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. You might like the lively, energetic energy of African cichlids, but in a smaller package. Keep reading to learn how to care for this fast-paced, fun 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 various types of Tiger Barbs? The wild or regular tiger barbs have black vertical bands and an orange-tipped nose. They also have fins similar to those found on the orange and black-striped Tiger. There are also other selectively bred patterns like:
– 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 with standard coloration comes with approximately four black stripes and an orange-tipped nose and fins.
Are tiger barbs aggressive? Traditionally, this species is classified as semi-aggressive because they are very curious and like to pick on other animals to see what happens. You can think of them as a group of rowdy teens who like to roughhouse with one another and any other animal that interests them. This environment may be too stressful for certain fish, so keep reading to find out which fish are most suitable as tank mates.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Tiger Barbs
Tiger barbs can handle a wide range of water parameters, such as pH of 6.0-8.0 and temperatures from 72-82degF (20-28degC). This super active fish would do well in a 29-gallon aquarium or larger that has plenty of aquarium plants and fish tank decorations. You can make it difficult for weaker fish to hide from larger fish by creating obstacles that prevent them from seeing.
How many Tiger Barbs should you keep together? At the Aquarium Co-Op retail store, we highly recommend a minimum of seven and prefer more than 12 if possible. A large group of tiger Barbs will spread the aggression and make it harder for them to be aggressive towards other fish. People who only want five barbs often don’t have enough room for them when they grow to adult size or are not truly invested in them. Prepare to try other species, such as cherry barbs, or a larger school.
Can I mix tiger barbs? Yes, the many color variations are all of the same species, so you can make a school of tiger barbs with multiple colors 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. You should also keep them away any long-finned fish, such as angelfish or betta fish, that might be eaten. Barbs are quick eaters and will often eat slower or less timid fish at dinner, possibly starving them.
Go with other swimmers, such as zebra daanios or silver tip Tetras, or bigger fish that won’t eat them, like clown loaches, certain South American cichlids, and other speedy swimmers. 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. To ensure everyone gets a bite, you can feed them small, fast-eating foods like flakes or pellets. They also like frozen fish food, Repashy gel foods, and freeze-dried foods. We’ve noticed that the females can become swollen if they eat too many bloodworms. To help them digest food better, add some raw materials like brine shrimp, daphnia, and even blanched veggies.
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?
Females tend to be more colorful than males. However, they have larger bodies and are usually more colorful than their male counterparts. When given plenty of quality foods and clean water, they frequently lay sticky eggs on plant leaves and various surfaces in the aquarium. The adults are not concerned about their welfare and will eat the eggs at any time. 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 hatch within 1-2 days. They require small foods such as vinegar eels and powder fry food. 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.