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Great Aquarium Fish- Tiger Barb

Updated on November 14, 2011

Being one of the top 10 ornamental fish imported, the Tiger Barb is a one of the best fish for your aquarium. Tiger Barbs are playful and lively with quite a personality. In my tank here at home, they are very entertaining as they zip back and forth across the tank. They are a light orange to a goldish color with beautiful black stripes. They are tropical fish and do very well in fresh water. Also they are quite easy to care for. The Tiger Barb comes from the minnow family. There are other types of Barbs. The common ones are the Albino Tiger Barb and the Green Tiger Barb. Tiger Barbs are also called Sumatra Barb. I always find it fascinating to see where these small aquarium fish originate from and this one comes from Southeast Asia on the Malay Peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Their natural habitat is mainly in shallow streams with high water temperatures. In their natural habitat they have been found up to 3 inches but in aquariums they grow up to 2 inches. They also have a fairly good life span living up to six years.

Tiger Barb
Tiger Barb

Caring for your Tiger Barb

Tiger Barbs are very tolerant to water conditions and do great in normal fresh water tanks. It is recommended the tank temperatures be between 68-79 F. It is also recommended that the tank be at least a 20 gallon though I have mine in a 10 gallon and they seem to be just fine. They also do better if you have them in groups of at least 5 as they like to move around together in groups. They are known to be a little bit aggressive and will bite the fins of other fish that move slow or fish that have long dangling fins such as the Betta. But for the most part, they do good with the other fish.

These fish a good eaters and will eat just about anything you put in the tank. A good flake food is best but for an occasional treat you can give them blood worms and brine shrimp. They even like cooked or raw veggies and if you have real plants in your aquarium they may nibble on the plants from time to time.

Breeding the Tiger Barb

First thing to know is the difference between the male and female. The female Tiger Barb is usually larger with a rounder belly and only black on the dorsal fin. The male is slimmer with a noticeably orange nose and also an orange line above the black dorsal fin. The fish are usually ready to breed when they are about six weeks of age or are about an inch long. When you are ready to breed it is important to take the male and female out and put into a separate tank with some gravel and a plant. Keep the water at about 80 F. The female should spawn quickly after they have been put together. Make sure to pay attention because as soon as the female spawns, the "parent" fish will need to be removed immediately following because these fish are known to eat their eggs. Some people prefer to put marbles in the bottom of the breeding tank because in case they do not get there in time the eggs can drop in between the marbles and be safe from being eaten by the male and female. In ideal breeding conditions female Tiger Barbs can spawn as close as every two weeks. An average of 300 eggs should be expected although they have been known to spawn up to 500.

If the condition are ideal, you will more than likely see baby tiger barbs or (fry to be proper) swimming around within the week. You can buy liquid fry food to feed them until they are old enough to eat flakes. It's good to wait until they reach about 3 cm before you add them back into the community tank.

Tiger Barb
Tiger Barb
Tiger Barb
Tiger Barb

I hope you enjoyed this information about the Tiger Barb. It really is a great fish for aquariums. They are very pretty fish and also have quite a personality. They are really lots of fun to watch. They do well many other fish and are quite easy to take care of.  In addition to all of this, they are fairly cheap, too. Last month our local Pet Smart had them on sale for only $1.00 a piece.   If you are thinking about getting some fish for an aquarium, Tiger Barbs are a great pick.


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    • profile image

      That Fish Lady 

      8 years ago

      I've always really liked the green tiger barbs. Although, a large group of greens, albinos, and regulars look very nice as well! Great pictures :)

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Taleb80- Thanks for reading and for the nice comment. No, I haven't tried to breed them myself.. I guess that is probably more for some one who is planning to sell them.. I remember reading that if you don't have liquid fry food that you can put in very finely crushed flake food.. Good luck with your Tiger Barbs!

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      8 years ago

      Jamie Brock

      Thank you for sharing this hub.

      Voted "Useful" & "UP"

      Now I have ten Tiger fishes in my Tank.

      They are very social fishes, Me & my family feel happy to watch them.

      I think breading them is more difficult than breading Guppy fish.

      Did you try to bread them, what happened?

      I can not find liquid fry food to feed them here, do you have any alternative?

      Thanks again.

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Aquatic Guru, Thank you. The bottom two of those pics were some I found for public use but the top pic is mine. It took me quite a few pics before I captured one that would work. They just wouldn't be still! Thanks for reading and voting.. I really appreciate it :)

    • Aquatic Guru profile image

      Don Pratt 

      8 years ago from United States

      Very nice Barb pics. They are one of my favorite too! Nice hub voted up!

    • Jamie Brock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Brock 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Jeannieinabottle and agusfanani: Thanks for reading and commenting! They are neat fish, aren't they?

    • agusfanani profile image


      8 years ago from Indonesia

      Tiger barb is one of my favorite for its cuteness and interesting color.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 

      8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      What beautiful fish! My parents used to have a fish tank and I remember the tiger barbs. They are great fish for a tank.


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