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Gold Barb

By | Last Updated: 22nd March 2021

Gold barb is the captive variant of the Chinese barb indigenous to Southeast Asia’s Red River basin. Though the Chinese barb is green, this variety has a golden coloration as its name suggests, being a sought-after pick in the aquarium trade. Its peaceful behavior in captivity is a complete contrast to its increased prey drive in the wild, another reason thus for being a popular pet choice.

Gold Barb Fish

Quick Information

Scientific NamePuntius semifasciolatus (Barbodes semifasciolatus: Scientific Name of the fish in wild)
Other NamesSchubert’s barb, green barb, half-stripes barb, six-banded banded barb, half banded barb
OriginSoutheast Asia (around Red River basin)
TypeFreshwater fish
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (by the IUCN)
Behavioral CharacteristicsHardy, friendly, peaceful
School Size5 – 6 (however, they often enter into a tiff with each other regarding their pecking order.)
Physical TraitsHighly arched back, short barbell near their mouth corners and upper jaws, and vertical blotches or bars to the side of their body
ColorsGolden body; reddish-brown back; metallic or yellowish-green sides; whitish belly transforming to orange-red in the male fish during mating
Size (How big do they get)About 3,5 cm (1.4 inches) though some may grow to 7 cm (2.8 inches)
WeightNot recorded
Lifespan4 – 6 years
Sexual DimorphismThe females are larger and duller with a more rounded belly
Probable Diseases White spot, fungal, and bacterial infections `
Approximate Price (How much is it for)$2 – 5
Gold Barb Fish Picture
Golden Barbs Tropical Fish

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care LevelEasy
Tank Size20 gallons (76 liters)

Water Parameters

pH Level6.0 – 8.0
Temperature64° to 75° F (18 to 24°C)
Aquarium  Water FlowModerate

Tank Ambience

Lighting Dim or subdued
Substrate TypeDriftwood, plants and several decors for prospective hiding spots
Tank MatesCompatible with: Tetra, small barbs like tiger barb, danios, gouramis
Incompatible with: Bettas, angelfish, sailfin mollies,and other long-finned fish They should even not coexist with shrimps like cherry shrimp since they feed on them
Suitable Position in the TankMiddle or bottom


DietLive foods like worms, and brine shrimp; pellet; flakes; fresh vegetables
Frequency 2 -3 times
Green Barb
Schubert’s Barb

Important Things to Know for Fish Keepers

  • One good thing about them is that they would do great in a community tank and not display aggression towards their tank mates. It is not advisable to keep the gold barb with fish having long and flowing fins because of their fin-nipping tendency.


Q. What is the difference between the gold barb and cherry barb?

The cherry barbs have a bright red body against the golden color of the gold barb. They are even smaller than the latter. One of the most significant differences is that they don’t school and remain singly, unlike the gold barb.

Q. Who bred the gold barb?

Thomas Schubert, a hobbyist, developed this fish species during the 1960s through selective breeding.

Q. What are the different color variations of the gold barb?

The albino variant was developed in the United States during the 1970s by Dennis Wilcox. The pink variants appeared in the 1990s, while the tri-color ones, a combination pink, orange, and black, have been recently found.

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