Tiger Barbs: Characteristics,reproduction, care and more…

The Tiger barbs (Puntius tetrazona) or sumatra barbs  are very popular tank barb species, since they are bright and active fish that will make any tank look quite attractive.

Family: Cyprinidae  Order: Cipriniformes.  Class: Bony fish

Main Characteristics

The tiger barbs are cheerful, showy and stubby fish, which measure between 6-7 cm. of length. Their body is golden yellow orange with metallic iridescence contrasting with their reddish fins, as well as having an intense black basal stripe. Four black transverse bands complete the very attractive figure of these fish.

Let´s watch them

Habitat In The Wild

The Tiger barbs are native mostly to central and southern areas of the Sumatra islands (western Indonesia). Their habitats are thickly planted small rivers with clean water, although some wildlife populations can be found in the USA, Columbia, Suriname and Australia waters, where they got from private tanks.

tiger barbs : Sumatra islands

How to Feed the Tiger Barbs?

Tiger barbs are omnivorous. You can offer them any live plant or dry food but try not to over feed them since they will get obese, and their reproductive skills will be badly affected( the female could even die). The plant food reduces their risk of getting obese and also prevents nipping of the aquarium´s plants by the adult specimens. In addition, you should feed them with some live food at least once a week; otherwise they’ll attack and nip their less active tank mates. The artificial foods in flakes, combined with spinach or lettuce boiled and pureed in very small quantities, are very suitable for the tiger barbs.

As for those specimens intended for reproduction, it is recommended to feed them with live food like tubifex, daphnia, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp and «drosophila».


Their character is generally peaceful, but when they live in groups they can become aggressive especially with other species. Thus, try to have at least 12 specimens of tiger barbs in your aquarium.


To breed Tiger barbs, place several specimens in the same aquarium until they are paired. When this happens, the male will chase the female and fertilize her eggs while she lay them. The females tend to lay several hundred eggs (300 in some cases) in the early hours of the morning over groups of plants. Once the spawning is over, the parents tend to eat the eggs they can find, so place them in another tank.

The fry will swim freely after about 5 or 6 days, at which time they should be fed with freshly hatched pickle shrimp until they are able to eat flake foods. As for their life span it ranges  between three and five years when most.

Here they are

How to Keep Tiger Barbs in Aquariums?

They need relatively large aquariums, well lit and provided with plants. The Tiger Barbs occupy mainly the middle area of ​​the tank and must live in groups of 10 to 12 individuals at least, since this way they will spend most of the time chasing each other and won´t disturb the fish of other species. Clown fish are an excellent combination for the tiger barbs.

The tank capacity should start with 50 litters (13,21 gallons), and should be as long as possible, since they need a lot of space to swim. The tank substrate should be dark with small but well-polished stones (pebbles, for example), so there is enough free space and shadowed corners for them to swim and hide. (We invite you to read our article freshwater barracudas to learn a lot of tips and recomendations about aquariums

Water Parameters:

Temperature25 – 27.8 ° C, for green species it is desirable that it is not lower than 25 ° C;

Water hardness: better not to exceed 16 dH;

Water acidity – pH 6.5-8.0;

The water in the tank should be renewed with fresh water (up to 25% of the tank’s capacity). Keep in mind that is necessary to have an efficient filtration system for the tank water.

Learn first if you want to have one like this.



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