Desmopuntius pentazona – Fiveband Barb

Desmopuntius pentazona or Fiveband Barb is often confused with the Sumatran but has slightly redder fins and an extra stripe. It is a quiet schooling fish that you should not keep with lively species.


Desmopuntius pentazona – Fiveband Barb

Desmopuntius pentazona or Fiveband Barb has an orange body with 5 stripes that run across the body. As with Puntigrus tetrazona, this drawing can also be found in the name of the Desmopuntius pentazona. Penta means 5 and this species can therefore mainly be recognized by the 5 stripes that run across the body. The fins are sometimes slightly redder than the body. The colours come out well with good water care.

The difference between males and females are hard to see. Men are more brightly coloured than women. Dominant males get a lot redder in the fins and on the body.

Synonyms: Barbus pentazona, Barbus pentazona pentazona, Capoeta pentazona, Puntius pentazona, Systomus pentazona.


Malaysia, Indonesia (blackwater), South East Asia.

The Aquarium

An aquarium of at least 60 centimetres is required for the Five Barbel. Set up the aquarium with a dark bottom, dense vegetation on the edges, floating plants and filtering over peat. This dims the light and this benefits the colour they show. Provide sufficient hiding places for the more shy fish, for example by using wood and stones. Do keep enough swimming space because Desmopuntius pentazona likes to swim.


Temperature: 22-28 Celsius
Ph: 5-6,5
GH: 4-10


Fiveband Barbs likes black, red and white mosquito larvae, Daphnia, cyclops and brine shrimp.
Occasionally, small pieces of vegetable and dry food may also be given, so just about all small types of food. Desmopuntius pentazona is a real omnivore but they prefer live/frozen food.


The Fiveband Barb is calmer than other barbels, it is a calm schooling fish that you should not keep together with lively species. Keep them with a minimum of 6 to 10 in an aquarium. They swim in the lower and middle water layers.

Breeding Desmopuntius pentazona – Fiveband Barb

Breeding Desmopuntius pentazona is not that easy, a breeding pair is required in a separate breeding tank. Make sure the pair is well fed. Decorate the breeding tank with fine-leaved plants such as Java Moss and Cabomba. The water must be very soft and acidic, so filter over peat, the temperature may be slowly raised a few degrees to 27-28 degrees Celsius. After spawning, remove the parents to prevent the eggs from being eaten. Raise the fry with brine shrimp, Daphnia, cyclops and dust food, feed them small amounts several times a day, this promotes the growth of the young. Change part of the water regularly.



Coby – Rickpad

Copyright foto’s

Mark Duffill

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