African Dwarf Barb (Barboides gracilis) information temperature, pH, tank size, diet

Known as the Amber or Ember Barb, the African Dwarf Barb (Barboides gracilis), resembles microrasboras more than barbs. Even in a peaceful community aquarium, this schooling fish would be a show stopper, but in a planted aquarium, it really comes to life. There are many orange-colored males of this species, especially in large schools of 20-30 individuals or more.

African Dwarf Barb prefers the upper and middle levels of the water column, where it can be seen swimming and eating. As a result, it does best in a tank with other small, gentle fish. However, because of its sensitivity to fear, tankmates must be carefully selected. With its tiny size and gentle nature, it is safe to keep with adult dwarf shrimp. It is possible that larger, more peaceful invertebrates would be better for a community aquarium. Groups of at least six African Dwarf Barbs are required, but groups of 20 or more are preferable because they encourage more natural behavior, less stress, and more vivid coloring in males as they compete for attention from the females. A large group of these fish is awe-inspiring. There is a lot of tannins and leaf litter in the water, which results in a slow and acidic flow. With a dark substrate and a lot of floating plants, this fish is at its most vibrant in a well-cared-for, planted aquarium. It shouldn't be kept with other fish that are going to compete with it for food if they make a lot of noise.

Daphnia, Calanus, and chopped bloodworms or Tubifex worms should be fed to the African Dwarf Barb at first, as it is a picky eater and will only eat small, live and frozen meaty items. Once established on a varied diet of mostly carnivorous foods, with the ability to eat dry meals as well, it will thrive and remain vibrant.