 – 81° F (20°-27° C)
pH: 5.5 – 7.5
KH: 3 – 12 dKH
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons for a group of 6 – 8