Arulius Barb (Puntius arulius): Ultimate Care Guide

Common NameArulius Barb
Scientific NamePuntius Arulius
Temperature75F – 80F
Water Parameters6.0 – 7.4 pH
Adult Sizeup to 5 inches

Arulius Barbs can be found in the Thamirabarani River Basin in Southeast India where the waters are naturally tinted red from copper. They are often referred to as the Cherry Barb for their coloration that helps them blend into their environment. In the home aquarium this same reddish coloration provides an eye catching pop of color.

Arulius Barbs have a wider body that tapers down at the tail in a similar way to carp. They have 2 distinctive black markings on their sides. Due to their active and peaceful nature, they make for a great addition to a community tank setup.

Arulius Barb (Puntius arulius)
Arulius Barb (Puntius arulius). Edited. AravindManoj, CC BY-SA 4.0

How to Care for Arulius Barbs

Arulius Barbs are considered easy to care for due to their hardy nature and their ability to readily accept different foods. They are also easy to incorporate into a community tank setup.

Temperature for Arulius Barb

Arulius Barbs prefer their water parameters to remain in a range of 75F to 80F. It is important to invest in a quality heater to ensure that their water parameters remain at this warmer temperature.

Water pH for Arulius Barb

Arulius Barbs prefer their water pH to stay in the slightly acidic range of 6.0 to 7.4 pH as this mimics the waters of their natural environment.

Arulius Barb Size

At full maturity, Arulius Barbs can grow up to 5 inches in length. There are some owners of Arulius Barb that have reported their fish not quite reaching this length, or growing longer. This seems to be dependent on each individual fish.

Food & Diet for Arulius Barb

Both in their natural environment and in the home aquarium, Arulius Barbs are omnivorous and hardy feeders. They will readily accept high quality flaked, pelleted, or frozen foods. It is recommended that they receive a varied diet, and that they are fed two meals per day. This will keep them both full and busy.

Arulius Barb Lifespan

When properly cared for, Arulius Barbs can live from 4 to 6 years.

Tank Size for Arulius Barb

Arulius Barbs occupy the middle of the water column, and it is for this reason a tank that is longer is recommended over a tank that is tall. A tank should be a minimum of 40 gallons to house Arulius Barb. Even though these fish are not particularly large, they are shoaling fish. The more room you have available, the more Arulius Barbs you can keep.

Tank Setup for Arulius Barb

Arulius Barbs are happiest when they are kept in an aquarium with plenty of space for them to explore and a few places to hide. They are able to tolerate a wider range of water parameters as long as the water is kept clean. Some owners of Arulius Barbs suggest a few small caves or places for them to hide and destress. Having these places set around your tank seems to also bring out a much richer coloration of the fish.

Breeding Arulius Barb

Breeding Arulius Barbs in the home aquarium is quite easy. They can be bred in a group or as an individual breeding pair. It is important for the safety of the fry that the parent fish are placed in a separate tank that is set up for breeding Arulius Barb fry.

Arulius Barbs are an egg laying species of fish that prefer to lay their sticky eggs on the leaves of plants. When the female is ready she chooses where to lay her eggs, and the male will come and fertilize them. Once the parents are done with spawning, they should be removed from the breeding tank as they will seek out and eat their own fry.

How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Arulius Barb

It is much easier to tell the difference between male and female Arulius Barbs when they have reached full maturity. Once they are mature, male Arulius Barbs will display a much richer coloration than their female counterparts. The females at full maturity are more rounded than the males. This is due to them being full of eggs. They become slightly more rounded during spawning time.

Common Diseases of Arulius Barb

Arulius Barbs are susceptible to many of the same diseases as other freshwater fish. They can become infected by parasitic, fungal, and bacterial infections. These conditions are more commonly brought on by stress to fish that are not properly being cared for. If they are not receiving the proper diet, living in the proper water parameters, or housed in a large enough habitat then they will become sick.

You can tell if you have a sick fish by observing its behavior. If it seems listless, doesn’t have an appetite, or hides all the time, then you may have an unhealthy fish in your aquarium. If you suspect a fish is sick, the best course of action is to quarantine that fish and provide treatment. It is important to quarantine any new additions to your home aquarium before they are introduced. This will ensure that you are not introducing disease to your fish or plants.

Tank Mates for Arulius Barb

Arulius Barbs are great tank mates for fish that are not small enough for them to eat. Examples of fish that are great tank mates are some Danios as well as Corydoras that share the same or similar water parameters and needs. Arulius Barbs are a shoaling species. This means that they prefer to live together in a group. The more Arulius Barbs you keep together, the less aggressive they are towards other fish in your community setup.

Where Can I Find Arulius Barb For Sale?

If you are looking to purchase Aurilus Barb for your home aquarium, you will be able to find them for sale at pet stores and online for around $20 per fish.