Pool barb Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The pool barb is a schooling fish that is native to the island of Sri Lanka. They are a peaceful fish that is well suited for community tanks. They are an omnivorous species that will eat a variety of foods.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about pool barb care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Pool barbs (Capoeta tinca) are a type of freshwater fish that is native to the Balkans and parts of Greece. They can be found in rivers and streams with a moderate current and a gravel or sandy bottom.

They are a very peaceful fish that does well in community tanks. They are omnivores and will eat a variety of food, including plants.

Pool barbs are a popular choice for aquariums because they are very hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. They are also very easy to care for, making them a good choice for beginner fishkeepers.


Pool barb

The pool barb is a small but stunning freshwater fish. These fish are a beautiful golden color with black stripes running down their body. The black stripes start at the base of the pool barb’s head and get thicker as they go down the body.

The pool barb’s fins are all black except for the very tips which are a pale yellow. The dorsal fin is black and starts about halfway down the body. The anal fin is also black and starts just before the caudal fin. The caudal fin is forked and has a black base with a yellow tip.

The pool barb’s body is long and thin with a slightly flattened belly. The mouth of the pool barb is small and pointing downwards. The eyes of the pool barb are large and golden.


The lifespan of a pool barb is about 5 years. This can change based on a number of factors, but 5 years is about average.

One thing that can impact the lifespan of a pool barb is the level of care they receive. If they’re kept in subpar conditions, they likely won’t live as long as those that are kept in ideal conditions.

Another factor that can play a role is whether or not the fish has reproduced. The act of reproduction can take a toll on the fish and can shorten their lifespan.


The maximum size of a Pool barb is about 4 inches in length when fully grown. It’s not uncommon for these fish to stop growing at 3 inches depending on their level of care and genetic factors.


Tank Size

The minimum tank size for a pool barb is 10 gallons. If you plan on keeping more than one barb, you should add an additional 5 gallons of tank space for each fish.

Pool barbs are a peaceful species of fish, but they can be nippy if they’re kept in too small of a space. They’re also a schooling fish, so we recommend keeping them in groups of at least 4 or 5 fish.

Water Parameters

Pool barbs are a tropical fish that come from slow-moving streams and rivers in South Asia. In the wild, they’re accustomed to warm water with a neutral pH.

To replicate these water conditions in your home aquarium, aim for the following parameters.

  • Water temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.8 to 7.6
  • Water hardness: 5 to 19 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 3-10 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Pool barbs are a schooling fish, which means they do best when kept in groups. A good rule of thumb is to have at least six of them in a tank. This number will help reduce stress levels and make them feel more comfortable overall.

When it comes to decorating the inside of their tank there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The first is that these fish like to have a lot of hiding spots. This can be in the form of caves, plants, driftwood, or anything else that will provide them with some security.

The second is that they are known to be a bit of a messy eater. This means you’ll want to avoid having anything in their tank that can easily be fouled (like live plants).

A good substrate to use is sand. This will help reduce the chances of them stirring up too much debris and make the tank look nicer overall.

As for plants, we recommend avoiding anything that’s too delicate. Java Fern, Hornwort, and Anubias are all tough enough to handle a little abuse and look great too!

Common Diseases

Pool barbs are a pretty hearty fish, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. The most common disease that affects this species is ich.

Ich is a very common parasite that can become quite serious if it’s not dealt with. The most obvious sign of this disease is the series of white spots that will begin to cover the body of your fish.

There are plenty of other potential diseases that can affect this species as well, but they’re not as common.

Another thing to look out for is infection from cuts. The most common cause of this is keeping your Pool barb in a tank with a rough substrate (or aggressive species that want to fight).

In general, the best way to prevent these fish from getting sick is to maintain the quality of the water in their tank. A tank with clean and stable water conditions always leads to healthier fish who are more resistant to disease.

Behavior & Temperament

Pool barbs are peaceful fish that do well in groups. They are active swimmers and love to explore their environment. They are also known to be very curious, so don’t be surprised if they come up to the glass to check you out!

Although they are peaceful fish, they can be a bit nippy. They may nibble on the fins of other fish, so it’s best to keep them with fish that have similar body shapes. This way, they are less likely to mistake another fish for food.

Pool barbs are also known to be jumpers, so it’s important to have a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium.

Tank Mates

The pool barb is a schooling fish, so it does best when kept in groups of at least six. They’re also peaceful fish that get along well with other species.

When choosing tank mates for pool barbs, look for other peaceful species that prefer similar water conditions. These fish are native to Southeast Asia, so species from that region are often a good choice.

Some compatible tank mates for pool barbs include:


Pool barbs are not the easiest fish to breed in captivity. They are very picky about their spawning environment and often eat their own eggs. If you’re patient and persistent, however, it can be done.

The first step is to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 30 gallons and have a lot of hiding places. Driftwood and caves are a good idea.

Pool barbs are also very sensitive to water quality. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0, and the hardness should be between 5 and 10 dGH.

When the tank is ready, add two females for every male. The males will be the larger fish with more colorful fins.

The next step is to trigger spawning. The easiest way to do that is to do a large water change. Replace about 50 percent of the water in the tank.

If everything goes according to plan, the females will start to lay their eggs on the plants and decorations in the tank. The males will then fertilize them.

Once the eggs are fertilized, the males will guard them. Unfortunately, they’re not the best at it. Pool barbs are known for eating their own eggs.

To increase the chances of survival, it’s best to remove the adults from the tank once the eggs are laid.

The eggs will hatch in about a week. At that point, you can start feeding the fry brine shrimp and other small live foods.


The pool barb is a great fish for those who want to add a little bit of excitement to their tank.

This fish is not for the faint of heart, as they can be quite aggressive. However, they are also very beautiful and can add a lot of personality to your tank.

If you’re looking for a fish that is a little bit different, the pool barb is a great choice. Just be sure to do your research and be prepared for their feisty nature!