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Puntius pentazona pentazona (Five Banded Barb)

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A fine alternative to the more widely available tiger barb, this species is peaceful and does not nip fins. It does tend to be a bit shy, so do not keep in tanks with aggressive or substantially large species.

This barb is somewhat deep bodied, yellow or orange in colour, and has five vertical bands including one through the eye. The fins are orange to red. Sex differences are slight; the male is comparatively slender and more brightly coloured.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Shy, schooling fish that must be kept in groups of eight or more specimens. Only combine with peaceful tankmates. Will readily eat live and frozen foods, but is much less keen on flake food.

A difficult species to breed. While the basics are similar to other barbs, soft, acid water is essential and the parents must be conditioned on live foods beforehand.

Family Group: Barbs
Distribution Malaysia, Borneo
Temperature 22-26C
Size 5 cm
Water Parameters Soft, acidic water preferred
Water PH 6.0-7.0

Useful sources of information:

For a well illustrated and detailed reference guide on this and many other fish, consider the Baensch Aquarium Atlases. Volume 1 contains all the common species, and later volumes cover more unusual species. You can buy these books here.