Mahecola Barb (Puntius mahecola) Fish Species Profile

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This Mahecola Barb is usually peaceful and makes an ideal inhabitant of a community aquarium.

These barbs are relatively hardy and have no special requirements in terms of water conditions. You can combine these fish with many other species of fish.

These Barbs are a schooling species and should be kept in groups of at least eight individuals. You should maintain them in adequate numbers as this will make the fish less nervous and result in a more effective, natural-looking display. Keeping them in larger groups will also encourage males to display their best colours as they compete with one other for female attention.

Mahecola Barbs are uncommon in the aquarium trade but are quite popular among hobbyists of native species in India.

As juveniles the Mahecola Barb has a straightforward and dull-looking body with two dark splotches but as they mature they lose the second splotch only displaying it on their caudal peduncle, located behind the anal fin.

Scientific NamePuntius mahecola
Other NamesNone
OriginsSouth India
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespanup to 5 years
Maximum Sizeup to 7.5 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature64 - 75 ℉ (17.8 - 23.9 ℃)
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 15
TDS90 - 268

Origins of the Mahecola Barb

You can find Mahecola Barbs in rivers draining much of the Western Ghats mountains in Kerala, Tamil Nadu States and Karnataka in South India.

They inhabit shallow, slow-flowing rivers with a muddy or sandy substrate with dense vegetation along their banks. You can also find them in artificial lakes and lagoons formed by damming of rivers.


In the home aquarium, these Barbs are easily fed. However, if you would like your fish to have the most excellent colours and condition you should offer them regular meals of small live and frozen fares such as artemia, bloodworm and daphnia. It would be best if you supplement these with high quality dried granules and flakes, making sure these also incorporate algal or plant content.

Sexing the Mahecola Barb

It is somewhat straightforward to distinguish male from female Mahecola Barbs. Adult males are typically smaller and slimmer than females as well as displaying more intense colour patterning than females.

Breeding the Mahecola Barb

Unfortunately, there are no records of successful breeding in the home aquarium and little to no information available on how to breed this species. However, I can imagine they would produce similar to other Puntius species.

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Date Added: 12/16/2020 - Updated: 12/16/2020 10:02:10 PM