View Full Version : Freshwater Fish Profile: Six Bar Distichodus.

10-01-2018, 09:18 AM
Hey guys, I didn't see a profile for this fish so I figured I'd make one.

Species name: Distichodus sexfaciatus

Common name: Six-banded Distichodus, Six Bar Distichodus or simply Six Bar

Family: Distichodontidae

Order: Characiformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: Purported to be 76 centimetres (30 in), but I believe my work has a specimen that is larger. It is difficult to measure a fish in a 5,000 gallon pond though.

Minimum Tank Size: Realistically, something in the realm of 12'x6'x3' in my opinion based on observation of large specimens. Functionally, a 265 gallon would work as most specimens in the hobby are somewhat stunted.

Environment: Freshwater.

Origin: Lake Tanganyika and the Congo River Basin.

Temperament: Aggressive, though this is somewhat specimen dependent.

Tank mates: Large cichlids, large catfish, bichirs, arowana, flagtail prochilodus, other larger or aggressive oddballs that aren't conspecifics or similar shape/niche. In my experience black sharks never successfully cohabitate.

Biotope tank mates: African cichlids and synodontis catfish or bichirs, walking catfish, lungfish, ctenopoma, mbu pufferfish, electric catfish, and African spiny eels.

Water parameters: Temperature 22-26C / 71.6-78.8F; pH 6.5 - 7.5 is a comfortable range, though they are quite adaptable.

Aquarium setup: Distichodus sexfaciatus aren't too picky about the scape of an aquarium. They will eat plants, so a planted tank is out of the question. They exist in riverine environments and in Lake Tanganyika, so biotopes of either would be appropriate.
In my personal experience I've seen them thrive in bare bottom tanks with only driftwood, in black sand with petrified wood and driftwood everywhere, and in scapeless ponds.

Feeding: Distichodus sexfaciatus aren't fussy and will accept all food. They're omnivores so feed as such.

Breeding: Unknown.

Notes: While this species displays beautiful colouration while juvenile, as it matures it fades quite a bit. Here are some pictures of my own specimens to give an example.

10-01-2018, 09:20 AM
Having a hard time editing the post, but I wanted to finish up with the aforementioned massive six bar is entirely washed out of colour, no orange left at all and a very pale brown. He holds his own with pacu around 3' and 4' gar, catfish, etc.

10-01-2018, 02:32 PM
Nice article. thumbs2: