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Maximum size : 8.5 cm

Pentazona Barb - Desmopuntius Pentazona : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Pentazona Barb (Desmopuntius Pentazona) is a rare, mesmerizing fish that will add a unique flair to any aquarium. This species is not only stunning in appearance but is also hardy, active, and peaceful, making it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists alike. For optimal compatibility, it is recommended to keep Pentazona Barbs with other fish of similar size and temperament. Suitable tankmates may include Guppies, Endlers, Mollies, Micro Rasboras, and smaller Tetra varieties. It is important to avoid housing them with more robust or aggressive species, as this may cause the Pentazona Barbs to become intimidated and reclusive. To create the ideal environment for these fish, it is best to replicate their natural habitat. The Pentazona Barbs prefer to inhabit calm waters with ample vegetation, so a planted aquarium with gentle water flow is optimal. The Pentazona Barb's striking appearance is characterized by its bright orange-yellow body and distinctive black vertical bars. These bars run across the fish's eyes, gill openings, dorsal fin, anal fin, and caudal peduncle. They also feature a small dark marking at the base of their dorsal fin. This unique coloration adds a beautiful contrast to any aquarium.

Pentazona Barb Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

In discerning between male and female Pentazona Barbs, gender identification is relatively straightforward. Males typically exhibit a more brilliant and vivid coloration than females and are typically smaller and slimmer in size than their female counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDesmopuntius Pentazona
Year Described1894
Other NamesFive-Banded Barb, Banded Barb, Fiveband Barb
Max Size8.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 8 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.5 - 6.5
GH5 - 12
74 - 84
23.3 - 28.9

Natural habitat

The Pentazona Barb is found in the Baram River drainage in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, Borneo, in Southeast Asia. These remarkable creatures inhabit calm blackwaters of heavily vegetated peat swamps, ditches, streams, and ponds. In their natural habitat, the Pentazona Barb thrives in water that is typically stained brown with humic substances and other chemicals released by decaying organic matter. The substrates are usually littered with fallen branches, leaves, and submerged tree roots, providing an ideal environment for these fish to forage for food and explore their surroundings. The Pentazona Barb's unique natural habitat requirements and fascinating behaviour make it a true marvel of nature and a captivating addition to any aquatic collection. With their distinctive markings and lively personality, these fish are sure to impress even the most discerning aquarists. As you observe the Pentazona Barb in its natural habitat, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of our planet's ecosystems. These fish serve as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to protect and preserve our planet's precious resources. Prepare to be entranced by the stunning beauty of the Pentazona Barb and the wonders of the natural world. With their unique natural habitat requirements and resilience, these fish are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who observes them.

How to breed the Pentazona Barb

Breeding Pentazona Barbs in the home aquarium can be quite challenging, requiring specific conditions and careful monitoring. To begin the breeding process, it is recommended to set up a separate breeding tank that can also serve as a grow-out tank for the fry. This tank should have soft, peat-filtered water and a slightly higher temperature than normal to encourage spawning. Additionally, it is advised to decorate the tank with fine-leaved plants and a spawning mesh or other substrate that allows the eggs to fall through and remain out of reach of the parents. When breeding Pentazona Barbs, select half a dozen of the healthiest and most colourful individuals, and place them in the breeding tank to couple off. These fish should be conditioned with plenty of live food to prepare them for spawning. Once they have paired off, remove any remaining fish from the tank to prevent interference. Spawning typically occurs in the early morning, with the female laying around 200 clear to yellowish eggs that the male will fertilize immediately. Once the eggs are fertilized, the parents must be removed from the breeding tank to prevent them from consuming the eggs or fry. After 24-36 hours, the eggs will start to hatch, and the fry will become free-swimming within 4-5 days. It is essential to feed the fry with infusoria or other suitable small food until they are large enough to consume newly hatched brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food. The fry are particularly sensitive to changes in water quality, so it is critical to maintain optimal conditions at all times. Freshwater used in partial water changes should be of the same temperature and chemistry as the breeding aquarium water and added very slowly to prevent stress to the fry.

Diet & feeding

The Pentazona Barb is a species of fish that has an omnivorous feeding habit, and it is not challenging to maintain their bright colours by providing them with a diverse diet. This species of Barb accepts high-quality pellets, and flake food that meets their dietary needs. In addition, live or frozen fare such as microworms, mosquito larvae, artemia, bloodworm or tubifex, are also readily accepted. With this varied and nutritious diet, the Pentazona Barb can remain vibrant in colour and thrive.

Frequently asked questions

Pentazona Barbs inhabit peat swamps and blackwater streams, and other still waters, usually in areas with submerged aquatic plants or grasses and thick riparian vegetation in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, Borneo in Southeast Asia.

Pentazona Barbs will fare much better in either a forest stream type setup or a heavily planted setup. The aquarium will also need to contain a soft substrate and dim lighting as well as branches, roots and leaf litter as decor. Strong filtration will not be required as they mainly inhabit slow to almost still waters.

Similarly-sized Cyprinids, certain Anabantoids and Cobitids are the best tankmates for Pentazona Barbs. However, it would be best if you avoided boisterous or very robust tankmates as they may outcompete your Barbs for food.

Yes, Pentazona Barbs are a shoaling species in nature, so you should ideally keep them in groups of at least eight individuals. Maintaining these fish in decent numbers will make the fish less skittish, and you will end up with a more effective, natural-looking arrangement. Plus, males will also showcase their best colours as they compete with each other for female attention.

It is relatively simple to determine the males from females. Adult males are usually noticeably slimmer, slightly smaller, and they present a more intense colouration than females.

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