Puntius titteya - Cherry Barb
Sri Lanka
By Brian A. LaNeve - August 2009

   I purchased three adult fish, one male & two females from a local pet shop. They are a great fish for someone without much room due to their peaceful nature and small size. They also eat just about any and everything I have offered to them.

   Sexing - Adult males are more slender than the females, this is especially easy to notice when both sexes are conditioned for spawing. Also the male will be a bright red while the female seems to have just a tint of red. When not in spawning condition the red in the male may vary from either a reddish tint to almost a pinkish color.

   My setup - I used four bare bottom two and a half gallon tanks with a glass lid. A well seasoned sponge filter, a heater set to 74 degrees and several clumps of java moss. For lighting I used an over head shop light mounted about nine inches above the tanks. I preformed weekly water changes of just a half gallon of distilled water that I preheated to 70 degrees.

   Feeding - I placed the fish in the tank and fed them a diet of live black worms once a day in the evenings. In the mornings I would feed them flake food.

   Spawning - It was when I noticed the male now had a much brighter red color, I started to increase water changes now (a half gallon) of preheated distilled water every other day. Upon looking more closely at the tank I could now see the male nudging at the females side and then darting into the plants. This went on for what seemed like an hour or sobefore the female started to follow him into the plants. The fish would do this on and off for several hours. When I felt they had finished I moved the adult fish to another tank right beside the one they were in. I left them there for a few days conditioning them and then would move them to another tank. I kept on repeating this until the adults had spent a couple days in each of the four tanks. Once the trio was removed from the tank I covered it with a towel to keep out the light. Starting with the second day after I removed the adults I started to add two turkey baster full of green water three times a day to the spawning tanks. On the fourth day(when I noticed the first fry) after removing the adults along with the green water I also put in five drops of (Wardleys liquid fry food) twice a day. Starting around the tenth day I added micro worms once a day. By day 15 or so I stopped the liquid fry food and green water and replaced both with freshly hatched brine shrimp. I continued to feed these two foods (micro worms & baby brine shrimp) until the fry could eat (HBH First Bites). To make sure that all fry were in fact eating I feed the HBH powder and baby brine shrimp for a couple days. Remember there is alot of food going into this tank so I would once a day pull out my trusted turkey baster and take out anything sitting on the bottom of the tank. I always placed this water in a clean white bottom cup and let it sit for 30 minutes or so. Sure enough I would always find a fry or two in the cup.   
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