Tiger barb - Puntius tetrazona
Scientific name: Puntius tetrazona
Common name: Tiger barb
Usual size in fish tanks: 6 - 7 cm (2.36 - 2.76 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 6.5 - 7.5
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 12°N (71.43 - 214.29ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 20 - 25 °C (68 - 77°F)
The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning
Where the species comes from: South Asia
Temperament to its own species: aggressive/territorial
Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive/territorial
Usual place in the tank: Middle levels
The Tiger Barb originates from South-East Asia, they are to be found naturally in Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo. Over the years as they are such a popular aquarium fish some keepers have released these fish into the wild and they can now be found in various countries around the world such as Australia, Singapore and even in some South American countries.
The Tiger Barb is a very active species of fish that do require a lot of swimming areas around the aquarium but they will also appreciate the addition of places ot hide when they feel the need. To replicate their natural habitat the aquarium should be planted and hiding places provided by adding rocks or wood for décor. The water should also be slightly acidic but temperature wise, keeping the water at around 26°C (79°F) although they can also tolerate slightly lower temperatures.
Unfortunately the Tiger Barb has the reputation for being highly aggressive and “fin nippers”. This can be true if they are not kept in a large enough group, bickering should then be confined to the group but they will tend to bully any tank mates that are shown signs of being stressed or injured.
Always use a high quality flake to provide the staple diet but they are classed as omnivorous, meaty foods and vegetable matter should also be provided. Blood worms, brine shrimp are ideal for the meaty foods, blanched peas, lettuce or spinach can be provided for the vegetable matter.
Females are rounder because they carry eggs. Males are more coloured than males.
Egg-layers. Tiger barbs prefer neutral or soft water when breeding. Tiger Barbs become active at a very young age, they are capable of breeding when 7-8 weeks of age. They show no parent care though so to increase the survival rate it is best to remove the eggs to another tank to prevent the fish from eating them. There shouldn't be problems with successful breeding.
Additional information and pictures
This fish is also known as Barbus tetrazona. Special thanks to halkor for allowing us to use the pictures.