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Golden Dwarf Barb Overview, Diet, Breeding & More

Featured Image by Aquarium.Directory

Are you managing your nano and planted aquarium? In such a small tank, you will want to manage friendly creatures which can entertain and welcome you all the time. From the dwarf shrimps to the little gouramis, everything would be perfect if you add the beautiful combinations to your planted aquarium.

Pethia gelius, or the golden dwarf barb, is so tiny that it can trigger all the “aww” moments for the viewers.

Species Overview

Level of CareEasy
TemperamentPeaceful and friendly
AppearanceYellow-gold with black stripes in the middle
Life expectancyAround four to six years
Size4.5cm (1.8”)
Tank Size20-gallon
Tank EnvironmentIt can survive in a wide range of water parameters with floating plants.
Tank MatesGuppies, danios, tetras, etc

If you want to add small species to your tank, you can’t go wrong with the golden dwarf barb buddies.

It is an excellent addition or focal point of your nano or planted aquarium. The small barb species is not only popular because of its fun small size, but also its unique character of the faded black stripping.

The fish is so lightweight and tends to be smaller than other barb species. The good thing about this species is that you can pair it with any friendly species that you can find in the same water conditions. The peaceful fish will make such beautiful gestures every moment for sure.

This tiny creature usually explores the top and middle part of the aquarium water. However, it does not mean that they can’t find their moments in the middle or the bottom of the tank.

When they see food or other interesting stuff, they will explore it without a doubt. And it is always refreshing to see the particular fish moving around from one corner to another, top to bottom, and side to another. It is a pretty peaceful small fish so its existence won’t bother the other dwellers.

You can even tag along with the dwarf shrimps to the ecosystem. However, when you add the shrimp fry to the tank, this buddy might be tempted to eat them.

The golden dwarf barb is not a solo player. So, if you put a single fish in the tank, it will feel alone and not motivated. The fish needs friends. Usually, it will survive with a group of six or more fish. But that’s the only minimum number. You can add more fish so that they have larger groups.

According to the planted aquarium experts, the larger groups of the dwarf barb can be much better.

In the wild, the catchers often find this fun creature in the clean and slow-moving water. Therefore, the aquarium condition must replicate the real habitat of the fish so that they can thrive with their group for a long time. Let’s see the full guide for taking care of the fish here.

These are listed as Least Concern species according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2010.


Gold barbs, sometimes known as Schubert barbs, are bright yellow-gold freshwater fish.

It is an olive-green variety of Chinese barb. It is a very popular variation creature in many countries across the world.

They are very attractive, fun, and entertaining. They are great choices for beginner to intermediate aquarists since they can be simpler and easier to treat the fish well.

The coloration of the fish is the top star that can make it distinct in the tank. They are friendly so you can tag them with other friendly fish in the tank.

Tank Setup

  • Temperature: 65 – 75° F (18°-24° C)
  • pH: 6.0 – 7.0
  • KH: 3 – 12 dKH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons for a group of 6 or more.

As mentioned back in the intro paragraph, the group of golden dwarf barb needs clean water. The tropical freshwater with plenty of live plants can be a great environment for them.

The temperature should be quieter. And since it is a schooling fish, you must add at least six of them to your planted aquarium. But if you have a slightly larger size of the tank, you could add more specimens to make it better for the “group morale”.

It is best to replicate the conditions of its natural habitat which is usually identical to the slow water flow and high oxygen. The fish have a pretty high metabolism. They will need a huge flow of oxygen to thrive.

The golden dwarf barb needs clean water so that it can display its full coloration. It is also an important condition for their health and wellness.

The floating plants and bottom plants can be the best companions for them. That’s why this fish is a great choice for the planted small-sized aquarium.

It is not that picky about the water requirements. It can thrive in normal ranges of water temperatures.

The tank must be at least 20 gallons for a group of six or more fish. The maximum hardness of the water would be 10dGH.

Since they are adaptable to various temperatures of the tank, you will not need to install a water heater in your tank. In many cases, the small barbs can live in unheated tanks without complaining. It is also a great idea to save the cost of electricity since there is no heater needed to maintain the environment for this buddy.

If you intend to breed them, a heater may be required, since they will need to be kept at a temperature range that is higher than normal (usually around 80°).

In terms of tank setup, you should strive to replicate the conditions seen in their original habitat to acclimate them to their new environment.

Gold barbs should be kept in a tank with lots of open room for swimming, as they are energetic, schooling fish.

Additionally, plants should be supplied with driftwood and other decorations that function as hiding places.

By creating a current in the tank, they will experience the sense of free-flowing rivers and streams in their native habitat.

The substrate should be fine grain, and I strongly recommend choosing deeper hues to match the gold coloration of your gold barb fish.

Many experts stated that the golden dwarf barb is delicate. But they will be awesome as long as you maintain good water conditions for them.

Golden Dwarf BarbTank Mates

These barbs are friendly with others. You can set up an awesome tropical aquarium palace with friendly tank mates as well.

Since it is peaceful and friendly, it is prone to aggressive tank mates. Avoid the big fish which can bully your barbs.

There are some potential tank mates that you can consider such as:

You could also consider adding small invertebrates because they tend to be less aggressive, although they are not too friendly.

Food & Diet

You’ll be glad to add the golden dwarf barb to your tank. It is not a picky eater. It will live longer and make such great coloration with common carnivorous diets.

You can add anything from the bloodworms, pellets, live artemia, frozen foods, and so on.

These barbs are categorized as freshwater fish. Although it is not a problem to keep feeding them the same foods. You must stop it when it reaches 3 days straight. To stay at peak conditions, your schooling barbs must eat various foods.

If you feed them well, they will surely have great colorations. But appearance is only the tip of the iceberg. They will improve their overall health and agility.

If you notice that your fish move smoothly, you can rest assured that they will live much longer. Shrimp fry is one of their foods. So, if you pet shrimp, don’t mix the fry with them. In most cases, they will ignore the adult shrimp since they tend to look for smaller live foods.

Don’t let its tiny size fools you. You’ve probably known what they said about these fantastic fish. They are also called a micro predator. Well, the reason is obvious. They feed on small prey like insects, worms, and plankton.

You could balance between the live foods and dried or frozen foods for your micro-barb buddy.

They can occasionally eat dried foods of suitable size. So, if you think these dried foods are too big for them, you could help them by cutting the food items into chunks according to their scale.

Artemia is one of their favorites.

But to make the best coloration, you could consider feeding them the granules and flakes.

Breeding Guidelines

They scatter their eggs throughout the tank’s surface.

If necessary, they will consume their own eggs. Therefore, it could be risky to mix eggs with the other populations.

If you want the eggs to hatch, you may need to set up a separate breeding tank.

Breeding Tank Setup

In your breeding tank, you may employ either genuine or artificial plants.

Add more objects in the bottom so that the eggs can be synced and concealed well, preventing the adult fish from consuming them.

Differentiate the Sex

Add one pair of gold barbs to your breeding tank. Males have brighter colors and pink or red bellies during mating.

Females are bigger and rounder than males. Barbs spawn in the morning and must be removed.

Begin Preparing for the Babies Early

This implies you’ll be doing a lot of babysitting. Breeding requires a lot of attention and patience.

Don’t breed if you aren’t prepared to care for every baby that survives.

Prepare to look after 150 youngsters. One should be meticulous in monitoring all the babies.

Preparation is the key to a successful safe hatch.