Care Guide for Tiger Barbs – Colorful and Rowdy Schooling Fish
Due to their bright colors and strong schooling behaviors, Tiger barbs are popular pets in pet stores. But they have a reputation for fin biting 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 (2.5-to-3 inches, 6-8 cm) is a barb fish originally from Indonesia. This pet shop favorite is well-known for its durability, cost-effectiveness, striking appearance, and many color options.
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. 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. 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 be kept together? The more you can buy, the better. At the Aquarium Co-Op retail store, we highly recommend a minimum of seven and prefer more than 12 if possible. Having a big group of tiger barbs spreads out the aggression among themselves and towards other fish. People who only desire five barbs are less likely to have enough space for them once they reach adult size. Prepare to try other species, such as cherry barbs, or a larger school.
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.
A large number of tiger barbs can be a distraction for them and help to reduce their 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 love to eat fast and can outcompete timid or slow fish, potentially starving them.
Instead, go with other speedy swimmers (e.g., zebra danios and silver tip tetras) or larger fish that won’t eat them (e.g., clown loaches and 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 are Tiger Barbs Eating?
They are not picky eaters and will devour almost any omnivore fish food you give them. To ensure everyone gets a bite, you can feed them small, fast-eating foods like flakes or pellets. They also enjoy freeze-dried foods, Repashy gel food, and frozen fish food. 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 tigers a variety of food to ensure they get the nutrients they need to live a healthy and long 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, adults will eat the eggs without parental supervision. 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. They will eventually be able to eat larger foods, such as micro worms, crushed flakes and live baby brine shrimp.
Both in appearance and behavior, tigers barbs are a dominant species. 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.