There are many types of barb fish out there that you can buy for your fish tank. Cherry barbs are one of the most popular types.
If you love keeping these fish in your aquarium, you might want to get more. Instead of buying more cherry barbs, perhaps you’d like to try your hand at breeding them.
Is breeding cherry barbs an easy process? Or is it something that most amateurs should avoid?
Read on to learn about breeding cherry barbs. This guide will tell you what you need to do to find success, and you’ll also receive other important pieces of information.
Are Cherry Barbs Live Bearing?
No, cherry barbs are not live-bearing fish. So these aren’t fish that get pregnant.
There are many types of live-bearing fish out there, but these aren’t one of them. Some people mistakenly think that cherry barbs are live-bearing fish because of how the females look when they’re getting ready to mate.
Female cherry barbs have rather round bellies to begin with. This is one of the ways that you can easily tell them apart from males.
They also lack the same coloration as the males. Males are red, while females have a sort of white coloration with a green tint.
When a female is getting ready to mate, it’ll have a swollen belly that is larger than usual. This is because it’s carrying eggs, and you’ll learn more about this next.
Do They Lay Eggs?
Yes, cherry barbs are known as prolific egg-laying fish. They lay many eggs at once.
Cherry barbs reproduce by having the female produce eggs. These eggs are fertilized by the male, and the female fish places the eggs all over in different spots.
What Do the Eggs Look Like?
Cherry barb eggs are small and round. They should be singular eggs.
The way that these fish lay eggs is different from what you might be used to. A cherry barb doesn’t lay its eggs all in one spot.
They like to scatter the eggs and put them all around the tank. The female fish will place some eggs by some plants and others in the substrate.
You might have eggs in spots where you won’t even realize simply because of how they scatter them. This is the behavior that they exhibit in the wild.
It’s speculated that cherry barbs do this to give the eggs a chance of survival. Some of them may be discovered and eaten, but others might survive.
Cherry Barb Spawning Behavior
Spawning behavior is pretty easy to recognize in these fish. Under normal conditions, cherry barbs are very peaceful fish.
When it’s time to spawn, the males will become a lot more aggressive. They can also become territorial during this time.
You’ll also see some physical changes in the male fish. The male will turn to a brighter red color when it’s ready to mate.
The female cherry barb will also be brighter than usual when spawning. You should notice that the female fish will have a large and swollen belly due to carrying all of the eggs.
From this point, the mating process will begin very soon. You just need to be patient and wait.
Mating goes as it does with most other types of egg-laying fish. The female lays the eggs, and the male fertilizes the eggs to make them viable.
There will be some chasing before the actual mating occurs. You’ll see the male fish being aggressive and chasing the female.
Take this as a sign that the mating is going to begin soon. It won’t be long, and you’ll likely notice that eggs will appear in the tank, and the female will be quite a bit slimmer.
How to Breed Cherry Barbs
To breed cherry barbs, it’s best to set up a breeding tank. The tank needs to be filtered and established one month in advance.
This breeding tank should be filled with water from the cherry barb’s normal tank. You want to add a sponge filter to the tank and a heater that’s set to the same temperature as the main tank.
Ensure that there are plants in the tank because the cherry barbs will use this to lay eggs. You’ll need at least one male and one female fish.
Condition the fish to get them to breed. Separate the males and females from each other with partitions in the tank. Feed the fish protein-rich foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms during this time.
Do daily 50% water changes to try to coax them into breeding. After a week or two have passed, remove the divider in the evening, and the fish should breed when you turn out the lights.
You’ll need to culture some food for the cherry barb fry. The fry will eat things such as freshly-hatched brine shrimp.
Do Cherry Barbs Breed Easily?
Yes, breeding cherry barbs will be very easy and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Many cherry barb owners say that their fish will sometimes breed in the tank unprompted.
There are ways that you can condition the fish to breed as mentioned above. However, these fish might just breed under normal conditions as well.
Sometimes you might be surprised to see eggs in the tank. Or you might even notice a cherry barb fry in the tank if it manages to make it through the process without getting gobbled up by something.
Since these fish are easy to breed, it’s fine to try it out if you’re a beginner. This shouldn’t be too hard, and you’ll likely get good results if you follow the advice above.
How Do Cherry Barbs Lay Eggs?
Cherry barbs lay their eggs by scattering them around the tank. They don’t just deposit the eggs all in one spot.
It’s common for these fish to lay their eggs near plants. So having a planted aquarium is pretty much a requirement if you want the breeding process to go easily.
They’ll also sometimes lay the eggs in the substrate or in other spots in the tank. It can be hard to spot all of the eggs because of how these fish scatter them.
This is why it’s not convenient to try to gather the eggs once they’ve been laid. It’s better to remove the parent fish right away and look after the eggs once they hatch.
Cherry Barb Breeding Conditions
Cherry barb breeding conditions are actually the same as normal. The temperature can remain exactly what it was in the main tank.
You don’t need to change the water parameters at all. Conditioning the fish to breed is about separating them and feeding them protein-rich foods.
Will Cherry Barbs Breed in Tank?
Cherry barbs are known to breed in captivity. They’re not hard to breed, and they might even breed in the tank under normal conditions.
This sometimes happens when people aren’t even trying to breed the fish. Of course, there are things you can do to condition the fish to breed as well.
Anyone who is interested in breeding these fish should have a simple time attempting it. You just need to make sure that you have a mature male and a mature female.
How Long Do Cherry Barb Eggs Take to Hatch?
It takes a couple of days for cherry barb eggs to hatch. The exact amount of time that it takes isn’t clear, but it seems to take up to two days.
The eggs might hatch a bit before the two-day mark has passed. Within a few days, you should see that the eggs have hatched.
However, you should know that cherry barb eggs and cherry barb fry will be rather small. This makes them very hard to see, and you might not notice them at first.
You might not notice the eggs or the fry for up to a week due to how hard they are to see. It just depends on if you have a keen eye or if you’re using a magnifying glass to try to spot things in the tank.
When Do Cherry Barbs Lay Eggs?
Typically, cherry barbs will lay their eggs in the evening. It’s best to turn out the lights in the evening and then check on the fish to see if they mated in the morning.
You can tell when female cherry barbs have laid the eggs pretty easily. Even if the eggs are hard to see, you’ll notice when the female fish change appearance.
When the females are ready to mate, they will have swollen bellies because they are carrying eggs. After laying the eggs, the female fish will be substantially thinner than they were before.
So if you see that the female fish is thin now, it’s safe to assume that it laid the eggs. If you look, you’ll likely spot a few eggs in various locations around the tank.
Where Do They Lay Their Eggs?
You’ll find that cherry barbs lay their eggs all over the place. They aren’t fish that just lay the eggs in one location and call it good.
A female cherry barb will go around the tank placing eggs in various spots. Some eggs might be placed near plants, while others might go in the substrate.
These fish are egg-scattering fish, and that’s simply how they’re wired to do things. This does make it tough to track down all of the eggs.
It’s common not to truly know where all the eggs are in the tank. There will be many eggs, though, and you must do your best to look after them and the cherry barb fry once the eggs hatch.
How Many Eggs Do They Lay?
Expect cherry barbs to lay hundreds of eggs when they mate. A female cherry barb can lay between 200 and 300 eggs.
Each of the eggs is going to be scattered around the tank. Since the eggs are tiny and hard to spot, there’s very little chance that you’re going to spot every single one of them in the aquarium.
It’s best to look at the female to see if it’s slim so you can tell whether it laid its eggs. This is the most reliable way to know that the eggs are present since they’re small.
Once you know that the female has laid its eggs, you should remove the adult fish from the breeding tank. This is done for the safety of the eggs as well as the cherry barb fry once they hatch.
Do Cherry Barbs Eat Their Own Eggs and Fry?
Sadly, cherry barbs aren’t the best parent fish that you can find. These fish don’t look after their eggs, and they’re known to gobble them up.
It’s common for cherry barbs to eat many of the eggs that they lay. They will also consume the cherry barb fry once they hatch if they get the opportunity to do so.
Many fish will do this to their fry, though, so it isn’t unusual. Regardless, you must keep this in mind so you can protect the baby fish.
Remove the parent fish from the breeding tank once the eggs have been laid. This should be done to keep the eggs from getting eaten so that as many of them can hatch as possible.
How Often Do Cherry Barbs Lay Eggs?
Barbs can breed very often if they’re conditioned to do so. It’s unclear how often cherry barbs would breed under normal conditions, but they can be conditioned to do so every few weeks or so.
Learning about breeding cherry barbs should help you to get good results. You know that you can condition these fish to breed now.
Doing so isn’t difficult, and these fish might even just breed in the main tank on their own sometimes. Breeding cherry barbs isn’t difficult at all.
Caring for cherry barb fry isn’t too tough, either. They will remain attached to the egg sac feeding on the yolk for a few days.
You then feed them freshly-hatched brine shrimp and watch out for them in their own tank as they grow. These baby cherry barbs can grow as much as .25 or .5 inches every six weeks under optimal conditions.
Enjoy your time with the cherry barbs. Just be sure to separate the parent fish from the eggs, or the eggs will get eaten.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.