I first saw the Melon Barb, Halundaria fasciata (aka. Dravidia fasciata, Puntius fasciatus, and others), in the fishroom of notable fish breeder and author Ted Judy (www.TedsFishroom.com). This medium sized barb, topping out at 3 inches, really stood out, so when they became available to me recently, I had to bring ’em into the fishroom and give ’em a whirl. They’re active, but peaceful. Of course, this fish should be kept in groups, never singly. Incidentally, this is probably a great species to group with the Roseline Shark / Denison’s Barb.
Most references note that there are several distinct color forms, the suggestion being these are geographical variants that could one day be described as separate species. Therefore, if you’re going to breed this species, it might be best to do your homework, learn all you can about the fish in question, and purchase a larger group all from the same source (vs. mixing sources and thus, possibly commingling different variants / species). The specimens on hand are likely bred for the aquarium trade, and did not come to me with any biogeographic provenance – as Ted Judy would tell me to call it; they’re “Aquarium Strain”!