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Pethia padamya - Odessa barb


  • Pethia padamya - Odessa barb

    Photo thanks to watfish

    Scientific name: Pethia padamya
    Common name: Odessa barb
    AKA: Puntius padamya/ Ruby barb/ Scarlett barb

    Country of origin: South-East Asia – Myanmar (formerly Burma)

    pH: 6.5 – 8.5
    Temperature: 16 - 25c
    Hardness: 90 – 357 ppm
    Water flow: standard - high
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 4.5 cm

    Diet: Live foods, frozen, flake and pellets, with an emphasis on live and frozen foods. They also appreciate some vegetable matter. They are omnivores.

    They are bottom feeders.

    Males: More colourful, slimmer
    Females: Plainer, rounder

    It will hunt its own eggs & fry, making it more tricky (but far from impossible) to breed. They are an egg scatterer, and if provided with a mop or sufficient moss or plants, they can lay eggs, however they need to be kept from them by a division in the tank, or removal of the eggs or fish, otherwise they will eat the eggs or fry.


    Tank companions:
    They are NOT good tank companions with shrimp.

    They should be kept in mixed sex groups of 8+, to disperse aggression in the group. The males will display & spar to attract the females in the group.

    They do well with peaceful schooling ditherfish – small danios are ideal.

    They are fast swimmers, so despite their small size, they still require a reasonably sized tank.

    As with any fish they will eat any fish small enough to fit in their mouths, and equally can be eaten by any fish large enough to eat them. This should be taken into account when choosing tankmates.

    Stocking plans can be checked with

    Minimum tank size is 2.5 ft for a small group.

    They could be kept in a heavily planted tank with floating plants and open areas for swimming. They appreciate a dark substrate. Alternately they could be kept in a biotype.

    Confused with:
    There are 31 recognised species in the genus. There were over a hundred classified as Puntius, but these have been reclassified and divided in 2012:
    Pethia atra – Formerly Puntius ater
    Pethia aurea - Newly described species
    Pethia bandula - Bandula Barb – Formerly Puntius bandula
    Pethia conchonius - Rosy Barb (Allowable import)
    Pethia cumingii - Cuming's Barb, twospot barb (Allowable import)
    Pethia didi – Formerly Puntius didi
    Pethia erythromycter – Red lipstick barb – Formerly Puntius erythromycter
    Pethia gelius - Golden barb – Formerly Cyprinus gelius/ Puntius gelius/ Cyprinus canius
    Pethia khugae – Formerly Puntius khugae
    Pethia macrogramma – Formerly Puntius macrogramma
    Pethia manipurensis – Formerly Puntius manipurensis
    Pethia meingangbii – Formerly Puntius meingangbii
    Pethia melanomaculata – Formerly Puntius melanomaculatus
    Pethia muvattupuzhaensis – Formerly Puntius muvattupuzhaensis
    Pethia nankyweensis – Formerly Puntius nankyweensis
    Pethia narayani - Narayan barb – Formerly Puntius narayani
    Pethia nigripinnis - Puntius nigripinnis
    Pethia nigrofasciata - Black Ruby Barb/ Ruby barb/ Purplehead barb (Allowable import)
    Pethia ornatus – Formerly Puntius ornatus
    Pethia padamya - Odessa barb/ Scarlett barb/ Previously Puntius padamya
    Pethia phutunio - Spottedsail barb/ Dwarf barb/ Formerly Puntius phutunio
    Pethia pookodensis – Formerly Puntius pookodensis
    Pethia punctata – Formerly Puntius punctatus
    Pethia reval – Formerly Puntius reval
    Pethia setnai – Narayan barb/ Formerly Puntius setnai/ Puntius narayani
    Pethia shalynius - Shalyni barb/ Formerly Puntius shalynius
    Pethia stoliczkana - Stoliczkae's Barb/ Formerly Barbus stoliczkanus/ Puntius stoliczkanus
    Pethia thelys – Formerly Puntius thelys
    Pethia tiantian – Formerly Puntius tiantian
    Pethia ticto - Ticto Barb, Twospot Barb, Cuming’s barb/ Formerly Puntius ticto (Allowable import)
    Pethia yuensis – Formerly Puntius yuensis

    P. padamya was thought to be a hybrid of P. conchonius, P. ticto and P. cumingii. It has been thought to be a sub-species of P. ticto or P. conchonius. It was believed to be a dyed fish. None of these theories are correct. It is a species in its own right. These theories came about because it has been in the aquarium trade since the 1970’s, but wild fish were only re-discovered in 2003, and a formal description was not finished until 2008.

    Most P. pulcher in the aquarium trade are commercially bred. The aquarium bred fish are able to retain their colour, even when stressed, probably due to line breeding.

    In warm areas of the country it could be kept in an unheated tank. Under no circumstances should it be put in a pond it could escape from into drains or waterways, even in 100 year floods.

    It has established feral populations in Hawaii.

    Puntius ticto are legal imports to Australia as of 9/11/2013 (list last updated 16/10/13). This was a previous synonym of P. padamya, but Pethia ticto are actually a separate species. A number of species have been classified in the genus Puntius until 2012, but have since been moved. The current allowable import list still contains many species in the genus Puntius, which are probably synonyms for current classifications.:

    The IUCN Red List reports Puntius padamya (synonym) as a species which is data deficient, with an unknown population trend, at 11/11/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    They are good fish for beginners.

    Relevant threads:



    Seriously fish:

    The Planted Tank:


    Pics & threads with pics:

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