The Five-Banded Barb is a very peaceful, small barb that is a very attractive species for the nano and planted community aquarium!
The Five-Banded Barb (Desmopuntius pentazona johorensis) is a very peaceful schooling species that is an excellent fish for the community nano or planted aquarium. It is known for its attractive striping and small size. It is rather exceptional in appearance, but not as often available as many more widespread barb species. This particular subspecies is native to Johor state, Peninsular Malaysia. When kept in larger groups, males will display their best coloration while competing to attract females.
The Five-Banded Barb typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish. It may prey on smaller dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can make good tankmates. The Five-Banded Barb must be kept in groups of 6 or more, although larger groups are more ideal so that subdominant specimens are not bullied by dominant individuals during breeding behavior. Its natural habitat is tropical rainforest areas that typically have blackwater. It requires clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark substrate. This fish is native to somewhat dimly-lit streams, so low-light plants such as Java Fern, Anubias species, and Bucephalandra (Buce) species are excellent plants for its aquarium.
While not a picky eater, the Five-Banded Barb will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of omnivorous foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and live, frozen, or freeze-dried Artemia, microworms, Tubifex, and finely chopped bloodworms will all be readily accepted.