Max Size: 6cm

African Banded Barb (Barbus fasciolatus)

A group of African Banded Barb, Barbus fasciolatus, also known as the Fire and Angola Barb, makes a beautiful addition to any community tank because they are active, peaceful, and charming. In general, maintaining these fish in shoals of six or more fish is more beneficial for these fish.

If kept with suitable tank mates, African Banded Barbs are likely to settle down within a short period. However, to keep these barbs calm and relaxed, you should avoid semi-aggressive or boisterous tank mates.

As soon as a pecking order is established, you may witness them sparring. Despite this, there is no harm done to each other or any other species in the aquarium as a result of these conflicts.

Your aquarium needs to be sufficient in size and allow the weaker individuals some respite from the dominant male by providing broken lines of sight with some decor. In tiny groups, in cramped conditions, or alone, these Barbs can become withdrawn, and the dominant fish may bully the subordinates.

With an elongated olive-orange body and creamy-yellow stomach, the African Banded Barb is not as heavy-bodied as other Barb species. The male's body turns rusty red during the breeding season. There are 10-15 thin blueish-black bars on this barb, the second or third bar being egg-shaped, and the last bar forming a spot at the caudal peduncle.


African Banded Barb
African Banded Barb
African Banded Barb
Quick Facts
Scientific NameBarbus fasciolatus
Other NamesFire Barb, Angola Barb, Blue-barred Barb
OriginsAngola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.0
GH5 - 12
TDS18 -215
71 - 79℉
21.7 - 26.1℃

Natural Habitat

Zambezi River


In the home aquarium, the African Banded Barb will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the African Banded Barb could include:

Red Rili Shrimp(Neocaridina davidi var)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively easy to distinguish male African Banded Barbs from females. Males are more intensely coloured, especially during spawning, and smaller than females. On the other hand, females are larger, less colourful, and have rounder stomachs than males.

Frequently asked questions

How big do African Banded Barbs get?

African Banded Barbs can reach up to 6 cm in length, with the females usually being slightly larger than the males.

How do you distinguish between male from female African Banded Barbs?

It is pretty straightforward to determine the sex of African Banded Barbs. Males are typically more intensely coloured, especially when in breeding condition or displaying to their rivals. Females are slightly duller are usually slightly larger, and they possess much rounder stomachs when they are gravid.

How should I set up my aquarium for African Banded Barbs?

African Banded Barbs can be maintained successfully in a densely planted aquarium with soft water. However, if you wish to see your fish at their best, then a biotope style setup with a sandy substrate and several driftwood roots and branches placed in such a way that there is plenty of shady areas is highly recommended. You can also add some dried leaves such as oak, beech or Indian almond as these will further emphasise their natural habitat as well as providing more cover for your fish.

What should you feed African Banded Barbs

African Banded Barbs will readily accept high-quality flake or pelleted products and will also enjoy small frozen or live foods such as bloodworm, artemia and daphnia. In addition, these Barbs will also appreciate the occasional treat of vegetable matter both in the form of a dried product with added vegetable content or blanched vegetables such as courgette or spinach.

What tankmates are suitable for African Banded Barbs

The ideal tankmates for African Banded Barbs include Dwarf Cichlids and Pelvicachromis species, Tetras, smaller Catfish such as Microsyndontis species and other similarly-sized African Barbs. However, it would be best if you didn't house these Barbs with larger, more boisterous species.

Other Barbs of interest

Arulius Barb(Dawkinsia arulius, Puntius arulius)
Black Ruby Barb(Pethia nigrofasciata)
Blue Spotted Hill Trout(Barilius bakeri)
Borneo Red Fin Silver Shark(Cyclocheilichthys janthochir)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
Checker Barb(Oliotius oligolepis)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 08/12/2020 - Updated: 06/12/2022 13:56:00