Scientific Name: Puntius titteya

Breeding Method: Plant spawner.

Ease of Breeding: Easy to breed, but fry are harder to raise.

 Introduction: These fish are among the most popular barbs in the hobby. They tend to be a bit shy, even with members of their own species, and while some breeders report success spawning them in groups, it is more common to breed them in pairs.

 Sex Differences: Females are brown, while males are red, especially when in spawn­ing condition.

 Water Conditions: Hardness and pH not critical. Temperature 73° to 80°F.

 Equipment: Start with a 10- to 20-gallon tank with a tight-fitting cover—during spawning, cherry barbs sometimes become so frenzied that they actually jump out of the tank. Add numerous bushy plants such as Myriophyllum or Java moss to serve as spawning sites as well as cover for the female if the male becomes too aggressive.

 Conditioning and Triggers: Condition males and females separately with live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods until the females grow plump with eggs. Transfer one or two of the females to the spawning tank in the afternoon; in the evening, add a male. Raising the temperature three or four degrees can sometimes prompt reluctant cherry barbs to spawn.

 Spawning: By morning, the male will likely be a deep red, and begin chasing the female around the tank, flaring his fins and "dancing" in front of her as he lures her into the plants. There, they'll turn onto their sides or upside down, and he'll wrap his fins around her body as she releases eggs and he releases milt. Only a few eggs are released at a time, so the spawning process often goes on for several hours. When the pair seems to lose interest in one another, remove them or they will eat the eggs.

 Brood Size: About 300.

 Fry Care: Within 24 to 48 hours, you will see miniscule fry clinging to the sides of the tank. They will become free swimming in about 36 hours; feed them infusoria and hard-boiled egg yolk squeezed through a clean cloth. Add gentle aeration to circulate the water, and change about 20 percent per day. As fry grow, you can add newly hatched brine shrimp, chopped tubifex worms, and crushed flake food; you should also add a sponge filter.