Denison Barb Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a fish that’s easy to care for and adds a pop of color to your aquarium, the Denison Barb might be the perfect fit for you. These fish are known for their striking red and silver stripes and active personalities, making them a popular choice among fish enthusiasts.

Denison Barb is a freshwater fish species that requires a minimum tank size of 75 gallons. They prefer a pH range of 6.5-7.5 and moderate water flow. They are omnivorous and should be fed a varied diet of flakes, pellets, and live/frozen foods. Regular water changes and proper filtration are necessary for their well-being.

When it comes to caring for Denison Barbs, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, they require a spacious aquarium with plenty of room to swim around. It’s recommended to keep them in groups of at least six to eight, as they are social creatures that thrive in a community environment.

Additionally, Denison Barbs require a well-maintained tank with a consistent water temperature and pH level. They prefer a planted tank with plenty of hiding places and open swimming areas. With proper care and attention, your Denison Barbs can live for up to five years and bring joy to your aquarium for years to come.

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Species Summary

If you’re considering adding a Denison Barb to your aquarium, it’s important to know everything you can about this fascinating species. Here’s what you need to know:


The Denison Barb, also known as the Red Lined Torpedo Barb, is native to the fast-flowing rivers of India. They were first discovered in the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that they were introduced to the aquarium trade.


With proper care, Denison Barbs can live up to 5-6 years in captivity.


Denison Barbs are striking fish with a torpedo-shaped body and bright red and black stripes.

They have a distinctive red stripe that runs from their nose to their tail, giving them their other common name, the Red Lined Torpedo Barb. They also have black spots on their fins and tail.


Denison Barbs can grow up to 6 inches in length, making them one of the larger species of barbs.

Growth Rate

Denison Barbs are relatively fast-growing fish, but their growth rate will depend on factors such as water quality, diet, and tank size.

Behavior & Temperament

Denison Barbs are active and social fish that do best in groups of 6 or more. They are known for their playful and curious nature, and they can be entertaining to watch as they swim around the tank.

They are generally peaceful fish, but they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if they are kept in too small of a tank.

Male vs Female

It can be difficult to tell the difference between male and female Denison Barbs, but males are generally more colorful and have longer fins than females.

Overall, Denison Barbs are a beautiful and fascinating species that can make a great addition to your aquarium.

I personally love watching them swim around and play with each other, and I think you will too!

Tank Setup

Setting up a suitable tank for your Denison Barb is crucial to ensure their health and well-being. Here are some important factors to consider:

Tank Size

The Denison Barb is an active swimmer and requires ample space to move around. A minimum tank size of 50 gallons is recommended for a small school of 5-6 Denison Barbs.

However, if you plan on keeping a larger school, you will need to provide a larger tank to accommodate their needs.


Denison Barbs prefer moderate lighting, so it is essential to choose the right type of lighting for your tank.

Avoid bright, intense lighting as it can cause stress to your fish and lead to health problems.

Filtration & Aeration

A good quality filtration system is essential to maintain the water quality in your tank. Denison Barbs are sensitive to poor water conditions, so it’s essential to keep the water clean and well-aerated.

A combination of a hang-on-back filter and a sponge filter can help maintain good water quality.


Denison Barbs prefer a water temperature between 72-78°F, so it’s essential to use a reliable heater to maintain the desired temperature range.

A submersible heater with a thermostat is recommended for accurate temperature control.


The substrate in your tank should be fine-grained and soft, as Denison Barbs like to forage and dig around in the substrate.

Sand or fine gravel are good options for substrate, and it’s essential to avoid sharp or rough substrates that can injure your fish.


Adding decorations like rocks, driftwood, and caves can provide hiding places for your Denison Barbs and create a natural-looking environment.

However, it’s essential to avoid decorations with sharp edges or rough surfaces that can injure your fish.


Live plants can provide a natural look to your tank and also help maintain good water quality. Denison Barbs prefer plants with broad leaves, such as Anubias, Java Fern, and Amazon Sword.

However, it’s essential to ensure that the plants are securely anchored to prevent uprooting by your active fish.

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Setting up a suitable tank for your Denison Barbs can be a fun and rewarding experience.

With the right tank setup, you can provide a healthy and comfortable environment for your fish, promoting their health and well-being.

Water Quality

Water quality is crucial for the health and well-being of your Denison barb. Here is everything you need to know to maintain the right water quality for your fish.

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Denison barbs is between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust it as necessary. Avoid sudden temperature changes, as they can be stressful for your fish.

Water pH

The optimal pH range for Denison barbs is between 6.5 and 7.5.

Test the pH level regularly using a test kit and adjust it if necessary. Keep in mind that sudden pH changes can be harmful to your fish.

Water Hardness

Denison barbs prefer slightly hard water, with a hardness level between 10 and 20 dGH.

You can test the water hardness using a test kit and adjust it as needed. Keep in mind that sudden changes in water hardness can cause stress to your fish.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential to maintain good water quality for your Denison barbs. You should change 10-20% of the water in your aquarium every week.

Make sure to use a water conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals from the tap water before adding it to your aquarium.

Personally, I have found that maintaining the right water quality for my Denison barbs has been key to keeping them healthy and happy. By regularly monitoring the water temperature, pH, and hardness, and performing regular water changes, I have been able to provide a comfortable environment for my fish to thrive.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a clean and healthy tank environment is crucial for the well-being of your Denison barbs. Here are some tips on how to keep your tank in top condition:

First, make sure to perform regular water changes. Aim for a 25% water change every two weeks to keep the water clean and fresh.

Use a siphon to remove debris and waste from the substrate, and be sure to treat the new water with a water conditioner before adding it to the tank.

Next, keep an eye on your tank’s filtration system. A good filtration system is essential for removing harmful toxins and maintaining water quality. Check the filter regularly and clean or replace it as needed.

You should also monitor the water temperature and pH levels. Denison barbs prefer a pH range of 6.5-7.5 and a temperature range of 72-78°F.

Use a reliable thermometer and pH testing kit to ensure that the water conditions are optimal for your fish.

Finally, don’t forget to clean the tank itself. Use a gentle aquarium-safe cleaner and a soft sponge to scrub away any algae or buildup on the glass. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could scratch or damage the tank.

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Personally, I like to make tank maintenance a part of my weekly routine. Every Sunday, I set aside some time to perform a water change and check on the filter and temperature. It may seem like a chore, but keeping your tank clean and healthy is well worth the effort!

Tank Mates

If you’re considering adding Denison barbs to your aquarium, it’s important to choose compatible tank mates to ensure a peaceful and healthy environment for all the fish.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting tank mates for your Denison barbs:

Compatible Fish Species

Denison barbs are generally peaceful fish that can coexist with a variety of other species. Some good options for tank mates include:

  • Tetras
  • Corydoras catfish
  • Gouramis
  • Rasboras

Incompatible Fish Species

While Denison barbs are generally peaceful, there are some fish species that may not be compatible with them. These include:

  • Aggressive or territorial fish
  • Large cichlids
  • Bottom-dwelling fish that may compete with Denison barbs for food

How many Denison barbs should I get?

When deciding how many Denison barbs to add to your aquarium, it’s important to consider the size of your tank.

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 6 Denison barbs in a tank that is 55 gallons or larger.

This will help ensure that the fish have enough space to swim and establish a hierarchy without becoming overcrowded.

Personally, I have found that adding a school of Denison barbs to my aquarium has been a great addition. They are active and playful fish that add a lot of movement and color to the tank. Just remember to choose compatible tank mates and provide a suitable environment for them to thrive!


Proper diet is essential for the health and well-being of your Denison Barb. Here are some guidelines to follow:

What To Feed

You should provide your Denison Barb with a varied diet that includes both plant matter and protein. Some good options for plant matter include spirulina flakes, lettuce, and spinach.

For protein, you can feed them brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. You can also try giving them frozen or live food for added variety.


You should feed your Denison Barb small amounts several times a day rather than one large meal. This will help prevent overfeeding and ensure that your fish are getting the nutrients they need. Be careful not to leave uneaten food in the tank, as this can lead to water quality issues.


It’s important to remember that every fish is different, so you may need to experiment with different foods to find what your Denison Barb likes best.

You can also try soaking their food in a vitamin supplement to ensure they are getting all the necessary nutrients. Lastly, make sure to remove any uneaten food from the tank to maintain good water quality.

Personally, I have found that my Denison Barb loves brine shrimp and spirulina flakes. I feed them twice a day, and they seem to be thriving on this diet. Remember to observe your fish closely and adjust their diet as needed to ensure they remain healthy and happy.

Common Diseases


Denison barbs are generally hardy fish, but they are still susceptible to various diseases. Some of the most common diseases that can affect Denison barbs include ich, fin rot, and dropsy.


Ich is a parasitic disease that causes white spots on the fish’s body and fins. Fin rot is a bacterial infection that causes the fins to become frayed and discolored.

Dropsy is a condition that causes the fish to become bloated and swollen, and the scales may stick out.


If your Denison barb is showing signs of any of these diseases, it’s important to act quickly to prevent the disease from spreading to other fish in the tank.

Treatments for these diseases include using anti-parasitic or anti-bacterial medications, as well as increasing the water temperature or adding salt to the tank.


The best way to prevent diseases in your Denison barbs is to maintain a clean and healthy environment. This includes regular water changes, keeping the tank clean, and avoiding overcrowding.

It’s also important to quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank to prevent the spread of diseases.

I personally had to deal with ich in my Denison barb tank, and it was not a fun experience. I noticed small white spots on my fish, and I immediately began treatment with an anti-parasitic medication. I also increased the water temperature and added salt to the tank.

Thankfully, the treatment was successful, and my fish made a full recovery. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping your Denison barbs healthy and disease-free.

Signs of a Healthy Denison Barbs

When it comes to keeping a Denison barb, it is crucial to know the signs of a healthy fish. Here are some things to look out for:

  1. Active Swimming: A healthy Denison barb will swim around actively and energetically. It will explore its surroundings, and its movements will appear smooth and effortless.
  2. Clear Eyes: The eyes of a healthy Denison barb will be clear and bright, without any signs of cloudiness or discoloration. If the eyes appear dull or sunken, it could be a sign of illness.
  3. Vibrant Coloration: Denison barbs have striking coloration, and a healthy fish will display bright and vibrant colors. If the colors appear faded or dull, it could be a sign of stress or illness.
  4. Healthy Fins: The fins of a healthy Denison barb will be intact and undamaged. If the fins are torn or frayed, it could be a sign of aggression from tank mates or poor water conditions.
  5. Normal Breathing: A healthy Denison barb will breathe normally, without any signs of gasping or rapid breathing. If the fish appears to be struggling to breathe, it could be a sign of poor water quality or a respiratory infection.

Personal Anecdote: When I first started keeping Denison barbs, I was not aware of the signs of a healthy fish. I ended up purchasing a fish that appeared lethargic and had dull coloration. It turned out that the fish was sick, and it ended up passing away shortly after I brought it home.

Since then, I have made it a priority to carefully observe the fish before making a purchase and to ensure that they display the signs of a healthy fish.

Signs Your Denison Barb is Sick

If you’re a Denison Barb owner, it’s essential to keep an eye out for signs that your fish is sick. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:

  1. Loss of appetite: If your Denison Barb is not eating as much as usual, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
  2. Abnormal swimming behavior: If your fish is swimming erratically or struggling to swim, it could be a sign of illness.
  3. Changes in color: If your Denison Barb’s color looks dull or faded, it could be a sign of stress or illness.
  4. Visible injuries or lesions: If you notice any cuts, sores, or other injuries on your fish, it could be a sign of infection or disease.
  5. Gasping for air: If your fish is gasping at the surface of the water, it could be a sign of poor water quality or a respiratory issue.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action quickly. A sick fish can quickly deteriorate and infect other fish in your tank.

Personally, I had a Denison Barb that stopped eating and became lethargic. I immediately tested my water parameters and found that the ammonia levels were high. I performed a water change and added some beneficial bacteria to my tank.

After a few days, my Denison Barb started to eat again and swim normally. It’s crucial to monitor your water quality and perform regular maintenance to ensure your fish stay healthy.


Breeding Setup

Before breeding Denison barbs, you need to set up a breeding tank. The breeding tank should be at least 20 gallons with a sponge filter and a heater set to 78-80°F.

The substrate should be smooth and small enough to allow the eggs to fall through. Provide plenty of hiding places, such as plants and caves, for the fish to lay their eggs.

How To Breed

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To breed Denison barbs, you need to introduce a male and female into the breeding tank. The male will chase the female around the tank, and they will spawn in the plants or on the substrate.

After spawning, remove the adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.


After spawning, the eggs will hatch in 24-48 hours. The fry will become free-swimming after 3-4 days and can be fed infusoria or liquid fry food.

As they grow, you can feed them microworms, baby brine shrimp, and crushed flakes. Keep the water clean by doing frequent water changes and removing uneaten food.

I have found that breeding Denison barbs can be a rewarding experience. Watching the male and female interact and seeing the eggs hatch into fry is truly amazing.

Just remember to set up the breeding tank correctly and provide the fry with the proper care they need to grow into healthy adult fish.

Product recommendations for Crystal Red Shrimp:

  1. GlasGarten Bacter AE – This is a high-quality shrimp food that is perfect for Crystal Red Shrimp. It contains all the essential nutrients that your shrimp need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. API Aquarium Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  3. Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp Mineral GH+ – This is a mineral supplement designed specifically for Crystal Red Shrimp. It provides the essential minerals and trace elements that your shrimp need to thrive.
  4. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – If you plan on keeping live plants in your aquarium, this substrate is a great choice. It provides the nutrients that plants need to thrive, and also helps to maintain a stable pH.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter – This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  6. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Crystal Red Shrimp healthy.
  7. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter – This is a small and efficient filter that is perfect for smaller aquariums housing Crystal Red Shrimp. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.
  8. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Crystal Red Shrimp. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.
  9. Marimo Moss Balls – These are a great addition to any shrimp tank, including one housing Crystal Red Shrimp. They provide a natural habitat for shrimp and help to maintain water quality.


Now that you have read this guide, you should feel confident in your ability to care for your Denison Barb. Remember to keep their tank clean and well-maintained, feed them a varied diet, and provide them with plenty of hiding places and swimming space.

One thing I have learned from my own experience with Denison Barbs is that they are incredibly active and playful fish. I remember watching mine dart around the tank and playfully chase each other, and it always brought a smile to my face. If you give your Denison Barbs the care and attention they need, they will reward you with their lively and entertaining personalities.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about Denison Barb care. With the information in this guide, you can provide your fish with a happy and healthy home.


If you’re considering getting a Denison Barb, you probably have some questions about their care. Here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: What should I feed my Denison Barb?

A: Denison Barbs are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods, and vegetables. I personally feed my Denison Barb a mix of high-quality flakes and frozen brine shrimp, which they seem to love.

Q: How often should I feed my Denison Barb?

A: You should feed your Denison Barb small amounts twice a day. Overfeeding can lead to health problems and a dirty tank.

Q: What is the ideal water temperature for Denison Barbs?

A: Denison Barbs prefer water temperatures between 72-79°F (22-26°C). Make sure to keep the water temperature consistent.

Q: How big of a tank do I need for Denison Barbs?

A: Denison Barbs are active swimmers and require plenty of space. A minimum of a 55-gallon tank is recommended for a school of 6-8 Denison Barbs.

Q: Can Denison Barbs live with other fish?

A: Yes, Denison Barbs are generally peaceful and can live with other non-aggressive fish of similar size. However, they may nip at the fins of slow-moving fish like angelfish or guppies.

Q: Are Denison Barbs difficult to care for?

A: Denison Barbs are hardy fish and not difficult to care for as long as you maintain good water quality and provide a suitable environment. They are active and social fish that require a school, so make sure to keep them in groups of 6 or more.

Overall, Denison Barbs are beautiful and fascinating fish that can make a great addition to your aquarium. With proper care and attention, they can live for several years and provide you with hours of entertainment.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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