The Odessa Barb, too colorful to describe

26 Nov

Odessa Barbs are one of the prettiest fish you will ever see. The males are spectacular. At the pet shop they look pale, boring, mostly silvery gray and  a little reddish. Buy some, wait a few days and WOW, they turn into one of the most amazing freshwater fish you can get.  This also happens with Rummy-nose Tetras…dull at the pet shop, beautiful in your tank.

Female Odessa’s do not have the brilliant colors of the males, and when I bought my Odessas I hoped I had a female or two, they all looked so plain. But all of them were males!! In a few days they were flying around the tank, establishing a pecking order. They were soooo fast and seemed so powerful  that I was afraid for the other fish in the tank. But the Odessa’s only chased each other, and if one was beaten, he hid awhile and came out later looking as good as new.

I think they need some room to swim fast and chase each other.  A 20 gallon would be good for a small group.  Live plants are nice for them to hide in.

I did find a female Odessa Barb, but since I already had 5 males, I eventually felt sorry for her and put her in a 10 gallon for some peace and quiet.

I  theorize that the Odessas are so strong and healthy because they have only been captive-bred for about 30 years or so. There were no Odessa Barbs to be bought when I had fish in the late 1970’s. They just seem like you plucked them right out of an Asian stream, feisty as heck. That’s the word for these guys, feisty, in a good way.  If you acquire some, get up close to the tank and just stare at them , you will see colors and patterns that are not apparent from a distance.

Three Odessa Barbs in this photo.

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2 Responses to “The Odessa Barb, too colorful to describe”

  1. Graham March 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Lovely fish for sure. There are a few fish that don’t do themselves justice in dealer’s tanks – rainbowfish for example. Dealers would do well to maintain two or three planted display tanks with healthy adults to show off the potential of some of their stock.

    • fishtanx2011 March 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      I agree. Also, so many shops don’t have any tanks worth really looking at. Makes me wonder why they think their customers would want a fish tank in their home.

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