Max Size: 3.5cm

Eight Banded False Barb (Eirmotus octozona)

In the Nano or planted aquarium, the Eight Banded False Barb, Eirmotus octozona makes an excellent schooling fish. Their attractive striping and small size make them popular with fish keepers. However, in contrast to many other widespread Barb species, these fish are rarely available. In addition to occupying the top and middle levels of the water column, you can also see these Barbs swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom layers.

In order to avoid dominance bullying, keep Eight Banded False Barbs in groups of 8 or more individuals. In addition, when you maintain these fish in larger groups, they will be less nervous, and the males will display their best colours while competing for females. However, it would be best if you did not keep these Barbs with larger, aggressive fish that will out-compete them for food, as they will not fight for it and may starve.

There are many small South American Characins, Pygmy Corydoras Catfish, and Otocinclus species that you can keep with Barbs, such as Boraras or Trigonostigma species. However, there is a possibility that they will prey on smaller Dwarf Shrimp shrimplets.

The Eight Banded False Barb has a yellowish red body with eight dark bars running along its snout and caudal peduncle. On the last dorsal-fin ray of these fish, there are diffused chromatophores. They have translucent dorsal-fin rays with some black sometimes extending onto the first branched ray.

Eight Banded False Barb (Eirmotus octozona) Video

Eight Banded False Barb (Eirmotus octozona) Species Profile & Care Guide


Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
Eight Banded False Barb
The Eight Banded False Barb
Quick Facts
Scientific NameEirmotus octozona
Year Described1959
Other NamesOctozona Barb, False Eight-Banded Barb
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.0
GH2 - 12
TDS18 -143
75 - 79℉
23.9 - 26.1℃


In the home aquarium, the Eight Banded False 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

2 interesting tank mate ideas for the Eight Banded False Barb could include:

Coral Red Pencilfish(Nannostomus mortenthaleri)
Indian Hifin Barb(Oreichthys cosuatis)

Sexual Dimorphism

Identifying male Eight Banded False Barbs from females is relatively straightforward. In good condition, males' unpaired fins display pale red colouration and are noticeably thinner than females. In contrast, mature females have a larger body size than males.

Frequently asked questions

Are Eight Banded False Barbs a shoaling fish?

Yes, Eight Banded Barbs are a shoaling fish. They are a timid and delicate species that must be maintained in groups of at least six individuals, preferably more so they feel less nervous. A shoal of these fish will also make for a beautiful display.

How do you tell the difference between male and female Eight Banded Barbs

It is quite challenging to distinguish males from females. However, adult males are somewhat slimmer than females and present a pale red colouration on their unpaired fins when they are in good condition.

What are the most suitable tankmates for the Eight Banded Barbs?

Eight Banded False Barbs are fine with other peaceful, small fish and can also be housed with larger Invertebrates. However, they may prey on smaller Dwarf Shrimp and their shrimplets.

What do Eight Banded Barbs eat?

The Eight Banded Barb requires a varied diet; therefore, it would benefit these fish if you provided them with high quality dried and frozen food remembering they have tiny mouths, so they will need to be suitably sized.

What is the best Aquarium setup for Eight Banded Barbs?

Eight Banded Barbs will do much better in either a heavily planted or forest stream type setup. The aquarium should also have a soft substrate and dim lighting and branches, roots and leaf litter as decor. Strong filtration is not required as they mainly inhabit sluggish waters.

What level of the aquarium do 8 Banded Barbs occupy?

The Eight Banded Barbs typically occupies the middle and the top of the water column. However, you may often see them swimming in the middle and bottom levels when searching for food.

Other Barbs of interest

African Banded Barb(Barbus fasciolatus)
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)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 28/06/2021 16:25:25 - Updated: 11/08/2022 13:18:37