This months profile was written by Ashraf an active contributor to the site.






Puntius johorensis



    A uniquely patterned barb, as most of the puntius genus have vertical bars, with p. johorensis having horizontal ones. Incredibly active, a tank of them will rarely have a dull moment.

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Up to 5″ (12.5cm)
Tank: 40 gallon long minimum (150 L minimum)Preferably a 55 gallon.
Strata: Mainly midwater. Will feed at the top and bottom though.
PH: 6 – 7, tolerates wide range
Hardness: dh range 1 – 12°, Not critical, tolerates wide range
Temperature: 73°F to 77°F (22°-25° C)


Order: Cypriniformes (carps)
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Puntius
Species: johorensis

Common name:

Striped barb


     Native to Southeast Asia, specifically Penisular Malaysia, having been collected from Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Selangor and Perak, the Thai province of Narathiwat and on Singapore and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam). In Sumatra it has been found in the provinces of Jambi (Batang Hari River basin) and Riau ( Siak and Indragiri River basins) and on Borneo in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, to name a few.

General Body Form:

    Typical riverine puntius body, torpedo shaped with a deeply forked tail, all the markings of a good swimmer, a misleading impression, as this species favours still waters.

Coloration:Base colour of dull yellow – gold, with both sexes having six prominent black stripes running horizontally the length of the fishes body.


    1. Like most fish, undemanding as far as water parameters are concerned, what truly matters is water quality. Keep nitrates below 20 ppm at all times. Provide dim lighting, and lots of plant cover, particularly floating plants, for the fish to feel secure. Naturally, keep in no less than 6 and preferably get 10 or more.



    Omnivorous. Sounds highly redundant by now, but here it goes anyways: Good quality flake or pellet as the staple, supplement with live and frozen foods as often as possible. Give lots of variety. I suspect they will nibble on plants, so having soft leaved but fast growing ones in your tank for them to graze on without killing is a good idea.


    In the wild, inhabits peat swamps, very slow moving blackwater streams and stagnant pools. In such areas, the bottom is nearly always covered with mud over which a layer of decaying leaf litter has settled. The water is stained the colour of weak tea to just plain crummy due to tannic acids and other organics released by decaying matter in the water. In such areas where there nutrient content is high, aquatic and marsh plants grow rampant, often areas are dominated by a single species. Fallen trees and woodword is a key feature frequently found in their habitat. No rocks. The pH can be as low as 3.0!!! No need to replicate this in your tank. They are adaptable.


    Said to be quite easily done with healthy specimens and proper conditioning. You’ll need to set up a separate tank in. Something around 36″ x 12″ x 12″ in size would be acceptable, but for you conservatives, go ahead and go wild. This should be dimly lit and contain clumps of fine leaved plants such as Java (spawning mops could also be used) to give the fish somewhere to deposit their eggs. Alternatively you could cover the base of the tank with some kind of mesh. You want the holes to be big enough for the eggs to fall through, but too small for the adults to get through. The water should be of around neutral pH, gH < 8, with a temperature of around 75 – 80°F. A small air-powered sponge filter bubbling away very gently is all that is needed in terms of filtration. Plonk in 6 of each sexes, condition them heavily by feeding foods rich in protein. Check for eggs every morning. They will hatch in 24 – 48 hours with the fry becoming free swimming 24 hours or so later. These should be fed on an infusoria-type food for the first few days until they are large enough to accept microworm or Artemia nauplii.

Additional notes:

    Deep fried in batter they make good eating!
5/5 - (17 votes)


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