Maximum size : 45 cm

Siamese Tigerfish - Datnioides microlepis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Siamese Tiger Fish (Datnioides microlepis) is a true marvel of the aquarium world, showcasing a stunning deep-bodied build and an impressive size. It's an ideal choice for hobbyists with a passion for non-aggressive, predatory fish who want to add a touch of drama to their large tanks. This species tends to exhibit reserved behaviour and typically maintains a solitary disposition. However, Siamese Tiger Fish are not suitable for beginner aquarists, as they require a large aquarium and a careful maintenance regimen to thrive. These fish can be finicky eaters and need pristine water conditions, which may be challenging to maintain for novice aquarists. Additionally, these fish grow to an impressive size, and their upkeep may require a significant financial commitment. 

While Siamese Tiger Fish are not known for being aggressive towards other species, they may sometimes engage in territorial disputes with their own kind. Moreover, their voracious appetite means that any fish that fits in their mouth is fair game. As a result, we recommend that you keep only one Siamese Tiger Fish in your aquarium unless you have a spacious tank to accommodate a group of five or more. Siamese Tiger Fish Necessitates an expansively proportioned tank with lateral space and displays a preference for alkaline water conditions. The provision of concealed areas amid lofty vegetation or substantial decorations is well-received by this species.

The Siamese Tiger Fish has a unique appearance, with a body colouration characterized by a muddied yellowish-grey hue, sharply slanted forehead and striking golden-yellow and black vertical bars that run along its body's entire length. The number of bars may vary, depending on the fish's original location, with some having between 5 and 7 bars. The dorsal fin has a spiny appearance that adds to this fish's impressive look.

Siamese Tigerfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Unfortunately, the elucidation of sexual dimorphism in Siamese Tiger Fish presents a challenge, owing to the intricate nature of visually determining their gender.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDatnioides microlepis
Year Described1854
Other NamesIndonesian Tiger Fish, Finescale Tigerfish, Gold Tiger Datnoid, Yellow Tiger Fish, Black Barred Tiger Fish
OriginsThailand , Indonesia , Cambodia
Max Size45 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asLoners
Diet & FeedingCarnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 15 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 6.5 - 7.5
GH 5 - 20
Ideal Temperature
72 - 79
22 - 26

Natural Habitat

The Siamese Tiger Fish is a striking and fascinating fish species that is a native inhabitant of the Southeast mainland of Asia, specifically found in the Chao Phraya and Mekong River Basins in central Thailand, as well as in the Kapuas basin in western Borneo, the Musi basin in Sumatra, and Cambodia. The number of stripes on the fish can be used to distinguish their origin, with Southeast Asian fish typically having 5 bars and those from Borneo and Sumatra having 6 to 7 bars. 

These remarkable fish thrive in large lowland bodies of water, including lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, and are often found living amongst submerged roots and trees. Additionally, they have been observed in flooded forests during the annual wet season. Despite their popularity among aquarium enthusiasts, successful captive breeding of Siamese Tiger Fish remains a challenge, with current efforts in Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia yielding limited results thus far.


Regrettably, the successful breeding of the Siamese Tiger Fish in a home aquarium has yet to be achieved. Despite ongoing captive breeding efforts in Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia, the results have been somewhat unsatisfactory thus far.

Diet & feeding

In the aquarium, providing a balanced diet is essential for the healthy development of juvenile Siamese Tiger Fish. Their diet can include bloodworms, chopped prawns and small earthworms. As they mature, their diet will shift towards consuming smaller fish, although they may also accept whole prawns, mussels, worms or insects. It is important to note that their large mouth and predatory nature make them unsuitable tankmates for smaller fish. It is recommended to feed older individuals 2 to 3 times per week, as they do not require daily feeding.

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