Information, Barbs, Cyprinids, Freshwater fish, Species

Fiveband Barb: A Colorful Addition to Your Aquarium

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by Jason Matthews



The Fiveband Barb, scientifically known as Puntius pentazona, is a captivating and hardy species of fish that has become increasingly popular among fish keepers. Native to the fast-flowing streams of Southeast Asia, this species has a vibrant appearance and lively personality that is sure to add color and energy to any aquarium.

Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate pet fish owner, the Fiveband Barb is a wonderful species to consider for your tank.


Scientific Name: Puntius pentazona
Common Names: Fiveband barb
Life Expectancy: Up to 5 years
Adult Size: Up to 3.5 inches (8.8 cm)


HabitatSlow-moving or standing freshwater streams and rivers
OriginSoutheast Asia
Care LevelEasy
TemperamentPeaceful, social
Tank LevelMid-level to bottom
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons (75 liters)
Water pH 5.0-6.0
Water Temperature26-29°C
Water Hardness5-12 dGH
LightingLow to moderate
Tank MatesPeaceful community fish such as tetras, gouramis, and corydoras

Fun Fact Corner

One interesting fact about the Fiveband Barb species is that they have been known to exhibit a unique display of social behavior known as “shoaling”. Shoaling is when a group of fish swim in close formation and move as a single unit. This behavior not only provides a sense of security for the fish, but also helps them navigate their environment and find food more efficiently.


The origin of the Fiveband Barb, also known as the Five-barred barb, can be traced back to Southeast Asia’s fast-flowing streams and rivers, including countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

This species has been an integral part of the aquatic ecosystem of the region for many centuries and has been prized for its beauty and hardiness by local fishkeepers. The Fiveband Barb is not a naturally occurring species but is a product of the selective breeding of other barbs in the Puntius genus.

Despite being widely distributed across Southeast Asia, the Fiveband Barb is considered a captive-bred species, with limited populations in the wild. Nevertheless, it is widely available in the ornamental fish trade and is highly valued for its bright colors, active behavior, and ease of care.


The Fiveband Barb is an eye-catching species with a vibrant and colorful appearance. This species has a slender and streamlined body, which is characterized by its five horizontal black stripes, hence the name Fiveband Barb.

The stripes run from the gills to the tail and are set against a bright red or orange background. Additionally, the Fiveband Barb has a distinctive black patch on the base of its dorsal fin, adding to its striking appearance.

The fish also has a forked tail and transparent fins with a slight orange tint.


The size of the Fiveband Barb is relatively small, typically growing to a maximum length of around 4 inches (10 cm). This species is well-suited for smaller aquariums and does not require a lot of space to thrive.

The compact size of the Fiveband Barb also makes it an ideal choice for those with limited space for an aquarium or those just starting out with pet fish. Despite its small size, the Fiveband Barb is an active and hardy species that will bring a lot of energy and life to your aquarium.

It is important to note that while small in size, the Fiveband Barb should still be kept in a sufficient aquarium size with adequate swimming space to ensure its well-being.


The Fiveband Barb is a sexually dimorphic species, meaning that males and females exhibit distinct differences in appearance.

Male Fiveband Barbs are typically more colorful and vibrant, with more intense red or orange coloration and more distinct black stripes. They also have longer fins and are usually more active and energetic than female Fiveband Barbs.

Female Fiveband Barbs are typically less colorful, with a more muted coloration and less distinct black stripes. They also have shorter fins and tend to be plumper in body shape. It is relatively easy to differentiate between male and female Fiveband Barbs, making it an excellent species for those who are interested in breeding fish.

Understanding the differences between male and female Fiveband Barbs can also help select the right mix of fish for your aquarium, as having both male and female Fiveband Barbs can lead to a more diverse and dynamic fish community.


The behavior of the Fiveband Barb is lively, energetic, and social. This species is known for its active swimming behavior and will spend much of its time swimming and exploring its aquarium environment.

Fiveband Barbs are shoaling fish and do best in groups of 6 or more individuals. Keeping a larger group of Fiveband Barbs can help to reduce aggression and create a more dynamic and interesting aquarium environment.

This species is also non-aggressive towards other fish, making it an ideal candidate for community aquariums. The Fiveband Barb is also a hardy species that is resistant to many common fish diseases, making it an ideal choice for beginner fish keepers.


The Fiveband Barb is a peaceful species that is well-suited for community aquariums. It is important to choose appropriate tank mates to ensure compatibility and reduce the risk of aggression or stress. Some good tank mates for Fiveband Barbs include:

  • Other peaceful, non-aggressive fish species such as tetras, rasboras, and gouramis
  • Community-friendly catfish such as Corydoras or Otocinclus
  • Larger, passive species such as angelfish or discus
  • Snails or other peaceful invertebrates

It is important to avoid keeping Fiveband Barbs with aggressive or territorial species and species that may be too large to be suitable tank mates.

It is also important to avoid keeping Fiveband Barbs with species that have different temperature or water parameter requirements, as this can lead to stress and health issues.

By carefully selecting suitable tank mates, you can create a harmonious and balanced community aquarium environment for your Fiveband Barbs to thrive in.

Tank conditions

The Fiveband Barb is a hardy species that can adapt to a variety of water conditions, but it is important to maintain a stable and appropriate environment for optimal health and well-being.

The ideal water temperature for Fiveband Barbs is between 26-29°C and a pH level of 5.0-6.0. This species is also relatively tolerant of water hardness, but it is recommended to maintain a moderate to hard water hardness level.

In terms of filtration, a high-quality aquarium filter is recommended to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated. Regular water changes and monitoring of water parameters are also important to maintain a healthy environment for the Fiveband Barb.

t is also important to provide adequate swimming space and plenty of hiding spots in the form of rocks and plants. By providing a stable and appropriate tank environment, you can ensure that your Fiveband Barbs will thrive and bring much energy and life to your aquarium.


The Fiveband Barb is an omnivorous species that will accept a variety of foods in the aquarium. Providing a balanced and varied diet is important to ensure optimal health and well-being. A diet for Fiveband Barbs should consist of:

  • High-quality, sinking pellets or flakes designed for omnivorous fish
  • Live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms
  • Vegetable-based foods such as spirulina or blanched spinach
  • Occasional treats such as small pieces of fruit or chopped earthworms

It is important to avoid overfeeding the Fiveband Barb, as this can lead to water quality issues and health problems. Feeding two to three times per day in small portions is recommended.

Providing a balanced and varied diet can help ensure that your Fiveband Barbs will remain healthy and active.


Breeding Fiveband Barbs can be a challenging but rewarding experience for the more experienced aquarist. A breeding pair of Fiveband Barbs will typically form naturally in a well-maintained aquarium with good water conditions. A breeding setup should include a separate breeding tank with soft, slightly acidic water and plenty of hiding places.

The female Fiveband Barb will lay her eggs in a well-concealed location, and the male will fertilize them. The eggs will hatch in 24-36 hours, and the fry will be free-swimming in another three to four days. Separating the fry from the adult fish is recommended to prevent predation.

The fry will require small, frequent feedings of infusoria or liquid fry food until they are large enough to eat newly hatched brine shrimp or other small foods. Providing a clean and stable environment with appropriate water conditions and a varied diet will help your Fiveband Barb fry grow and thrive.

Breeding Fiveband Barbs is not for the inexperienced aquarist, as it requires patience and attention to detail, but for those who are willing to invest the time and effort, it can be a fascinating and rewarding experience.


Diseases can concern any pet fish species, and Fiveband Barbs are no exception. Proper care and maintenance of their aquarium, including regular water changes and proper filtration, can help prevent the onset of many common fish diseases.

If you suspect that your Fiveband Barbs are suffering from a disease, it is important to take prompt action to prevent the spread of the disease to other fish in the tank. This may include adding aquarium-specific medications to the water, increasing aeration, or temporarily separating affected fish into a quarantine tank.


Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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