Max Size: 8.5cm

Pentazona Barb (Desmopuntius Pentazona)

The Pentazona barb is a small attractive non-aggressive, peaceful and active schooling fish that is usually kept in groups of 5 or more. They prefer a well-planted aquarium with driftwood and rocks but still need plenty of space to school. They make an excellent addition to a community tank. They are quite rare to find in the aquarium trade.

This species of barb has an orangy-yellow body which displays five black vertical bars. The first bar is across the eye, the second bar is behind the gill opening, the third bar is around the dorsal-fin, the fourth bar is near the anal-fin, and the fifth bar is in the middle of the caudal peduncle. They also possess a small dark marking at the posterior base of the dorsal fin.

Tank Mates for the Pentazona Barb

3 ideal tank mate ideas for the Pentazona Barb include:

Black Widow Tetra(Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
Cardinal Tetra(Paracheirodon axelrodi)
Ivantsoffs Blue Eye Rainbowfish(Pseudomugil ivantsoffi)
Quick Facts
Scientific NameDesmopuntius Pentazona
Other NamesFive-Banded Barb, Banded Barb, Fiveband Barb
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℃

Photos of the Pentazona Barb

Pentazona Barb
Pentazona Barb
Pentazona Barbs
Pentazona Barbs
Pentazona Barb

Natural Habitat

The Pentazona Barb can be found in the Baram River drainage in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, Borneo in Southeast Asia. They inhabit calm blackwaters of heavily vegetated, peat swamps, ditches, streams and ponds.

You will find that the water is typically stained brown with humic substances and other chemicals released by decaying organic matter, and the substrates are usually littered with fallen branches, leaves, and submerged tree roots.

What to feed the Pentazona Barb

These fish are not fussy eaters. So this allows the Pentazona Barb to flourish and remain very vibrant in colour on a varied diet of high-quality pellets and flake food, as well as live, frozen, or freeze-dried such as microworms, mosquito larvae, artemia, bloodworm or tubifex.

How to sex the Pentazona Barb

It is quite simple to differentiate males from females. Adult males are usually slightly smaller, are noticeably thinner and exhibit more intense colouration than females.

How to breed the Pentazona Barb

Pentazona Barbs are a moderately tricky species to breed in the home aquarium.

When breeding Pentazona Barbs, it is advisable to set up a separate breeding tank that can also be used as a grow-out tank for the fry.

The tank should have soft, peat-filtered water with lots of fine-leaved plants. And you will need to raise their temperature by a few degrees than usual as this will encourage spawning. A bare bottom is advisable but

Some breeders use marbles, pebbles or a spawning mesh on the bottom of the tank allowing eggs to drop through them, keeping them out of the parents reach so they don't consume them.

You should place half a dozen of your healthiest, and most colourful fish in the breeding tank and allow them to couple off and then condition them with plenty of live foods. Once they have paired off, remove the other fish from the tank.

Spawning will generally take place in the early morning. The female will lay around 200 clear to yellowish eggs which the male will then immediately fertilise. After the eggs have been fertilised, the parents will need to be removed.

Around 24-36 hours later, the eggs will start to hatch, and then 4-5 days after that, the fry will become free-swimming.

It would be better to feed the fry infusoria or similar until they are large enough to consume newly hatched brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food.

The fry is especially sensitive to any decline in water quality, so the best conditions must be maintained at all times. Make sure that any freshwater used in partial water changes is of the same temperature and chemistry as the breeding aquarium water and add it very slowly to avoid any undesirable losses.

Frquently asked questions about the Pentazona Barb

Are Pentazona Barbs a shoaling fish?

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.

How do you tell if your Pentazona Barbs are male or female?

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.

What is the most suitable Aquarium setup for Pentazona Barbs?

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.

What tankmates are sutible for Pentazona Barbs

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.

Where do Pentazona Barbs originate?

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.

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)
Butterfly Barb(Barbus hulstaerti)
Checker Barb(Oliotius oligolepis)
View all Barbs
Date Added: 16/09/2020 - Updated: 05/01/2022 16:21:09