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The Checker Barb is a small, enthusiastic, active, but peaceful fish and an ideal choice for the community aquarium with other non-aggressive community fish species. This fish is suitable for both the beginner aquarist as well as the more experienced as they are relatively hardy and a joy to keep.

These fish should be maintained in schools of 6 or more, preferably with more females than males as the males may occasionally scrap amongst themselves, but no real damage will occur.

The Checker Barb gets its title from the black marks along the side of its body, thought to resemble a checkerboard.

The Checker Barb usually have two colour varieties. One has a red colouration and the other a more greenish colouration. Both colour morphs are attractive, and both display the checkered scale pattern.

Quick Facts
Scientific Name Oliotius oligolepis
Other Names Checkered Barb, Chequer Barb, Checkerboard Barb, Island Barb
Family Cyprinidae
Genus Oliotius
Origins Southeast Asia
Temperament Peaceful
Aquarium Level Bottom - Middle
Difficulty Beginner - Intermediate
Shoaling Yes
Best kept as Groups 6+
Diet Omnivore
Reproduction Egg-Scatterer
Lifespan up to 8 years


Natural Habitat of the Checker Barb

The Checker Barb comes from western central Sumatra, Columbia and Indonesia in Southeast Asia. They inhabit clear, well-oxygenated water in small pools, streams, lakes, rivers and drainage ditches that are heavily vegetated.

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