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Melon barb - Puntius fasciatus

Melon barb - Puntius fasciatus

Scientific name: Puntius fasciatus

Common name: Melon barb

Family: Cyprinidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 13 - 15 cm (5.12 - 5.91 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.4 - 7.1

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 3 - 12°N (53.57 - 214.29ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 27 °C (71.6 - 80.6°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South Asia

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Top levels


Asia; Melon barb is mostly found in Southern India.


The expected life span for Puntius fasciatus is 6 years.

Short description

Always keep Puntius fasciatus in small groups of 8-10 specimens. They display their colouration best in a tank with subdued lighting and a dark substrate. Add plenty of plants to the tank but leave open swimming spaces. If housed in an open tank you will not get the best colouration from the fish, adding them to a community set up with other similar sized tank mates will also allow them to display a natural schooling with other species. They do not require a large amount of water flow but a gentle flow is appreciated, this will also be beneficial to any plants that are added to the aquarium. They do require high water quality so make sure the filtration is rated for the aquarium and perform regular water changes, at least 10% weekly. They are classed as a peaceful species so are ideal for a community set up but make sure that all of the tank mates get their share of the food as they have a voracious appetite. This can sometimes fool the keeper into thinking that they are hungry but only give them enough food that can be consumed in 5 minutes.

Food and feeding

Melon barb will accept all foods offered. Use a quality flake for the staple diet and the addition of some spirulina flake will benefit this fish. It will require treats of blood worms, daphnia or brine shrimp twice a week to maintain its best colouration.


Females are larger and plumper than the males. The males will have red and black colouration in the dorsal fin.


Add Java moss or spawning mops to the breeding tank, these fish are group spawners so add a few of each sex. They should spawn at daybreak so check the tank every morning for eggs. To get the most fry from the Melon barb it is wise to set up a separate breeding tank and filtrate this with an air driven sponge filter. Keep the lighting very low or even just allow natural daylight to hit the breeding tank and they should breed quite easily without too much intervention from the keeper. Marbles added to the bottom of the breeding tank will allow the eggs to fall through into safety and give you more time to remove the parent fish before they get the chance to eat the eggs. Once spawning is complete, remove the parents and in 24-48 hours the fry should hatch out from the eggs. They will be free swimmers after another 24 hours and can be fed on Infusoria initially.


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