The Eight-Banded Barb is a very peaceful nano species that has beautiful markings, and it thrives in the mature planted aquarium!
The Eight-Banded Barb (Eirmotus octozona) is a very peaceful schooling species that is an excellent fish for the community nano or planted aquarium. It is known for its attractive striping and small size. It is rather exceptional in appearance, but not as often available as many more widespread barb species. This particular subspecies is native to Johor state, Peninsular Malaysia. When kept in larger groups, males will display their best coloration while competing to attract females.
The Eight-Banded Barb typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe with other peaceful, small fish. It may prey on smaller dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can make good tankmates. The Eight-Banded Barb must be kept in groups of 6 or more, although larger groups are more ideal so that subdominant specimens are not bullied by dominant individuals during breeding behavior. Its natural habitat is tropical rainforest areas that typically have slow-moving blackwater. It requires clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark substrate. This fish is native to somewhat dimly-lit streams, so low-light plants such as Java Fern, Anubias species, and Bucephalandra (Buce) species are excellent plants for its aquarium. This small, peaceful fish can typically be kept with dwarf shrimp as well as other peaceful invertebrates.
While not a picky eater, the Eight-Banded Barb will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of omnivorous foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and live, frozen, or freeze-dried Artemia, microworms, Tubifex, and finely chopped bloodworms will all be readily accepted.