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Great for beginner aquarists, barbs are hardy, lively schooling fish with a striking coloration. Barbs are playful, active swimmers and may harass or nip the fins of slow moving fish. If kept in schools of five or more they usually stick to themselves, and do not bother the other fish in the aquarium as often as only one or two barbs would.
Barbs eat both plant and animal matter, including prepared foods, small live foods and certain vegetables. You will see your barbs swimming in the middle of your aquarium. To create a beautiful environment, be sure to add some top and bottom swimmers as well. Ask a PetSmart associate to help you choose.
Things to remember
Choose a tropical flake or pellet food. Feed according to the directions on the package.
Small amounts of romaine lettuce, zucchini and peas are a good addition to the diet. Also try a prepared food made with spirulina (a nutritious type of algae). Remove uneaten vegetables after four hours.
Vary their diet by including frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex worms and other small worms, mosquito larvae and daphnia. Always remember to thaw frozen foods before feeding.
For optimum health, feed your barbs as much food as they will consume in 1-3 minutes, twice a day. You can alternate between regular staple diet feedings and 2-4 meals per week of a specialty food.
Start with a 20-gallon or larger, long aquarium. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of water for every one inch of full-grown fish.
Decorate their aquarium with rocks, driftwood and plants, but be sure to place them on the sides and back of the tank so they'll have enough space to swim in the center.
Barbs are healthiest and happiest in an aquarium with a large school for active swimming and games. They may become aggressive if kept in too small a group, or may become shy and withdrawn if kept alone.
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