Melon Barb (Haludaria fasciata)
The Melon Barb is an active, peaceful, good looking fish that will make an ideal resident of the community aquarium.
There are several variants of this fish which differ in both colour and patterning depending on locality and habitat type.
Species from highland environments typically display an orangey-gold base colour. In contrast, at lower altitudes, they are generally purple or reddish. The number of thick dark bars on their body also depends on the habitat, and they can range from 1 bar to 5 bars.
|Scientific Name||Haludaria fasciata|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||72 - 79 ℉ (22.2 - 26.1 ℃)|
|PH||5.5 - 7.5|
|GH||2 - 8|
|TDS||36 - 179|
Melon Barbs inhabit soft, acidic, moderate fast-flowing waters in a variety of regions from canals, lakes, ditches, ponds, hill streams as well as major rivers in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka in the Western Ghats of South India.
Other Barbs of interest
Diet & Feeding
Melon Barbs are easily-fed and are not fussy. To give them the best health and colour, offer them regular meals of small frozen and live foods such as Daphnia, bloodworm, mosquito larvae and artemia.
To balance their diet its recommended to give them good quality dried flakes and granules, as well as supplements that include algae or plant content.
It is quite simple to differentiate males from females. Females are usually larger and fuller-bodied, especially when in breeding condition than males. In contrast, the males are more slender and a lot more colourful, usually with red or red and black colouration in the dorsal fins.
It is relatively easy to breed Melon Barbs. A separate breeding tank will be required, set up with soft water, a substrate of marbles or a mesh along the bottom and plenty of fine-leaved plants or spawning mops.
You should raise the temperature by a few degrees higher than usual, have dim lighting, and you will need a sponge filter with a gentle flow.
Place one or two well-conditioned pairs into the breeding tank and make sure the lid is tightly shut as spawning can be a very active affair.
The first sunlight will often trigger the fish into spawning, and as soon as this takes place, the female will scatter her eggs over the available plants or on the substrate.
Once the female has used up all her eggs and laid them, the parents will then need to be removed; otherwise, they will consume the eggs.
Frquently asked questions about the Melon Barb
Are Melon Barbs a shoaling fish?
How do you differentiate between male and female Melon Barbs?
What are the best tankmates for Melon Barbs?
What do Melon Barbs look like?
What should you feed Melon Barbs?
Where do Melon Barbs originate?
All 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.