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    Common Name- Odessa Barb
    Water Conditions- Temp. 70-80, Plants are important for security, Low to moderate light for best color, water changes.
    Behavior- Peaceful, schooling, community fish.
    Breeding- Adhesive egg scatterers
    Size- 2.5 inches

    The specifics for this fish are still just being disseminated, and some of the information found on the web, etc.
    is inconsistent. It will get no larger than 2.5 inches, and I do not treat this as a cold water fish. The males
    achieve and maintain their deepest color at 76-78 degrees, in a well planted, dim to moderately lit tank against
    a dark bottom aquarium. They will breed fairly readily when provided with the proper conditions (see Breeding These
    Fish), but the parents are eager egg eaters and the young must be raised on infusoria the first few days before
    graduating to vinegar eels or microworms, then on to baby brine shrimp.

    They are a peaceful community fish. Some identifications on the web claim this can be a slightly aggressive fish,
    but that has not been my experience. A recent conversation with an importer also confirmed that those initial
    claims were mistaken.

    This is a schooling fish and does best when in a small group of at least 5. The sexual ratio does not seem to
    matter, as all females or all males, or a mix all do fine together.

    This species requires a higher level of oxygenation in their water. Aeration generated water movement must be
    provided. It does not need to be dramatic, the air put out by 1-2 standard 4" box filters in a 20 gallon tank
    is ideal. When provided with some plant cover, low to moderate light, and a dark tank bottom they will stay
    active and at full color.

    This species definitely prefers a tank of at least 20 gallons, evidenced by the color shown by the males when
    they are comfortable. They can become nearly identical to the females when unhappy, but when conditions improve
    their full color returns almost immediately. A tank of 20 gallons or larger allows adults to hide in plants,
    coming out as a group when they choose.

    To Keep Them at Their Best Color:

    If you put a group of males in a 10 gallon tank with few plants, open light through the tank, a bright aquarium light
    overhead, light tan or white gravel on the bottom, the most impressively colored fish will be washed out and rarely
    show the intense color this line has been carefully bred to produce. Their color reflects their mood, their comfort,
    and can be greatly affected by influences that are sometimes surprising. I should mention that by "good color", I am
    referring to a vibrant, deep, very bright velvety red that is unlike anything on any other fish. I maintain a 50 gallon
    tank here of just my best breeder males, as well as a 75 gallon of young males coloring out, and feel I have a fairly
    good grasp of what it takes to keep them at their best color. What I have found is:

    -They need to be comfortable and unstressed. In the 50 gallon breeder tank they generally swim out in front and their
    color is usually excellent. They share the tank with a few large plecos, and have lived with various swords and other
    barbs without effect on their color. Check out the videos Here to see what their color is capable of.

    -The back of the tank is covered with black plastic, and the tank is lit moderately from above. It is not dark- there
    are many plants (Java fern and bolbitis fern primarily) and the light is adequate for them to thrive, but the fish
    always have the option to hide in the plants when they wish.

    - The Odessa barbs are active fish sensitive to low oxygenation, so two 4" box filters inside the tank provide
    filtration. Other types of filtration would be fine, but an airstone should then be provided.

    -Though reported to be a cool water fish- they do thrive in outdoor ponds where they will tolerate cooler
    temperatures, I find that their color and breeding is best at about 78 degrees.

    - Their color is best when they are hungry- and stays intense as they feed, but will settle back after they are fed.
    When I have guests looking to buy them coming to visit, I will deliberately not feed feed them before their arrival.

    - A dirty filter will cause their color to fade. Their color will also improve after a water change.

    - Lastly (and customers informed me of this, and I have found it to be true), the few days after the addition of my
    Rapid Grow fertilizer causes them to color way up. I'm not trying to sell fertilizer here, but it is true! There is
    something in the fertilizer they respond to, and the change can be dramatic.

    - When breeding, their color will also intensify. When first introduced to the females and while acclimating to the
    breeding tank (the pairs are bred in a specially constructed tank), the males will lose all their color as they
    normally would when stressed. By the second day breeding will begin, and the males with fully color out as they are
    chasing the females. When the active breeding ceases, the males will actually lose all of their color- as if to relax-
    until the active chasing again begins. However, when conditions are to their liking in their home tank, their color
    will stay consistently good all of the time.

    The females are also no slouches when it comes to color. Though they do not possess the red stripe, they do sport
    orange fins, with black speckling in the dorsal. The sides are an overall bronze, darker above and lighter below,
    with two black spots on their sides. By themselves they are a very attractive fish, and some females will also show
    a hint of the broad red stripe- though generally more of a light red/ orange color along their sides just as in the

    See other Care Guides Here