The Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya) is an active fish and one of the most popular barbs in the hobby. These fish are relatively undemanding and easy to keep, making them excellent beginner fish for a peaceful community aquarium.
So, if you’re a new hobbyist to the aquarium trade looking for a nice addition to your community tank, the Albino Cherry Barb could be a good choice for you.
Read this comprehensive guide to learn how to care for and breed this adorable fish.
Albino Cherry Barb – Overview
|Common Name (species)
|Albino Cherry Barb
|Artificially created variant
|Omnivore: Fish flakes, pellets, frozen meaty foods, live foods, blanched veggies
|Easy – Beginner
|All regions of the water column
|Minimum Tank Size
|Tropical 73° to 79° Fahrenheit
|2 – 18 dGH
|6.5 to 7.0
|Prefers well-filtered water with a medium flow rate
|Tank Mate Compatibility
|Peaceful with small, non-aggressive tank mates
|Planted Tanks Compatibility
|Safe with plants
The Albino Cherry Barb is an artificially created variant of the perennial favorite, the Red Cherry Barb.
Cherry Barbs were first described in 1929 by Deraniyagala and are found in parts of Asia, specifically Sri Lanka. There are also known to be several wild populations of Cherry Barbs in Mexico and Colombia, which are thought to have been released by hobbyists who no longer wanted to keep the fish in captivity.
The Cherry Barb is currently listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as vulnerable, and wild populations are decreasing, due to a wide range of issues such as human activity and habitat loss.
Wild Cherry Barbs live in heavily shaded rivers and streams. The fish prefer slow-moving, shallow, calm bodies of water, where the substrate is silty and lined with leaf litter and fallen branches.
They are omnivorous, feeding on algae, detritus, diatoms, and small invertebrates.
These barbs have elongated bodies with a torpedo shape, one dorsal fin, and a forked caudal fin, which is characteristic of all Cyprinid fishes.
Albino Cherry Barbs are creamy pink-colored fish with black markings in a horizontal stripe that runs from the tip of the mouth to its caudal, with a slightly metallic stripe right above that. As is typical with most albino fish variants, this Cherry Barb has a pink eye color.
Albino Cherry Barbs are small fish, reaching an adult size of only up to 2 inches in length.
Albino Cherry Barbs have a life expectancy of around four years if properly cared for, although some can live longer than that.
Like all Cherry Barbs, the albino variant is a friendly fish with high energy levels that’s plenty of fun to watch.
The fish are peaceful and swim throughout all areas of any aquariums & fish tanks they’re introduced to. However, they do like plenty of space to swim in, so be sure to give them plenty of open water that’s not cluttered with decorations or aquatic plants.
These fish can be somewhat timid, sometimes hiding away amid dense, leafy plants if they feel alarmed.
Compatibility And Tank Mates
Although they don’t generally have a schooling nature, Albino Cherry Barbs appreciate the company of their own kind, and should ideally be kept in a small family of fish up to six individuals. That said, one barb can live quite happily on its own among other community fish.
Fish to Avoid
Since these barbs are quite small and timid fish, we recommend that you avoid large, confident fish species with boisterous personalities. Although they might not physically harm your barbs, more aggressive fish might stress them out if they chase them or boss them around, which can cause health problems and shorten your barbs’ life expectancy.
Diet And Nutrition
Albino Cherry Barbs are not fussy eaters, so keeping them well-fed and happy is pretty easy.
What To Feed Your Albino Cherry Barbs
Albino Cherry Barbs are omnivores, so they will eat plant matter as well as meat. You can feed your barbs high-quality flake foods or small pellets as a basic diet and supplement that with frozen food, such as blood worms, micro worms, daphnia, insect larvae, and brine shrimp.
How Much and How Often to Feed
We recommend that you feed your barbs twice every day and keep a regular schedule of when they get their food for optimal health.
As a general rule of thumb, you should offer your fish only what they will consume in around three minutes to keep the aquarium clean. Don’t overfeed the fish, as uneaten food just ends up falling down into the substrate where it will gradually rot, polluting your water, which can lead to health complications for your tank’s inhabitants.
If you can’t be around at regular times to feed your fish, it might be a good idea to pick up an automatic fish feeder with a timer from a nearby aquarium supplier. You can load the timer with portions of aquarium food and set the device to dispense at predetermined times. That way, you know that your fish receive the correct amount of food at the right time, giving you peace of mind that your pets won’t go hungry.
Albino Cherry Barbs are easy to care for, provided that you give them clean, well-filtered water and appropriately decorate and maintain their habitat and tank conditions.
The minimum tank size for Albino Cherry Barbs should hold at least 10 gallons of water, although a larger tank is necessary if you plan on keeping a few additional fish as tank mates, too.
Since these barbs are active swimmers, choose a long tank with plenty of swimming space rather than a tall, narrow one. Although these fish are not known to be jumpers, they can leap out of the water when alarmed, so we recommend that your aquarium has a tightly fitting lid or a cover slide.
Even though Albino Cherry Barbs are captive-bred and artificially created, they still retain the habits and preferences of their wild descendants. So, you need to create an environment that replicates the wild habitat of the Cherry Barb.
A darker substrate not only helps to show off these eye-catching, unusual little barbs, but it also helps to create the dim, shady environment that they prefer. Fine gravel or sand can replicate the silty bottom of the streams and shallow rivers where the wild barbs are found.
You can also add a few dried almond leaves across the tank floor to help mimic their natural habitat.
These barbs can be shy, tending to gravitate to sheltered, darker areas of the fish tank. To help them feel more secure, include plenty of dense, leafy plants in the tank where the barbs can hide if they want to.
Pieces of driftwood, twisted roots, and other plant material are also good additions to your setup, but remember to leave lots of open water so that the fish have plenty of swimming space.
Albino Cherry barbs appreciate moderate water movement through the tank.
As with all fish species, the key to keeping your fish healthy and thriving is to keep them in the correct water conditions and parameters.
Albino Cherry barbs are tropical fish that need a water temperature of between 73° to 79° F.
Water Hardness and pH Range
The ideal water pH range is 6.5 to 7.0, and the water hardness is between 2 and 18 dGH.
Albino Cherry barbs are shy fish that don’t appreciate very bright lighting in the aquarium. You can create the proper habitat by putting the decorative focus on plants, especially floating plants, to help diffuse light.
Alternatively, you could invest in a lighting unit with adjustable settings so you can subdue the lighting levels. You can still have a thriving aquascape under dim lighting, as there are plenty of beautiful low-light plant species to choose from.
Once the aquarium is set up and the water conditions have stabilized, you’ll need to maintain the tank properly.
Vacuum The Substrate
Uneaten food, fish waste, and plant debris can quickly accumulate in the dark substrate, where they will gradually decompose, polluting the water and poisoning your fish.
The most efficient way to remove waste from your tank is with an aquarium vacuum cleaner. Concentrate on areas underneath ornaments and decorations, around the base of plants, and under box filters, as that’s where most of the gunk tends to gather.
You also need to remove damaged plant stems, dead leaves, and overgrowth.
Carry Out Partial Water Changes
It’s also essential that you carry out partial water changes of up to 20% every week to keep the nitrate ratio at acceptable levels. You don’t want any more than 20ppm nitrates in the water for it to be healthy for your fish. Of course, the levels of ammonia and nitrites should always be zero.
Make it a habit to test your aquarium water every week to make sure toxins aren’t accumulating, which could indicate a problem with your filter system.
To keep the filter system running properly, you need to maintain the filter cartridges or media properly. Rinse the media in dirty tank water every month or so to remove sludge, and change spent media or cartridges as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Health and Disease
Albino Cherry Barbs are fairly healthy fish that don’t generally suffer from any common health issue, provided that you keep the tank clean and well-maintained.
Common Fish Diseases
Here are a few of the most common fish diseases that can affect Albino Cherry Barbs, together with how to treat them.
Ich (White Spot Disease)
Ich is the most common fish disease that can affect Albino Cherry Barbs. The disease is caused by an aquatic parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.
Infected fish flash or rub their body against the surface of the substrate and other solid items in the aquarium. Also, you’ll notice a rash of tiny white spots that look like grains of salt sprinkled across the fish’s fins, gill covers, and body.
To kill the parasite, raise the tank temperature to 82° F, and treat the whole tank with a White Spot Medication.
Fungal infections are generally associated with poor water conditions. The fungus appears as fluffy white growths on the fish, typically around the face and on the body. You can treat fungal infections by isolating affected fish in a quarantine tank and using an over-the-counter antifungal product.
Before returning the fish to the main tank, give the setup a thorough clean and make sure that the environment is clean and water parameters are within the correct ranges.
Bacterial infections are also quite common in aquarium fish. Bacteria are present in healthy tanks too, but they generally only attack fish that are already sick or weakened.
Infections present as ulcers on the skin, red patches, and torn fins. Sometimes, bacteria can attack the fish internally, too. You can treat bacterial infections with over-the-counter antibacterial medications by isolating any affected fish in a quarantine tank.
Columnaris is also known as Cotton Mouth Disease. This disease is also caused by a gram-negative bacterium called Flavobacterium columnare. This is a serious health condition that often ends in the death of affected fish.
Infected fish develop skin lesions, discolored scales, fuzzy patches on the skin, and they often lose scales, too. Sometimes, the condition can be treated with anti-bacterial medication.
Breeding Albino Cherry Barbs
All Cherry Barbs are egg-layers, and they are relatively easy to breed in the home aquarium.
Provide the fish with plenty of plants to lay their eggs in as they lay eggs that stick to plant leaves in long strings — sometimes as many as 300 eggs in one spawning!
The best way to breed these barbs is by setting up a spawning tank. Keep the tank dimly lit and fill it with clumps of Java moss and spawning mops. The tank water should have a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 and a temperature of 74° and 79° F.
Males can become highly aggressive during spawning, so place the female Cherry Barbs in a separate tank after spawning. Both adults should then be removed to prevent them from eating the eggs.
Eggs generally hatch within 24 hours. You can feed the free-swimming fry with infusoria, commercially produced liquid food, or newly hatched baby brine shrimp. Ideally, the fry should be fed three or four times daily.
Remove any uneaten food after a few minutes to avoid contaminating the water. The fries need pristine water to survive.
You can buy Albino Cherry Barbs in most good fish stores and online for a few dollars per fish.
Albino Cherry Barbs are easy to care for and, generally, a good fish for beginners to the aquarium hobby. They are excellent community fish that get along well with other non-aggressive species and are relatively undemanding in terms of feeding and housing. You can also breed them without much difficulty if you fancy the challenge of setting up a spawning tank.
If you have Albino Cherry Barbs, did you manage to breed them? Tell us about your fish in the comments box below.