Odessa Barb (Puntius padamya)
Odessa Barbs are stunning little fish. They are active and hardy, tolerant to a fairly wide range of water parameters, though they’ll do best in well planted tanks that are slightly acidic and which have plenty of air-flow. They will eat most fish food: live, frozen and flake, and will have a nibble at vegetable treats that are added for a few hours too. A shoal or five or six Odessa Barbs will chase each other around but are unlikely to be overly aggressive, though they can indulge in a bit of fin nipping of slower, long-finned tank-mates such as angelfish.
Odessa Barbs are thus named because they were said to have first appeared in aquatic enthusiast’s circles in Odessa, Ukraine in the 1970s. They are actually native to Myanmar and the word ‘padamya’ in its scientific name is Burmese for ruby, in reference to its stunning red colour: the fish may not show this glorious colour until fully at ease in its new home, but when it does, it is quite striking. A shoal of Odessa Barbs can look like a little bunch of fishy fireworks chasing around your tank.
Size (fully grown): 6.5 – 8cm (2.5 – 3″)
Water temperature: 21 – 26C
Water pH: 6 – 7