5 Banded Barb/Pentazona Barb

Aquarium Livestock
8 Jul 16:16

5 Banded Barb/Pentazona Barb

Scientific name:  Desmopuntius Pentazona


These little barbs are a fantastic community fish. Unlike many other barbs they are extremely peaceful and can be kept with other small fish such as Neon Tetras.

They look a little like Tiger Barbs due to their stripes, but in fact their colour is a bit more complicated. The base background colour is orange, overlapped by stripes that are actually a very dark green.


The males have a richer body colour than the females and redder fins. The females are also slightly larger and more rounded in the body

Size:  5cm (females slightly larger than males)

Where are they from?

North-west Borneo. Their natural habitats are generally peat swamps with lots of submerged vegetation and fairly slow flowing water.


A quiet aquarium is best – so be careful that their tank mates are not too boisterous! Ideally it will be pH 7 or lower, although they can be kept successfully in harder water in mature aquariums.

Kept in a shoal of 6+ they will be happier and the males will colour up as they have others to compete with. Ideal tank mates would be Harlequin Rasboras and small Gouramis.

Aquarium size:  Minimum 60cm x 30cm x 30cm.


Egg scattering spawners. They will often spawn in aquariums but will usually eat their eggs (or other tank mates will). They are best spawned in a separate breeding aquarium set up specifically for this purpose.

Final comments/key points

  • Great fish, but these are a little bit more sensitive than some. For that reason they do best in a mature set up that has been going for 3 months or longer.
  • Prone to White Spot when stressed, so always look at the fish carefully in the shop and ask them how long they have been in. If they are new arrivals then reserve some and collect them once they have had chance to settle.
  • Please keep them in a group of 6 or more, they will be much happier and will look more attractive.

Author & Photo credit - Parkers Manager Patrick Davies.