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A Reasonably Peaceful Little Fish 
Black Ruby
Barb Fact Sheet

 
The "Black Ruby Barb", "Puntius nigrofasciatus", is a hardy fish suitable for a community aquarium as long as care is exercised in the selection of the other fish.
Other common names for fish are "Purple Headed Barb" and Ruby Barb". Another Scientific name that has been used is Barbus nigrofasciatus.
The Black Ruby Barb comes from Sri Lanka. It grows to about two and a half inches (7 cm) long.
 
Water Conditions
 
The Black Ruby Barb prefers reasonably soft, slightly acidic water. It will still be fairly comfortable with neutral water (pH 7). Its ideal temperature range is 21-26oC (70-79oF). It will take a little higher for short periods.
In the wild, it schools in slow flowing streams and rivers with abundant vegetation. Their plants should be very well planted with some free space for swimming.
The Black Ruby Barb does not like dirty water with a lot of fish wastes and regular partial water changes are a good idea. It is also one of the fish more susceptible to "Ich" (White Spot). You need to watch out for this disease and be ready to treat for it.
 
Food
 
The Black Ruby Barb is an omnivore. It will eat any normal fish food, but live food is preferred and if possible some mosquito larvae, blood worms, Daphnia or other suitable sized live food should be given.  Frozen Blood worms are also good and may be easier to obtain and store than live food.
 
Companions

 
Black Ruby Barbs are schooling fish and should be kept in schools of at least six fish. Although not the most aggressive fish kept in aquaria, they can nip the fins of slow moving fish. I would avoid putting it with long finned fish like Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies and Endlers Guppies.
Some suitable companions for a school of Black Ruby Barbs are Gold Barbs, PristellaTetras, Rummy Nose Tetras , Harlequin Rasboras, Scissortail Rasboras, Lemon Tetras , Black Widow Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Swordtails, Platies, Zebra Danios, Glowlight Tetras and White Cloud Mountain Minnows as well as the Corydoras catfish like the Peppered Catfish.
I would not recommend them as companions for Mollies, Cherry Barbs, Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras. The reason I do not recommend them for aquariums with Mollies is the big differences in water requirements.
Also avoid large and predatory fish with Black Ruby Barbs.
 
Breeding
 
The Male Black Ruby Barb changes color when it is ready to breed.  In this state, it becomes clear why it is called things like the Purple Headed Barb. The males get an intense red- black color and tend to be a bit bigger than the females. The females are a little plumper than the males.
The Black Ruby Barb is an egg scatterer, and lays its eggs over plants, preferably fine leaved ones.  The water for spawning should be soft and moderately acidic with a temperature of about 27 C (80 F). Typically they will spawn first thing in the morning.
About 400 eggs per female should be laid.  By using marbles on the bottom of the tank, most of the eggs should fall out of reach of the parents.  As with many fish, Black Ruby Barbs eat their own eggs and babies. It is usual to remove the parents after spawning.
 
Baby Care
 
Keep the eggs dark until they hatch. The eggs hatch in about one day, and are free swimming after about a week.
The babies will eat protozoa (infusoria) at first and this can be supplemented with the finest fry foods. As they grow, the babies can be fed bigger fry food and will be helped to grow by suitable sized live food like screened daphnia.
 
Pest Fish
 
As with all captive fish, do not allow them to get out into ecosystems they are not native to.
 
Sources

 
I am grateful to Brooklands.Co.Nz, MungaBay.com, Central Pets.com and The Tropical Tank for information about the Black Ruby Barb.
 
Steve Challis
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Black Ruby Barb

 
By Photo by and (c)2004 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons