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Banded Barb

banded barb

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Scientific Name:   Puntius pentazona      
Min. Tank Size:   30 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   74-79°F      
pH:   6.0-7.0/5-12°dGH      
Size:   2"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Other Cyprinids, Livebearers, Tetras, Rasboras, Corydoras, Loaches and Gouramis.

Banded Barb

Also called the Five-Banded Barb and the Hexazon Barb, Banded Barbs are similar in appearance to Tiger Barbs. These fish range in coloration from dark orange to olive brown with an orange flush on the flanks. Banded Barbs have white throats and bellies with red anal and ventral fins. The defining characteristic of this species is the five black transverse bands, the first of which runs through the eye and the last close to the caudal fin. Banded Barbs are native to Southeastern Asia including the countries of Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Sumatra. These fish are found primarily in peat swamps and blackwater streams where they can easily hide among aquatic plants.

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, Banded Barbs are relatively undemanding but prefer a heavily planted tank with dim lighting. Peat added to the tank will help to keep the water on the acid side of neutral. This setup will mimic their natural environment. Be sure to leave plenty of open swimming area since the Banded Barb is a schooling fish. As with most schooling fish, Banded Barbs will do best with 6 or more of their own kind. Banded Barbs may also enjoy bogwood decorations. As with most fish, a dark substrate such as black sand will help to accentuate the colors of this species.


In the wild, Banded Barbs are micropredators which means they feed primarily on small invertebrates and crustaceans as well as other zooplankton. In the home aquarium they will readily accept a variety of foods and should be provided with such to promote optimum health and coloration. A staple diet for Banded Barbs should include a high-quality flake or pellet food supplemented with small live and frozen foods such as Daphnia, bloodworms and Artemia.


Banded Barbs are egg layers and can be bred fairly easily in the home aquarium. Coarse gravel is recommended for the spawning tank. These fish should be conditioned for spawning in large groups consisting of six or more of each sex. The breeding tank itself should be kept at a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and a temperature around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenehit. The parent fish should be removed from the breeding tank after spawning because they are likely to eat their eggs and fry.

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