Barbel (Barbus barbus)

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Barbus barbus

1325 Litres (350 US G.)

100-120 cm (39.4-47.2")




7.0 - 7.8

10 -24 °C (50-75.2°F)

6-10 °d

1:1 M:F

Live Foods

5-10 years



Additional names

Barbel, River Barb, Common Barb

Additional scientific names

Barbus barbus barbus, Barbus barbus borysthenicus, Barbus barbus gallicus, Barbus communis, Barbus communis, Barbus fluviatilis, Barbus fluviatilis alba, Barbus fluviatilis aurata, Barbus fluviatilis aurata, Barbus fluviatilis tyrasensis, Barbus mayori, Barbus microphthalmus, Barbus microphthalmus, Barbus vulgaris, Cyprinus barba, Cyprinus barbus


Widespread across Europe, extending into Russia.


Not easy to sex, especially juveniles. The females have a very fleshy vent, and the males a much smaller, neater orifice in that area.

Tank compatibility[edit]

While juveniles can be temporarily kept in aquariums, this fish is best is large outdoor ponds where it is generally peaceful, especially with its own kind. They will eat smaller fish however.


Prefers meatier foods such as crustaceans and insects, will eat sinking pellets.

Environment specifics[edit]

Needs fast-flowing well oxygenated water and large rock substrate. Due to this fish's large size it's best left only for public aquaria or large outdoor ponds.


A relatively peaceful, but large pond fish.


A very large growing fish that can reach 20lb (9kg) in weight. They are olive green/brown in colour with large fleshy lips designed to feed on the bottom. They have four barbels (hence their name) around their mouth.


External links[edit]