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Maximum size : 75 cm

Six Banded Distichodus - Distichodus sexfasciatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Six-banded Distichodus is a fish that boasts a unique appearance and requires special attention regarding its care. While these fish can grow to be enormous in the wild, aquarium specimens tend to remain under 35cm. This means that smaller tanks of 120 litres may suffice for some individuals, but larger, fully-grown fish will require at least a 560-litre tank to thrive. When it comes to tankmates, caution is advised. While some Six-banded Distichodus can remain peaceful, others can become increasingly aggressive as they mature. They may bully smaller fish and are best kept with larger, more robust species such as adult Oscars and Cyprinids, Characins, Catfish, and Loricariids. Although these fish swim in shoals in the wild, most will fight among their kind within the confines of an aquarium, and it is best to keep them alone with basic decor and no plants, as they tend to eradicate them. Regular, significant water changes are crucial to keeping these fish healthy, as they are prone to body and eye fungus if nitrate levels are too high. Furthermore, they are inclined to jump, and a strong, tight-fitting lid is essential. Despite the challenges of keeping Six-banded Distichodus, they remain popular in the hobby due to their unique appearance. Their body is high-backed, and their colour varies from reddish-brown to reddish-yellow. In addition, these fish have an elongated, laterally flattened head, six dark vertical bands, bright red fins, and a distinctive conical nose shape. Although much of this colour and pattern fade as they mature, these fish remain a fascinating addition to any aquarium for those willing to provide the necessary care.

Six Banded Distichodus Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between a male and female Six-banded Distichodus can be quite challenging as there are no apparent external differences between the sexes, making it impossible to differentiate between the two solely based on physical appearance.\r\n

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDistichodus sexfasciatus
Year Described1897
Other NamesSix-Barred Distichodus
OriginsCentral African Republic Angola Zambia Tanzania Cameroon Democratic Republic of the Congo
Max Size75 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asLoners
Lifespanup to 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
72 - 79
22.2 - 26.1

Natural habitat

The Six-banded Distichodus is a fascinating species of freshwater fish found in various regions, including Lake Tanganyika, the Congo River Basin, and the Central African Republic. These remarkable fish tend to congregate in swarms and schools, inhabiting rocky lakes and rivers and the occasional swampy area. Found in countries such as Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, these fish are known for their ability to adapt to various aquatic environments, making them a true testament to the wonders of nature. Whether you are an avid fish enthusiast or appreciate the beauty of these unique creatures, the Six-banded Distichodus is undoubtedly a species that captivates and inspires.
 Congo River - Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag
 Lake Tanganyika. - Burundi
Burundi Flag

How to breed the Six Banded Distichodus

Regrettably, to the best of our knowledge, successful captive breeding of the Six-banded Distichodus has yet to be achieved. This may be attributed to their size and compatibility issues, as these fish do not tend to get along particularly well as juveniles and certainly not as adults. Additionally, reproducing this species in captivity is a daunting task, as they, like other large Characins, undergo a migratory phase before spawning that is challenging to replicate in a captive environment.

Diet & feeding

The Six-banded Distichodus is a versatile feeder with a natural diet that includes crustaceans, insects, worms, and plant matter. In a captive setting, these fish will happily consume suitably sized pellets and Spirulina flakes. It is also highly recommended to supplement their diet with live or frozen foods such as shellfish, mussels, earthworms, and prawns. To keep these fish healthy, a significant proportion of vegetable matter should be included in their diet; blanched spinach, processed peas, lettuce, and blanched zucchini are all excellent choices for providing these fish with the essential nutrients they need to thrive. Whether you are a seasoned aquarist or a newcomer to the hobby, ensuring your Six-banded Distichodus receives a well-balanced and nutritious diet is crucial to their overall well-being.

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