Odessa Barb Fish Care Guide – Size, Food, Temperature, etc

The Odessa Barb (pethia padamya) it is a Freshwater fish fantastic for keeping in an aquarium. He is considered easy to care for, peaceful and very cute. Its popularity has grown a lot in recent years and, due to the growing interest of aquarists, it makes sense to put together a guide to the main information about the species.

Native to vegetation-rich, slightly acidic waters, the Odessa Barb can be found exclusively in Myanmar, Southeast Asia. Considered a kind of school, this fish will spend most of its time in groups (more on this later). In addition, he is also often very active and will show curiosity and willingness to investigate every corner of the aquarium.

Although Odessa Barb is a species of Myanmar, it is actually named after a city in Ukraine. The city of Odessa was where this fish gained notoriety within the aquarium community. Soon, this interest spread to other regions around the world.

Continue reading the article to learn about the main characteristics and needs of the species.

Top 10 colorful fish to place…


Name: Odessa Barb

Scientific name: pethia padamya (Kullander & Britz, 2008);

Family: Cyprinidae;

Origin of Species: Asia (Myanmar; Toe Gyi man-made lagoon, situated just above Anisakan Falls);

Length: Up to 4.6 cm;

Life expectancy: Between 3 and 5 years;

Difficulty level: Easy;

Water Parameters

pH: Keep between 6.0 – 7.0;

water hardness: Between 4 – 10 KH;

Temperature: Keep between 23 – 26°C;



The appearance of the Odessa Barb is what initially attracts aquarists. For such a simple design and color scheme, it’s really unique!

On its side runs a slightly faded reddish-orange line. It starts near your eyes and continues to the caudal peduncle. There is also a vertical black stripe about a third of the way down, plus another that ends at the dorsal fin.

The rest of the fish’s coloration is a slightly metallic silver. The combination of silver and red gives it a very interesting look. From a distance, it looks like the fish is translucent with a bright red interior.

This effect, along with its activity level, makes the Odessa Barb fun to watch. A school of them moving around is something really fascinating!

The Odessa Barb’s fins are angled and developed for speed. The dorsal fin, for example, has a pyramid shape and the anal fin is a little more compact. These fish also have a long forked tail fin that generates a lot of energy!


Diet is something that a lot of people are surprised when they go to feed Odessa Barb. This fish is very passive and easy to care for!

While the recommended diet isn’t anything super complex, B. Odessa needs a little variety. These fish have a voracious appetite (probably due to their activity level), which means you can’t just throw in a few flakes here or there.

You should provide a high quality flake food as a basis for their diet. Other than that, I recommend that you add some live foods and vegetables. brine shrimp, bloodworms and daphnia, for example, are great protein-rich options. When it comes to the veggies, I like to provide cucumber and lettuce.

However, to avoid overfeeding, create a consistent schedule and monitor the amount of food you add to the aquarium. Many Odessa Barb owners follow a 2-meal-a-day schedule.

Also, only feed them as much food as they can eat in a few minutes.

Temperament / Behavior

Generally speaking, the Odessa Barb is a very peaceful and active fish, that is, it is the dream combination for any aquarist!

There are very few situations in which these fish show signs of aggression. The first is if you don’t keep them in groups of at least 6 fish as this will constantly make them nervous. The other thing is during the playback process (although this is quite rare). Most of the time, these fish will prefer to take care of themselves and walk around the aquarium.

Odessa Barb activity levels are truly impressive. Unlike many other freshwater fish, it roams all areas of the aquarium.


There are many choices of aquarium mates for the Odessa Barb due to its peaceful nature. These fish tend to get along well with just about any non-aggressive species that doesn’t see them as food.

Below, I’ve separated a list of some of the best aquarium companions for this species. But feel free to experiment with other fish that fit the criteria listed above:

Be a little careful if you plan to keep Odessa Barb with any type of snail as he might try to eat them.

sexual dimorphism

To distinguish between males and females, just look at their body size and shape. Females are generally larger and have a more rounded body shape.

Also, the males are smaller but have a more attractive coloring than the female, with a bright stripe of red color on their body.

Mating / Reproduction

Reproducing Odessa Barb is not a very difficult task. The first step you should take is to place the fish in a breeding tank. Next, you must make sure that you have twice as many females as males in that aquarium and, most importantly, that it contains many live plants.

Once that’s done, it won’t take long for breeding pairs to develop. This is quite easy to observe as it will be drastically different from shoaling behavior.

These fish scatter their eggs, which means the female will lay them while the male follows her around fertilizing them. Once this process is done, the parents will no longer be involved in the care. Because of this, I recommend that you remove them from the aquarium.

The eggs hatch in a few days. Once hatching, the chicks will be ready to accept brine shrimp nauplii!

aquarium setup

The aquarium needs to be at least 100 liters for a group of 6 fish. Because it’s a very active fish, I’d even recommend adding it to a larger environment if you can.

The most important thing to remember is to keep the water parameters always stable. just like any freshwater species Odessa Barb is sensitive to sudden changes in its water parameters.

The perfect aquarium setup for the Odessa Barb should count a lot of plants. This fish is very fond of this type of decoration, and will spend most of its time swimming through them and using them as hiding places if they want a little more privacy.

In addition, you can also include other decoration items, such as trunks, rocks and caves if you like. The Odessa Barb is very curious and active, so he will be happy to investigate every corner of the aquarium. Just don’t overdo it!

As much as he is a curious fish, he still needs space to swim. If you are in a very tight space, you will likely be stressed. Therefore, the priority here should be plants and space to swim.

Type of Filtering and Lighting

The ideal filtration for the Odessa Barb aquarium should contain a moderate or high flow of water, to allow for good oxygenation. This fish does not like very bright lights; therefore, you should use a dim light fixture or add lots of plants to create a shady environment for the fish.