Gold Barb

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Puntius semifasciolatus - (Günther, 1868)
Gold Barb

A hardy fish and hearty eater that owes its coloration to generations of selective breeding. André Karwath/Aka/Creative Commons


The Gold Barb is an active, out-going fish. Decades of selective breeding have transformed the rather plain wild fish into glittering aquarium beauties.

Less colorful specimen with green tinges.

The Gold Barb is unusual among freshwater fishes in showing some green coloration. Males tend to be smaller and more intensely colored.

Family: Cyprinidae

Other common name(s):

  • Shubert's Barb
  • Green Barb
  • Half-Striped Barb
  • Chinese Barb

Native range:

Maximum length: 7 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater


The Gold Barb is a hearty eater that will accept just about any aquarium fare, including flake and freeze-dried foods. Some vegetable matter is a must, so include Spirulina-based foods as well. Occasional treats of frozen or live foods, including brine shrimp, are also appreciated.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Gold Barb is a typical Barb—an active schooling species that is best kept in groups of at least three. It is a great fish for a community setting with other peaceful and active species.


This species is known for its readiness to spawn. Adhesive eggs are scattered among plants. Eggs will be eaten if not removed.


Like most of the other barbs, the Gold Barb does best in a long aquarium, well-planted on the sides and back with plenty of open room in the center for swimming. Because they may root around in the substrate, use only fine-grade or rounded gravel.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW