Breeding gold barbs

Breeding gold barbs

group of gold barbs
group of gold barbs

What you will need

  • 2 foot tank hood and lid
  • 2 sponge filters and air pump
  • 100w heater stat
  • Bushy plants around tank or java moss
  • Marbles on tank floor

General information and care of gold barbs(Barbodes semifasciolatus)

breeding pair gold barbs
breeding pair gold barbs

The gold barb is a small and friendly barb. it can survive in unheated aquariums in the living room. Indeed they should not be kept in a warmer tropical fish tank with temperatures above 75F. They like a ph of around 7ph and the water should be slightly hard but they are not that fussy. They are river fish so do like some sort of flow in the tank. Perhaps a powerful filter should be used with a good outflow that they can swim against.

Because of their small size and peaceful nature and attractive colour they make an ideal community fish as long as the temperature is not above 75F. They can be kept in an unheated aquarium with other temperate fish. Goldfish make ideal tankmates. Other tankmates.

They are the colour morph of the original wild green version.The wild version is rarely seen in the aquarium. They are a schooling fish and do better if there are at least 6 of them. They can be nervous when not kept in schools of 6 or more. They can grow up to a maximum of 3 inches in the aquarium but are usually around the 2 inch mark. They are hardy and tolerate less than perfect water conditions. And, they are an active fish who like to play in moving water. They will eat flake food. As such they make an ideal beginner’s fish. But it is best to include some live food and some fresh greens as a supplement to their diet once or twice a week. To encourage breeding feed more live food before you intend to breed them.

They breed in shallow water. Males are reddish brown on the back with golden sheen below. They are slimmer than the females. They also have some black patches on their sides. When in breeding mood the males’ bellies turn orange red. Females are duller and fatter and their abdomen plumps up when in breeding condition. The females are noticeably larger. Gold barbs are mature at 2 inches at about 5 months of age. They breed readily as long as they are healthy.

Preparing gold barbs for breeding

Leave them in the community tank. Feed well with live food. Raise the temperature to 74F and watch their behaviour every morning. If the male is chasing the female at all then remove her to the breeding tank. Breeding tank should have water 6 inches deep. In the same night move the male to the breeding tank. Move the established sponge filters to the breeding tank. The breeding tank should have the same water as the main tank. Also, if the female looks like she will burst (egg laden) then remove her to the breeding tank but wait until the following evening before moving the male to join her. Unfortunately the adults may spawn in the community aquarium before you are ready. If this happens, wait until they have finished then remove the egg laden plants with some water from the aquarium to a separate aquarium.
If your fish are reluctant and don’t start spawning then try spraying some cool oxygenated water into the aquarium. This sometimes triggers their mating behaviour.

Breeding behaviour of gold barbs

Maintain the breeding tank at 74F. Watch in the morning. The red bottomed male should be chasing the female all over the aquarium. The male will do a sideways flick head to tail around the female and continually dart about. When the female heads into the plants she releases eggs which the male fertilises. This process will carry on for a few hours until her eggs are exhausted. She may lay several hundred eggs. When the pair finish and start egg eating immediately remove the pair back to the main aquarium.

Raising the fry of gold barbs

Add some methylene blue to the water. Wait 2 days until they hatch. Wait a further 3 days until they become free swimming then start feeding with infusoria. Feed 5 times a day. Change 10% of the water everyday with mature water of the same temperature. After a week start introducing baby brine shrimp and microworms. After a month or so start introducing dried foods to their diet. After 3 months they should be of saleable size.