25 Rosy Barb Tank Mates

Choosing the right tank mates for your Rosy Barb isn’t rocket science, it’s all about lifestyle compatibility. Consider factors such as temperament, size, and dietary needs to ensure a peaceful cohabitation. An ideal playmate should be active like a Rosy Barb, but shouldn’t have long fins that may attract nipping.

rosy barb

This page may contain affiliate links, which will earn us a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Read on to find out how to create a harmonious aquarium environment for your Rosy Barbs and their potential tank mates.

What are the Key Factors When Choosing Tank Mates?

When selecting tank mates for your Rosy Barbs, you must account for the size, temperament, and dietary needs of your potential tank mates. Furthermore, the nature of Rosy Barbs is schooling, thus requiring mates who respond well to such activity levels and their preference for a well-planted tank.

What Size Do Rosy Barbs Reach?

Rosy Barbs can reach an appreciable size of about 6 inches when fully grown in an ideal environment. However, in a typical home aquarium, they usually grow to about 4 inches. The size of a Rosy Barb is a vital factor to consider when choosing tank mates because it directly influences their compatibility with other species.

What is the Ideal Tank Size?

For Rosy Barbs, a minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended. This size not only facilitates their movement but also allows the incorporation of other tank mates comfortably. The larger the tank, the happier and healthier your Rosy Barbs and their companions will be.

What Kind of Temperament Do They Exhibit?

Rosy Barbs are usually peaceful and active swimmers but can become semi-aggressive when kept in small groups or when they do not have enough space. Generally friendly, they thrive in a community setting with adequate space and similar-sized, non-aggressive tank mates.

What Are the Ideal Water Parameters for Rosy Barbs?

Rosy Barbs are extremely adaptable and can thrive in a wide range of water conditions. However, to keep your Barbs healthy and comfortable, you should aim for a water temperature between 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, a pH level of 6.0 to 8.0, and a hardness of 5 to 19 dGH.

What Kind of Diet do Rosy Barbs Have?

Rosy Barbs are omnivores and have a diversified diet that includes both plant-based and protein-based foods. They enjoy a mix of commercial flake food, live, fresh, or frozen invertebrates like brine shrimp and bloodworms, and greens like spinach or peas. It’s important to feed them a balanced diet to maintain their health.

Why Is It Essential to Consider the Schooling Nature of Rosy Barbs?

Rosy Barbs are schooling fish and hence, naturally inclined to live in groups. Taking this characteristic into account when selecting tank mates is vital to ensure their happiness and health. Placing Rosy Barbs in a solitary environment or with non-schooling fish may cause stress to them and promote aggressive behavior.

How Does Their Activity Level Affect Tank Mate Choices?

Rosy Barbs are known for their high activity levels, often seen darting around and exploring different areas of the tank. The other inhabitants of the tank need to be able to withstand their high energy without becoming stressed or overwhelmed by their activity. Therefore, when choosing tank mates for Rosy Barbs, make sure to select species that can match or tolerate their energy level.

Why Do Rosy Barbs Appreciate a Well-Planted Tank?

Rosy barbs, by nature, are fond of exploring and they find dense vegetation stimulating, providing them with both entertainment and a sense of security. A well-planted tank mimics their natural habitats, creating a relaxing environment for them and reducing their stress levels.

How Do Rosy Barbs Behave During Breeding?

During breeding, Rosy Barbs exhibit noticeably vibrant colors and intense activity. Males become territorial and often engage in fights with other males. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose tank mates that can tolerate these behavioral changes and ensure harmonious cohabitation, even during the aggressive breeding season.


Best Tank Mates for Rosy Barbs

Now, let’s take a detailed look at the best tank mates for rosy barbs and find out what these fish species need to thrive.

1. Platies

Platies are fantastic tank companions for Rosy Barbs. They are brightly colored small fish that bring vivaciousness to your aquarium.

mickey mouse platy

  • Compatibility: 4/5. Platies are peaceful and prefer swimming in the mid to upper regions of the tank.
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons (about 38 liters) is sufficient for these active swimmers.
  • Temperature Range: Platies thrive in the range of 70-78°F (21-25°C).
  • Care Level: Easy. They are hardy fish suitable even for beginners.
  • Temperament: Mostly peaceful, platies are prone to occasional squabble when overcrowded.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. Platies enjoy a variety of food sources like flakes, pellets, and frozen foods.
  • Adult Size: Mature platies grow up to 2 inches (5 centimeters), an ideal size for a community tank. Keep these key factors in mind while integrating Platies with your Rosy Barbs, and you would be rewarded with a vibrant aquatic life.


2. Cherry Barb

The Cherry Barb is surely a stunning match for your Rosy Barb due to their striking red coloring and peaceful nature.

Cherry Barb

  • Compatibility: 5/5 (High)
  • Tank Size: Minimum 20 gallons (76 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 74-81°F (23-27°C)
  • Care Level: Easy. They are remarkably hardy.
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful, they mix well with similarly sized fish.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. They thrive on a mix of high-quality flake food and live or frozen foods like brine shrimp.
  • Adult Size: Around 2 inches (5 cm)

These tropical freshwater fish from Sri Lanka are known to live up to 7 years when cared for properly. Their vibrant hues come alive in planted tanks, making them a visually pleasing choice.


3. White Cloud Mountain Minnow

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is an exceptional tank mate for your Rosy Barb due to their compatible temperaments.

white cloud minnow requirements

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum of 10 gallons, ideally 20 gallons (38 liters, ideally 76 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 64–72°F (18–22°C)
  • Care Level: Easy, making this species perfect for beginners.
  • Temperament: Peaceful and sociable, they enjoy the company of their own kind.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, these minnows enjoy flake foods, freeze-dried foods, and small live foods.
  • Adult Size: They grow up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long.

Always ensure your aquarium maintains the recommended conditions as these fish tend to be a bit sensitive to water quality.


4. Otocinclus

The Otocinclus, affectionately known as ‘Otos’, are friendly, calm, and efficient algae-eaters, making them stellar companions for your Rosy Barb. They require some attention to ensure their survival. Outside of that, Otos are a fantastic addition to a Rosy Barb tank community.

Otocinclus Catfish

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons (75 liters) minimum
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Peaceful, non-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Herbivore (Algae wafers and blanched veggies)
  • Adult Size: 2 inches (5 cm)

Their small size and quiet nature make them an ideal fit for a diverse aquarium community. However, Otos have special dietary needs, so having a constant source of algae or substitute diet is necessary to keep them healthy.


5. Bolivian Ram

The Bolivian Ram, also known as Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, is a peaceful fish species pairing well with Rosy Barbs. Known for their lively yet non-aggressive demeanor, they add variety and a sense of tranquility to aquariums.

bolivian ram tank mates

  • Compatibility: 5/5
  • Tank Size: 30 gal(113.5 L) minimum
  • Temperature Range: 72 – 79° F( 22 – 26° C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore. They prefer high-quality flakes or pellets and occasional live or frozen treats.
  • Adult Size: Up to 3 inches(7.5 cm)

Remember, providing an environment similar to their natural habitat with plenty of hiding places, such as caves or dense plants, bolsters their comfort and encourages healthy behaviors.


6. Neon Tetra

Neon Tetras are vibrant, small fresh-water fish admired for their iridescent blue and red colors. A natural choice as Rosy Barb tank mates due to their peaceful nature.

Neon Tetra

  • Compatibility: 4/5. They are calm and coexist peacefully with Rosy Barbs.
  • Tank Size: Minimum 20 gallons (75 liters) for a school of Neon Tetras.
  • Temperature Range: 70-81°F (21-27°C). Slightly on the warmer side is the ideal temperature for them.
  • Care Level: Easy. Great for novice aquarists.
  • Temperament: Very peaceful and sociable. They prefer to be in groups.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. They feed on a good mix of dry flakes, frozen, or live foods.
  • Adult Size: Small, max 1.7 inches (4.3 cm) in size.


7. Corydoras

Corydoras, also known as Cory Cats, are quite the heart-warming companions for your Rosy Barbs. These small, armored catfish add a touch of whimsy to your tank with their quirky swimming style.

panda corydoras size

  • Compatibility: 4/5. They’re peaceful, and enjoy the company of Rosy Barbs.
  • Tank Size: 10-15 gal (37-56 liter). They thrive better in large groups.
  • Temperature Range: 72-80°F (22-27°C). This range aligns with that of Rosy Barbs.
  • Care Level: Medium. Keen on keeping your tank clean, they’re a natural clean-up crew.
  • Temperament: Peaceful and gregarious. They are non-aggressive fish.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivores. They like flake, pellet, freeze-dried and live food.
  • Adult Size: 1-3 inches (2.5-7.6 cm). They’re ideal for a smaller tank.


8. Kuhli Loach

The fascinating Kuhli Loach, also known as the “Asian Coolie Loach”, is certainly worthy of consideration as a Rosy Barb tank mate. With an interesting eel-like shape and nocturnal tendencies, these friendly bottom dwellers bring a unique dynamic to your aquarium. They love to burrow during the daytime and emerge during dusk to scavenge for tidbits.

kuhli loach tank mates

  • Compatibility: 4/5 – While they are shy fish, they have a peaceful temperament and cohabit well with Rosy Barbs.
  • Tank Size: 20 gal (76 litres) – They prefer spacious environments with plenty of hiding spots.
  • Temperature Range: 73-86°F (23-30°C) – They can comfortably adapt to a wide range of temperatures.
  • Care Level: Easy – Tolerant and easy to care for but they enjoy well-filtered water.
  • Temperament: Peaceful – Though hide during the day, they’re friendly with other tank mates.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous – A variety diet of dried and live food keeps them happy.
  • Adult Size: 4 inches (10 cm) – Despite their size, they enjoy lots of space to explore.


9. Emperor Tetra

Emperor Tetras are a colorful addition to your rosy barb aquarium. They thrive in calm, tropical environments. Take note, these are fish that prefer dim lighting, mimicking the dense undergrowth of their native habitats.

Emperor Tetra

  • Compatibility: 4.5/5; get along great with Rosy Barbs.
  • Tank Size: Needs at least 20 gallons (76 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 73-81°F (23-27°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate; they appreciate clean and well-fitted tanks.
  • Temperament: Peaceful and schooling fish.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; flakes, pellets, live, and frozen food.
  • Adult Size: Reach up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.


10. Bloodfin Tetra

Bloodfin Tetras are tropical freshwater fish that blend in perfectly with Rosy Barbs. Known for their hardiness, they display gleaming silver bodies with strikingly red fins. Their peaceful nature makes them an exemplary choice for your community tank.

bloodfin tetra

  • Compatibility: 4/5 – They prefer community tanks.
  • Tank Size: Needs a minimum of 20 gal (75 liters).
  • Temperature Range: 64-82°F (18-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderately easy.
  • Temperament: Peaceful – Being schooling fish, they enjoy the company.
  • Diet & Feeding: They are omnivores, eating both plant-based food and meaty foods like brine shrimp.
  • Adult Size: Typically mature to an approximate size of 2.2 inches (5.5 cm).


11. Zebra Danio

Zebra Danio is a social and vibrant fish that can add a dash of cheerfulness to your aquarium, making it a great companion for your Rosy Barb. They are extremely hardy and adaptable, making them perfect for beginners.

golden zebra danio

  • Compatibility: 5/5
  • Tank Size: 10 gal minimum (around 38 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 65-77°F (18-25°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. Will eat flakes, granules and live food. Feeding should happen 2-3 times a day.
  • Adult Size: 2 inches long (5 cm)

Zebra Danios are active swimmers and love to be in schools, so ensure that you have a group of at least 6. They’ll dart around the water, co-existing well with your Rosy Barbs in larger tanks.


12. Swordtails

Swordtails are vivacious companions for the Rosy Barb. They swim around with an energetic charisma that not only adds life to your water world but also keeps the barb entertained.

male swordtail fish

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: 15-20 gal (56-75 liter)
  • Temperature Range: 72-79°F (22-26°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore, accepts a variety of food including flakes, pellets, and vegetables
  • Adult Size: 4-5″ (10-12 cm)

Acquaint your Rosy Barbs with these lively dancing sparks. Swordtails are undeniably some of the most loved tank mates for their color pops and congenial nature.

Minimal care, widespread food acceptance, and joyful demeanor – that’s what you get with Swordtails. So, why wait? Enhance your marine panorama with this fascinating fish species today.


13. Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial Pearl Danio, also known as Galaxy Rasbora, is an attractive freshwater fish species notable for its vibrant, pearl-like spots over its dark blue body. With their small size and peaceful temperament, they are an exceptional choice for a Rosy Barb tank mate.

celestial pearl danio

  • Compatibility: 5 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 10 gal (38 liters) minimum
  • Temperature Range: 73-79°F (23-26°C)
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, adjust to a variety of foods (flakes, freeze-dried, live, or frozen), ensure regular feeding
  • Adult Size: 0.8 inches (2 cm)

Remember, although they are small, they like to swim in groups and need enough space to express their natural behaviors and keep stress levels low.


14. Glowlight Tetra

The Glowlight Tetra is a peaceful fish species, perfect to pair with your Rosy Barb. They add a vibrant color splash to your aquarium, thanks to their prominent stripe that glow under the tank light.

glowlight tetra

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum of 20 gal (75 liter)
  • Temperature Range: Between 72-78°F (22-26°C)
  • Care Level: Easy. They are hardy and can handle varying water conditions.
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful and will coexist well with other inhabitants.
  • Diet & Feeding: Primarily omnivorous. They prefer flake food, brine shrimp, and bloodworms.
  • Adult Size: Around 2 inches. This small size makes them easy to accommodate in common tank sizes.

Their striking appearance and friendly nature make them an excellent choice as the tank mate for your Rosy Barb.


15. Kribensis Cichlid

Kribensis Cichlid adds an eclectic mix of vibrant colors to a tank, making viewers marvel at its beauty. Extremely beginners-friendly with their adaptability traits, they fit well into the ecosystem of Rosy Barb.

kribensis cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons (75.7 liters) minimum
  • Temperature Range: 75 – 80°F (24 – 27°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: They are omnivores and feed largely on insects, crustaceans, and plant matter.
  • Adult Size: Up to 4 inches (10.2 cm)

The only concern is their semi-aggressive nature. However, this is manageable as a larger tank helps disperse any territorial tension. Hence, make your Rosy Barb’s tank a bit more adventurous with a Kribensis Cichlid.


16. Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasboras are a popular choice to keep in your tank alongside your Rosy Barbs. Known for their lovely metallic sheen and playful nature, they often make a lively addition to your aquarium.

harlequin rasbora

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 10 gallons (37.85 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-80°F (22-27°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful and social
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; they eat a balanced diet of both plant-based and meat-based food
  • Adult Size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm)

Despite their delicate appearance, Harlequin Rasboras are sturdy fish that can adapt well to various conditions. Keep them in groups for the best social interaction and to enjoy their enchanting water dance.


17. Mollies

Molly fish are vibrant and pleasant fish that are known to coexist harmoniously with Rosy Barbs.

black molly fish

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 20 gallons (75 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-78°F (22-26°C)
  • Care Level: Easy to Intermediate
  • Temperament: Mostly peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; enjoy a mix of plant-based foods and proteins
  • Adult Size: Up to 6 inches (15 cm)

Mollies enjoy a bit of plant-snacking and add striking color to your aquarium. Being adaptable, Mollies can live in both fresh and salt water. They are nonetheless delicate, requiring consistent water conditions to curb stress. Pairing Mollies with Rosy Barbs would indeed create a lively, captivating aquatic display.


18. Bristlenose Pleco

The Bristlenose Pleco is a peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish that complements the Rosy Barb nicely.

bristlenose pleco

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 20 gallons (75 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 60-80°F (15-27°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Primarily herbivorous, enjoy algae, vegetables, and fish pellets.
  • Adult Size: Up to 5 inches (12.7 cm)

The bristlenose pleco is a nocturnal species that hails from South America’s Amazon River basin. They are quite handy as they help control algae growth. Their prominent, whisker-like appendages make them one-of-a-kind in the tank.

They cohabitate with rosy barbs without any significant issues. Make sure to provide some hiding spots, like caves or dense plant cover, for their comfort and well-being.


19. Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish

The Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish is an engaging species that’s potentially a great addition to your Rosy Barb tank.

dwarf neon rainbowfish

  • Compatibility: 4/5, they’re tranquil and are sociable with Rosy Barbs, juggling well with these fish’s robust nature
  • Tank Size: Min 20 gal (75 liters), offering enough space for adequate swimming and exploration, avoiding territorial issues.
  • Temperature Range: 75-80°F (24-27°C), very similar to the optimal range for Rosy Barbs.
  • Care Level: Moderate – Standard aquarium care is necessary with regular water changes.
  • Temperament: Peaceful – They are a quiet species that seldom display aggression.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore diet – Suitable feeding includes flakes, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. Feed them twice daily in small quantities.
  • Adult Size: Up to 3 inches (8 cm) long, a comfortable companion size to Rosy Barbs.


20. Black Skirt Tetra

The Black Skirt Tetra is a species well known for its tranquil temperament, which makes it an incredible partner for the Rosy Barb.

Black Skirt Tetra

  • Compatibility: 5/5. They’re highly compatible and sociable with other species.
  • Tank Size: Requires minimum 20 gallons (75 liters) tank.
  • Temperature Range: Thrives in 70-85°F (21-29°C).
  • Care Level: Easy – this fish is hardy and accommodates well in a variety of environments.
  • Temperament: Peaceful – they seamlessly blend with other community fish.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous – readily accepts a mix of commercial, live, and frozen foods.
  • Adult Size: Fully grown Black Skirt Tetras reach 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) in size.

This darkly beautiful fish is a splendid complement to Rosy Barb dominated tanks.


21. Tiger Barb

The Tiger Barb, a vibrantly patterned species, is an excellent choice for spicing up your community aquarium. These playful fish can help bring life to your Rosy Barb tank.

tiger barb planted tank

  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Tank Size: 20 – 30 gallons (76 – 114 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 68 – 82 °F (20 – 28 °C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive, but peaceful when in schools
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, consume a variety of foods including flake food, live, and freeze-dried foods
  • Adult Size: 2 – 3 inches (5 – 7.5 cm)

They get along with most species, although they can be somewhat nippy with other fish. So, it’s best to keep them in a school of at least 5 to curb this behavior.


22. Angelfish

Angelfish are one of the most popular choices for aquariums. Despite their rather imposing size, they’re peaceful and can be a good fit for your rosy barb tank.

zebra angelfish

  • Compatibility: 3.5/5
  • Tank Size: 30 gal (113 liter)
  • Temperature Range: 75-82°F (24-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. They eat flake, frozen, and live foods.
  • Adult Size: Up to 6″ (15 cm)

Angelfish require slightly larger tanks due to their size. They can be slightly territorial but in a large enough tank, they can coexist well with rosy barbs. Feed them a diverse diet to ensure they receive all necessary nutrients. Angelfish can provide a stunning visual addition to your community tank with their striking stripes and graceful fins.


23. Congo Tetra

This visually striking species stands out in aquariums with its iridescent colors and long, trailing fins. Known for their peaceful demeanor, Congo Tetras are fantastic additions to aquariums housing Rosy Barbs and other peaceful tank mates.

congo tetra

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5. Congo Tetras are a peaceful and non-aggressive species. They get along well with other peaceful species like the Rosy Barb.
  • Tank Size: Minimum 30 gallons (114 liters). They prefer spacious areas with plenty of swimming space.
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C). Congo Tetras thrive in moderately warm tanks.
  • Care Level: Intermediate. They are not incredibly hard to care for but do need a bit more attention than other species.
  • Temperament: Peaceful. They get along well with other non-aggressive species.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. They require a balanced diet of both plant and animal matter.
  • Adult Size: Up to 3.5 inches (8.9 cm). Congo Tetras aren’t very large, which makes them suitable for various tank sizes.


24. Pearl Gourami

Pearl Gouramis are vibrant and feature labyrinth organs much like their Rosy Barb counterparts. Their peaceful temperament makes them a suitable tank mate for Rosy Barbs. Pay attention to the size of Gourami – larger species may not pair well with Rosy Barbs.

pearl gourami tank mates

  • Compatibility: 3.5/5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 20 gallons (75 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Medium
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, they appreciate a varied diet of both plant-based foods and proteins
  • Adult Size: 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 cm)

Ensure you maintain clean water conditions for these species as they can be sensitive to changes. Express caution when introducing other territorial fish, and give them plenty of hiding spaces to reduce stress.


25. Rummy Nose Tetra

The Rummy Nose Tetra is a vivacious little fish that complements the Rosy Barb quite well. Distinctive by its red nose and zebra-striped tail, it’s an active addition to tanks that love swimming in schools.

rummy nose tetras

  • Compatibility: 5 out of 5. Excels in community tanks, and is especially peaceful with Rosy Barbs.
  • Tank Size: 20 gal / 75 litre. Rummy Nose Tetras appreciate space to swim.
  • Temperature Range: 75-81°F / 24-27°C. They favor slightly warm water.
  • Care Level: Easy. Perfect for both beginner and seasoned aquarists.
  • Temperament: Peaceful. They usually keep to themselves.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore. Can be fed a variety of flake, pellet foods, or live foods.
  • Adult Size: Up to 2.5 inches / 6.35 cm. A small size that helps reduce territorial disputes.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *