Care Guide for Tiger Barbs – Colorful and Rowdy Schooling Fish
Tiger barbs are often sold at pet store chains to beginners because of their bright colors and strong schooling behavior, but they sometimes get a bad reputation for fin nipping other fish. If you enjoy the energetic, boisterous energy that African cichlids bring, but in a smaller size, continue reading to learn about how to care and maintain this lively species.
What Are Tiger Barbs?
Puntigrus Tetrazona, a barb fish measuring 2.5 to 3 inches (6-8 cm), is originally from Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia. This popular pet fish is loved for its toughness, low cost and striking appearance. It also comes in many colors.
What are the different types of tiger barbs? The regular or wild-type tiger barb has black vertical bands with an orange-tipped nose and fins (similar to the orange and black-striped tiger). Other selectively bred patterns include:
– Albino is a light orange body with white strips – Green is a solid emerald and orange-colored body with black fins. – Long fins: longer, more flowing fins. – GloFish has fluorescent colors like electric green, purple, and others.
A regular tiger barb has four black stripes and orange-tipped fins and nose.
Are tiger Barbs aggressive? This species is considered semi-aggressive. They are curious animals that like to play with other animals. Think of them as a gang of rowdy teenagers that like to roughhouse with each other and anything that catches their attention. For some fish, this environment can be too stressful. Keep reading to learn which fish would be best suited as tank mates.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Tiger Barbs
Tiger barbs can be adapted to a wide variety of water parameters. They can tolerate pH levels of 6.0-8.0 and temperatures between 72-82degF (20-25 degC). This super active fish would do well in a 29-gallon aquarium or larger that has plenty of aquarium plants and fish tank decorations. By providing some obstacles that block line of sight, weaker fish can hide from the more belligerent fish if needed.
How many tigers should be kept together? More is better. At the Aquarium Co-Op retail store, we highly recommend a minimum of seven and prefer more than 12 if possible. A large number of tigers barbs can spread aggression between themselves and other fish. People who want only five barbs may not have enough space or don’t really care about them as adults. Be prepared to either get a huge school or try another, more peaceful species like cherry barbs.
Can I combine tiger bars? Absolutely. You can mix different colors of tiger bar to create a kaleidoscope effect. Other hobbyists like to stay with the same type of tiger barb to create a more unified look when they are schooling together.
Getting a large group of tiger barbs (even if they have different colors) can help keep them preoccupied and decrease fin nipping.
What kind of fish can live with Tiger Barbs? You want to avoid small fish that could be eaten by the tiger barbed. Keep them away from long-finned fish such as angelfish and betta fish that could be eaten. Barbs love to eat fast and can outcompete timid or slow fish, potentially starving them.
You should instead go with other fast swimmers (e.g. silver tip tetras and zebra danios) or fish that are larger than them (e.g. clown loaches or certain South American Cichlids). Tiger barbs swim all over the place but tend to hang out in the middle of the aquarium, so we often pair them with active bottom dwellers, such as Botia loaches.
What do Tiger Barbs Eat?
They will eat almost any omnivore fish you feed them. Because they eat so quickly, try feeding them smaller foods that scatter quickly, such as flakes and small pellets, to ensure that everyone gets a bite. They love frozen foods such as Repashy gel food and frozen fish food. Too many bloodworms can cause females to swell, which we have observed. For smoother digestion, you should add some roughage, such as brine shrimps, daphnia and blanched vegetables, to their diet.
Give your Tiger Barbs a wide variety of foods so they can get all the necessary nutrients to live a long, healthy life.
How Do You Breed Tiger Barbs?
Males are generally more colorful, whereas females have slightly bigger and wider bodies. When given plenty of quality foods and clean water, they frequently lay sticky eggs on plant leaves and various surfaces in the aquarium. However, the adults show no parental care and will eat the eggs on sight. To increase the fry survival rate, put the tiger barbs in a well-established aquarium with lots of dense cover, like water sprite, wisteria, java moss, or spawning mops made out of yarn. Once you spot breeding behavior, you can either remove the parents from the aquarium or remove the plants or spawning mop with the eggs to place in a hatching container. Fish fry typically hatch in about 1-2 days. They need tiny foods such as infusoria and vinegar eels. Eventually, they can graduate to larger foods such as crushed flakes, micro worms, and live baby brine shrimp.
The Tiger barb is a powerful species, in both appearance and manner. One of our favorite aquarium setups is a school of orange tiger barbs swimming in front of a green forest of aquatic plants, balanced with bottom-dwelling fish on the ground. Check out our preferred vendors to order live fish online for your next aquarium.