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Tiger barb

Picture of Tiger barb Green Tiger barb Golden Tiger barb

Above left: Tiger barb photo contributed by Peter Routon, CA, USA. © Peter Routon
Above centre and right: Green and Golden varieties of Tiger Barb, photos taken at Wharf Aquatics
© Sean Evans

Common name:Tiger barb, Sumatra barb
Scientific name:Puntigrus tetrazona
Synonyms:Puntius tetrazona, Barbus tetrazona, Capoeta tetrazona (not valid)
Size:Up to 3" (7.5cm), but often smaller in aquaria.
Origin:Indonesia and Borneo.
Tank setup:Use robust or artificial plants around the back and sides of the tank, leaving plenty of open swimming space at the front for this active shoaling fish.
Compatibility:Often included in a community tank, but has a reputation as a fin-nipper. This tendency is likely to be much reduced if kept as a shoal of at least 5-6 or more individuals.
Temperature:20-26oC (68-79oF)
Water chemistry:Fairly soft, slightly acidic preferred (pH 6.5-7), especially for breeding. However, they will thrive in harder and more alkaline water, as long as extremes are avoided.
Feeding:Omnivorous, most foods accepted - flake, granular food, frozen/live foods.
Sexing:Males tend to be more colourful and are smaller and slimmer than females.
Breeding:Typical egg scatterer. It may be best to allow pairs to develop from within the shoal. A separate tank is advisable for spawning, so that the adults can be returned to the main tank after spawning, to avoid the eggs being eaten.
Comments: This fish is available in two additional colour varieties: green and golden. The green variety, (sometimes referred to as mossy barbs) has dark green patches, the golden variety lacks the black bars. They have a reputation as fin nippers, but this can be avoided to some extent by keeping as a large shoal, where they will spend most of their time establishing a pecking order amongst themselves. However, it may still be risky to keep them with slow-swimming long-finned fish, such as male Siamese Fighters (Betta splendens) or male Guppies.

It may be that the fish we know as the Tiger Barb in the fishkeeping hobby is not in fact P. tetrazona, but the correct scientific name is not yet established.




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