Harlequin Rasboras or Cherry Barbs - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-06-2013, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Harlequin Rasboras or Cherry Barbs

Hey, I was going to get either Harlequin Rasboras or Cherry Barbs for my Zebra Loaches. What are the pros and cons of each? What do you guys prefer? I'm planning to put them in a 20 gallon aquarium.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-08-2013, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by I3raven View Post
Hey, I was going to get either Harlequin Rasboras or Cherry Barbs for my Zebra Loaches. What are the pros and cons of each? What do you guys prefer? I'm planning to put them in a 20 gallon aquarium.
If you have a group of loaches (recommendation is six or more) than a 20 gallon isn't really large enough to put a group of either in with them. I am going with slightly smaller catfish and chose the Cherry Barb but only because my water was very hard and they are slightly better than rasbora to suit my water and tank size. 6 cats and 12 barbs and my tank is pretty much maxed out at 37 gallons.

Can you go with a larger tank at this point?

The Mosquito Rasbora are smaller and still quite colorful. might be a small enough load on your tank to get away with a group of them. I looked at them but they need softer water than I can provide.


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post #3 of 3 Old 01-08-2013, 02:32 PM
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Either would be OK with Botia striata from the point of compatibility, but the tank size as Jeff mentioned is a factor here. And we don't know how many loaches you have. They must be in a group, I would say 4 is absolute minimum but 5-6 would be better. I have five in my 90g, along with five Botia kubotai which get a bit larger.

In the profile [click Botia striata] I gave 36 inches as minimum tank length, and I think that is best. A 20g long at 30 inches would be better than a 20g high at 24 inches. And here I am still on the loaches.

If you have 4-5 Zebra Loach in a 20g, for upper fish I would go with the rasbora because they are less active than any barb and this is always better in smaller spaces. I wouldn't suggest the dwarf species like Boraras brigittae (Mosquito) because they are so tiny the loach might eat them. The species in Trigonostigma would be better, and of these three the two slightly smaller best, namely Trigonostigma espei or Trigonostigma hengeli. The latter are my favourites, they are very attractive with that brilliant copper "axe". You should be OK with a group of 7 of whichever, if you maintain regular weekly partial water changes of half the tank and have live plants.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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