A Complete Guide to Raise Roseline Shark (Denison Barb) in the Tank

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:05 am

The Roseline Shark (Denison Barb) are friendly, colorful, and gorgeous fish. They are essential species for a large community aquarium setup. Being peaceful, Roseline barb is pure joy for your aquarium and is easy to rise in groups.

Roseline Shark

The Denison’s barb is playful fish when kept in a relatively large community in appropriate numbers. One of the main advantages is their feeding habit. Denison barbs are omnivores and eat anything which an ordinary omnivores fish takes. 

However, raising Roseline fish is not an excellent deal. They are not ideal for the beginner fish keeper and required proper care to rise.

Roseline shark size is not suitable for many aquarium sizes and needs relatively more swimming space. They like a tank with plants and having peaceful tank mates. Other requirements include clean water and faster flow.

In this guide about Roseline Shark, you will learn about their habitat, feed, temperament, breeding, and diseases. It contains everything that you need to raise and to care for your Roseline sharks in the aquarium.

Roseline Shark Overview

  • Scientific Name: Sahyadria denisonii
  • Common Name: Roseline Shark, Denison barb, Miss Kerala
  • Origin: Southern India
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Caretaking: Intermediate
  • Feeding habit: Omnivore
  • Behavior: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 4-5 years
  • Floating Area: Mostly like mid water
  • Temperature Range: 60° to 77° F
  • Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
  • pH Range: 6.8 to 7.8
  • Water type: Freshwater
  • Filtration: Like oxygenated water
  • Flow Rate: High
  • Breeding: Rarely in aquariums
  • Compatibility: With non-aggressive freshwater species

Origins and Habitat

The Roseline Shark is native to southern India, especially in Cheenkannipuzha, Chaliyar River, Achankovil, and Mundakayam. They are endemic to the Karnata and Kerala areas of India, with a highly fragmented population.

The Rose line shark inhabits small populations in the river system of Bhavani, Sullya, Iritti, and Kallar. In these river systems, they live in highly oxygenated water. They congregate near the river banks where thick vegetation is present.

In the wild, they are common because people capture denisonii barb for sale for their popularity and overfishing. Deforestation and shrinking resources of highly oxygenated freshwater are also the factors that contribute to their population decline. 

However, specific commercial breeding programs in Southeast Asia and Europe do Roseline shark breeding at their centers. Also, the wild hunt is now restricted to increase their population in India. 

Roseline Shark care

Physical Appearance

The Roseline Sharks have an elongated torpedo-shaped body. For this reason, they are also known as torpedo barb. The body color is silver with a black line that extends from the snout to the tail for the whole length of the fish. There is a bright scarlet color line on the top of the black line that runs along the black line in the middle of the body from snout to the fish eyes.

Redline shark has differently colored dorsal and caudal fins that give it a colorful look. The caudal fin has a black and bright yellow color. The dorsal fins in these Denison barbs have a brilliant red-colored. On maturity, some of these fish developed a green tinge appearance on their head. 

There golden Roseline Sharks variants available for more appreciative value. They are created artificially and have red lines without the black stripes. 

The Denison barb size varies, and they can reach as long as 6 inches in length. Due to their size, they need a relatively larger aquarium.

You will love to read: Mexican Dwarf Crayfish – The Complete Practical Care Guide

Nature and Life Expectancy

The Resoline Sharks are very peaceful and like the company of other fish in the aquarium. They are very active and move across the aquarium in the form of fish schools. They are peaceful, but not fish for a small aquarium.

There are specific reports of their aggressive behavior when kept in small spaces. So, always keep them in the aquarium, having plenty of space for them.

In captivity, Denison barb lifespan is moderately good, and they can live from 4 to 5 years. Certain factors affect their life expectancy. Highly oxygenation water and a high-quality feed are two main factors that affect their lifespan.

Food Type and Intensity

Rose Shark is not your regular aquarium fish when it comes to feeding. They are omnivores and need chunks of vegetable and meaty protein. But they do not like low-quality food and prefer high-quality food with nutritional value.

Generally, the cheap fish feed has more padding that gives no nutritional value to the fish cause them health issues, especially digestive problems. Avoid this feed to keep your sharks in healthy and active condition.

These lovely Denison Barb fish eat various insects, small plants, algae, and small invertebrates in the wild. You can feed them pellets as a basic diet. Feeding them high-quality food especially carotenoid, increase their health and boost their color.

To add variety to the feed of Resoline fish:

  1. Carry a mixed routine of live and frozen foods.
  2. Give them blanched vegetables, bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and spirulina.
  3. Keep a feeding frequency routine twice a day and serve them food quantity to eat in few minutes.
Roseline Shark Breeding

Compatibility and Tankmates

Roseline sharks do not like to live in isolation. They interact with other fish and want to live in the form of school. To keep them healthy and stress-free, keep them in five to six fish schools.

Roseline Shark compatibility is good with many fish types. There are certain fish that can live without any problem in the dension aquarium. Always keep fast swimmers; otherwise, they might get injured due to more rapid movements of the Dension fish across the aquarium.

A few fishes that can show a good option for Roseline sharks tankmates includes:

Setting Up Aquarium for Roseline Shark

Tank size:

Roseline sharks generally grow to 6 inches, and a full adult is a very active swimmer that needs a lot of space for swimming. A minimum of 55-gallon tank needs for keeping them in the form of the small school. If you are planning to mix them in the communities, a larger tank fulfills the requirements.

A rectangular tank is preferable for keeping Roseline fish as it offers a more spacious swimming area. There are chances that fish can jump out of the tank, so a tight-fitting lid or cover slide is essential for keeping the fish safe inside the tank.

Substrate and Decorations:

The Roseline sharks remain happy on a substrate made from coarse sand or fine rocks. The decoration needs something natural to mimic their habitat. While choosing the tank’s decoration, keep in mind that the interior gives the fish sense of relaxation. It improves their vibrant color, prevents stress, and keeps them relax in the tank.

Keep in mind not to clutter the tank with unnecessary items or to overload the tank. Add smooth stones, small pebbles, and fine rocks for giving natural scenery. Roseline sharks are fast swimmer, and blocking their path with additional items can disturb them.

Dennison barbs need hiding spots, and they appreciate such an addition to the tank. Add an adequate amount of rough rocks and caves to provide them places to hide. You can plant the guppy grass but make sure that their roots have a firm bound to the bottom.


Roseline Sharks remain healthy and active in highly oxygenated water. You need an external canister filter to keep the water pristine and well oxygenated with moderate flow.

The water temperature needs to be around 60 to 75° F for optimal growth and health as Roseline are tropical fish, requiring the water temperature in this range.

No doubt, oxygenated water, and temperature are very important. But maintaining the pH range is also very important for the barbs. They like the pH value between 6.5 to 7.8. Keep the water hardness checked between 5-25 dKH.


Choose an LED lighting setup according to the plant you will grow inside the tank because Roseline sharks are not much selective for the light conditions. They remain happy with the standard lighting setup in the tank.

Roseline Shark Breeding

Roseline Shark breeding is almost impossible in the aquarium, and if your try to breed them in the aquarium, they get stressed, and chances of failure are more.

The barb fish that we purchase from the online or local fish stores has been sourced from the commercial breeders that either breeds them using hormones or get them from the natural habit.

Roseline Shark breeding and their spawning in the aquarium is a rare event. To encourage breeding, they need a group of 15 or more. In this way, there are more chances of stimulating the spawning.


There are fish stores that sell Roseline Sharks. They operate both online and locally. But there are few chances that you find good barbs from the online store. A single fish can cost near $20.

Roseline Shark availability

Common Roseline Shark Disease

When Dension barbs are in good health, they are very agile, swim very aggressively in the tank’s open area, and explore the tank environment regularly.

But if they are not feeding well or going lazy, they certainly at risk of disease. You can observe other symptoms include:

  • Not swimming in the community.
  • Flicking or rubbing against the tank substrate.
  • Red patches or ulcers on the skin.

Many factors can cause disease in Roseline sharks, but the most common is polluted water. Mainly disease starts from infected water. Keep the check on ammonia and nitrate regularly and keep the water quality nearly pure to avoid disease onset.

Here we are listing some widespread diseases of Roseline barb.

Bacterial Infection:

Bacterial infections are a common term for the wide range of symptoms caused by the bacteria family.

  • Symptoms: Red ulcers, popeyes, red streaks, and bloating.
  • Causes: Stress, expired food, and poor water quality
  • Treatment: Broad-spectrum antibacterial

Fungal Infection:

Fungal infections look similar to bacterial infections and are very tricky to diagnose. They have a wide variety of symptoms and types.

  • Symptoms: threaded or cotton growth on the body
  • Cause: Untreated injury, water quality, and stress
  • Treatment: Erythromycin

Summing Up

Roseline Sharks are beautiful, colorful, and highly active fish that like to live in the communities. They are relatively easy to rise in highly oxygenated water. These vibrant fishes need a big tank for their movement. While setting up a tank for them, make sure to place hiding spots and plants to provide them with natural looks. It is an excellent fish for the aquarium but challenging to breed.

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