Information, Barbs, Cyprinids, Freshwater fish, Species

Gold Barb: Complete Species & Care Overview

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by Jason Matthews



Are you looking to add some sparkle to your fish tank? Then you need a gold barb! These tiny gems are truly unique and stunning, making them ideal for adding to your aquarium.

The gold barb is a freshwater, easy-to-keep hardy fish having a golden coloration. It is known to be an omnivore, egg-scatterer, and sociable schooling fish with a size of 3 inches and a lifespan of 5-7 years. In the wild, gold barb has a greenish color which is rarely seen in aquariums!

This article will be your comprehensive guide to gold barbs, including their diet, habitat requirements, ideal tank mates, and more.


Scientific Name: Barbodes semifasciolatus
Common Names: Golden Barb, Schubert’s Barb, Green Barb, Half Stripped Barb, China Barb, Chinese Half Stripped Barb and Six Banded Barbie
Life Span: 5-7 years
Adult Size: 3 inches


Behavior Shoaling, highly social
Body StatureArched backs 

Natural color – GreenCaptive bred – Gold

Females – Dull and BulkyMales – Orange-red belly 
Diet Omnivores
Breeding Egg scatterers
Care Easy 
Tank CapacityAt least 20 gallons 
Water temperature64 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
Water hardnessUp to 10 dGH
Water pH6 to 8

Fun Fact Corner

Barbs are constantly moving fish that will travel long distances in a short amount of time to look for food or to find a safe place. In one year, they can swim 9.9-42.3 km and their average everyday movement is 26-139 m. The baby barbs have the same capability and reach these speeds relatively quickly.

What is Gold Barb Fish?

The gold barb, also known as the Chinese half-striped barb, is a freshwater fish that may be tinted golden yellow in captivity. Their natural habitat gives them a green tinge, which is difficult to find in aquariums.

Gold barbs are also known as Golden Barb, Schubert’s Barb, Green Barb, Half Stripped Barb, China Barb, Chinese Half Stripped Barb and Six Banded Barbie—which can be pretty confusing.

It’s also essential to note that Gold Barbs and Golden Barb or Gold-finned Barbs are not the same fish. The gold barb is also known as Schubertii barb or Puntius semifasciolatus var. Schubert was named after Thomas Schubert of Camden, New Jersey, who developed it through selective breeding in the 1960s.


The gold barb’s native range stretches from China to Southeast Asia, including the Red River basin (Vietnam, southern China), the Mekong basin, and many other areas. 

They may also be found in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Uruguay, and Hawaii, likely due to humans purposely introducing them.

Body Stature 

Adults’ gold barbs have distinctively arched backs and a short pair of barbels on the top jaw at the corners of the mouth. The fish’s flanks are marked with numerous dark vertical stripes or spots.


Gold Barbs are fantastic small aquarium fish because they don’t get too large. They usually grow 3 inches from the top of their head to the end of their tails. As a result, these fish aren’t huge enough or tiny enough compared to other family members.

Color Pattern or Appearance

Gold Barb species
Image: Valentin Hintikka, Canva

The natural color of this barb is green, but it is seldom available in the aquarium trade because the gold form is much more widespread.

The 3-inch body of your fish will be a solid gold color with small black patches dotted along the lateral line and upper half of its body. Sometimes these appear as vertical bars.

Most of the Gold Barbs currently available are captive-bred. If you’re okay with searching for a more extended period to find specific stocks, an even wider variety of them can be found, such as albino Gold Barbs.

Sex Identification

Females can be identified by their dull colors and large size. The stomach of the males is white, but it turns orange-red during mating season.


All gold barbs are egg scatterers, meaning they will lay their eggs ubiquitously throughout the aquarium. If given the opportunity, they will also eat their own eggs. 

Hence, if you want your gold barb’s eggs to hatch and mature, you might have to set up a separate tank strictly for breeding purposes.


Gold Barbs are low-maintenance fish, which is why they’re a fantastic beginning pet. They’re docile, hardy, and have simple needs, so they’ll live to be 5-7 years old if properly looked after.

What Are The Different Requirements For Gold Barbs?

Gold barbs are low-maintenance and require little upkeep, as discussed earlier, but there are a few ways you can ensure their health and happiness, such as proper feeding and housing.


The gold barb is a versatile fish that thrives in a wide range of water temperatures and does not have high requirements for its habitat. However, a tank large enough for gold barbs with the following features:

  • The capacity of the tank should be at least 20 gallons for a group of 5-6 gold barbs, and because they are active fish that school together, provide them with plenty of open space to swim around freely.
  • The temperature range should be from 64 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Water hardness should be up to 10 dGH
  • Water pH should range from 6 to 8.


Gold barbs require a diverse diet like any other freshwater aquarium fish to maintain optimal health. A well-fed fish properly cared for will have brighter coloration, be more active, and have a longer lifespan than one kept on bland flakes from the pet store.

Gold barbs are omnivores, and in their natural habitat, they consume a variety of foods, including:

  • Detritus
  • Invertebrates
  • Insect larvae
  • Plant material
  • Worms

You can nourish your fish in captivity with high-quality flake foods, frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, and other vegetables. The goal is to add as many different types of food as feasible to keep your fish healthy.

What Can Be the Other Tank Mates of Gold Barb?

Schooling fish, Schubert Barbs, are great for community tanks. Unlike their other family members, they typically get along with different peaceful Barb variants. So, here are a few suitable tank mates for your Schubert Barbs.

Is The Gold Barb Right Fit for Your Aquarium?

Incorporate a few schools of Gold Barbs into your aquarium and be impressed by their stunning colors and liveliness. These fish are gorgeous and bring a lot of activity to whatever space they occupy.

Gold Barbs are easy to care for, and their simplicity makes them ideal for novices. They’re both lovely and simple to maintain, so experienced aquarium hobbyists love them as much as inexperienced enthusiasts.


Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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