Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Distichodus sexfasciatus

Six-banded Distichodus

Six-banded Distichodus, Distichodus sexfasciatus
Photos by Andy Rapson


Distichodus: Greek, di = two + Greek, stix, stichos = line, row

General Notes:

Although this is a potentially very large fish most aquarium specimens don't grow much above 35cm (14in) which means it is possible to keep one in a 180 x 60 x 60cm tank. Although there are exceptions Distichodus sexfasciatus becomes increasingly aggressive with age / size. Large robust fish like adult Oscars may be ok with one but smaller fish will be bullied. They do swim in shoals in the wild but again most will fight among their own kind within the confines of a fish tank. Ideally this fish should be kept alone in a simply decorated plant free tank.


Wild Distichodus sexfasciatus feed on worms, crustaceans, insects and plant matter. In captivity they will accept suitably sized pellets supplemented with live or frozen food such as earthworms, shellfish ect along with some fresh greens like processed peas, blanched spinach and lettuce.


There are no external differences between the sexes. 


Distichodus sexfasciatus has never bred in captivity as far as we know. 

Wild status

The fish is collected for the aquarium trade and for food but this hasn't impacted on the wild population. All fish offered for sale are caught wild. 

Information at a glance

pH: 6 - 8
dGH: 5 - 20
Temperature: 22 - 26°C (72 - 78°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 76cm (30.5in) less in aquarium
Min tank size: 675 litres
Difficulty level: Difficult
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Middle

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Six-banded Distichodus, Distichodus sexfasciatus

Origin: Africa: middle and Lower Congo River in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also in Lake Tanganyika

Habitat: Lower water layers of rivers and inshore areas of lakes


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Distichodontidae
Genus: Distichodus
Species: D. sexfasciatus Boulenger, 1897

Common name:
Six-banded Distichodus

Synonyms: Distichodus tanganicae