Breeding Ember Barbs - Barbus melanampyx
Barb Fish

Breeding Ember Barbs - Barbus melanampyx

The Ember barb (Barbus melanampyx) derives their name from the rich ember color displayed by the adult males. Sometimes their black striping can disappear completely since their main body color becomes so strong, and the prominent vertical band in mid body can turn into a pattern of brilliant red scales with black bases. Adult females are of a light brownish color and decorated with one black bar behind the head, one black bar about mid dorsal and a thin black band right where the tail starts. The female Ember barb will also show a black spot on her caudal peduncle. All her fins are clear.

If you want to keep Ember barbs, it is important to provide them with a planted set-up where there are a lot of hiding spots, because the males will chase each other as well as the females around quite a bit. This behavior can cause a lot of stress in a barren aquarium where the chased fish has nowhere to hide. A barren aquarium can also make Ember barbs very shy and their colors can look washed-out because of the discomfort.

If you want to set up a separate breeding aquarium for a pair, a 15 gallon aquarium will be big enough. Include some spawning mops and plants and spread a mesh over the gravel. The mesh will prevent adult fish from consuming fallen eggs. The more hiding spots you create in the aquarium, the greater the chances of surviving fry. The water chemistry and temperature should naturally mimic that of the natural Ember Barb habitat. As soon as spawning has taken place, you can remove the adult fish.

When the Ember barb fry are free swimming your can start giving them paramecium and liquid fry food. Small and frequent servings are better than a few big servings a day. If provided with a nutritious diet, the fry will soon be large enough to eat newly hatched brine shrimp and powdered flakes. They start showing their distinctive striping at a fairly young age.


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