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

Updated: November 12, 2022

The swamp barb is a peaceful and hardy freshwater fish that does well in a community tank.

This species is native to Southeast Asia and can be found in slow-moving rivers and streams.

They’re a relatively new species to the aquarium trade, but they’re becoming more popular due to their easy care and peaceful nature.

If you’re thinking about getting a swamp barb, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about their care.

Species overview

The swamp barb (Capoeta damascina) is a species of freshwater fish that is native to the Levant region of the Middle East. This includes parts of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.

They can be found in a wide range of habitats but prefer slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation. This could be anything from a swamp to a river with a lot of plants growing along the banks.

Swamp barbs are omnivorous and will eat a wide variety of food. This includes plants, insects, and small crustaceans.

These fish are a popular choice for aquariums because of their hardiness and peaceful nature. They are also relatively easy to care for, which makes them a good choice for beginners.


Swamp barb

The Swamp barb is a very unique and colorful fish that is sure to stand out in any aquarium. These fish have a long and slender body that is olive green in color.

The olive green color is broken up by two black stripes that run vertically down the length of the fish. The first stripe starts behind the gill plate and ends just before the start of the tail fin.

The second stripe starts at the base of the tail fin and runs to the very tip of the tail.

Both of these stripes are bordered by a thin line of white. In addition to these stripes, the Swamp barb also has a black spot on their dorsal fin.

The fins on this fish are also olive green in color. The dorsal fin is tall and thin, and the anal fin is shorter and slightly wider. The caudal fin is forked and the pectoral fins are relatively small.


Swamp barbs have a lifespan of around 3 years. However, this can be greatly impacted by the conditions they’re kept in.

In general, these fish are pretty hardy. They can tolerate a wide range of water conditions and aren’t too picky about their diet. However, if they’re kept in poor conditions then their lifespan will be reduced.


Swamp barbs can grow to be about 2.5 inches in length. However, they are typically closer to 2 inches in length when they are fully grown.


Tank Size

The recommended minimum tank size for a Swamp barb is 15 gallons. If you plan on keeping more than one fish, you should add at least 10 gallons for each additional fish.

Water Parameters

The swamp barb is a tropical freshwater fish that is native to South East Asia. In the wild, they are found in slow-moving streams, canals, and swamps with plenty of vegetation.

Swamp barbs are a schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least six. They are peaceful fish and do well with other community fish that have similar care requirements.

The water parameters for swamp barbs are as follows:

  • Water temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Water hardness: 2 to 12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

For the most part, these fish are going to be found in the middle or upper levels of the water column.

You’ll want to provide them with plenty of space to swim around since they’re such active fish. A good rule of thumb is at least 10 gallons per fish.

The substrate in their tank can be any size since they’re not a bottom-dwelling species. Just make sure it’s not too big since these fish like to sift through it looking for food.

When it comes to plants, you can use either live or fake ones. It’s really up to you (just make sure the plants are safe for fish if you go the live route).

We recommend using some floating plants to diffuse the light a bit and provide these fish with some hiding places.

As for other decorations, just about anything goes. These fish aren’t too picky and will appreciate any cover you can provide them.

Common Diseases

The swamp barb is a robust and hardy fish, so diseases are not common. However, like all animals, they can fall ill if they are kept in poor conditions or if they are unlucky.

The most common disease that these fish experience is bacterial infections. This is usually the result of poor water quality and can cause a wide range of symptoms.

These include: lethargy, loss of appetite, redness/inflamation, and white spots on the body. If you notice any of these symptoms in your fish, it’s important to take action immediately.

The best way to prevent disease is to maintain clean and stable water conditions in your tank. This will keep your fish healthy and reduce the chance of them getting sick.

Behavior & Temperament

The swamp barb is a schooling fish, so it’s important to keep them in groups. They are peaceful by nature and get along with other fish that have a similar temperament.

The swamp barb is a bottom-dweller, so it spends most of its time near the substrate. It’s an active fish, so you’ll often see it swimming around the tank. When it’s not swimming, it’s likely resting or eating.

These fish are not territorial and do not defend their space. They are not aggressive, but they can be nippy. They may nip at the fins of other fish, so it’s best to keep them with fish that have similar body shapes.

Tank Mates

There are a few things to consider when choosing swamp barb tank mates.

First, these fish come from slow-moving waters in Southeast Asia. This means they’re accustomed to warm water with little to no current.

As a result, you’ll need to find other fish that can thrive in similar conditions.

Second, swamp barbs are peaceful fish. They’re not aggressive and can get along with most other species.

Finally, these fish occupy the middle to bottom of the water column. Because they don’t venture throughout the entire tank, you can easily add tank mates that stick to their own lane.

Other docile fish species are best for creating a community tank. Some good swamp barb tank mates include:

  • Platy Fish
  • Guppies
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Endler’s Live Bearers
  • Pygmy Cories
  • Swordtails
  • Snails


The swamp barb is a peaceful species that is easy to care for in the home aquarium. They are a great addition to any community tank.

Swamp barbs are not difficult to breed. However, there are a few things you need to do to ensure success.

First, you need to set up a breeding tank. It should hold at least 20 gallons of water. The water should be soft and acidic, with a pH of 6.5. You can add some peat moss to the tank to lower the pH.

The temperature should be between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, you need to add some plants to the tank. Live plants are best, but you can also use fake plants. Just make sure there are plenty of hiding places for the fish.

When everything is ready, add two males and three females to the tank. The males will compete for the attention of the females, but there shouldn’t be any aggression.

The females will lay their eggs in the plants. The males will fertilize them. Once the eggs are fertilized, the parents will eat them. So, it’s important to remove the adults from the tank once the eggs are laid.

You can put the eggs in a separate tank or hatch them in a breeding net. If you hatch them in a separate tank, you need to add a sponge filter. The fry will be very small, so the sponge filter will prevent them from being sucked into the filter.

The fry will hatch in about four days. They will be able to feed on microscopic organisms in the water. You can supplement their diet with baby brine shrimp or other live foods.

As they grow, you can start to feed them crushed flake food.


The Swamp Barb is a great fish for the beginner fish keeper. They are easy to care for and are very hardy. They are also very peaceful fish and get along well with other community fish.

The only downside to this fish is that they can be a little bit nippy. But, if you keep an eye on them and provide them with plenty of hiding places, they should be fine.

Other than that, we think the Swamp Barb is a great fish for anyone looking for a low-maintenance pet.