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Banded barb

The Fascinating Fish – Banded Barb

The banded barb is a captivating fish that is native to multiple countries in Southeast Asia. With its distinct black and white horizontal striped pattern, it’s no wonder that this fish has become so popular among fish keepers. It is a peaceful river species with a semi-aggressive temperament, and it can make a beautiful addition to any freshwater aquarium.

The Appearance and Behavior of Banded Barbs

The banded barb is a relatively small fish, usually growing no more than 4 inches long in captivity. It has a stocky, short body shape with a large tail, and a broad head. Its body has black and white horizontal stripes which continues right down to its tail fin. The stripes can vary in intensity, but they always stand out against its pale silver-grey colored body.

The banded barb is a calm and peaceable fish that can tolerate other similar-tempered species. It is also a great addition to a school, and will swim in a coordinated fashion while hunting for food. This fish is mostly active during the day and spends most of its time searching for food and engaging in swimming and other activities.

Habitat for Banded Barbs

The banded barb prefers environments with plenty of open water and some vegetation for hiding. It usually lives in fast-flowing and rocky rivers, but can also be found in stagnant waters and coastal areas. Tank water should be slightly alkaline, with temperatures ranging from 75 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal pH level for this species is 6.5 to 8.5.

Banded barb two

Diet for Banded Barbs

Though omnivorous, banded barbs tend to have a preference for meaty foods. In the wild, they mainly feed on zooplankton, insect larvae and a variety of worms. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods, including frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, spirulina and other freeze-dried foods.

Breeding Banded Barbs

Breeding banded barbs is relatively easy, though getting them to breed in an aquarium can take some effort. Females can reach sexual maturity at as young as three months, while males can at four months. To encourage breeding, it helps to keep them in a well-oxygenated breeding tank with plenty of vegetation and shallow waters. It’s important to use only cover the bottom of the tank with gravel, as sand can be too slippery for the eggs.

The banded barb is an egg-scattering species, so the female releases the eggs randomly throughout the tank and the male follows behind to fertilize them. Once spawning is finished, it’s best to remove the adults from the tank as they can eat their own eggs. The eggs hatch after three days, and the fry will become free swimming after another three days. The fry should be fed with liquid foods, such as newly hatched baby brine shrimp or pureed freeze-dried foods.


The banded barb is a captivating fish that is sure to bring eye-catching beauty to any freshwater aquarium. With its distinct black and white stripes and peaceful temper, it can mix well with other similar-tempered species. It is relatively easy to breed in captivity, provided you maintain the right tank conditions. All in all, the banded barb is a great choice for those looking for a beautiful, easy-to-care-for fish to add to their aquarium.

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