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Maximum size : 6 cm

Melon Barb - Haludaria fasciata : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Melon Barbs, (Haludaria fasciata) with their striking colours and lively personalities, are a real treat for any aquarium enthusiast. These fish are active and sociable, making them great additions to community tanks. However, it 's essential to keep in mind that these boisterous fish may not be suitable for smaller, timid species. Melon Barbs are fast-moving and voracious eaters. Therefore, they will thrive alongside equally active and large tankmates such as Denison Barbs, Rainbowfish, Gouramis, and Loaches. To encourage natural schooling behaviour, it 's best to keep these fish in groups of eight or more. Keeping a group of Melon Barbs is not only visually pleasing but also provides an opportunity to observe their fascinating behaviour. When kept in larger groups, males will compete for the best position within the group, limiting aggression and creating a natural hierarchy. When creating a suitable environment for your Melon Barbs, be sure to provide them with various rock sizes, pebbles, sand or fine gravel, and even some small boulders. Additionally, hardy aquatic plants such as Anubias and Microsorum can be beneficial. Melon Barbs come in various colours and patterns, depending on their habitat and locality. Some have orangey-gold hues, while others display purple or reddish shades. The number of dark bars on their bodies can also differ, ranging from one to five, depending on the species.\r\n

Melon Barb Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Melon Barbs is relatively easy. Females tend to have larger bodies than males, particularly during breeding season. Males, on the other hand, have slender bodies and a dorsal fin that is usually red or red and black.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHaludaria fasciata
Year Described1849
Other NamesNone
Max Size6 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH2 - 8
TDS36 - 179
72 - 79
22.2 - 26.1

Natural habitat

Melon Barbs are endemic to the Western Ghats of South India. These remarkable fish can be found in a variety of regions, including canals, lakes, ditches, ponds, hill streams, and major rivers in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. Melon Barbs thrive in soft, acidic, and moderately fast-flowing waters, which are enriched with a variety of aquatic life, including plants, insects, and other small organisms. In their natural habitat, these stunning fish can be found playing amongst the rocks and vegetation, enjoying the abundance of food and shelter that the water provides. Recreating the ideal environment for Melon Barbs in your home aquarium requires a bit of effort, but the rewards are well worth it. With their vibrant colours and unique behaviours, Melon Barbs are an excellent addition to any aquatic community. So why not take a plunge into the captivating world of South India 's aquatic life and discover the wonders of Melon Barbs for yourself?

How to breed the Melon Barb

To breed Melon Barbs, a separate breeding tank is necessary, set up with soft water and an appropriate substrate such as marbles or a mesh along the bottom. In addition, you 'll need plenty of fine-leaved plants or spawning mops to provide a place for the female to lay her eggs. To increase the chances of successful spawning, it 's recommended to raise the temperature a few degrees higher than usual, use dim lighting, and install a gentle-flow sponge filter. Place one or two healthy and well-conditioned pairs into the breeding tank and ensure the lid is tightly shut as the spawning process can be quite active. Spawning typically occurs at first light, and the female will scatter her eggs over the available plants or substrate. It 's important to remove the parents once the spawning process is complete, as they will consume the eggs if left in the tank.

Diet & feeding

To maintain optimal health and vibrant coloration in Melon Barbs, it is essential to provide them with a well-balanced diet. While they are not particularly picky eaters, including a variety of food types is crucial. Offering small frozen or live foods like Daphnia, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and artemia will provide them with essential nutrients that dried flakes and granules may lack. Additionally, including supplements that contain algae or plant content can be beneficial for their overall health. It is essential to avoid overfeeding as this can lead to health problems and water quality issues. A good feeding regimen would be small amounts of food 2-3 times a day, with one day of fasting per week to allow for proper digestion.\r\n

Frequently asked questions

There are some Melon barbs in the hobby, and they subtly differ in intensity and markings. If your fish originated from high altitudes, you could expect them to be distinctly peach. However, If your Barbs are from lower altitudes, you can expect them to display purple, violet and red hues. The number of black bars they show also varies depending on their location. For example, fish from the south of Kerala have three bars on their flanks, whilst those from the north possess four; on the other hand, those from Goa have an impressive five.

In the wild, Melon Barbs are scavenging omnivores that feed on algae, organic detritus, diatoms, worms, crustaceans, small insects and other zooplankton. In captivity, these Barbs are not fussy and will eat pretty much anything. However, it would be better for the best colours and condition to offer them frequent meals of frozen and live foods such as daphnia, bloodworms and brine shrimp, as well as good-quality dried flakes and granules, some of which should include additional algal or plant content.

Melon Barbs are generally very peaceful fish, making them an ideal resident of the well-researched community aquarium. However, these Barbs may outcompete timid, slower-moving fish as they are somewhat of a vigorous feeder. These Barbs have no particular demands regarding water chemistry; therefore, you can combine them with several popular fish in the hobby. These can include Tetras, other small Cyprinids, Livebearers and Rainbowfish, as well as Catfish, certain Anabantoids, and loaches.

Melon Barbs are a shoaling fish that you should keep in groups of at least six individuals, although 8 to 10 would be much better as this provides security, and you'll be rewarded with a more natural-looking display. The interaction between rival males is captivating to watch, plus they display their best colours when they are competing for female attention or hierarchical dominance.

Melon Barbs are endemic to the Western Ghats mountains in the south Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu. They inhabit a variety of biotopes from significant rivers to hill streams as well as lakes, ponds, irrigation canals and ditches. These Barbs show a preference for shallow, quiet zones with submerged cover in the form of leaf litter or aquatic vegetation. \r\n\r\nAll the rivers in the Western Ghats are rain-fed and annual, so a majority of habitats experience changes in temperature, depth, turbidity, water chemistry and flow rate depending on the time of year. For example, undammed rivers can almost dry up entirely during the summer but can have flow like a torrent after the monsoons.

It is relatively straightforward to distinguish males from female Melon Barbs. The males are by far the more vibrantly coloured sex and usually have red, black or both colours in their dorsal fin. In contrast, females tend to be fuller-bodied, especially when in breeding condition and larger than males.


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