Care Guide for Tiger Barbs – Colorful and Rowdy Schooling Fish
Because of their bright colors, strong schooling behavior and vibrant colors, tigers barbs are often sold to beginner pet owners. However, they can sometimes be a nuisance 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 is a 2.5- to 3-inch (6-8 cm) barb fish that originally comes from Indonesia and surrounding areas in Southeast Asia. This pet store favorite is known for its hardiness, inexpensive cost, and striking appearance that comes in many color variations.
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. 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 with standard coloration comes with approximately four black stripes and an orange-tipped nose and fins.
Are Tiger Barbs aggressive? They have been classified as semi-aggressive in the past because they are very curious about other animals and love to pick on them to see what happens. They can be described as a group of rowdy teenagers who enjoy roughhousing with each other and whatever else catches their eye. 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 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 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 want five barbs often don’t have enough room for them when they grow to adult size or are not truly invested in them. You may need to get a large school or find a peaceful species such as cherry barbs.
Can I combine tiger bars? Absolutely. You can mix different colors of tiger bar to create a kaleidoscope effect. Hobbyists also prefer to stick with the same type tiger barb when schooling together.
Keeping a group of tiger Barbs, even if they are different in color, can keep them busy and reduce 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. Plus, keep them away from any long-finned fish like betta fish and angelfish that may get nibbled. Finally, barbs believe in gobbling their food as fast as possible and can easily outcompete slow or timid fish during dinner time, potentially starving them over time.
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 are Tiger Barbs Eating?
They don’t have a preference for food and will eat any omnivore fish foods you offer. 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 also like frozen fish food, Repashy gel foods, and freeze-dried foods. 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?
The males are more colorful than the females, and their bodies are slightly larger and wider. 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.
Tiger barbs have a commanding presence, both in appearance and demeanor. 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.