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A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources

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A young tiger barb, Puntius tetrazona
Cherry Barbs (male and female)
Rosy Barbs
Puntius conchonius (Rosy Barb)
Gold Barb (Puntius semifasciolatus)
Barb are a small sized group of fish that are naturally found in the freshwater rivers and lakes across the southern hemisphere. There are over 2,000 known species of barb in the world inhabiting the frehswater regions of Asia, Africa and South America.

The barb fish is often referred to as a freshwater shark, due to the fact that barb are one of the few species of freshwater fish to have rows of teeth in their mouths. Despite their small size, barbs are known to be ferocious hunters and are dominant predators in the world of small fish in their natural environment. Barb do only prey upon the fish that are smaller than them, but also on medium sized fish that can sometimes be double the size of the barb.

Due to their small size and bright colours barb are commonly kept in household aquariums worldwide. The most common barb kept in aquariums are the cherry barb (pink/red in colour) and the tiger barb (silver body with thick, black stripes and red fin on it's belly) .

Barb are known to be relatively hardy fish and can easily adapt to changes in the water including changes in pH levels and temperate. It is known that barbs can successfully inhabit unheated tanks, and although this has proved to be successful in many cases, it is not recommended as barb are naturally found in warmer tropical waters.

Due to their aggressive and dominant nature, it is not ideal to keep barbs in artificial tanks with smaller species of tropical fish. At the same time, barb will also hunt medium sized fish if there is a lack of food, and so are best kept on their own (just barbs) or with much larger species of fish.

Barbs are known to lay numerous eggs in order for a few to hatch successfully. The baby barb are called fry and generally hatch within a few days of being laid. Like their hardy barb parents, the barb fry are able to adapt well to changes in their surroundings.

Barbs are opportunists and will therefore eat almost anything that they can find. Although barbs prefer a predominantly meat based diet that includes smaller fish, insects and bloodworm, barb are also known to eat aquatic plants particularly those that are softer and therefore easier to ingest. The exact diet of the barb however, depends on the species and the region in which it inhabits.

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Barb Translations

Catalan Català
Barb comú
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Barb Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Barbus Barbus
The area where the animal first came from...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
2.5cm - 7cm (1in - 3in)
Water Type:
Either freshwater, brakish or salt...
Optimum pH Level:
The perfect acidity conditions for the animal...
6.0 - 7.5
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
3 - 7 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Black, White, Yellow, Orange, Red, Silver
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Fish
The specific area where the animal lives...
Slow flowing rivers and lagoons
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Fish, Shrimp, Algae
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Fish, Birds, Reptiles
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Easily adaptable and rows of teeth

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