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Maximum size : 12 cm

Striped Barb - Desmopuntius johorensis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Striped Barb (Desmopuntius johorensis) is a popular and active schooling fish that adds an element of excitement to any community aquarium. These hardy and peaceful fish require ample space to swim, and they coexist well with tankmates of similar size and temperament, particularly other Barbs, Algae Eaters, Rasboras, Danios, Pencilfish, Killifish, and peaceful Loaches. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to keep Striped Barbs in large groups, with six being the minimum and ten or more being ideal. This ensures that the fish will be less skittish and more comfortable in their environment, resulting in a natural and visually stunning display. The males will also compete with each other for female attention, displaying their best colours. In a well-established and heavily planted aquarium with shady caves and driftwood, Striped Barbs will thrive and intensify their colours. The water movement should not be too strong, but filtration should be efficient. It is essential to maintain a soft and acidic environment for these fish to ensure optimal health. The Striped Barb has a striking appearance, with a silvery pinkish-peach body colouration and 5 or 6 dark blue, almost black lateral stripes. Their lower lips are thin and smooth, and all their fins are transparent, with the dorsal fin rays being serrated. These unique features make Striped Barbs an attractive addition to any aquarium.

Striped Barb Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

To distinguish between male and female Striped Barbs, one can look for certain characteristics. The males typically have darker bands and more vibrant coloring than the females. Additionally, they may be slightly smaller in size. On the other hand, females are generally larger and have thicker stripes but appear duller in comparison to the males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDesmopuntius johorensis
Year Described1904
Other NamesBanded Barb, Lined Barb
OriginsIndonesia Malaysia Thailand Singapore
Max Size12 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan2 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.0
GH2 - 12
TDS18 -179
73 - 77
22.8 - 25

Natural habitat

The Striped Barb is native to southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia, inhabiting the unique and challenging environment of peat swamps and associated black water streams, rivers, and ditches often in areas with submerged aquatic plants, grasses, and dense riparian vegetation. One of the most remarkable features of the Striped Barb's natural habitat is the brown staining of the water caused by the presence of humic acids and other chemicals released from decomposing organic material. Despite the challenging environment, the Striped Barb thrives, demonstrating its remarkable adaptability and resilience in the face of adversity. Join us as we explore the lush and vibrant lands of Southeast Asia and discover the incredible beauty and diversity of the Striped Barb. From their unique habitat preferences to their remarkable adaptability and resilience, the Striped Barb is a true marvel of the natural world and a must-see for any fish enthusiast. Whether kept as a prized aquarium species or observed in the wild, the Striped Barb is sure to capture your heart and imagination with its stunning beauty and unique behaviour.

How to breed the Striped Barb

In an established and well-maintained aquarium, Striped Barbs will reproduce frequently. However, a more controlled approach is required for increased yield. Adult conditioning should be done in a separate breeding tank, which is filled with mature water, dim lighting, and bottom mesh of suitable grade to allow eggs to drop through but not let adults reach them. Artificial grass-like matting, a layer of small pebbles or glass marbles, or fine-leaved plants can also be used for better results. The water should be slightly acidic with a higher temperature than usual, along with air stone or air-powered sponge filter for water movement and oxygenation. Once the females are full of eggs, introduce one or two pairs or spawn them in a group of half a dozen males and females, requiring a larger aquarium. Spawning typically occurs the next morning. However, if left unattended, parents may consume the eggs, so they should be removed as soon as visible. The eggs usually hatch 24-36 hours later, and the fry become free-swimming 3-4 days after that. Initially, they should be fed an infusoria-grade or powdered food until big enough to accept artemia and microworm.

Diet & feeding

To ensure optimal health and vibrant colouration, Striped Barbs require a varied diet consisting of both plant and animal matter. They readily accept a range of commercial foods including flakes, granules, and micropellets, with some options specifically designed to contain additional plant or algal content. To provide the best possible nutrition, supplementing their diet with small live and frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, artemia, and daphnia is recommended. Offering these types of foods on a frequent basis will not only keep your Striped Barbs healthy but also help to enhance their natural colours and condition.

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