Distichodus fasciolatus


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Looking for something unusual for your African biotope aquarium? Distichodus fasciolatus could be just the thing.

Scientific name:

Distichodus fasciolatus (Boulenger 1898).


Throughout Congo river drainage in Africa.


Potentially to 60cm/24”, but more likely to half that size in captivity.


An omnivorous fish that readily takes live, frozen or dry food.  Diet should be biased towards vegetarian. Frozen peas and chunks of carrot are ideal.


Best kept in water close to neutral. Temperature should ideally be around 23-27°C/74-81°F and pH around 6-8. Because of its voracious appetite, frequent water changes may be necessary.


Ample swimming space should be provided. Noting this fish’s potential large size, a very large tank is needed. Tank décor can consist of rocks and driftwood. Suitable tank mates include placid fishes from Central or West Africa, such as Congo tetras (Phenacogrammus interruptus). 

Aquatic plants are likely to be eaten, so use tougher species such as Anubias, Bolbitis or Java fern if you must have plants!


This species is easily distinguished from congeners by its greenish body and the presence of 9-12 dark vertical bars on the body.


Expect to pay around £15 each. 

This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.