Arulius Barb: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Arulius barb facts tell us about both the males and females.

Are you fascinated by small aquarium fishes like the cherry barb? Then here we have all the information on the Arulius barb. The Arulius barb is a small fish species native to India. Hailing from the Dawkinsia genus, the Arulius barb was once confused with the longfin barb (Dawkinsia filamentosa), but the longfin barb is an entirely different species to the Arulius barb. They are confused with many other species of the same genus as well. The Arulius barb also has other scientific names such as the Barbus arulius, Puntius rubrotinctus, or Puntius arulius.

These are tough little fishes which can survive in any kind of hardness of an aquarium, however the temperature of the water should be 66.2-77 F (19-25 C). The diet of this fish consists of both plants and aquatic animals, so you can keep both floating plants and grounded plants in the aquarium. Try to feed these fish a mixture of frozen foods and live foods, and not just flake food. These free-swimming fishes are beautiful. The female barb has a greenish to golden-pink hue on its body, while the males have a greenish-silver hue on their body. However, in general, they appear to have dark olive-brown upperparts fading to white in the ventral parts of the body. The caudal and anal fin has a little reddish hue, and the dorsal fin is short and not branched.

Read on to know more Arulius barb facts, and if you like this article, then also check out rosy barb and cherry barb.

Arulius Barb

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Brine shrimp and microworms

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

4.7 in (12 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark brown-olive and white

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Streams and rivers







Scientific Name

Dawkinsia arulius





Arulius Barb Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Arulius barb?

Arulius barb or Silas barb is a species of fish.

What class of animal does an Arulius barb belong to?

The species of Arulius barb belongs to the genus Dawkinsia, the family Cyprinidae, and the class Actinopterygii of animals.

How many Arulius barbs are there in the world?

Arulius barbs not only live in the wild but a large number of them are also kept as pets in aquariums. They are farmed for the purpose of the pet trade. The exact number of the population of this species is not known.

Where does an Arulius barb live?

The Arulius barb fish can be found exclusively in India. Specifically, in Karnataka, this fish can be seen living in the upper parts of the Tungabhadra River, and in Tamilnadu, they can be seen in the upper parts of the Cauvery River basin. They are also seen in the Sharavathi River and in Pookode Lake in Wyanad of Kerala. In the wild, this species lives in heavily fragmented six to eight locations. Other than that, they are also farmed in many parts of the country for the aquarium trade.

What is an Arulius barb's habitat?

The Arulius barb is a pelagic tropical fish species. This fish is mainly seen living in both large and short rivers and streams. It also can be found in montane habitats. This species mainly thrives in a temperature that is between 66.2-77 F (19-25 C).

Who do Arulius barbs live with?

Arulius barbs can be found living in shoals. Even when the fish are kept in a tank, it is suggested that they should be kept in groups of eight fish or more. This fish may become lonely and act out of nature, like bothering the other fish of the tank, if they are kept in small groups or alone.

How long does an Arulius barb live?

This Arulius barb lifespan is about five to 10 years long.

How do they reproduce?

In nature, the breeding of these fishes occurs naturally. If you want to breed them in a tank in your home, then you can do it both in groups or in pairs. It is better to have a different tank for the reproduction process. You will need a net that the eggs will go through, but the adults won't be able to. The females lay the eggs in the water freely, and these sticky eggs get attached to surrounding plants. The best thing to do is to remove the parents away from the young fry and eggs, as the adults tend to eat them. The eggs hatch within the next 24-48 hours and the young fry are able to swim freely within 24 hours after that. The adults show no parental care. If you are breeding them in the aquarium, then give the newborn young fry microscopic food until they are grown enough.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species of barb according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List is listed as Endangered. The main threats this species is facing are uncontrolled aquarium trade and habitat destruction due to the construction of new dams on rivers.

Arulius Barb Fun Facts

What do Arulius barbs look like?

The Arulius barb or Silas barb is a comparatively large barb fish and has an elongated, slender body. The upper parts of the fish are dark olive-brown colored which starts to become lighter at the lower parts of the fish. The lower part of the fish is white and they have three black spots on their body. The males have a greenish-silver hue on their bodies, while the females have a greenish to golden pink hue. They have a visible lateral line. The caudal fin is bisected, and both the anal and caudal fin has a reddish hue. The dorsal fin is short and not branched.

A female Arulius barb has a greenish to golden-pink hue on its body.

How cute are they?

Arulius barb fish can be pretty cute considering their bright colors like the Denison barb, active nature, and charming appearance. This species is also not high maintenance and peaceful. They are surely considered cute by many people as they are popular pets.

How do they communicate?

Fishes communicate by visual, audio cues, touch, and vibrations. Arulius barb fish also have a lateral line through which they can understand vibration and get a sense of their surroundings.

How big is an Arulius barb?

An adult Arulius barb can grow up to be 4.7 in (12 cm). They are about two and a half times smaller than sardines. Adult sardines usually grow up to be 6-12 in (15-30 cm).

How fast can an Arulius barb swim?

An Arulius barb fish can swim at a pretty fast speed, but the exact speed at which it swims is unknown.

How much does an Arulius barb weigh?

These are comparatively small tropical fish, and due to lack of research, the weight of an adult Arulius barb is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of this species don't have any specific names. The males are called male Arulius barbs and females are called female Arulius barbs.

What would you call a baby Arulius barb?

After the eggs hatch, the newborns of this species are called fry.

What do they eat?

These fishes are omnivorous in nature as well as opportunistic feeders. Their diet consists of both animal-based and plant-based food depending on the availability around them. If you are keeping them and feeding them as a pet in an aquarium, you can give them only flake food, but this won't help them grow and it even might weaken their immunity. Try feeding them a combination of frozen food, live food, and vegetables. They can eat brine shrimp which is a kind of shrimp and microworms.

Are they dangerous?

These fishes are peaceful, active, and harmless. They stay in groups of their own species and thrive living in that manner. They might harm other fishes in the tank only if they are kept separately in lower numbers.

Would they make a good pet?

They make excellent pets. As they are free-swimming fishes, they need enough space in the aquarium to swim around, but they also thrive if there are a few hiding places where they can play. They absolutely need to be kept in groups, and you can add other species of fish too. Arulius barb fish are peaceful and they won't do much harm to their tankmates. They are hardy in nature, so they can survive in any kind of conditions in the aquarium. The aquarium can be decorated with both floating or grounded plants. A 40-55 gal (181-250 L) aquarium is ideal for them. The best water pH level for them is 6-8 and the temperature of the water in the aquarium should be between 66.2-77 F (19-25 C).

Did you know...

There are many similar species to the Dawkinsia Arulius. They are D. filamentosus, D. assimilis, D. srilankensis, D. exclamatio, Dawkinsia tambraparniei, and D. singhala.

Most of the Arulius barb or Dawkinsia arulius that are sold in the market today for the aquarium trade, are mostly a similar species, like the Dawkinsia tambraparniei. Dawkinsia tambraparniei fish look very similar to the Arulius barb, so it's hard for people to differentiate the two species.

The main difference between the Dawkinsia tambraparniei and the Arulius barb is their geographical location. While the Arulius barb is only restricted to Kerana, Karnataka, and Tamilnadu, the Dawkinsia tambraparniei is restricted to the Western Ghats, mainly in the Tambraparni River basin in Tamilnadu in India.

Another major difference between the Dawkinsia arulius and the Dawkinsia tambraparniei is the dorsal fin of the two species. While the dorsal fin of the Dawkinsia arulius is short and no branches can be seen, the dorsal fin of the Dawkinsia tambraparniei is branched and elongated to a threadlike feature at the end. If your Arulius barb has an elongated dorsal fin, then chances are it's a Dawkinsia tambraparniei. Keep an eye next time you try to buy them, and you will be able to differentiate between the Dawkinsia tambraparniei and Arulius barb.

Why is it called an Arulius ​barb?

The Arulius barb is also called Aruli barb. Aruli is the name which local people call these fishes.

Is the Arulius ​barb edible?

These fishes are kept as pets by many people. They are also not poisonous, so it can be assumed they can be eaten, but like other barb fishes such as the Odessa barb, there are no records of people eating these fishes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these checkered barb facts and rosy barb facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable snapper coloring pages.



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