Maximum size : 6 cm

Lined Barb - Striuntius lineatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Due to their peaceful nature, hardiness, and undemanding characteristics, Lined Barbs (Striuntius lineatus) make suitable additions to community aquariums. However, their timid disposition necessitates a stable water environment with ample hiding places. Keeping a group of six or more Lined Barbs is recommended, as this sociable species thrive in the company of its own kind. In community settings, males often establish quiet territories in the lower regions of the aquarium, where they court passing females. The males exhibit their most vibrant colours during competitive displays to impress rivals and attract potential mates.

To maintain a harmonious environment for Lined Barbs, it is advisable to house them alongside other mild-mannered fish of similar size. Suitable tankmates include Tetras, Dwarf Rainbowfish, Rasboras, Catfish, and Plecos. However, caution should be exercised as larger fish may perceive Lined Barbs as potential prey. When designing the aquarium, it is preferable to incorporate ample live plants; however, hardy varieties like Anubias sp and Java fern are recommended due to the Barbs' tendency to nibble on plants. Providing open space in the middle of the tank for swimming is essential, with the placement of plants along the sides and back. Creating woody and rocky hiding places further enhances their habitat.

Regular partial water changes are necessary for Lined Barbs, as they are sensitive to pollutants. Moreover, to ensure their well-being, it is important to maintain well-oxygenated water, particularly when keeping them at higher temperatures. Lined Barbs can be identified by their silvery bodies adorned with multiple dark vertical stripes. Notably, they possess a distinct fleshy structure on their lower lip. While closely resembling the Striped Barb, Lined Barbs are significantly smaller and lack vertical bars as juveniles.

Lined Barb Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Lined Barbs is a relatively straightforward task. Adult males can be identified by their slightly smaller size, slender physique, and striking colouration and patterning, which are more intense compared to females. Conversely, females possess a slightly larger size, displaying a more rounded body shape, and their colouration appears somewhat duller in comparison to the vibrant hues of the males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameStriuntius lineatus
Year Described1904
Other NamesNone
OriginsMalaysia , Indonesia
Max Size6 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 4.0 - 7.0
GH 5 - 15
TDS 18 - 179
Ideal Temperature
68 - 79
20 - 26

Natural Habitat

Lined Barbs are indigenous to Southeast Asia, found explicitly in Malaysia, as well as the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia. These Barbs thrive in various aquatic habitats, including swamps, standing waters adorned with submerged grasses, and areas encompassing aquatic plants. They are also known to inhabit blackwater rivers, which contribute to their natural environment.


Breeding Lined Barbs is relatively straightforward under suitable conditions. Breeding can be achieved by maintaining them in groups or pairs. To create an optimal breeding environment, a dedicated breeding tank is required, characterized by soft and acidic water. Abundant fine-leaved plants such as java moss serve as ideal spawning sites. Alternatively, the use of spawning mops can be a suitable alternative. Ensuring dim lighting conditions in the breeding tank is important, as the eggs are sensitive to bright light.

Inducing the spawning mood and promoting the production of high-quality, healthy eggs can be accomplished by feeding the Barbs with frozen or live food such as bloodworms or brine shrimp. This dietary approach stimulates their reproductive behaviour, leading to the production of robust fry. The onset of spawning is indicated by the male swimming around the female in a courting display while displaying his fins. This process may extend for several hours, during which the Barbs can scatter as many as 100 eggs among the plants in the breeding tank. 

Similar to many other fish species, it is imperative to remove the adult fish once the eggs have been laid to prevent them from consuming the eggs. The laid eggs typically hatch within 24 hours, with the fry becoming free-swimming approximately 24 hours thereafter.

Diet & feeding

Lined Barbs readily accept a variety of high-quality dried foods in the home aquarium, including granules, flakes, and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been carefully formulated to meet all the necessary nutritional requirements to promote the overall health and well-being of the fish. 

While these dried foods alone can adequately sustain their dietary needs, providing supplementary food options such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworms, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week can offer additional health benefits to the fish. However, it is important to note that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and not as a staple diet, as they can be challenging for fish to digest and may potentially lead to blockages.

In their natural habitat, Lined Barbs are omnivorous, incorporating some vegetable matter into their diet. Most modern fish foods already incorporate this aspect, but it is still beneficial to supplement their diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Care should be taken to avoid overfeeding, and any uneaten food should be promptly removed the following day to maintain optimal water quality and prevent waste accumulation.

Other Barbs of interest