Introduction

The tiger barb (Puntius tetrazona) is a popular aquarium fish which is a great choice for beginners. It is also known as Green Tiger Barb, Sumatra Barb, Albino Tiger Barb etc. It is distributed throughout the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Thailand and Cambodia. It is also found in many other parts of Asia. It inhibits clear or turbid shallow and moderately flowing streams where the water temperature ranges from 77 – 82 °F. It also inhibits in swampy lakes where the water level fluctuates a lot.

Tiger Barb’s Overview

The Tiger Barb has round shaped body with a high back and a pointed head. The body is silver to brownish yellow with four very distinctive black stripes. The outside edge of the dorsal, caudal and ventral fins are red in color. During spawning period the snout becomes bright red in color. It prefers water with a 6.0–7.0 pH and a water hardness of 5° to 15° dH.  It is an omnivore species and in wild condition, it feeds on plant matter, worms and small crustaceans. The tiger barb usually attains sexual maturity at a body length of 2 to 3 cm or at approximately six to seven weeks of age. The tiger barb can grow to about 7-10 cm in length and its life span ranges from 5 to 7 years.

Scientific Name: Puntius tetrazona

Common Name: Green Tiger Barb, Sumatra Barb

Origin: Indonesia, Sumatra, Borneo

Adult Size:  3-4 inches

Behavior: Semi-aggressive

Tank Level: All areas of the aquarium

Minimum Tank Size:  30 gallons

Diet: Omnivore

Breeding: Egg layers

Care level: Easy

Water pH: 6.0 -7.0

Water Hardness: 5° to 15° dH

Water Temperature: 74-79° F

Water Movement: Moderate

Lighting: Moderate – normal lighting

Lifespan:  5-7 years

Background of the Tiger Barb

The Tiger Barb (Puntius tetrazona) was described by German Ichthyologist Pieter Bleeker in 1855. It belongs to the family Cyprinidae under order Cypriniformes of Class Actinopterygii.  It was once called the “Sumatranus” because it came from Sumatra. This fish is available in two additional color varieties: green and golden. The green variety or mossy barb has dark green patches while the golden variety lacks the black bars.

Housing Tiger Barb

The tiger barb is an active, playful shoaling fish which should be housed in a tank with a fine gravel substrate. They prefer a well-planted tank of at least 30 gallons with soft, slightly acidic water. The pH of the tank water should be ranged from 6.0-7.0 while hardness should be varied between 5° and 15° dH. The tank should have rocks, aquatic plants and driftwood in the center to provide hiding places. It usually should be kept in groups of six or more individuals because they are often aggressive in numbers less than five. They should not be kept with slower, more peaceful fishes such as bettas, gouramis, angelfish and others with long, flowing fins. They do work well with many fast-moving fish such as Large Tetras, Mollies, Platies, Plecostomus, Swordtails, danios, cardinal tetra, neon tetra etc. The tank should have good filtration system to keep all water parameters within suitable ranges. Additionally, the tank should be covered with hood to prevent the fish from jumping. 25 – 50% of the tank water should be replaced at least once a month. If the tank is densely stocked 20 – 25% should be replaced weekly or every other week.

Feeding tiger barb

The tiger barb is an omnivore species and in wild condition, it feeds on plant matter, worms and small crustaceans. In captive condition, it readily accepts flake, frozen and live food such as bloodworms, glass worms, brine shrimp, Tubifex worms and Daphnia. It also likes boiled zucchini and lettuce. They are relatively greedy with their food consumption and can become aggressive during feeding time. To keep your tiger barb healthy, give them a high quality flake food every day.

Breeding tiger barb

The Tiger Barb is easy to breed in captive condition. This fish can spawn in a 20 gallon breeding tank. The tank should be set up with a sponge filter with a heater and some plants. Marbles should be used as substrate to protect the eggs. The water should be a medium hardness to 10° dGH, slightly acidic with a pH of about 6.5 and a temperature between 74 – 79° F. The spawn takes place in the morning. With proper conditioning, females can spawn at approximately two week intervals. The female lays 300 to 700 eggs or more per spawning. After the spawning, parents should be removed from the tank to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs hatch after one or two days and the fry become free swimming a day later. The free swimming fry should be fed with infusoria, a liquid fry food, or newly hatched baby brine shrimp at least three times a day. The fry will require clean water to survive.

Sexing tiger barb

It is not hard to sex. The female is larger than the male with a rounded belly and black dorsal fin while the male is slightly smaller with a bright, red nose and a distinct red line above the black on their dorsal fin.

Tiger barb for sale

This tiger barb is a popular fish for a long time and is one of the standard favorites in the aquarium world. The immensely popular Tiger Barb is available basically anywhere, both in stores and online vendor and they are moderately inexpensive. To buy your tiger barb, look below online vendor that I would recommend from.