Name: Puntius pentazona
Origin: Malaysia, Sumatra, Indonesia
Since I've kept a school for many years now, I thought I would contribute to this. They are the little brother of the tiger barb. A 100 L tank seems too small for me. I started out with 10 of them in 200 liter and now have 15 in 240 liter. The change from 100 cm to 120 cm was a real good one for them, they like to swim through the whole length at once! Also - like with most barbs - I would recommend to not keep them under 10 individuals. Barbs are known to be very stressy, but if you have a big school they are actually very quiet fish. My mom always calls my fivebanded barbs the dead fish, because they can spend minutes without moving. ;)
I keep them together only with catfish, which means they are the only fish species in the free water. So although they don't have any kind of enemy swimming in front of them, they keep together in their school at all time. And if one swims away, all the others follow. Quite impressive to watch! So if you want a fish with interesting schooling behavior, this one might be a good choice. Water should be soft and pH slightly under 7. Weekly water changes are important! If fed mainly with live food (especially red stuff like blood worms), they develop a much brighter color! In most books the fish are yellowish, mine are bright red... even the females! Always keep slightly more females than males, because the males sometimes like to show off to each other a bit.
These barbs are really peaceful and never bother anybody. Great schoolers whenever there are at least 5, but the more the better. Mine were kept for a while in a 100 L and started to huddle near the heater in a corner even though their tankmates were calm tetras and gouramis. As soon as I moved them to my 200 L they changed completely and seemed much happier. Thus, despite their small size and inoffensive character, they really do appreciate lots of swimming room.
These little fish are a lot of fun to watch. Four of them share my tank with four dwarf neon rainbows. For the first few months they stayed hidden and only came out to eat. Now they are schooling most of the time. They are very good natured fish, never giving any of the other fish any trouble. Their black bands give them a look like the tiger barbs without the attitude. Great fish. Highly recommended.
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