Max Size: 6cm

Melon Barb (Haludaria fasciata)

Melon Barbs, Haludaria fasciata, are good looking fish that make excellent members of a community aquarium because they are relatively peaceful. It is not recommended to keep smaller, more timid fish with these boisterous fish, especially the males when they engage in chases.

As fast-moving, aggressive feeders, Melon Barbs prefer equally large, active tankmates. This Barb would be best suited to living in a tank with other Cyprinids, such as Denison Barb, Rainbowfish, Gouramis, and Loaches.

It is recommended that Melon Barbs be kept in groups of eight or more since they are a natural schooling species. You will see that keeping more Barbs in your aquarium makes it easier for your fish to relax and will give your display a more natural look and feel. If they are kept in larger groups, the males will also focus on maintaining their position within the group, which will limit aggression.

For Melon Barbs, a good aquarium setup should include rocks of different sizes, pebbles, sand or fine gravel, and maybe some small boulders. As well as driftwood, hardy aquatic plants like Anubias and Microsorum would benefit your fish.

There are several variants of the Melon Barb, which differ in both colour and patterning depending on locality and habitat type. For example, species from highland environments tend to display orangey-gold colours, and species from lower altitudes generally exhibit purple or reddish hues. In addition, these fish can have one to five thick dark bars on their body, depending on the habitat.

Melon Barb (Haludaria fasciata) Video

How to Breed Red Panda Barbs/Melon Barbs - Haludaria Fasciata Aquarium Fish Breeding


Melon barb
Melon barb
Melon Barb
Quick Facts
Scientific NameHaludaria fasciata
Year Described1849
Other NamesNone
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℃


In the home aquarium, the Melon 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 Melon Barb could include:

Denison Barb(Sahyadria denisonii)
Narayan Barb(Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is fairly easy to distinguish between male and female Melon Barbs. Generally, females have larger bodies than males, particularly when breeding. In contrast, males have slender bodies and a dorsal fin that is usually red or red and black.

Frequently asked questions

Are Melon Barbs a shoaling fish?

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.

How do you differentiate between male and female Melon Barbs?

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.

What are the best tankmates for Melon Barbs?

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.

What do Melon Barbs look like?

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.

What should you feed Melon Barbs?

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.

Where do Melon Barbs originate?

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.

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.

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: 01/09/2020 - Updated: 12/08/2022 12:10:35